Hola desde Oviedo

Feliz año nuevo!

Once again…it’s been awhile.  Before I left for Spain, I told myself that I would be really good about keeping a blog. Apparently this is not the case. I do write everything down in a journal, though, so there is some documentation I suppose!

Anyway, a lot has happened since I arrived back to Oviedo.  I went home to New York for the holidays and saw all my family and friends.  My time at home flew by and before I knew it, I was on a plane back to Spain (Joni Mitchell reference…anyone?)!  This time I decided to take the train up from Madrid to Oviedo.  I wanted to take the train instead of flying because I heard the ride was really beautiful, but I was so exhausted by the time I boarded the train that about five minutes after opening my book, I fell asleep. So much for that great idea.

When I arrived back to Oviedo, I met up with the girls who are studying through New Paltz to show them around the city and get to know them.  They are all super nice and I was happy to show them around.  I was also ecstatic that I knew my way around the city well enough to give a tour and talk about it.  This is very rare for me, as I’m usually lost wherever I go. I’m not joking. I get lost in Syracuse on a weekly basis. Just ask my mother.  

The first week back was great, but also sort of a whirlwind. It was nice to see all my friends again and I never thought it could feel so good to be back in a place so far from home. Over the summer, I was having doubts about staying the year in Spain, but I am SO glad I decided to do it because I love Oviedo and spending just three months here wouldn’t have been enough.  Everyone I’ve met here has been just fantastic and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

This term, I’m taking a grammar/writing course, a vocabulary course, society and culture, and literature (again, but this time it transfers as a lit class at Geneseo instead of a random poetry elective…YES). Right now I’m just getting back into the swing of things…so far, so good! 

This past Saturday, Ariel, Kate and I decided to hike up to the Cristo again, just because it’s a fun and pretty hike and the weather’s been awesome.  Our next adventure is to Picos de Europa and the lakes at Covadonga.  The hikes at Naranco are fun and close to home, but it’s time to try something new and there are a lot of places in Asturias to explore! Speaking of Covadonga, I went there on Sunday with some of the girls from my program/Erasmus people. It was absolutely gorgeous! Here is a picture:

That’s the newer cathedral (church? basilica? I don’t think it’s technically a cathedral but I don’t know the right word to use), but I just thought this was a really pretty picture.  If you are ever in Asturias, definitely stop in Covadonga, as well as Cangas de Onís (the first capital of Asturias) to see the Roman bridge: 

There isn’t a ton to do in Cangas, but it’s a really adorable town, not to mention it had really good, inexpensive lunch! Alright, enough of me being a tour guide for now. Thanks for reading, guys! This weekend I am going to San Sebastian and Bilbao…so there will be another blog post shortly! 

It’s been awhile…

I realize it’s been about a month since I last posted. I guess I should work on that…things have just been so busy! Since I last wrote, I’ve traveled to Galicia and Barcelona, I now have a conversation partner, and I tutor kids in English! It’s been quite a month.

I suppose I’ll start with school. I mean that’s what I’m here for, right? My classes are all great. I ended up choosing English-Spanish translation, oral expression, Spanish history, and literature.  Next semester I’ll hopefully take a grammar class, another literature class, vocab, and possibly phonetics (if it’s offered). We’ll see! I don’t have to worry about that until January. Translation is AWESOME. I think it’s the most useful out of all my classes. I don’t understand why a translation class isn’t required at Geneseo because I have learned SO MUCH from it. Literature is all poetry this semester. At first I was a little weary of taking an entire class on poetry, but it’s been fantastic and the professor clearly loves what he’s teaching which sparks interest among the seven of us. Yes, all my classes are between 5 and 7 people. The class size will increase next semester, but I enjoy that all my professors knew my name after two classes. Next Wednesday we don’t have classes. Instead, we have an entire day dedicated to learning about Asturias.  Should be fun!

I am also involved in a program at the university called Tandem.  Basically, the university pairs up native Spanish-speakers with native English-speakers so that each person can practice the language they would like to learn.  My partner is named Carmela, and she is fantastic! We meet twice a week for an hour and a half and discuss all sorts of things. Sometimes we help each other with homework (she has an English class and I have my Spanish classes) which is great. We speak 45 minutes in each language.  I’ve learned a lot of cute little sayings that are specific to Asturias, my favorite being the addition of -ín to the ends of random words, for example, “pocquitín” or “guapín”. Carmela has also been super helpful about all things Oviedo, and she even helped me get a library card! I am glad that the university paired us together. 

