Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Welcome to ESL Hell!

¡Hola! Welcome to our new blog!

Don’t let the title throw you off. We DO NOT hate Spain or even the job of teaching English as a foreign language. I, for one, am a great fan of Spain (though I can’t say Madrid is top of my list for places to live), and I think there are a lot of great things about teaching English… BUT, there are also a LOT of negatives, and I think anyone contemplating a move to Spain should think long and hard about it before buying that plane ticket. As the blog evolves and stories are told, I think you will also understand why we call it ESL Hell and The Pain in Spain.

During the time I’ve been here (about five years), I’ve had lots of friends of friends get in touch with me to ask for my advice on coming to Spain and working as a TEFL teacher. I got sick of writing out the same thing over and over again, so I decided to just post it up on the Internet for anyone to see. Of course, I can only give my opinion, based on my own experience. My blog partner will be giving his angle as well. I’ll also share stories about friends and coworkers throughout the years, to try to give you a well-rounded look at the life of an English teacher in Madrid and in other cities in Spain.

I’ll also talk about life in general here as an expat and as a sin papeles (an illegal immigrant). I’ve had a lot of experiences here, some great, some horrible. Overall, I think it was a good decision for me to come here and to stick it out -- but I'll elaborate on that later. The life here becomes addictive – and it’s only when you’re fully enganchado that you start to see just how much your life has changed, in good ways and in bad ways.

So, that’s all I’m going to say for now. I hope that those of you who read this will leave comments or questions. I’d especially love to see comments from any of you who have also experienced life in Spain or life as an English language teacher abroad and questions from anyone thinking of making the move. Like I said before, my blog partner and I are only two out of the probably thousands of people who have spent time teaching in Spain, but our experiences can serve as entertainment for many of you and advisory tales for others.

¡Hasta pronto!

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