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Where To Stay

11 Jul

Although Mallorca is a stunning island with an alleged average of 360 sunny days a year, rent is still somehow super cheap and nice rooms, short or long-stays, are relatively easy to come by.

When you first get to the island you most likely will not have already found a place to live and will be looking for some temporary housing. I suggest you check out the Central Palma Hostel located in the heart of Palma. It’s very easy to get to from the airport (for 2,50€ you can take the  Line 1 bus and it only takes 15 minutes!) and it’s located next to some of the best spots in the city including an improv theater with events almost every night, fun bars with traditional tapas and outside seating, and the farmer’s market.

When you’re ready to look for something more permanent, LoQUo, the Craigslist of Spain, is your best bet. You can find a nice, furnished room for 250€ with utilities included. I actually found a place in a shared flat on LoQUo before I arrived, talked to my new roomie on Skype who agreed to pick me up in the center of town, and was perfectly content with my new room.

It’s probably a better idea though if you meet your potential roommates in person first before deciding on a place. Couchsurfing is alive and well in Mallorca and every week local members host a Thirstday bash. It’s currently being held on Thursdays at 21:00 at the Molly Malone pub (Calle Monsenyor Palmer, 5). If you’re already in town it’s a great place to have a few cheap drinks, meet new people, and get the word out that you’re looking for a room.

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Gettin’ there…

27 Jun

If you haven’t already, it’s about time you buy that flight to the islands. If you’re flying from the U.S. it’s definitely not going to be cheap, but there are a couple of sites that can help you find the best deals. For those of you who are students and/or are under 26 , you can check out STA Travel. Skyscanner is also widely used around Europe and can help you find some good deals. 

If you decide to fly into a bigger city like Madrid or Barcelona and hang out for a couple days (there’s always fun and free summer festivals going on), you can find a cheap connecting flight through Vueling, AirEuropa or Ryanair. But beware! The cheaper the flight, the stricter they are about luggage allowances. They’ll more than likely make you shove your carry-on bag into the baggage sizer at the gate right before you board the plane. So plan ahead and good luck on your search! 

Welcome to Mallorca, Bienvenidos a Mallorca

21 Jun

So, you’ve finally received your carta de nombramiento and you are destined for the Baleares! Out of all the places you could be stuck in the world, this is by far one of the most beautiful. You’ve really lucked out. As you prepare for your trip, be sure to check back here for tips and updates to help you make a smooth transition from where you are now to las islas. And most importantly; relax, enjoy your summer, and get that student visa!

Getting Classy

2 Apr

Hey team, I hope classes are still rocking for all of you. Lately I’ve noticed a large demand from older students and adults to get insight on business vernacular, and professional lingo in general. One of my students recently asked me how a job interview in the States would go down and I’ve been able to draw upon this theme for several classes worth of material. Below I’ve included some similar class ideas.

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Tragedy hits Home

20 Mar

Wreaking havoc atop the tectonic expanse known as the Ring of Fire, the fifth most powerful earthquake in recorded history struck off the east coast of the Oshika peninsula on the 11th of March, 2011. In addition to a massive amount of physical structures and lives being toppled by the seismic vibrations, as well as swept away by the tsunami, effected nuclear plants face or are dealing with meltdown scenarios. These tragedies also beg to question the economic aftermath of Tōhoku in the world’s second-most financially wealthy country after the United States. In our fair Mallorca, Japanese-born attacking mid-fielder and winger Akihiro Ienaga took a moment of silence during a press conference this past week to pay respect for those amidst the chaos abroad.

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Día Internacional de la Mujer Trabajadora

10 Mar

Biking home from class this past Tuesday I happened upon a Plaça Cort brimming with spectators. Being as my Catalá is not the bé-est, I couldn’t grasp much beyond the fact that the manifestation was being held for International Womens’ Day, reinvindicando all the social achievements that have occurred since the Womens’ Suffrage movement, as well as throughout history before the 20th century, evidenced by authors such as Sor Juana  Inés de la Cruz and Plato to name a few. I’ve found feminism and its history to be great subject matter for my older classes.

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High-Tech High

3 Mar

The high school where I work is siempre más hi-tech. They’ve recently installed SMART Boards in many of the classrooms. Some teachers, including me, still don’t know how to make use of the electronic and interactive whiteboards, but others have ingeniously incorporated the new technology in their lessons. In my Social Science class with 1ESO, the professor always plans an activity using the school laptops which she demonstrates on the whiteboard. The students are instructed to access her blog, Arxisocial’s Weblog, and complete the activity of the day. They are currently learning about Prehistory, so last week they played games on a educational website maintained by the Generalitat de Catalunya. I got to try them out as well and found I probably would have starved if I had lived in the Prehistoric era. The games, a bit reminiscent of The Oregon Trail and with an outstanding musical accompaniment, can be found here: No badis!, under La prehistòria in the Cicle Superior column. Click on Poblat 1 and try your hand at La Recol·lecció. You can also fish for the pueblo in Poblat 2, get initiated into adulthood in Poblat 3, and barter chickens for goats in Poblat 4. The page is in Catalan; it’s a good way to get more familiar with the language and learn vocabulary to impress your amics.