Another thing I started this week is tutoring (here we call it “clases particulares”). My friend and I were sitting at a cafe and the waitress came up to us and asked if we were English teachers at the instituto nearby. We told her that no, we were students at the university, and she asked how long we’d be here/if we would be interested in helping her son and her niece with their English. My friend will only be here until December, but I offered to help. It’s obligatory for the kids to take it in school and they both struggle with it.  Neither of them actually speak English so I have to help them entirely in Spanish.  It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s great because I get to practice my Spanish (with a 14 and 15 year old…oh, the things they say), I get experience tutoring while I’m in Spain (which I didn’t think I’d have a chance to do) and I get paid. It’s only four hours a week (two per kid) and it’s perfect! The woman thought we were from England, though. She was shocked when I told her I was from the United States. I never thought about the difference in accents before but I guess if I didn’t understand English, I might not be able to tell the difference, either. 

Hm, I’m trying to think of little things that have happened since my last post on October 13 (yikes). One day, a couple of my friends and I decided to visit a random little coastal town in Asturias called Salinas. It was really pretty, with neat cliffs and lots of fossils and seashells on the beach. It’s my goal to visit the most random places in Asturias because the bus system is so cheap. I think it cost only 4 euros to get to Salinas and back.  

I’ve also discovered the Sunday market since my arrival…it’s awesome! I kid you not, they literally sell EVERYTHING at the market. Umbrellas, books, toys, furniture, food, antiques, clothes, scarves…everything. It’s from 11-2 every Sunday and I am definitely going tomorrow to find some pretty scarves.  

Overall, I’ve been learning a lot and I am loving life in Spain.  I will post about Galicia and Barcelona tomorrow, I think. [EDIT: Clearly I didn’t do what I said I would do…sorry!]  I also need to upload pictures to Facebook…and take more pictures! Okay, I will update again soon…hasta luego! 

The first week!

I’ve been here almost two weeks, but it feels like I’ve been here for so much longer. Last Monday, we took a placement test and I placed into Advanced II! It was a pretty simple test. We had a bunch of grammar/fill-in questions and a short essay, followed by an oral exam.  I was nervous for the oral part, but the professor asked me the most basic questions in the world so it was easy.  I am taking four classes: traducción: inglés-español, lengua española: expresión oral, historia de España, and literatura (which just so happens to be poesía this term). I have already taken a Spanish history class, but I thought it would be a good idea to take it again while I am here.  It’s only a trimester, so the information will be more compact than what I had back in the States.  This is perfect because that leaves next semester wide open to take art, cinema, or a Latin American history class in its place (and I haven’t taken any of those subjects before).  Since La Casa de las Lenguas only offers so many classes, I pretty much know what I’ll be taking next semester as well.  The professors are all really great and very patient, and all my classes are in the same building.  Being that it is the fall trimester and there aren’t as many people doing my program as there will be in the spring, there are between 5 and 10 people in all of my classes. At first I thought this would be miserable, but I really enjoy the small class size and that all my professors already know my name.   

Tuesday through Friday I went to a bunch of different classes and narrowed my choices down to the four that I listed earlier.  Registering for classes is a lot different here in that you are given a master schedule and told to go to whichever classes you are interested in.  Then you have to hand in a registration form to the school and they put you in the system.  This is the first time I have had a smooth registration process. Love you Geneseo, but KnightWeb is a hot mess and you know it.  

There is a group on campus called ESN (Erasmus Student Network) who have events for international students all the time, so on Tuesday night I went to a tapas night that they apparently have every week.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, tapas are pretty much the equivalent of what we would call hors d’oeuvres or appetizers in the States.  You buy a drink and then you snack on whatever they are serving (this might not be true of every bar…but the tapas were included with drinks at this particular bar).  There are so many different kinds of tapas, and they vary by region. My favorite are called croquetas, which are little fried pastry things filled with potatoes (sometimes jamón or vegetables as well).  I met a lot of interesting people at tapas night and also at the welcome week espicha on Friday night.  

