Multiculture, Profiles, Uncategorized

Carlos Reyes: feeling at home in the UK

Continuing the family history, he graduated as a teacher but decided to emigrate to the United Kingdom to seek out the opportunities denied to him in his homeland.


Sonia Gumiel


Teacher, musician and heating technician, Carlos was born in Málaga (Spain), where he lived all his life until a year ago when he moved to Bristol.

He tells his story from the fourth floor of Bristol College, where the atmosphere is complemented by the students who come and go and make Carlos feel he has found his place in the world: in a classroom, surrounded by students. Although he has music and teaching in his blood, at the age of 20 he completed an intermediate degree in electrical installation, before studying for his diploma to graduate in teaching.

In Carlos’ life, teaching is not just the professional activity that most satisfies him but also the occupation of his father and a family career path that he did not hesitate to follow when he was young. However, he is also a lover of blues, jazz and rock and has been playing for more than 20 years.

His wish is to unite his two passions, music and teaching, and to be able to dedicate himself to them in the not too distant future.

His dream, however, was put on hold when, on finishing his degree course in Spain and taking a competitive examination to qualify for a teaching position, he realised that working in his desired profession is really not viable in his country.

“The Spanish economy does not work and neither does its education,” he notes, and explains that he does not like how the education system is established. “Clearly,” he says, “changing the system does not matter, an ignorant nation is a nation that manages well. In 2015, thanks to a friend settled in London, Carlos had his first try on English soil. On that occasion, London was very big and expensive. Because of this, his stay lasted only 2 months. However, in 2017 he decided to return to England, this time to Bristol.

Bristol turned out to be a city that offers him what he is looking for: a city the size of his native Málaga, short distances and journeys that do not limit his life and the possibility of working.

His first steps into work were in a hotel, working as a parking attendant, although he was only in this position for two months since when a position in maintenance opened up, he began doing this activity. Carlos states that in Bristol he feels valued, something that does not happen in his country, despite all his academic training. At the moment he feels at home, he does not really have big attachments, although he misses the climate and the food of his beloved Málaga and its people.

He has not felt the impact of Brexit. According to Carlos, “the British Empire is smart and will not close the door to the Europeans who do many of their jobs.” In the same way, he is certain that he will be able to qualify for quality and competitive positions in this land.

His pending issue is the English language, since he knows it is key in this country, above all if he wants to get work as a teacher. Then, perhaps one day, he will return to Spain with his work experience acquired on English soil.

(Translated by Hannah Phelvin-Hartley) – Photos Pixabay

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