Category Archives: Spain

What I’ve been doing in July

I haven’t been able to blog lately. I know it’s no excuse, but July’s been a bit of a difficult month. So if you’ve been following, I’ll give you a summary on what’s been happening with me this month.

Visa application frustrations

My visa application hasn’t yielded any favorable results yet, though I’ve been in communication both with the Spanish Consulate in Toronto and AIESEC in Spain. I didn’t anticipate that the Spanish visa application process would take 3+ months, but at least I’m not the only one waiting. Five out of eight members of AIESEC’s Spanish national team (3 Colombians, 1 Korean and myself) are still awaiting news, so I’m in good (virtual) company. Hopefully the visa will come out soon.

Leaders Summit in Madrid

Two weekends ago, AIESEC in Spain had its summer Leaders Summit for executive body members of the organization. The three Spaniards in the national team and the Austrian AIESECer who volunteered to help out in the national office for two months ran the show, organizing both the conference sessions, as well as venue logistics and liaising with the hotel. Needless to say, they pulled it off!

In preparation for the Leaders Summit, the five members of the Spanish national team still abroad were involved in creating and organizing the conference sessions, and helped in one way or another (via Skype) to deliver the sessions to the conference delegates. I had never attended an AIESEC conference outside of Canada before, nor have I ever attended an AIESEC conference virtually, so helping facilitate a conference virtually was an interesting experience. I also had the opportunity to meet with the delegates (via Skype, essentially someone walked around with a laptop so I can talk to people during the conference), especially the ones in the outgoing exchange department, which was great as I had the opportunity to talk to them all at once about strategies and challenges they’re all facing in their chapters.

During the Leaders Summit weekend, the five international members still not in Spain essentially lived in Madrid time. I can’t speak for the others, but the Leaders Summit reminded me of what I signed up for.

MC work so far

AIESEC doesn’t wait for visas, so even though I’m not in Spain yet, I’ve already started working (via e-mail and Skype) for the national team. Because of the visa application situation, it’s difficult to get things started as we don’t have a completed plan of what we as a team want to do yet.

Because of the time difference, and the fact that I still have a part-time job here in Vancouver, I do most of my MC work during night time so that I can Skype with people in the national office in Madrid, or in any of the other local offices, if I need to.

Hanging out

And when I’m not working, I’m usually hanging out with friends every few days, which is nice. Last year my life-work-school balance was way off, but this year it seems to have improved significantly.

I’m actually surprised that I learned (and like) playing Call of Duty now, and I’m improving in the game somewhat. Mind you, I play this game multiplayer so it is very challenging!

This weekend, in particular, was eventful. I went to a goodbye party for Tina, who is moving to Korea to teach English, and hung out for a bit with a few AIESECers during Derek’s “spontaneous” visit to Vancouver.

And that’s a summary of July for you!

Matching Mania and Visa Application

This week’s been a little bit busier than the last few weeks.

I’m currently organizing a “matching mania” event for Spanish students and recent graduates that are currently enrolled in AIESEC internship programs. If you don’t know what AIESEC is, then you won’t know what a matching mania event is. Make sure that you read the following explanation:

  • AIESEC runs two internship programs, the Global Internship Program and the Global Community Development Program.
  • Students and recent graduates admitted to these programs search for and apply for internships worldwide using AIESEC’s online database.
  • Part of my job with the AIESEC national team in Spain is to recruit students and recent graduates to these programs, and make sure that they are able to secure their internships.
  • A matching mania event is meant to help these students and recent graduates meet with AIESEC volunteers managing these internships in other countries online (usually via Skype), and hopefully, allow them to secure an internship much quicker.

The matching mania event is going to be held on 07 July, so there’s still a lot of time to organize the event, but it’s a lot of work. I’m very proud of the bilingual website I made for it!

Aside from that, I’m still waiting for my Spanish visa. It’s been a painfully long process, but I’ve been getting good news the last few days, so hopefully it will be issued soon.

Meetings with local chapter VPs OGX

In my blog, I will probably be referring to VPs OGX a lot, so it might be a good time for me to explain what these people do.

AIESEC in Spain has 13 local chapters located nationwide, and each chapter has a VP Outgoing Exchange (VP OGX), which is responsible for recruiting Spanish students and recent graduates for AIESEC’s internship exchange programs, and also for sending them on internships worldwide.

Anyways: Last week, I started meeting with the local chapter VPs OGX. The meetings have been very interesting as I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about how AIESEC runs outside of Canada, as well as the many things that they have excelled at, and the many challenges that they are currently facing, especially in light of the current economic crisis plaguing Europe at the moment.

Of the 13 VPs, I’ve met with 3 so far, and I look forward to meeting the rest of them this week! These meetings have been really helpful, not just because I’m learning more about each local chapter, but also because I’m getting the opportunity to think about ideas that can help the local chapters with their work!

Prepping for Spain

So I’ve started on my visa stuff for Spain. It’s a bit complicated as, firstly, there is no Spanish Consulate in Vancouver, so I have to mail my application to Toronto; and secondly, because of certain documents I have to procure.

The thing that’s a bit difficult is obtaining a police certificate (in Canada it’s called a criminal record check). Police certificates in Canada are easy to get – in fact, I expect my Canadian police certificate next week. However, the visa application requires me to obtain a police certificate for all the countries I’ve lived in the last five years. I’ve lived in Canada for only four, and the most recent place I resided in was Indonesia. Obtaining an Indonesian police certificate has taken a while, as things there are done slow! 🙁 I’m hoping to get it by next week!

Anyways, this is what has preoccupied me most of the day, so I thought may as well blog about it!