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Andorra

 
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Andorra Reply with quote

Not that I'm really going to consider it (at least not this year), since I've got a tolerable job in Turkey and really want to work on my Turkish, but I was surprised to see an ad for Andorra on Dave's job listings. This raises an interesting question:

Andorra is outside both the EU and the Schengen Area, and maintains border controls with both France and Spain. I assume therefore that any work permit regulations apply equally to both European and non-European citizens. (Of course we don't know that the company will actually bother with the paperwork.)

The last post specifically on Andorra here was in 2008 and got no responses.

But does anybody know anything about the situation in Andorra? Even someone who's traveled there might be able to comment.

Let's say that in a couple years I get fed up with living in a country with no pork and inferior chocolate, and want to go to Andorra. And let's say that this company is advertising again. Is it a wise move for an American, and is 1500 euros post-tax enough to live on in Andorra?

Thanks and regards,
~Q
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look at this:

http://www.livinginandorra.com/work_permits.html

and this...

http://www.anyworkanywhere.com/jcg_ad.html

There doesn't seem to be much work around. If you spoke French, Catalan or Spanish you might have better chances...
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I speak some Spanish though I know that in Catalonia at least, speaking Spanish is worse than speaking English. I imagine I could pick up Catalan relatively quickly. As a friend put it: "once you've learned one Romance language the rest are wicked easy." (I can already read Catalan at an elementary level, which I know because I once had an internet conversation with some guy in which I wrote in Spanish and they in Catalan.)

Western Europe wasn't even on my radar on account of the EU/Schengen zone, and because Brits I meet in Turkey bitch about the cost of living compared to wages in Spain and Italy (which seem to be the main EU countries Brits work in). I only asked about Andorra because I saw the job that was posted and realized that Andorra is literally the only country in western Europe that's outside the Schengen area.

It looks like this company only hires in person, and while Andorra does discriminate against non-EU nationals (as well as nationals of the new EU members), if they bother with work permits it will be individuals who can make an in-person interview with the proper documents rather than EU citizens who will be hired, though of course I'm not considering the current round myself.

The work permit link is helpful, and it seems that Andorran work permit regulations are similar to those for much of East Asia—apostilled copies of a police check and certifications—with the addition of needing two years' experience if you're not from one of the pre-2004 EU countries.

Also, Andorra apparently also offers working holiday visas, though it's not clear what the terms and reqs are, and if Americans can get them. But I strongly suspect that if those are easier to get, that's what this school is doing, which is why they don't specify two years' experience for non-EU nationals.

The cost of living and actual living situation in Andorra is of course the other question. I imagine if I decide Andorra is worth a shot (mainly for the bragging rights of working in Western Europe, living in an obscure country, and learning Catalan, and for the food) I'd take a trip to Spain and visit it in person. The real question is if it's worth a short.

~Q
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been based primarily in Europe for 14+ years now and I know people who've visited Andorra (a couple of them regularly) but no-one who lives there. I realize that visiting is very different, but my friends report that the cost of thing like food and entertainment are relatively high compared to the Netherlands....probably not a good sign,for what that's worth. I wouldn't try living in the Netherlands on 1,500/monthly!!.

Basically, I seriously doubt you will find anyone on Dave's who's ever lived in Andorra, much less recently enough to comment on current cost of living. Your best source of info is likely to be the school advertising for teacher(s) itself.


Last edited by spiral78 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 693
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qaaolchoura wrote:
As a friend put it: "once you've learned one Romance language the rest are wicked easy."


Mostly yes, though Romanian has awkward grammar including noun cases, multiple plural forms and three genders instead of the two that all the rest have.

Qaaolchoura wrote:
I speak some Spanish though I know that in Catalonia at least, speaking Spanish is worse than speaking English.


Doesn't really apply to Andorra. Part of the reason they stress the Catalan stuff in Catalonia is as part of their battle for independence. The Andorrans already have that.

Qaaolchoura wrote:
I imagine I could pick up Catalan relatively quickly.


I passed elementary level in Catalan and if you have any knowledge of Spanish, or better still Italian (which Catalan is closer to) , it really is a walk in the park. There are some grammar quirks e.g. "Vaig a viure" means 'I'm going to live' while "vaig viure" means 'I lived' and it can be a bit difficult to hear that distinction at first. However all in all it's not that tough.

Feedback I've heard about Andorra is that it's expensive, often cold and a bit boring but that's all second hand info from students who had relatives there.
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