The preparation for this trip was thought out, scrapped, and then thought out again. As an avid traveler, most of the little toys and traveling gadgets were already secured. The fact visas had to be obtained and the reality that I'm about to spend a year here, (I've also already planned to renew for the second year) created a whole different list of prep and a small, habitual fact about me, I love making list!
I choose CIEE for the security and assistance they provide in the process of becoming a Language Assistant (LA). While there are multiple other avenues to take, moving to another country with a job, language classes, a host family, TIE appointment, and various other tasks already secured, was a much-needed relief. My choice of this program provided me with an orientation filled with options. First, the sorta tourist route was always those activities authentic to the Spanish culture, such as a flamenco shows, tapas tasting, and even a late night street festival. The second route included essential information or activities that prepped us for our year here. CIEE did a great job of combining information on apartment hunting, chances to explore neighborhoods and amazing orientation leaders with their share of prior knowledge. All this made the move a bit less stressful. Although many things were planned, of course, there's the things you don't think about and CIEE thinks about some of those things for you!
So why oh why CIEE? The piece of mind and aide gave in the process of moving abroad was amazing. There are many ways to become an LA here but I don't regret my choice of programs. I've met amazing fellow participants, the logistical tasks were initiated prior to my arrival (residency appointments were pre-made for each participant), and I orientation was a helpful transition into life here! I hope this post helps in getting you pumped for an amazing adventure! Until next time, Ciao!