Tuesday, 6 February 2018

HOW I ENDED UP IN THE CITY OF SIESTAS, SEVILLE

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One moment I'm in the city that never sleeps, NYC, and then, sort of out of nowhere, I'm in the city of siestas, Seville. It's quite the switch, so I wanted to take a moment to explain how I got here and started living the polar opposite to my New York life. Also, if you are a reader who happens to live in the EU, there may be a way you can do the same! So, here's the low-down...

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New York took it out of me. Here on the blog I've mentioned time and time again how draining the city can be. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I loved it over there. But if you have a chance to get away and recharge, you'd better take it. My visa came to an end, and with no exciting stateside opportunities in sight, I decided to fly home to Ireland and look for a job there.

It was a relief to be away from New York's always-on atmosphere, but it didn't take long for me to be ready for my next adventure. I'm not the rural type, I had to get to the any 'Big Smoke'. I was applying for jobs in Dublin, London, Edinburgh, anywhere more exciting than my lovely, but dull, hometown. I did not, however, expect to end up in Spain.

It was my Mum who pointed it out to me: "Paid Work Placement in Seville, Spain". A browse of the website and I knew I had to go for it: flights would be free, accommodation paid-for. Plus you would receive Spanish lessons and complete a vocational course. Sign me up! And who exactly is funding this sweet deal? Well, it's that juicy EU money, baby. If that sounds flippant, let me be sincere for a second: the EU offers incredible initiatives for citizens from all backgrounds. Opportunities are there for the taking.

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I'll tell you about one such EU opportunity, since it is the one that lead me to Seville. Erasmus+ is a cultural exchange where you are flown out to another European country, get a work placement, complete a course, and receive lessons in the country's language. The industry and course topic depends on what your country happens to offer. The one that caught my eye was the initiative focused on entrepreneurship in creative industries, perfect for me since my photography career is moving me in that direction. In Ireland there is also a community development course, if that's more your thing.

Capacity Ireland is the company that works on behalf of the EU to find individuals for this initiative. It doesn't look like they are taking applications right now, but they will surely start recruiting again soon, so bookmark and keep checking back! You can also follow me on Twitter as I will share it when it does go live. I want everyone to know about this opportunity!

For those in other EU countries, there's a different sending organisation that you'll have to find and apply through. Find out more about Erasmus+ here and search for "Erasmus+" and the name of your country to find out what's on offer where you are.

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With this opportunity in my sights, I went through the application process. Since I'd only happened upon the job posting the day before the deadline, the application process was fairly speedy. After filling out a form and doing two interviews, I found out that I had secured a place! Next thing I know I'm in Dublin doing a few days of training before flying out to Seville. And here I am! Trying my damndest to get the most out of my course and work placement (I'll have to leave these details for another post), learn Spanish, and still have enough hours in the day to explore the city.

So, I guess that's the big secret of how I managed to move to Seville, Spain! You can expect to see much more Seville here on the blog, and over on my Instagram too. Until next time, ¡hasta luego!

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