1. When did you move to Scotland?
2. What is it like living in Scotland?
It is quite different to living in Spain. Obviously the weather is worse. The temperatures sometimes
reach 25ºC in summer but most of the winter is around zero however I have already got used to it.
People here are very nice and helpful; they try to help you in everything they can. Edinburgh is an
amazing city with lots of things to do and visit and so are the Highlands. The big difference I found
here is how life changes living in the city or in the countryside. If you travel 20 km away from a big city
you will find that you are in a small town in the middle of nowhere (no bars, no cell reception...). Fortunately,
Scotland is not very big and the distances are short so if you have a car or you take a bus,
(good public transport system despite being a bit expensive in my opinion) in no more than half an
hour will find a big town or a city with all the facilities. All in all, I think that despite of being quite different
to what we are used to (sun, tapas) it is a lovely country and a very comfortable place to live.
3. Is it what you had been expecting? If not, What hadn’t you expected?
Yes, pretty much what I had expected.
4. How easy was it to find accommodation?
It was very easy, the company looked for accommodation for me.
5. How does the cost of living compare to Spain?
It is more expensive than Spain. However I'd say that it is not as
expensive as other parts of UK, especially England, but yes, it is more expensive. Obviously the salaries
are higher and the working conditions are much better than in Spain.
6. Did you relocate alone or with family?
I relocated alone.
7. Either way, how has this affected your experience?
During my last years of studies I realised that my future as a civil engineer in the short-term could not be in Spain
so I was mentally preparing myself to go abroad far from family and friends when I finished studying. That's why I
think it didn't affect me very much taking the decision.
8. What has been the most positive experience to date?
Without any doubt, starting to work as a Civil Engineer. I had no experience and, to be honest, not much hope to
work as an Engineer given the Spanish situation. So, definitely, starting work, meeting the team, seeing how
construction works (which is quite different to what is learnt at University) and starting to take my career forward
has been the best experience to date.
9. How long did the full process take of relocating?
I came to Scotland in July 2014 and worked as a waiter for 5 months to improve my English. I went to Spain for
the Christmas Holidays and came back to Scotland in mid-January having left my previous job as a waiter. I got
in touch with Contract Scotland after Christmas; they arranged the interview with the company in which I am
working at the moment. One week later I got the offer from them and I started to work. Therefore, it took me
three weeks more or less since I first got in touch with Contract Scotland until I started working. I have moved in
to the town where the works are taking place.
10. What was your experience of sourcing a job before working with Contract Scotland?
I would say that I didn't start to look for a job seriously until November 2014. From October to January I looked
for a job on the Internet (typical websites such as s1jobs, hays, cv-library, indeed and many more). In this period I
had two interviews, one in Lochgilphead for the Council and another one in York for a large Consulting Engineer.
I also participated in a couple of selection processes online, however these efforts didn't lead to anything.
11. Did you try to source a job before relocating to Scotland or did you wait until you arrived here?
I tried in Spain for a month or so but I realised that nearly 80% the jobs I was applying for were out of Spain. That
was the final pull I needed to decide going abroad.
12. What does your role involve?
The company in which I am working is in charge of the project management of the Flood Protection Scheme in a
town near Edinburgh. My role inside the company is Technical Assistant, and so far I am helping my colleagues
with anything they need such as drawings with AutoCAD and GIS, site visits to take pictures and dimensions,
13. When you started with the employer Contract Scotland placed you with, can you describe how you settled into working with a UK company?
It was strange and to tell the truth, a bit hard at the beginning. All day speaking, listening and thinking in English
meant I got home so tired. Fortunately it only took a couple of weeks to get used to it.
Apart from this, it was so easy. My boss and the team took their time to show me accurately all the works they
were carrying out and they explained to me all that I needed to know. From the second week I was working by
myself and to date I haven't had any problems with any of my team and day after day I am feeling more involved
with the company.
14. What difficulties did you come across and how have you addressed them?
The only difficulty I have come across so far is the language, especially the Scottish accent. The accent is hard
to understand at the beginning. Now that I have been working here for two months I can say that I am starting to
get used to it and understanding everything.
15. Was there anything you felt you were already familiar with due to your studies?
Not really as I had just finished my studies 5 months before I got hired and I had no experience.
16. If you were to do the whole process again is there anything you would do differently or recommend Others to do?
Actually no, everything has been perfect for me.