Quite late, but as promised, at the meeting I attended in Brussels we were given a dossier with information for us; housing, training planning, … everything we wanted to know from the beginning (except some of the participants, that they were still pending for the final accommodation). Nevertheless, the Center is very communicative and worried about us at all times; we got emergency numbers, contacts numbers and directions, tips, … it shows all the years that the program has being active and how much they are serious about everything going as smooth as possible.
Our esteemed Maarten handed us all a beautiful dossier of the Centre with all our papers:
- Accommodation during the Japanese course and the training in the company: this was one of the things that I expected to hear, but I already knew the direction of the housing, as it was in the list of participating companies, so no surprises regarding this.
- Internship training plan.
- Various documents (Insurance, letters of acceptance, etc)
- COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to complete the formalities for the visa.
It is going to be an adventure for me, I did not know if I would have a private bathroom or access to kitchen, well, neither, but I do not care, all of this will be used by me to open new horizons xD. I will make a 360 degree view of my room when I get there. The good thing to consider is the catering service, it is inexpensive, breakfasts and dinners, but it is more likely to be the Japanese style, and I’m not accustomed to rice and fish for breakfast ¯ \ _ (ツ) _ / ¯.
Internship training plan, my apologies but no possibility of sharing this.
With all these papers I was only a step before I could get my visa to Japan. Since the Centre was responsible for issuing the COE (Certificate of elegibility – Certificate of Eligibility), which is backed by themselves (by the name of the Centre). That document is in charge of opening me the doors to Japan for a year, but this is only done at an Embassy of Japan, which is not in Cartagena, no, it is in Madrid and you have to physically go to get the visa. So I made an appointment by phone, luckily they told me that in summer there is an intensive work schedule and the visa for those who travel from afar to the embassy is done in the same day. Right away I purchased tickets for Madrid (I have traveled to Madrid by train 3 times in two years).
On July 21 at … well, let’s say very early, I take the train to Madrid, because I had to be at the Embassy before 11 am for the paperwork.
I got on the train, fell asleep and “voila!”, I woke up an hour before Atocha Station, the first one in Madrid from my direction (I am training for the “Japanese metro sleep super power”). Finally reaching Chamartin.
“10:32 a.m., run to the subway!”
The metro thing was very funny, “The line I seek to be able to reach Gregorio Maranon station shall be around this same Chamartin station, I think”, wishful thinking. Luckily only lost five minutes to figure out it was not as I thought, and although I knew the line that is in Chamartin … it was not a train, it was the underground metro, and under Chamartin (Train station) was the Chamartin Station (Metro). Another small odyssey of 5 minutes to descend 4 mechanical escalators, buy a ticket and wait for the arrival of the metro. Here at least, not as in Brussels, there is a pretty and wonderful button to open the doors (Long life to the buttons!).
Reach the desired station after the 10 minutes that it took for the metro, and again, run to Serrano Street. (I like so much to run ….). Went to the embassy, the security control and enter to the consulate.
Although I was not more than 10 minutes inside, they asked me for the papers and told me that in two hours the visa would be ready … so turn to visit Madrid in two and a half hours, finally!, the times I have been here were always at night and I had the JLPT exam the next day. So, decided to walk to the Sol place.
After the quick visit to the center, I returned to the embassy (Thanks to the embassy staff for being so nice!), And it was in my power, at last!, my VISA, no more paperwork. I went to a nearby restaurant to eat some Japanese noodles (ramen) and decided to walk back to Chamartin, I had plenty of time.
Well, started to pour rain as I walked to Chamartin station.
Above all, that day I exercised more than I’m used to, muscle aching for the rest of the week
Little more to tell, I waited for my train and returned to Cartagena, and apparently the rain accompanied me.