An espicha is a traditional Asturian practice that involves drinking sidra, which is one of the most well-known things about Asturias.  Apparently there is a whole ceremony that you are supposed to do at an espicha involving the sidra, but ours just turned into a big dinner.  Sidra is natural apple juice that has completed the process of fermentation. It’s really interesting because the Asturians pour it from waaaaaay over their heads into glasses that are slightly at an angle without even looking. I always think they are going to miss the glass, but it mostly all makes it in. Although it may seem like they are zoning out, they are actually looking at the stream of sidra to make sure it hits the glass correctly. The reason it’s poured from so high up is to sort of fizz it up, even though it really doesn’t give it any carbonation.  Then you’re supposed to drink it relatively fast and pour the last bit out onto the ground.  This explains all the wet/sticky pavement next to all the sidrerias (sometimes it ends up on the ground when it’s poured as well).  Anyway, this was really good because I met a bunch of cool people! This isn’t my picture, but it is an example of someone pouring sidra. It is definitely a cool thing to watch!

Classes have been good this week, and we (already) had a free day on Wednesday so a group of us decided to hike up to this huge statue on Mount Naranco called El Cristo.  On the way up, there are two awesome pre-Romanesque churches. These actually are my pictures! 

Santa Maria del Naranco (848): 

and San Miguel de Lillo (also 9th century, not sure of the year):

They are about 3 km away from Oviedo.  Then we really started our hike up Mt. Naranco to El Cristo.  It took awhile, pero vale la pena (it’s worth it). Por fin we made it to the top! It was a little foggy by the time we got there, but there is a great view of the city, and on clear days I have heard that you are able to see Gijon/el mar Cantábrico.  If you really don’t want to hike all the way up (although this is the more fun/picturesque option, I think), you can drive as well. You could also opt to follow the road instead of venturing into the woods on really narrow trails like we did. Here is a picture of me with the statue. It was neat to see it up close because you can see it from down in the city but definitely not in detail. 

Since my last post, I’ve done a bit of exploring and discovering where things are in Oviedo as well.  I now can safely say I know my way around pretty well and I usually don’t get too lost.  There are never any street names, so I just figure out where I’m going based on landmarks and stores.  I walk everywhere. Most people would agree with me that everything is in walking distance, except maybe one of my roommates, who claims that even Calle Uria, a huge street near el Campo San Francisco, is far away (I don’t think so).  I enjoy walking anyway, so it’s great.  There is a public bus system, but for the most part, walking is the best form of transportation.  Drivers here are crazy.  They will run you over, so watch out.  The old town is really neat.  We have a beautiful cathedral and lots of nice little shops and cafes.  There are cafes everywhere, but it’s nice to sit outside at a cafe in the old town next to all the really old buildings.  It’s easy to get lost in the old part of the city because there are so many narrow, windy streets.  This is where most of the bars and discotecas are.  I couldn’t imagine living above them (there are pisos above all the bars) on the weekends.  If you wanted to sleep, it’d never happen. There is also a neat art museum in the old town, which I went to the other afternoon called el Museo de Bellas Artes.  The best part was…it was free! Here is the website if you want to check it out.  

Today I discovered a store called el Corte Ingles, which is HUGE and has everything from food to clothes to luggage to a pharmacy and also a BOOKSTORE!! I was really excited because after Borders closed I basically had nothing to live for. I am really excited that Spain has so many bookstores and that I can get books in Spanish which is awesome.  There are a bunch of really neat privately-owned bookstores in Oviedo, but I haven’t explored all of them yet. 

I feel like there is so much to cover from the past two weeks…but here are some differences I have noticed between the US and Spain so far:

1. Food. Obviously, I knew this would be a difference, but it’s worth noting.  We have some grocery stores that are comparable to those in the US, such as Carrefour and el Corte Ingles, but there are also lots of little stores and markets that specifically sell produce or meat or seafood.  Milk and eggs aren’t refrigerated until you get them home. Even then people don’t refrigerate eggs.  Milk is sold on the shelves in cartons. I haven’t been able to find hummus—SO SAD! The fruit is really good, though, and so is the chocolate and the bread.  And the cafe con leche=amazing! It’s a lot stronger than in the US, but so good! Also, you bag your own groceries here.

2. Taking out the trash.  Oviedo has the most intricate system of garbage disposal that I have ever seen. It’s very ecological, but it took me awhile to understand it.  There are four different colored bags. To put it simply, we use yellow for plastic, blue for paper, green for glass, and black for everything else (ex. food scraps, coffee filters).  Each bag has a different day of the week.  We have a magnet on the fridge that explains the system so I will never forget it since I stare at that magnet every day when I decide what I want to eat.  

