If you have ever worked for British Council as a language assistant, you may already have some idea what this post is about.
This is not my first time away on this sort of placement (see my former blog getcaitlintothailand.blogspot.com for more details) so I have been through a selection process before and I am aware that finding teaching posts for the amount of people British Council deals with must be a fair task. However, that is their job!
Applications had to be in in November, 8 months ago. So how long should it take to look at the applications and work out who is suitable and who isn’t? Nothing about where they want to go, just whether they are the right person for the job.
Two months? Three? Especially as countries are dealt with separately and it is a very long running organisation you would expect it to be joyfully quick.
How would you feel at month six, still frantically checking your emails as if you don’t get this placement you year abroad is kind of screwed. If British Council turned around and said ‘Sorry Caitlin your application was unsuccessful, best wishes and lots of love from BC’ I have no idea what I would have done. I have no idea what I could have done. Last minute applications for an Erasmus university placement might have been possible, but I would be unlikely to be able to go where I wanted and on a suitable course. There might still be last minute jobs in South America (there were no first minute jobs in Spain), but then there would be the panic of flights, jabs and visas.
So, when I received an email saying basically ‘Are you sure you want to go to Spain? We’re not sure many of the applications are all that suitable, love and kisses, BC’ I was not best chuffed.
Luckily, about a week later, nearly seven months since my application, I received a confirmation email saying I had a place as a language assistant in the region País Vasco (Basque Country in normal English): my first choice. Surely they could have told me that earlier?
All I had to do then was wait until they gave me the details of the school or schools I was to work at. I thought maybe it would be a few weeks. I celebrated in the knowledge that I didn’t have to worry about what my next year would behold.
It is now July. They have put the date back three times now, to my belief. The deadline to hear confirmation is now the end of the month. ‘That isn’t long’ I hear you say. Well Monday wasn’t that long either. I was happy to receive details on Monday. Only I didn’t. And now I’m going on holiday. For a month. With no Internet.
Without confirmation I will be making very last minute plans about leaving the country.
The most annoying thing is, that I have actually been contacted by a school. Soraluze want me! They seem to know where I’m going! WHY DON’T I?!?!
I’m not happy.