I am in the early process of doing a CELTA course, with the plan that hopefully sometime next year I could move to Spain and use it to teach English over there.
I’m thinking about going to the Spainwise jobs fair which is held in Cordoba in May to get a feel for the situation around getting a TEFL job over there and to make some contacts hopefully.
I might have a few days spare, so I wondered if anyone had any tips for places to stay in Cordoba and things to do and see?
Also I will be flying into Madrid and will need to get to Cordoba from the airport. I’ve checked train prices and they are nearly as much as I am playing for my plane ticket, so I am thinking about getting a bus. Any suggestions as to the best way/place to get my bus ticket?
Finally, I don’t suppose anyone has been to the Spainwise job fair before have they?
I was in Cordoba earlier this month and it's a lovely city. The mesquita is the main thing to see and it's stunning. Apart from that it's nice just to wonder in the narrow little streets in the old part of town. There's a tiny synagogue which is free to visit so is worth popping in to, and some old Roman baths which are quite interesting. There's also a museum across the Roman bridge which I didn't go to but others I was travelling with said it was worthwhile. If you have a few days to spare I'd highly recommend going to Granada where you can see the Alhambra and it's also a nice city, and Seville which is lovely and has quite a few things to see and do. We stayed in an apartment hotel a few minutes walk from the mesquita but I can't remember the name! For food we found the various bodega restaurants were really good.
I got the train from Seville to Madrid for my flight back and it cost £50 booking well in advance with Rail Europe, but it's a fast train so it was a pleasant journey. I'm not sure about buses I'm afraid.
You do not quote prices or where you looked for train fares but the national rail company website this and no other should be it - www.renfe.es - and purchasing well in advance might give you a return fare as low €37.50. For bus, certainly it will be less than half that - http://www.socibus.es/html/index.php - but about three times the journey time.
'places to stay in Cordoba' - how much do you want to spend, happy with a shared bathroom, will a dorm do? Many a web site, like www.booking.com should sort you out.
'and things to do and see?' - I doubt I can improve on the several pages which could be found in a good guide book (if you can find it - any edition of the Rough Guide to Andalucia - do they still have libraries where you are?)- or with a google.
'I don’t suppose anyone has been to the Spainwise job fair' - no but I know the hotel where held.
Okay so you should probably know that the unemployment rate here in Spain is unbelievably high..In Andalucia it's in the neighborhood of 40 percent. Having said that though.. Cordoba is a gorgeous little city with lots to see and inexpensive accommodation. There are hotels and private roomed hostals both dorm or private rooms.. dorms can be as low as 9 euros a night and at the same place a private room would be 13euros a night shared bathroom..so there are lots of inexpensive choices..just google hostals Cordoba.
Best of luck
Bex – thank you for the tips, anywhere I think about going you seem to have been too!
Wombat – I did look at the Renfe website and found it slightly confusing, but having had a proper look at it now I think I have got my head around it and it’s quirks. With regards places to stay, yes I have searched Tripadvisor, but I always think people’s personal recommendations are worth far more. As for a guidebook and google, unfortunately for a mixture of personal and religious reasons I am not permitted to use either.
Adavant – thanks for your warning. I am from England and know that unemployment is high in Spain, but there does still remain a good demand for ESL/TEFL teachers in the country and also in other areas in Europe (although mainly Eastern Europe now). I think people in Spain etc, are desperate to get a good, working knowledge of English as it gives them a better chance of getting out of the country and moving somewhere with a better economy and greater job opportunities.
Thanks everyone for your help!
I am from England and know that unemployment is high in Spain, but there does still remain a good demand for ESL/TEFL teachers in the country and also in other areas in Europe (although mainly Eastern Europe now). I think people in Spain etc, are desperate to get a good, working knowledge of English as it gives them a better chance of getting out of the country and moving somewhere with a better economy and greater job opportunities.
Actually you've just reminded me Steve, when we were walking around Seville we popped into one of the pretty university buildings (the old tobacco factory) and our guide pointed out the number of adverts for English classes on the notice board. As he explained, this is due to the large amount of Spaniards currently wanting to improve their English so they can get out of Spain and look for for work in the UK or elsewhere. So you're probably going at the perfect time!
Thanks Bex, that is quite encouraging. This prolonged winter and cold weather in the UK has definitely fuelled my wanderlust once again!