Attempting to Stay in Spain? Invest in Some Nikes

Liz Carlson, a past Auxiliar, and current blogging phenomena states, “If I had a euro for every time I got a runaround answer from a ministry official in Spain, I would be as rich as Iker Casillas.” (

Swoosh. Just Do It.

I haven’t even began this infamously corrupt Spanish teaching program and yet I’m almost positive I will not be renewing my contract. Not because I know I will miss my mother, not because I will run out of money, not even because I know I am going to be eating ham (jamón) on everything for the next nine months. But rather, I may not be staying in their beautiful country because they may do everything in their power to ensure a return flight is booked well before my residency is expired.

This seems to be a extremely common and frightening  emotion all across the World Wide Web regarding this particular Spanish program. We, as North Americans do everything we can do stretch ourselves to the limit financially and physically in order to move our lives temporarily, with the understanding if we overstay our NIE (Foreign Identification Number/Número de Identificación de Extranjeros) by a single day or miss a signature on a document, we will be sent back to mediocracy and 40+ hour work-weeks. The Spanish government seems to feed off this motivation. If you ‘Google’ this program and include a tag word, such as “pay day,” you’ll discover that so many regions of Spain are notorious for not paying these Auxiliares sometimes three long months after they arrive! In America, the corporations Human Resources would be sued.  In Spain, Americans have no choice but to send as many angry emails and calls to an empty line to a ministry worker (funcionario). Know why? Our little friends at these Spanish offices know we’re going to stay put and somehow make our summer’s waitress savings & parents wallets (if you’re lucky) stretch until the government has the money to dispense.

And guess what? They’re right.



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