Published 27th September 2017
If it’s siestas and fiestas you’re looking for, then Spain is the answer. A warm, beautiful country in so many respects there are loads of teaching English abroad opportunities in Spain, so if you’re tempted by flamenco and sangria, read on!
Finding a TEFL job in Spain
Just as with other EU countries, the first step is to make sure you qualify for a work permit for Spain. If you do (hurray!), you can start your job search online but don’t discount arriving in Spain without a guaranteed job. Like France, finding a TEFL job in Spain is best done in person. Spruce up that CV, put on your walking shoes and make appointments with public schools, private schools, or language academies, depending on where you want to work. Spain is generally a bit more relaxed than other EU countries but this doesn’t mean that you can arrive for your interview in flip flops!
Teaching English in Spain
The TEFL job market can go a bit quiet in the summer, but this is the time you should be applying for the start of the new school year. TEFL jobs can be found in schools and language academies, and many TEFL teachers do private tutoring for extra cash. You may find yourself working shift work and teaching in a few different places on the same day, which may require commuting and managing your time well, but this is quite normal in Spain.
A word of warning: loads of language academies have popped up in the last few years due to the financial crisis in Spain and the desire of many Spanish-speakers to find work abroad. Not all of these schools are well-run, so you may find yourself poorly paid or unsupported. If you choose to work in a language academy, check out its reputation first before signing anything.
Living in Spain
Let’s face it, you can’t have it all. Teaching English in Spain unfortunately doesn’t pay very well but you don’t choose to teach abroad in Spain for the money, you do it for the experience. Teaching English in Spain will probably mean you are based in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Seville but if you’re not a fan of big cities (even though Valencia and Seville are not as big-city as Madrid or Barcelona), it’s very easy to make your way to the numerous nearby small Spanish towns to explore. Having said that, you should still be able to live a very comfortable lifestyle on what you will earn teaching English in Spain.
Of course, learning a bit of Spanish will no doubt help you fit in the with locals but even though not a very high percentage of Spaniards speak English it’s easy to get by without knowing more than then ever-useful cerveza, por favor.
So, whether you are looking to appreciate the Catalan and Basque culture of the north or the European and Arabic influences of the south, beaches or mountains, cosmopolitan cities or old ruins, Spain is sure to surprise you and is a remarkable TEFL destination and one definitely worth considering.