3. Kids. They are always dressed to the nines and are always outside playing.  I live right above a playground so I always hear them playing long into the night.  They eat dinner very late, so they also go to bed very late.  Soccer is a common sight, and the school uniforms are too cute. 

4. Oviedo is super clean. Late at night, the cleaning crews come through and spray the sidewalks with water.  It’s also super safe—one of the safest cities in Spain! I have noticed, however, that WAY more people here smoke than in the US.  

5. There are no screens on the windows, and last night a huge bug flew into my room.  My window opens two different ways, and I usually only have it cracked open, but it’s been really hot here lately so I decided opening it all the way wouldn’t kill me.  I ended up catching the bug in a towel and attempting to fling it out my window, probably throwing it onto someone eating at the sidreria under my apartment…oops! 

6. Women wear high heels all the time. I will never assimilate, sorry. 

7. There are also no dryers.  I have a small washing machine in my apartment that is built into my kitchen as if it were a dishwasher.  Then you hang your laundry out to dry out your window or on a rack in your living room (if you’re me).  

My roommates are really nice! One is a guy from Spain who works at the hospital, and it’s good because we only speak Spanish as he knows no English.  The other is a Polish girl who studies English at the university.  I help her with her coursework a lot! 

Well, that’s all for now, I think. I have some work to do and I’m tired of writing. Much more to come, I promise! 

Mi primer dia

Friday morning, my parents and I drove down to JFK so I could catch my flight to Madrid! I was really nervous about traveling alone, but I ended up sitting next to a really nice woman from Barcelona who gave me a lot of tips.  She only spoke Spanish and Catalan so it was nice to have someone to practice with before I actually got to Oviedo. She was visiting NYC and is obsessed with it, and she told me that she thinks NYC accents are the most beautiful English-speaking accents, which I thought was interesting because I think they’re unique but I’ve never heard anybody call a New York accent “beautiful”.  

Navigating the airports was way easier than I had anticipated, except when I had to get on a random bus at Madrid. It was the only way to go after security so I was super-confused but I just followed the crowd. I eventually ended up at the gate with lots of time to spare.  I flew into Oviedo and met up with Charo outside baggage claim. She was SO nice and told me all about the area and gave me a map and a bunch of touristy info for things to do around the city.  It’s currently 80 and sunny in Oviedo, which is very rare for this time of year, and we got a laugh out of the fact that both of us were wearing outfits that incorporated scarves—obviously not weather appropriate! She brought me to my apartment and I met my landlord, Yolanda, who is very nice. She lives in the apartment next door and since we have no hot water until Monday, offered to let me use her shower tomorrow morning. 

I unpacked and got settled in and then I went to the centro comercial and the supermarket with Victor, Yolanda’s son. He helped me get a SIM card for my phone and also thought I was super weird for not knowing any of the brands of laundry detergent/cereal.  Overall, it was a successful trip. There is a Polish girl moving in tomorrow and I’m excited to meet her! I have to meet with Charo tomorrow afternoon so she can show me the university and then I have my placement test and registration on Monday. Anyway, I am pretty tired from all the traveling but my window is just above an entire row of outdoor bars/restaurants and a playground so I hear everyone from the bars and all their kids playing. We’ll see if this turns out to be a problem…but honestly I am so tired I don’t see how it could be!

Getting my Spanish visa!

Welcome to my blog about my year abroad in Oviedo, Spain! I will be recording all my thoughts and adventures here for the next 8 months.  I am leaving New York in 4 days and I’m terrified, excited, nervous, and curious all at the same time! I’ve spent the last four months preparing for my trip, and there have been many (and I mean MANY) ups and downs thus far.  Things started looking better when I got my Spanish visa in the mail a few weeks ago.  Now I am officially ready to go!  

The whole process started around this time last year.  I remember sitting in my academic adviser’s office mulling over different study abroad programs and trying to narrow down my choices.  One of the best things about going to a SUNY school is that you are able to study abroad through ANY SUNY program! After carefully inspecting each and every SUNY study abroad program in Spain, I ended up choosing New Paltz’s program at la Universidad de Oviedo in Asturias.

To all you prospective SUNY study abroad students, here is the website I used.  It’s a fantastic search engine that will help you narrow down your choices based on location, length of program, and even which SUNY school the program is based out of. Also, if your school has a study abroad fair, GO TO IT!!! Often there will be students who actually did one of the programs and the best information about a program comes from someone who went through the process the semester or year before you! Study abroad advisers may be helpful, but talking to someone who actually did the program may be able to answer a lot more of your questions.  

