The Ministry of Education in Spain offers positions in state schools in Spain to US and Canadian teachers of English. The usual hiring period is from November to March for work beginning in mid-September.
Each year about 2,000 American or Canadian teachers take advantage of the program to spend 8 months or so in Spain teaching. In Spanish the position is known as, Auxiliares de Conversación.
Note that this program is completely free; some scam agents are beginning to charge for this program but if you are interested you can work with the Spanish Ministry of Education direct and pay nothing; this is the ONLY way in which you can join this program.
- hold a US or Canadian passport
- be a native English speaker
- be a college student or hold a degree
- have intermediate or advanced Spanish language skills
Candidates are usually between 21 – 35 years old although some older candidates are chosen if required.
To apply you will need the usual paperwork along with
- a letter of recommendation from your college professor or work supervisor
- a medical certificate proving you are free from major illnesses and are not a drug addict
- a police/FBI clearance
Teachers will work alongside Spanish teachers as assistants. There is between 12 -16 hours of teaching per week and with the main classroom teacher you will offer conversation lessons, help, classroom activities, extra-curricular activities and so on as needed in the school.
You may be working as the only assistant in a school or you may work with others. The school is selected by the MoE which means you are unable to choose which city or town you would like to work in, however in your application you can select a preference.
As well as the obvious cultural benefits, the program offers:
- minimum 700 euro per month allowance (about 925 USD)
- orientation course before starting work and ongoing training
- medical insurance
- plenty of free time to explore the country
Renewing the Contract
Some teachers will opt for a second year in Spain. In this case they are given priority over new candidates, however to do this they must have a good report from their school for the first year’s work. A third year is possible, however third year candidates do not have priority over new candidates.
To apply to the program make sure you have the basic requirements listed above. The application process is free and can be done online following detailed instructions available on the program website (see below).
If your application is successful you will need a visa (if you have an EU passport this isn’t necessary, however).