Life after the CELTA - an update from our 2010 Suzanne Furstner Foundation Scholarship winner

It’s been a hectic summer, after finishing work in Italy in July, I travelled to Girona, Catalonia with the intention of helping a friend out with a summer course – however things didn’t go as planned, so I was in Girona with some time to kill, ten days to be exact, and time to consider my options for the Autumn.

After contacting a few school’s in Catalonia and northern Spain I decided to try my luck elsewhere, eventually finding work in Lisbon. I’ve been here for just over two months now, and with the sun glaring through the window behind me and bouncing off my screen, in what is the end of November, I can’t help but think there are certainly less attractive locations to be earning a living.

The city itself is a charming one, not huge in terms of capital cities which helps it maintain a good level intimacy and provinciality while still being a functioning capital. Presently, I’m living in Santa Apolonia, part of the Moorish old quarter directly overlooking the Rio Tejo. First impressions and generalisations are facile as we all know and they are the only things I have to offer thus far; so I won’t bore you with insights that are probably redundant or will be by the time this blog is posted. However, as obvious as it may sound this is not Spain and natives share less in common with their Iberian neighbours than you might think, or at least than I thought.

The people and especially students are a lot more reserved and reticent than their Spanish or Italian counterparts – which admittedly, has taken some adjusting to. It’s cheap here though, for Europe especially. My stay in Lisbon isn’t for a full nine-month term, and will be over by Christmas. But in the meantime I’m living like a king, well, a grammatical, one wide-eyed, slightly Italian-missing, grass is always greener, earning an English wage in a european economic quagmire, Giginha sipping, king.

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