Ecuador or Spain?

25 Mar

I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that I was accepted to teach English for a year in Ecuador and in Spain. The bad news is that I was accepted to teach English for a year in Ecuador and Spain. When I applied for both programs, I was only thinking about being accepted to at least one. Now that I have two to choose from, I face the difficult decision of lining up the pro’s and con’s and making one of the hardest decisions that can determine the path my life continues on.

Here’s the score so far: WorldTeach is the program for Ecuador and CIEE is the program for Spain. Let me do a short run down of each program.

WorldTeach
The year long program in Ecuador will cost a little under $5,000, but will include the airfare, housing, meals, and health insurance, as well as support and assistance. I will be considered a diplomat to Ecuador, and therefore will not be able to get a side job to help make some extra money. I’ll also be betting a stipend of $150 a month, which could go a long way in the country with inflation. Ecuador is a poor country that could be considered by old standards “3rd World” and by new standards as a “developing country.”

Though I don’t know much about the country, I think it would be a good learning experience and it’s something totally new and different to deal with. However, my parents would prefer I go to Spain, a country that they believe to be much safer. Living in Ecuador would not only give me a first-hand perspective on the situation, but make me an expert of sorts on this part of the world that a lot of people know nothing about, which is a valuable tool for a writer to have.

Though I won’t have much money, this will also give me an opportunity to travel to some other countries. I would of course have to go to Peru and see Machu Piccu, and I’d try to travel to Colombia as well.

CIEE
The program in Spain is located in Andalucia, the province I used to live in. Though I requested to be placed in Sevilla, there is no guarantee and I won’t find out until June. Living in Sevilla would be awesome, and trying out a new city would also be cool, but then I have to think that I’ve already had that experience, and that it’s important to try something new. With that being said, there is still more to learn and experience in Spain, and it’d really help out my understanding of the Spanish lifestyle to live there for an extended period of time again.

The program costs about $2,000 and includes health insurance, help finding housing (but not in the price), and support and assistance. The airfare is separate and I’d have to pay for my own rent and food. I would get a 700 euro stipend a month, which is pretty nice considering the exchange rate, but I’d be using most of it on my rent and food. It’s also expense to live in Europe, and I don’t know if I’d be able to travel like I used to when I was a student in Sevilla. I know the area and would have no problem adjusting, but for some reason every time i imagine myself teaching abroad, it’s in Ecuador and not Spain. With that in mind, I love Spain and want to go back, and the idea of living there again is extremely appealing.

So what am I to do? I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and I think no matter what I’m going to be disappointed at having to turn down the other offer. However, I’m also confident that no matter where I go I’ll have a great experience. Now it’s just a matter of mulling it over some more and hoping I can come to a decision that my entire heart and soul can be into.

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