Opinions Please!!!!

Alright, so awhile back I mentioned that I was looking into being an au pair while I do BEDA so I can save some rent money and still have that sense of “family” while abroad. For the longest time I thought I wasn’t going to be able to find a family. I’d spoken to quite a few, but none of them could really accommodate my BEDA schedule (i.e. they wanted me in the mornings to help the kids get ready and walk them to school when I would already have to be leaving to get to my colegio).

Since nothing was working out, I started to look into apartments in the Moncloa area and kinda resigned myself to the fact that being an au pair was just not in the cards for me. Well, last week I began speaking with 2 families. One lives in right next to Majadahonda where my colegio is located. The other lives right in the center of Madrid. I have spoken with both families extensively and have skyped with both of them. I am utterly and completely torn as to which family to make a commitment to. Both families are extremely kind and very understanding regarding BEDA. Both know that I have classes on Friday evenings at Comillas and are perfectly okay with it. So, in the end, it’s a matter of preference of where I want to live. The problem is: How can I have a preference when I’ve never been to either of these places?

I have no idea if I would prefer to be in the outskirts of Madrid and closer to my colegio or if I would prefer city life and commuting to school. Does anyone know anything about either of these two areas and would like to offer some advice??? I’m all ears…

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amelie88
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 20:18:58

    What school will you be working at in Majadahonda? I did the UCETAM program this past year and was at a school in Majadahonda before getting switched to a school in Madrid (long story!). I got an apartment near the Moncloa bus station so I could commute every day to Majadahonda. Honestly, I would prefer living in Madrid–there is nothing in Majadahonda apart from Carrefour!

    And I live right across the street from Comillas! 😀

    Reply

    • Yari
      Jun 22, 2012 @ 21:37:07

      Well, technically, I would be living in Las Rozas. I’ll just be working in Majadahonda. I do like that Las Rozas is well communicated with Madrid centro so I won’t have issues going into the city. Oh and my school is María Auxiliadora.

      And I’m super jealous that you live so close to Comillas! That neighborhood must be amazing 🙂

      Reply

      • amelie88
        Jun 23, 2012 @ 09:18:50

        Oh ok, so it’s a different school. I worked at Colegio Caude.

        Honestly you are better off living near Moncloa. All the suburbs around Madrid are well connected to the city, either by bus or by Cercanias. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be living in Moncloa. Also if you want to go out in the city at night, there are return buses to the suburbs but they are very sporadic. If you’re not a huge nightlife person, then the quiet suburbs might be better. But if you want to meet more people–living in Moncloa would be a huge advantage because of all the students in the area!

        I know people who worked as far as one hour outside of Madrid (such as in El Escorial) yet they still chose to live in the capital. In the end it’s your decision and maybe you’ll like the quiet suburbs over the city (honestly I don’t think Madrid is that busy a city… but then I’m from the NYC suburbs). Good luck with everything!

  2. therootedtraveller
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 21:13:32

    I definitely agree with your choice to go with the family you feel more comfortable with. It’s a big decision – living with a family abroad – and you’ll be spending tons of time with them!

    I’m thinking of doing this myself, as rent just seems like I’d be cutting it close with expenses every month (assuming there are no private classes). Living with a family would be so financially awesome, not to mention you would get a real appreciation for the culture. The only tricky side is finding a family you can mesh well with.

    Where, may I ask, did you get info on families looking for people?

    Reply

    • Yari
      Jun 27, 2012 @ 21:18:07

      The greatest site for finding families, in my opinion, is aupairworld.net. It’s free to create a profile and contact families. I spoke/skyped with a lot of great families from there. Another good site is greataupair.com, which is also free. Believe me, there are a plethora of families in Spain looking for au pairs plus many of them have had au pairs before so they know what they’re getting into, which is nice 🙂

      Reply

      • therootedtraveller
        Jun 30, 2012 @ 15:55:45

        Thanks for the tip! You’re really on top of things – I’m a little behind haha (i actually thought I was planning ahead too, as it’s only June, but I still have to submit my visa and figure out all that).

      • Yari
        Jun 30, 2012 @ 17:57:27

        You’re really not behind at all. I would have started everything around this time but my vacation in Puerto Rico got in the way so I wanted to get everything done before I left. And if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me!! I know firsthand how confusing this whole process can be.

  3. therootedtraveller
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 18:25:34

    Were you able to get your visa before you left? I’m actually scrambling now because I too leave for a few weeks – to the States – so I need my stuff in. I was told they could photocopy my passport and get “started” and that when I came back, they could “give it to” me, but I wasn’t sure if they meant they could issue the visa really soon after I came back.. hence the stress!

    Reply

    • Yari
      Jun 30, 2012 @ 18:29:54

      I was only able to file for my visa before I left. I probably won’t get it until close to the end of July/beginning of August. I also heard that you can leave a copy of your passport but I believe it has to be a notarized copy of it.

      Reply

      • therootedtraveller
        Jun 30, 2012 @ 19:18:15

        Ah, so you actually haven’t gotten it officially yet? Are you waiting around to book your flight?

        Yeah I was told I could photocopy mine while I was there, thankfully the lady I spoke to said it was no big deal.

      • Yari
        Jun 30, 2012 @ 19:20:40

        Nope, I haven’t gotten it officially yet. I actually bought my ticket already because there was a good price for a direct flight on statravel.com. They have a really good policy on rescheduling and canceling flights which is why I bought it through them.

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