After I had picked a program and applied (New Paltz, by the way, has a very simple application process which I very much enjoyed) I learned that I needed to get a Spanish visa.  Most of the other things on the application were simple: a transcript, health records, personal information, a study abroad statement, and a couple of recommendations.  The visa was a whole new adventure.  

I’ll admit, when I started the process, I had no idea how involved it was going to be.  If you are studying in Spain for less than 90 days, congratulations—you don’t even need a visa! If you are studying for over 90 days, get ready to experience bureaucracy at its finest.  Over 180 days is even MORE fun.  To obtain a Spanish visa, one must schedule an appointment online with the Spanish consulate in their jurisdiction.  Obviously, I had to go to the consulate in New York City.  I made my appointment for late June, thinking I would have enough time to get together all the paperwork.  Nope. Not even close. Here is what you need to get a visa (as of right now—this changes at random and sometimes you are expected to have additional paperwork even if they changed the requirements the morning of your appointment and you didn’t even realize):

—2 National Visa Application forms dully filled out and signed. 
—Passport. The passport must be valid for the intended period of your stay in Spain with at least one blank page to affix the visa. Also provide either of the following: US drivers license, US State ID card, current student ID. 
—2 recent photos passport size with a white background. Staple one photo on each of the application forms. 
—Letter of acceptance as a full time student from Spain’s University/School or US program indicating: name, address and registration number of the school with Spain’s Department of Education; (Ministerio de Educación de España) full payment of tuition, duration of the program, subjects of the study and hours of study per week which must be no less than 20. 
—Health Insurance, International insurance coverage for health/accident with a minimum coverage equal to €30,000 and “Repatriation Coverage” during the planning period of stay in Spain (or its equivalency in dollars). 
—Proofs of financial means during your stay: Please provide ONE of the following:
1.        Letter from the University or School in Spain or in the USA assuming full financial responsibility during your stay (this is often included into the acceptance letter)

2.        Proof of financial aid or scholarship for at least $1,000 per month for room and board.

3.        Notarized letter from your parents or legal guardians assuming full financial responsibility for at least $1,000 per month for room and board. Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I’m the (father/mother/other) of (…), will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain and that I’m financially responsible for any emergency that may arise”.

4.        Personal bank account statements showing at least $1,000 per month of stay.

—“Money-Order” to pay the non-refundable visa fees (no personal checks or cash accepted). 
—Evidence of your migratory status in the USA (Only for non US citizens): Provide your “Alien Registration Card” or “US Visa with I-20/IAP-66” (except B1-B2). 
—Police Records Certificate for persons 18 years old & up (for periods longer than 180 days) *** from the country of origin or place of you residence for the last five years bearing the “Apostille of the Hague Convention” (*** See special notes at the bottom of this page). If the Certificate is issued outside the USA it must be duly legalized by the corresponding Consulate of Spain plus 1 copy.
—Medical Certificate (for periods longer than 180 days): Doctor’s statement on a doctor or medical center letterhead, indicating that  the student has been examined and found in good physical and mental health to travel to study abroad and is free of contagious diseases or any other illnesses which could lead to Public Health repercussions according to the International Sanitary Regulations plus 1 copy. 
—Notarized authorization letter to apply for a visa from the parents or custodians (only if the applicant is under 18 years of age).
—If you want your passport returned to you by mail you MUST bring a self-addressed and pre-paid UPS.COM label to receive your passport back from us. Create a shipment on-line atwww.ups.com and print the label.

Here is the link to the SPANISH CONSULATE OF NUEVA YORK WEBSITE. There you will find all the information you need if you just click the “Visas” link on the right side of the page.  

Most of these things were relatively easy to obtain. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment as soon as I got home from school in May, and New Paltz gave me everything I needed for the letter of acceptance, proof of financial means, and health insurance info.  

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I MADE had to do with my fingerprints for the FBI background check.  I waited until I got home from school in May to get fingerprinted and send the prints down to D.C.  The process was supposed to take six weeks, which I had, and an extra 15 days to get the Apostille of the Hague Convention, which I’ll discuss later.  I went to the local police department to be fingerprinted, sent my prints down, and waited. And waited. Well, the six week time frame came and went, and when we called the FBI they told us the prints were still in the process of being reviewed. 

