FAQs : Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the observations/comments teachers have made to help you:
Get here early. The good flats get snapped up by the secondary school teachers returning early September. Good sites to look for flats are
You normally have to pay the whole month of September in advance although you are moving in mid- September and a month’s deposit so you may need 500-600 euros cash up front. If you see something you like, let us know. We can always check it our prior to your arrival. It may be on our list of flat rentals or on our blacklist!
Flats tend to be either one/two bedroom studios (with one bathroom) or three bedrooms (with two bathrooms). The price doesn’t vary that much.
Central heating and some form of air-conditioning (for the month of June) are very important. If there is none, insist on landlord providing it.
Check what other bills you will have to pay in addition to the rent and take this into account (Is the heating electric/ will it be expensive to run?).
Insist on a contract of some form (until 2014 you could get a tax rebate if you had a formal rental agreement which the landlord was declaring to the Inland revenue. This no longer exists) It should include an inventory of what is in the flat and be signed by both parties. Ask the landlord if the flat is insured for fire and theft.
Get all train and bus times before you arrive in Spain in case your flight is delayed. Make alternative travel options or arrange to stay overnight if delayed. A good option is www.airbnb.com where you can pay for a room in someone’s house per night you stay.
The best and cheapest flights are to Malaga or Madrid. From Malaga airport Terminal 3 there is a monorail which takes you to the Maria Zambrano railway station. From there you can get a train to Cordoba (50 minutes) and change for Andujar (40 minutes). Be careful when you book as the AVE high speed train is more expensive and only takes 10 minutes less than the regular trains.
From Madrid there are regular buses www.secorbus.es and some of the buses go direct from the airport to Andujar. There is a short 15 stop on route (3.5 hours trip) and also a toilet on board. If you came by train you would have to come to Cordoba and change for Andujar.
Check trains on www.renfe.es which is also in English. You need to specify you are going to Andujar as the website only shows main cities. Book on line as it is quicker and easier. You will receive a message on your phone with a code you need to type in to confirm the payment. Always print out your ticket in case the barcode reader doesn’t work at the station.
When you first arrive, we will apply for an NIE certificate from the national police in Andujar for you. This is issued almost immediately and we need this number to register your contract with the NHS and the Employment Office. If we register you with your passport number, you could be liable for emergency tax at 25%.
You have to register fully as an EU citizen no later than 3 months after you have arrived in Spain. We will apply for an appointment on line with the national police in Jaen and take you to Jaen to register. You will be issued with an EU Citizen Certificate which will have your same NIE number on it. You have this number for life, so don’t lose the card. If you lose it, you must inform the police to be issued with a new one.
If you want to buy a car or a house, pay by credit card etc, you need a NIE card which you have to apply for from the police in Jaén (approx 40 mins from Andújar). When you go to the bank, you need to take some form of ID (a passport/driver’s licence) unless you are getting money out with your cash card.
Carry a photocopy of your passport and ID number/NIF certificate from the police with you at all times. You need to be able to identify yourself if stopped by the police. It is an offence not to carry some form of ID on you.
Check out the deals for mobiles (Movistar/ Orange/ Yoigo etc). The Phone House or individual companies can give you advice on the best offers. New deals include broadband, landline and mobile connection and phone. You may have to commit for one year so check out the penalties for opting out before the year is up.
Also check your flat has a phone and internet connection.
The school banks with La Caixa savings bank. Savings banks don’t charge the extras that main banks do. If you bank with La Caixa, you get your wages the same day we make the transfer. Otherwise it can take a day or so. Only use the cashpoint for your bank or card name otherwise you will be charged commission.
See if your own bank has an agreement with a Spanish bank (for money transfers etc especially if you are paying off a student grant). Otherwise shop around. The Cajas (savings banks) tend to be cheaper. Make sure the deal includes free bank transfers.
You can get quite a lot of GB foodstuff in Carrefour Hypermarket, Mercadona or Supercor (el Corte Inglés) supermarket. If you can’t get it, here you can get it in the big cities or on the coast in Málaga in places like Supersol or Iceland.
Use the local market for fresh food. Family run supermarkets in most neigbourhoods are often cheaper too. Some small supermarkets like PROXI are open all day Sunday, so are the local family run supermarkets and corner shops.
You need to go to the health centre for your catchment area and sign up for a doctor first. We will sort all this out for you.
If you are ill and need to see a doctor, don’t wait for an appointment. Just turn up at the health centre and the duty doctor will see you. At the weekends and on feast days there is a designated 24 hour clinic with doctors on duty. After 10pm they only attend night calls.
If it’s really urgent, just go straight to “Urgencias” at the hospital where they have a 24 hour emergency service.
To book an appointment with you GP go to SALUD RESPONDE (CITA PREVIA) and book your appointment on line.
Make sure you bring enough prescription medicine with you if you need it, as it may take a day or two to get an appointment when you arrive.
There is a monthly fee or you can pay as you go (a “bono”). Sometimes the pay as you go option works out cheaper. The Municipal Indoor (outdoor in summer from June to Sept) pool and gym is cheap. There are several other private gyms including the famous ladies gym CURVES.
If you need an advance ask for one. Don’t struggle on nothing. There’s nothing like a miserable weekend with no money on you.
April-June is the hay fever season so come prepared. In a dry year it can start as early as February.
And finally……….If you need an advance ask for one. Don’t struggle on nothing. There’s nothing like a miserable weekend with no money on you.