Como Se Dice "Help Me"

Authored by:
Allison V.

Allison V.

Hola amigos,

The first couple weeks in Spain has given me a whirlwind of emotions, both good and bad. Leaving your loved ones for an once in a lifetime adventure is never an easy thing to do, but a rewarding one. There are a few tips of advice I would like to share about how to survive the first couple weeks in a new country. 

1. Jump on the European phone plan immediately.

As soon as your plane lands in Madrid, the feeling of being lost is overwhelming. The uncertainty of not knowing where you are at all times and not having a phone as a security blanket at first is tough. The concept of getting a phone plan in a different country sounds a lot scarier than the process is. There are plenty cellphone/internet providers such as Vodophone, Orange, Movistar, etc. From previous experiences studying abroad, I found the simplest way to figure out a phone plan was to simply ask for a SIM card and they will guide you through the process of how much data you get/your new number and other questions you may have.

2. Idealista is overwhelming.

During orientation, everyone is constantly talking about one topic. Pisos. Almost every person in orientation is competing for the same pisos, in the same areas, with multiple people. There were several situations where my roommates and I saw people at the same showing from our orientation. The most popular piso place to look online is Idealista. Idealista is helpful but confusing. There are many pisos with all different shapes and sizes. My best advice is to make sure you put a filter therefore you can get exactly what you are looking for. Make sure you are proactive about housing and see as many places as you can until you have what you are looking for. Your perfect piso is possible to have for a reasonable price; it just takes some digging around to find it!

3. You get by with a little help from your friends.

Putting yourself out there can be the most uncomfortable feeling especially during your first couple days of meeting friends. Always keep in mind that everyone is in the same position and trying to meet new people in an unfamiliar place.  Be open, be inviting and always say yes to tinto!

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