When I learnt that I was accepted into CSU Global Student Exchange Program (SEP) I must admit that I was absolutely surprised, and even more so when I was accepted into La Salle – Ramon Llull University of Barcelona for one year. I kept thinking “what a wonderful opportunity” to learn a new culture, and language with a fresh vista to promote my future studies and career. A great way to open new doors for a mature age person in search for a new life in different industry or career path.
One piece of advice for applying for your Spanish visa is plan ahead of time! Start planning early as there is a long check list of things to do prior to applying for your appointment at the Consulate General of Spain. Some of the check list items may take between 2 to 5 weeks, like the Police Fingerprint Check Certificate. I started planning from October and by mid-November, when I had all my documents ready for the visa appointment, the Consulate General of Spain informed me that they were booked out and I had to wait till January. Getting closer to my departure date without a visa, I was very nervous, however with the support of the SEP team, I never felt I was alone and when the visa arrived, I quickly announced it to everyone. Feeling of happiness!.
Now, looking back, during all my planning I really would like to thank my family, teachers and the CSU Global team, who were extremely supportive in many ways, especially getting my visa, throughout my journey.
More than just packing
Many friends advised me that packing less is better and since the climate is so different to Sydney, I will be better off buying a new wardrobe from Barcelona. Yes, I liked that idea, however I still could not comprehend taking one suitcase of clothes, shoes, souvenirs and toiletry for a whole year. So, I packed away my wetsuits, surfboards and my favourite hair straightener. Matter of fact, it was a big move as I had to packed away my whole apartment and temporarily closed part of my business, as I would not be able to do the service part from overseas. Being organised and making a priority list of what to do helped smooth the transactions.
Barcelona, here I come!