Roque Bernabé nos cuenta su experiencia trabajando y estudiando inglés en Edimburgo
Durante un verano se preparó con nuestra teacher de STEM Gran Vía, Diana Abuin. Su gran objetivo era trabajar en el Reino Unido para lograr una inmersión lingüística total y, además, obtener algún beneficio económico durante su estancia en el extranjero. Ahora que ha regresado a la academia para prepararse la titulación oficial de B2, le hemos pedido que nos relate su aventura. Este tipo de vivencias es posible gracias a nuestro programa STEM English Travel.
My experience in the UK has been amazing. An incredible experience recommendable to everyone, where you will test yourself and you will realize how far you can go when you have to survive out of your comfort zone.
My intention since the beginning was to go to the UK, to improve my English and find a job to make some money. A total immersion in the British culture, to learn as much as I could.
The first thing that I did was to come back to Stem English. After years without a single English lesson, I had to refresh my English. I chose this academy because I have had a previous experience with them and most of the teachers have experience in this matter. So, I spent the next three weeks learning English in private lessons with Diana, an awesome teacher who guided me and taught me everything that she could in that time. I am lucky to say that she is still my teacher.
My future city was the next decision to make. After reading a lot of blogs, most of them really helpful, I chose Edinburgh. Why this city? I was looking for a cosmopolite city but not as big as London and with less expensive rents. Soon I fell in love with Edinburgh. A big and quiet city, with good renting prices and a lovely genuine culture.
Once I decided on Edinburgh as my new home, I started my legal research. I checked my passport, easier to use in the UK than our National Identity Card, I also checked my European Health Card, a must if you go out of Spain. I also decided to request my penal history, because I knew they will ask for it in some jobs. Websites such as ‘Ministerio de trabajo’ or ‘Servef’ where of real help. If after checking all of this you still have doubts you can go to EURES, in Alicante, a European department specialized in European mobility.
After all this I booked my flight and a hostel for two week to stay in while I was looking for a flat and a job.
My English lessons with Diana helped me to adapt my CV to a British standard and she also showed me how to apply for a job and fill in the ‘application forms’. Then I applied for every job offer that I found using websites like: reed.co.uk; indeed; linked; and one that proved really useful Gumtree.
The beginnings are always difficult and without previous working experience in the UK, you’re in disadvantage. Another important matter is the phone number. With ‘GiffGaff’ I hired a new SIM card with a British number. You don’t have a continuation contract, which means that you can leave at any moment without additional charges.
Getting your NIN (National Insurance Number) is the next important issue you must address. You will need it for everything. I phoned them at the number that I found on the internet. After a short interview on the phone they gave me an appointment.
After getting my NIN it was time to start looking for jobs on site. I printed one hundred copies of my CV to hand them in personally, apart from all the other ones that I had previously sent via e-mail. I got hired as a waiter, and equally important to the level of English is your attitude, remember to keep a positive attitude.
Then, It was time to find a flat. This proved more difficult than seeking a job. There was more demand than market offer. I used websites such as: ‘Gumtree’, ‘Sparedroom’ or ‘Euroroom’. I viewed eight flats before I found mine. A small flat close to the city centre and to my work place. It is possible that someone might try to trick you with the deposit. But remember that you are protected by the law and there are some public organisations to ask for help.
Something useful to know about is the proof of address. It is vital to have it because you will need it to open a bank account or register at your closest GP. A bill or rent contract will serve as proof of address, but it is very difficult to get it because, you won’t have any bills at the moment to arrive, and most of the rent contracts aren’t totally legal. They are sublets. Try to get your proof of address as soon as possible. But don’t panic, there’s some online banks like ‘Revolut’, where they won’t ask you for proof of address, which might proof helpful to exchange currencies, send money to Spain and vice versa. You can even receive your payroll from this app, get a debit card or pay your rent.
So, now, let’s explore the city! If you don’t know anyone in your new city, you can use apps like ‘meetup’, which you can use to find a lot of different groups of people and make new friends with the finest ale.
Enjoy your adventure!