Saturday, March 14, 2015

Plan A and Plan B

It's March now and less than six months until we leave for Spain and so far the only thing concrete that I have is four one way tickets to Spain. While developing Plan A: Move to Spain and teach English part time through the Auxiliares de conversación en España program, I began to realize that other options existed out there and Plan B came into play. In the recent months, my priorities have actually switched and Plan A has become Master's in Advanced English Studies at USAL and teaching English has become my backup plan. 

Right on the nose on January 6th, I jumped online and submitted my application to the Auxiliares program and I scored the low admission number (inscrita #) of 44! At current time, I believe we are just tipping 4,000 applicants. Placements are traditionally assigned to applicants who are already in the program and renewing for a second year. Then the new first year applicants start to receive their regional placements and have three days to accept or decline. On January 23, I received the email that my application had been registered and moments later, the email that I had been accepted into the program. That means we are a green light for Spain, one way or another.

I've been able to do more research into the Master's program and the class schedule generally runs from Monday through Friday from 9am to 2pm. That wouldn't allow me any time to also participate in the Auxiliares program and teach the required 12 hours a week. The Master's program then became Plan A as the money from my housing allowance would actually pay more than the wages for teaching English. I hope that I'll still be able to pick up some private tutor classes in the evenings and weekends. 

Our projected savings are right on target and we hope to bring a little more than we had hoped for which is good. We received a healthy tax refund this year which went straight into savings. My paternal grandfather who passed away recently made me a trust fund grandbaby, literally. I have to share it equally with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings but hey, even $1 makes me a trust fund baby. Thank you Grandpa Dick! I used your gift to buy our tickets to Spain and pay off our bankruptcy attorney. We depart September 4th at 3:40pm from Portland, arrive in Iceland at 6:15am and get a 10 hour layover to explore to Iceland before catching a 4:15pm flight to Madrid. In Iceland, we'll be renting a car to drive into Reykjavík to explore town and find some breakfast. Then we'll head out to the Laxnes Horse Farm for a two hour ride on the famous Icelandic horses. Afterward, we'll catch a 4:15pm to Madrid where we'll arrive just after 10pm and stay in a hotel for our first night in Spain. Then rent a car and drive to Salamanca to explore our new home!

The dollar is almost on par with the Euro right now so our money will get us farther during our stay in Europe if it remains on this course. When I traveled to Europe, the Euro was around 1.27 and now it's down to 1.04. Thankfully, we'll be living on the USD instead of earning the Euro so this means we'll be able to afford more vacations while we're there!

I'll update about my challenges in getting the necessary paperwork to even apply for admission to the University of Salamanca. I did manage to get both my and Erika's passports renewed along with getting the passport card for border travel in case we need to travel to Mexico or Canada while we're applying for our Spanish visas.

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