Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Don't feel offended if they don't say good morning or look at you in the eye or if they laugh about you for saying something incorrect. I guess for them all this things are normal..... And don't talk about politics if they know you're American...... They'll eat you alive....... (Continue)
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities are non-existent. No attempt has been made to acquire more land for the ever-increasing number of students. The children attend classes in temporary buildings which have long become permanent. They sit in cramped classrooms and have virutally no playground. (Continue)
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
You can get much cheaper and larger apartments outside of the center of the city (duh). I do like where I live simply because I don't have to go anywhere to have fun. I'm 10 min away from the central tourist/party area of Sol. I live 2 minutes away from a metro stop and have literary hundreds of club and bars outside my doorstep. With all of this I hear no sounds at night since my apartment window faces inwards. (Continue)
The MEETinMADRID group's primary focus is to provide a relaxed, 'non-pickup-scene' social environment for people to enjoy without paying membership fees. If you just moved to Madrid or if you have lived here for a while, this group can be a great way to meet new people in the area. Join us for happy hours, camping, hiking, clubbing, art gallery tours, barbecues, ski trips and many other social events around the Madrid area. MEETin.org is 100% free and 100% volunteers.
The International Newcomers Club of Madrid has been serving the ex-pat community for 20 years. If you are new to town, or have been living in Spain "forever", INC offers friendship, support, and a home away from home. (Continue)
What advice would you offer others about banking abroad?
If your country has internet banks, I would suggest using one. The pay YOU interest instead of charging ridiculous fees. This was good for me because I was able to arrange for direct deposit to my internet bank. The bank I chose (1st internet bank of indiana) also re-imburses me for any atm charges I incur, automatically. this was important since I'd be making a lot of withdrawls, and didn't want to have to send in the receipts. Overall, the best service I've ever experienced with a bank. (Continue)
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Definitely try out the International Newcomers Club. Though they have one or two men in the group...they are very open to more. They do many fun things during the week and have activities such as wine tasting parties on weekends. There is at least one event monthly and you meet many fantastic people. The American Women's Club is also nice, but they are oriented towards community service and raising funds for charities. They do have monthly meetings and have a club house with a large lending library. (Continue)