TOMORROW: ‘I am not a tourist’ fair!

Tomorrow, June 12th, come out to the Hilton Madrid Airport Hotel for the first “I am not an tourist” Fair. It is a lifestyle fair for expats and working internationals in Spain.  The fair features community related resources for the experienced expat. There is also babysitting provided for those with children to allow you to stroll the booths at your leisure. Expect to find information on things like banks, schools, job hunting, clubs and organizations…etc. Go on, attend the fair, it’s intended specifically for you!

Place: Hilton Madrid Airport
Avenida de la Hispanidad 2-4
Madrid, Spain 28042
Tel: 34-911-534-000
Fax: 34-911-534-001
Date: Saturday, 12 June 2010
Time: 11h00 to 18h00

Madrid websites that I dig

I know I introduced myself as someone who seemed to find no resources on moving to and living in Madrid or even Spain for that matter.  Yes, I found a few resources but none captured in entirety what I needed – and that was a personalized voice giving me the down and dirty on the logistics of moving and settling.  Today Guiri Guide is able to supply you with all sorts of information after its been tested.  But even we needed a bit of a kick start and other than word of mouth – these were our sources.

For the Expat

Just Landed Madrid – This site has the best information in terms of no frills logistical information and contact information.

Spain Expat – Truthfully, this site doesn’t do much for me but you might find it useful.

Easy Expat – Probably best for job searches/postings.

Anglo Info – Great for information once you’re settled into ‘life’ info on House Improvements, Legal, Financial, Cars, Health…etc.

For the latest in ‘What’s Happening’

AIL Madrid Blog– This blog has info on all major festivals, expat holidays here in Madrid (St Patty’s, 4th of July, etc), as well as articles about learning Spanish and cultural traditions in Spain. They even have Spanish recipies!

esMADRID – This site is great for major city events/concerts/festivals/exhibitions…etc.

InMadrid – This is my go-to site (and monthly newspaper) for all things Madrid…especially those things that people my age may enjoy.  The writing style is humorous and they typically have quirky facts about the city that are interesting.

Map Magazine – Honestly, I randomly happened across this one day.  I’ve never heard of anyone reference it but find some of the information is nice – especially about restuarants.

For Madrid/Spain General information

Madrid Insider – Good for the tourist planning a short stop over in Madrid

Spain Tourism – Best for planning a substantial Spain trip

Working Legally in Madrid

In a previous post, entitled Obtaining a Student Visa for Spain (from the US), I discuss the difficulties we had with this process, and had thought the worst was behind us, now I can try to find a job here in Madrid.  It turns out, however, that what the Spanish Consulate told me in my interview for the Student Visa was true, that finding a job in Spain is quite difficult as a US citizen.  In Spain, unlike the US, you are allowed to enter the country and look for work with a Student Visa.  The catch, though, is that most companies want you to already have a NIE number in order to apply, especially if you are non EU.   Unfortunately, as I found out, this NIE number can take months to obtain, and you can only apply for one after you  have received your Visa, another daunting task.

If finding a job in Madrid becomes an impossible task there are some alternatives.   Some people who own their own businesses are licensed in the US, while living in Madrid, and get paid in US dollars.  Another option is  to have your US based company transfer you to their Madrid office.  A friend of mine tried this but found the pay was lower over here, and her position wasn’t exactly what she was doing in the US.

There are also a lot of English schools looking for native English speakers, but they want teachers with experience, legal working papers and/or NIE numbers. One great, easy way to obtain all these things easily is to get certified as an English teacher through TTMadrid. They support you through the student visa process, help you sign up for Spanish classes, and give you the distiction and experience you need to make it in the English teaching world here in Madrid. They also have daily emails for alumni with fresh jobs listings.  One thing to remember is that as a US citizen you are competing with native English speakers who are from the EU, but with a TEFL certification this won’t be much of a problem.

I found that the Spanish don’t use craigslist.com like in the US to post job listings.   Instead, I see most job listings in local newspapers like El Pais or sites like www.spainexpat.com, which also has good information about labor laws.  Good luck, and if you do end up working in Madrid, then tell us about your work experiences.