I have come up with a new set of plans for Spain, plan Q, which goes as follows.
This summer, I will buy a one-way plane ticket to Spain. I will get to Spain for my English TA program in September. While teaching those first few months, I will apply to renew my grant for the following academic year to continue teaching. Throughout this time I will offer tutorials to Spanish youth/adults to earn extra money.
During the summers after each year, I will stay in Spain and teach at an English summer camp. After those 2 years, I will enroll in a 2 – 3 month language immersion program with the money I have saved while working, hopefully ~100 euros a month. I will renew my visas before they expire each year while in Spain (I’ve read a little about how to go about this, although I admittedly need to get more information). I will not come back to America until December 2013.
As is the case when I feel the need to come up with a new plan, I’m not crazy about it, as I would like to do the language immersion program first, but the money is just not there. This way, I’d be funding the entire experience. I need to make sure I put 100 euros/month aside to make sure I could cover the price of tuition, room, and food when I ultimately enroll in my language immersion program, which I think is doable if I’m teaching enough tutorials and limit my traveling.
There are 2 things I really don’t like about this plan.
1) The time. I’m already old going into this English TA program. The average person is fresh out of college and I’ll be a few months shy of 27 when I arrive in Spain. It’ll take me over 2 years to learn the language as fluently as I’d expect from myself and the whole process won’t start until the upcoming Fall. I’m stuck in Chicago with little income until that time. I won’t be able to come home during the entire 2+ years, as I need to work and most importantly, won’t be able to afford a language immersion program if I have to spend $1500+ to visit America.
2) My Spanish fluency is almost entirely dependent on my ability to make and retain friends. Spanish friends, not other American teachers and expats. If I were to do the language immersion program first, this wouldn’t be an issue. Since I can’t, I need to learn from the environment, from the locals. I don’t have anyone “locally” who I’d consider a friend in Chicago. Who would befriend some Black foreigner who doesn’t fluently speak the language? I won’t be able to entice them with my wit and sarcasm, or my insightfulness if they open up to me with their personal problems, or my general intelligence. It’s hard to sound intelligent when you can’t fluently speak a language. I don’t have faith they’d be patient with me.
But that being said, learning foreign languages is my dream, goal, and most importantly, my career ambition. It’s what I want to do, and this plan is what I need to do. I’ll get over the fact that it’s not ideal. Life has never been ideal for me, but I’ve always been driven. Just gotta stay driven.
~ by Revé on December 26, 2010.