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University of Copenhagen
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Lucky Spanish girl gets the job

Amanda breathes a sigh of relief after hitting the job jackpot in Copenhagen. Her home country offers no hope

The recession has effectively killed every single opportunity there is in Spain. One in two young people are unemployed, and most young Spaniards are just clamouring for an exit.

So says Amanda Calahorra, an English-studies graduate from the University of Copenhagen, whose stay here has been her lucky break.

»We are all escaping, and I don’t mean just Spanish people, but Europeans in general. If we can’t find a job in our country and make a living there, we need to find it somewhere else«, she says, adding that the unemployment situation in Spain is »tragic«. Some students use the option to try to study again with a new degree or a Master’s. Or simply get out of Spain.

Easy decision

Amanda had originally developed a passion for Denmark after an Erasmus experience in Aalborg two years before.

As her University of Copenhagen studies wound down and with a full-blown recession back home in Spain, she faced what, in fact, was an easy decision.

»I thought that I could have more job opportunities here than in Spain and of course I wanted to try«, she explains.

Job center, huge help

The job center was very supportive of her in her job hunt, not only in the economical sense, but in a practical and psychological level, she explains.

»They prepare you for your job search, they give you information on how and where to search, tips on CV writing, they offer you courses, you are assigned a personal supervisor who will guide and advice you throughout your unemployment period,« she says.

One of the consultants suggested she should call companies for an informal chat and, very important, bring some cake for them.

Read article about Greek student Evangelos’ not quite so good job center experiences here.

Cake, or no cake

After four months of looking for jobs in Copenhagen, she struck luck.

Amanda had called many schools in Copenhagen area to ask for a position, but most of them did not need extra help.Finally, she got an opportunity at an international kindergarten in Hellerup. And this in spite of the fact that she didn’t, in fact, use the cake trick.

»I offered them my help and ask them for an opportunity to put into practice my skills and gain some experience. From the very beginning they were very open and helpful. They accepted me without any problem«, Amanda explains.

Destiny will tell

Amanda is enjoying herself. She works with kids and every week she has to monitor them and plan academic activities according to age.

»Even though the salary is not that much compared to the job I do, it is more than what I would get in Spain, and the working hours are fantastic«.

Amanda loves living and working in Denmark, but she does not see herself growing old here: »For the moment, I am planning to stay in Copenhagen for a few years more and then destiny will tell«, she explains.

Read a previous University Post article about the Spanish ‘indignant’ protest movement here.

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