Settling In

I’ve been here nearly 3 weeks now, although it doesn’t exactly feel like it’s gone fast, because I have done so much, and it feel likes I left New Zealand so long ago. So in 3 weeks I’ve managed to find a flat and move in, as well as find a new flat to move into next Saturday! The new flat is a lot closer to the city. My new flatmates are Irish and English, and also teachers, so I’m quite excited to move. The only downside is that I won’t be close to school anymore, but lets be honest, I only spend 16 hours there a week so it’s much better to live closer to the city centre.

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I’ve also managed to get another job! There’s this website called Lingo Bongo, I’m not sure what the exact purpose is but you can put advertisements up looking for tutors, look for tutoring jobs, language exchange and just random public announcements. My friend from work told me about it, so I signed up, and what do you know, I get a call asking to come in for an interview to work for an English teaching academy. So I thought I would give finding an intercambio partner a go (which is when you meet with someone for an exchange of languages, so basically you speak in English with them for 1 hour then Spanish the second hour, or whatever works for you), but I made the fatal mistake of putting my number on there, 40 whatsapp messages later I decided to remove my ad! Just while I’m on the topic of Lingo Bongo, this also happens to be where I found my new flat!

So for my job with the academy, I give private lessons. The advantage of doing this through an academy rather than privately is that you are guaranteed classes, people are more likely to go through an academy, as it being easier to find an academy than a an individual. The down side being, you don’t get paid as much, It’s still pretty great pay, also taking into consideration how easy it is! I currently have 3 classes who are an array of ages! I teach two 5 year old girls, two 3 year olds and 17 and 19 year old sisters. It’s interesting teaching so many different age groups and great for my experience.

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I’ve also found an Irish bar to watch the rugby in; it’s literally packed every game! My friend Julie and I went there for the quarterfinal game against France and there were so many French there but not so many Kiwis, but I don’t think there are that many in Madrid anyway.

I’m also in the process of finding a gym to join, still getting a feel for the city and a schedule for myself I guess, but next month I will definitely join. Even though I walk a lot, at least 30 minutes a day, I feel like I need to get back into proper fitness. As well as that, I have been cooking, which is new for me! At home I barely ever cooked. But I’m no master chef; my meals include beef stir-fry, chicken salad, various pastas and nachos.

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It’s really satisfying when your students are learning and taking in what you teach them. Especially the grade 1’s at school, they know almost no English, so we teach them things like colours and numbers. It’s really cool to see them finally start to remember the names when you ask them. I had my first lesson with the 3 year olds, and it turns out that the mothers just want to me babysit and play with them and just speak in English, so easy and fun!

As I get more comfortable here, there will probably be less to update on here, as I feel like I will just be reporting on my normal life! I will most likely be going away somewhere soon, as we have so many long weekends here, then of course the Christmas break, so stay tuned for more exciting posts.

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