Becoming an Auxiliar de Conversación in Spain

Yes I know what you’re thinking… ‘Hun you have only been there 2 months, don’t pretend like you already know everything’. This may be the case, but I wish I had something like this to read when I was going through the process! So if by some chance you want to move to Spain and teach English, this is the post for you!

So basically my job is a language assistant, I work in a few different classes and there is always another teacher in the room who is usually giving the lesson and I just help out, read things, take the students aside and teach parts of the lesson myself. I work 16 hours a week, Monday-Thursday 9-2 or 10-2 and get paid 1000 euros a month (more than enough to survive on in Spain). I also work for an academy, giving private lessons. The only downside to the job is that you can only do it for two years, don’t ask me why, because I don’t know.

How did I end up here? I studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language (which really doesn’t give you teaching skills as it’s all theory) at the University of Auckland. During my second year I found out about the Auxiliar de Conversación program through the languages department. The program begins in October every year so I decided this was what I wanted to do and set my heart on finishing uni a semester early so that I would make the start date for the next year. I managed to do this by doing two summer school papers in Salamanca, Spain (amazing experience, I have a post on this) and picked up an extra paper in my last two semesters.

So to apply for this, you have to use this horrible system called profex which is a bloody nightmare to navigate, if you are actually going to apply I suggest you read this (I know it says North America but it’s for everyone). To be considered for the program, you have to be a native English speaker and hold a passport for a native English speaking country eg. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland or USA. You also have to have a bachelors degree and have studied Spanish at university level.

Applying for a visa… I’m not one of the lucky ones who holds an European Union passport so I had to go through the visa process, which isn’t that hard, but make sure you get onto it with plenty of time to spare because you need a police report (I almost left it too late). The visa gives you just over 3 months, because in this time you have to get a temporary residency card, which allows you to stay for a year.

Another important note is to decide where you want to go! I chose Madrid because I wanted to be in a big city so that I could travel easily. Barcelona or Valencia weren’t options and I wasn’t too keen on risking being placed in a pueblo (very small town) in the south of Spain, so Madrid it had to be!

Number 1 tip, search Auxiliar de Conversación on Facebook and add yourself to this group, which will probably help you more than I can.

It’s a slightly stressful process, but so worth it! Living here is so much fun and I have such a chilled job. Not sure if this will even help anyone, but at the end of the day, everyone here is in the same boat!  There’s probably a billion things I’ve forgotten because I’m not amazing an writer, so it’s a miracle I’ve managed to get all of this down! If by some chance this has reached someone actually wanting to teach in Spain, please email me with further questions;



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