View Full Version : The teaching assistants program through the Spanish Embassy
7th November 2007, 02:51 AM
I am new to the boards but have known about this site for a couple of years now. I rediscovered this site in other words. Last Spring I spent six months living and studying in Spain and am dying to get back. I have researched a program that is offered by the Spanish Embassy to individuals from North America that allows them work as a teacher assistant for a year. I have noticed that there are a couple of people on this forum that have participated or are participating in this program. I have a few questions about it. Is it super competitive? How precise can you be in selecting your location, I know on the website it gives you the option to select Autonomous Regions of Spain, but I wanted to know if you could possibly even select the city you would prefer to go to? Do you feel that the pay is sufficient, or have you done research into getting some "under the table" work?
7th November 2007, 06:02 AM
I'm in the program and can tell you a little about it. The pay is not great but it is sufficient to live on. It is best to have a little savings when you come, however, so that you have money to travel and have fun when you're not working. Also you need to have a little extra money because the cost of living in Spain, particularly in Barcelona and Madrid, is going up.
Once in Spain, you can find jobs teaching English on the side, either through private classes or through language academies.
You can pick up to 3 autonomous regions of Spain that you're interested in but there is no guarantee that you will get your first choice. Outside of the autonomous region of Madrid, you can't specify a particular city in your application, only a region.
The program is becoming increasingly well known so I expect it to become more competitive. But at the present time, the demand for native English speakers to teach English is so huge in Spain. If you are a college graduate, you should be able to get in the program. Just make sure you submit your application on time and follow all the instructions.
29th November 2007, 05:30 PM
Where are you living?? Do you find that you have time to take on extra jobs. And did the program help you find housing?
I have looked at this program a lot and I don't know if it would be better to do that or get a CELTA/TEFL certification and head over. I am American though so I would have to work under the table (or hope for a miracle, counting on the former:). I have a degree in international business so I hope to ultimately find a business job while teaching....
It seems that the embassy job may be really structured.
But is it worth it to be "legal"?
?? Would it be better to have the experience with the consulate / the certification in the long run??
30th November 2007, 05:06 PM
If you want to teach and can get into the program, I would recommend going that route because you will be granted a valid visa that will allow you to stay in Spain for a year. If you come on your own, you will have to leave Spain every three months and hope that you don't get asked too many questions by Spanish (or U.S.) immigration on your return trips.
The program doesn't give any formal assistance with housing. Their assistance usually consists of passing along the names and phone numbers of landlords who have previously rented to other people in the program. But finding housing won't be too difficult if you give yourself enough time. It may be time consuming checking out various apartments but you will find some place to live. It's standard to rent a room in an apartment and have a few roommates.
Your schedule will depend on the needs of the school and your commute. If you choose to live in the center of town and have an hour-long commute, that's obviously going to affect the number of available hours you'll have per week to teach additional classes. Most people have time to teach private classes in the late afternoons and evenings but it all depends. Unfortunately, you won't know your schedule until you arrive at your assigned colegio and begin working.
I wouldn't worry too much about getting that TEFL certification. If you have zero teaching experience and feel that you would benefit from having that sort of training, go for it. But I wouldn't sink hundreds of dollars into getting the TEFL certification for Spain. I know a lot of people who don't have it and have gotten teaching jobs. I think that type of certification is more valued in the Middle East and parts of Asia. If you a native English speaker with a university degree you will be able to find work teaching English in Spain.
I don't know when you are planning to go to Spain, but if you apply to the language assistants program by the standard deadline, which is typically in the spring, you will know by June whether or not you've been accepted. If the answer is yes, you'll have the summer to plan, look for housing, etc. because you don't need to report to work until the end of September.
If you don't get into the program, you'll still have the summer to plan, to do your TEFL certification, if you want, etc. because most language academies in Spain don't hire during the summer when their business dries up.
Good luck and feel free to email me privately if I can answer any more questions.
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