My First Two Months as an Auxiliar in Madrid

Authored by:
Hannah M.

Hannah M.

It has been two months since I packed my life into two suitcases and a carry-on, said goodbye to friends and family, and flew across the country for the first time not knowing what to expect when I arrived.

As I thought about the upcoming year, my mind swarmed with all the unknowns of my adventure from what my role as an auxiliar would entail to where I would live in Madrid. I knew that moving abroad would be difficult, but I was more excited than nervous, trusting that all the details of my living and working situation would work out.

And although everything has indeed fallen into place, what I did not anticipate is how long it took me to adjust to my life in Madrid and settle in once I arrived. These past two months have gone by so fast and I still feel like I just got here!

During my first week in Madrid, I lived in a hotel for orientation, which included orientation sessions, neighborhood tours, a Flamenco show and getting my metro card for traveling about the city and my sim card for my Spanish phone number. Week one was all about meeting new people and making friends, seeing Madrid for the first time, learning more about the city, and beginning to search for an apartment.

During my second and third week in Spain, I visited my school for the first time and focused on the housing process while staying in an Airbnb with other auxiliares in the program, which involved researching neighborhoods and apartments, messaging and calling owners, scheduling visits, and touring rooms and apartments.

At the start of week four, I began work at my school, which was exciting and overwhelming with meeting so many teachers and students at once, finding my way around the school, and trying to remember where all my classes are. This was also my first week in my new apartment with new roommates, so like each previous week since I had been in Madrid, I had a lot to adjust to. 

Week five and six were similar because my work schedule changed after the first week of school and we had a day off during the second for el Día de la Hispanidad. I still had an inconsistent schedule at this point, so took longer to establish a routine, but I had fun nonetheless and got to continue exploring Madrid. I went to an Atlético Madrid fútbol game and took a day trip to Toledo with friends, and hung out with and got to know my roommates more.

These past two weeks, I have finally felt more adjusted, from figuring out my role as an auxiliar in my school and determining how I want to spend my time while here in Spain. I am now acquainted with the teachers that I work with and know my way around my school, and have spent my free time and weekends exploring Madrid and hanging out with friends. Some of my favorite things to do in Madrid have been shopping and thrifting, going on runs in Retiro, hiking, picnics, visiting new cafes and restaurants, and discovering new parks throughout the city.

It took me a bit to adjust and establish myself as an extranjera in Spain– as indicated by the fact that this is only my first blog post since I arrived– because each week of my first two months have been different, but I have loved my time here so far! It has flown by and I am excited to see what the next few months and rest of the school year hold.

¡Hasta la próxima vez!

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