Another week passed, and I knew that I needed to cancel my visa appointment at the consulate because I wouldn’t have this paperwork back in time.  I scheduled another appointment for August 9, which was about 7 weeks pre-departure (and turned out to be just fine in the end).  

We called the FBI again to learn that my fingerprints WERE NOT LEGIBLE. WHAT. Wait, hold on…excuse me? Thanks for telling me 7.5 weeks after I send them to you.  I got my prints done AT A POLICE STATION. BY A POLICE OFFICER. WHAT. When we asked them how long it would be if we re-sent the prints, they told us 6 to 8 weeks, which I didn’t have.

Angry and stressed out, my mom suggested that we go to the FBI office in Syracuse to see if there was anything they could do about it. My mom called them first and spoke with a very nice and helpful woman who told us that the FBI was very specific about their fingerprints and that the perfect amount of pressure had to be applied in order for the FBI to be able to read them.  She told us that she could do the fingerprints digitally in her office, so I ended up skipping an hour of work to go downtown and get them.  We sent them down to D.C. that day, and the FBI woman told us she would call a friend to see if they could expedite the process at all (which they normally don’t do).  We had to write “SECOND SUBMISSION, PLEASE EXPEDITE!” all over the front of the envelope.  It seems obnoxious, but it makes your envelope discernible from the hundred of others who need a background check. If you’re lucky, perhaps someone in the mailroom will be in an especially good mood that day and pull your envelope early for processing. We got the envelope back in about 2 weeks thanks to the woman at the FBI office’s friend in Washington (and maybe thanks to our obnoxious envelope).  

At this point I was mega-stressed out because I was working two jobs and trying to get all of this paperwork together, but I had my mom to help me a lot during the day when I couldn’t make phone calls or go to the federal building. THANKS MOM!

The next step was to send the cleared background check back down to the Department of State so they could attach the Apostille of the Hague to it. Honestly, this is just a fancy piece of cardstock with a seal and a signature.  I don’t know why it’s required, but it is. My mom called the senator’s office to see if they could help us expedite this, and they did! We got it back in a few days…WITH NO SIGNATURE!! Just my luck.  So we sent the whole thing back to D.C. and the woman who was supposed to sign it apologized and in another few days it was back in my hands, just in time for me to go to the city for my appointment at the consulate.  

I went into the city on the 9th expecting a huge wait at the consulate, but it was less than 10 minutes.  After dealing with all the ridiculousness of obtaining the background check, this was such a relief.  A woman called me up to a window and I handed everything in one at a time and she told me I’d have it back in about a month (it was actually sooner).  A feeling of relief swept over me when I left the building—it was done! Or so I thought…Spain grants student visas for 90 days at a time, so when I get to Oviedo I have to go to the police department and apply for basically the second half of my visa, which is essentially an ID card that will allow me to complete my studies there. More info on that when it happens.  Don’t freak out if you need a visa for a year and you only get one for 90 days. This is normal!!! I got my visa back a couple weeks after my appointment with a piece of paper telling me I had to go to the policia and present my case.  

I know this is probably the longest post on all of Tumblr, but I really wanted to get that information out there for anybody applying for a Spanish visa. I don’t know how searchable this is on Google, but I hope those who need this kind of information find it! 

Just remember: Start everything early! You never know what kind of sticky situation you might end up in (like my fingerprints being illegible…awesome) or what roadblocks you may encounter (the woman forgetting to sign the Apostille, for one). It may seem ridiculous, but your fingerprints are good for up to a year, so if you are definitely planning on studying abroad in Spain for over 180 days, get your fingerprints done ASAP by a SHERIFF’S OFFICE if you can (the one in the city of Syracuse would have been preferred to my local police station) and send them to the address here. When they send the prints back up, I’m pretty sure they give you an address for where to send the criminal record check so you can get the Apostille.  

If you have any questions, e-mail me at mdibart12@gmail.com. I’d be happy to help anyone who needs info on this process. 

For your convenience, here are the links I shared throughout my post:

SUNY Study Abroad Search Engine

Spanish Consulate of New York

FBI Criminal Background Check Information

Wishing you luck in your study abroad process! The rest of my blog will be mostly fun stuff relating to my time in Oviedo, I promise! But this info was important and also part of my journey and experience, and I think it’s important that I include it in my blog.  

Next post: The first few days in Oviedo/my plane ride.  Hasta luego!