As everyone knows, in Spain we are living in a very difficult economic situation and there are a lot of young people considered “the lost generation” who are leaving Spain looking for a job. But this moment, when I´m abroad, is when I realize about this problem, because our situation is totally untenable. Young people trust in a better future in other countries.
Since I arrived in Iceland I met many Spanish people who have decided to come to Iceland to stay for a long time, to find a job, like volunteers or on Erasmus. Practically all of them with the intention to settle in this country.
Today I will talk you about Miriam, a 22 year old girl from Extremadura and biology student, who is doing her Erasmus here in Reykjavik. She will stay here to work.
Marta.- Miriam please, tell us in what point of your studies you are.
Miriam.- I am currently doing 4th degree course in biology. We are the first class to finish the course after the change in the degrees.
M.- What was your motivation to do your erasmus in Iceland?
Mi.- Iceland is very different to Spain, the weather, the schedules, how to work… They are really famous for research with fish because in Iceland they have a lot of facilities to get water and energy practically for free.
M.- Did you come with the intention to stay longer after you finish your studies?
Mi.- Not at all, I thought I would only stay for six months.
M.- You told me the biology faculty have an agreement with a research laboratory with fish. Can you explain what the job consist of?
Mi.- It is an export company of salmon roe to Chile and Norway, and they also spend a lot of money on research on the salmon.
M.- How long have you been working on it?
Mi.- Since January. I’m really happy with the job, also because the schedules are very flexible. The “normal” working days are from 9:00 to 17:00 but we can manage our schedules depending on the work we have every day. The lab is open 24 hours and each person has their own key. I spend almost all day there.
M.- The company has offered you a contract, how did that happen?
Mi.- The company needs people to research. They like the work I do and that I am committed to the research that is being done. They offered me a contract after I finish my Erasmus period in June.
M.- How did your family, boyfriend, etc, react when they knew you will stay here?
Mi.- They are all very happy for me, even my boyfriend, who wants to come here to looking for a job, but first he will finish his studies in Spain.
M.- Can you imagine yourself staying indefinitely in Iceland?
Mi.- Not really. I think this is a possibility but only for the job. Regarding to my family and friends I prefer to come back to Spain.
M.- Do you think that if you come back to Spain you will have a better or equal job to the one here?
Mi.- Absolutely NOT. Probably in the future, if I have a lot of experience and a master in my camp, it will increase my “value” like employees in Spain. The positions in research in Spain require many degrees.
M.- Miriam, thank you very much for your time and good luck with your job.
As a personal reflection, I want to add that if we don´t feel safe in our own country, to migrate is the only option we have. The bad decisions of a few force us to move away from our loved ones. Many may never return. Only when the day comes that a worker would feel safe, will Spain have our confidence again.
Good luck to all who take risks, this is the only way to win.