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Sun, Sea, & Sangria: Your Life in Spain as an English Teacher
Written by: International TEFL Academy
Last Updated: December 16, 2020
A land steeped in romance, Spain’s rugged beauty, enchanting cities and countless miles of seaside have captivated visitors from Julius Caesar to Ernest Hemingway. In recent decades, as it has emerged from the shadows of the Franco era to become a major economic and political player on the international stage, as well as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, Spain has become one of the largest job markets for English teachers abroad in Europe. With thousands of years of history, fantastic architecture, vibrant cities and a love for life that is second to none, Spain offers an incomparable lifestyle to foreign English teachers.
While teaching English in Spain, you will encounter some of the finest food and drink in all of Europe in a magnificent array of tapas bars, bodegas, taverns and late-night clubs. The tradition of tapas and wine at dusk is as much a part of the cultural landscape as the daily siesta. Everywhere from Seville to Madrid, strains of jazz solos, folk song refrains, and the resounding bass from stereo speakers can be hear roaming narrow streets and seeping through the windowpanes.
Laid-back but still very high-energy, Spanish nightlife is unarguably some of the best in the world. Ibiza serves as the nucleus of Spain’s music scene, attracting revelers from around the world. Its electrifying party atmosphere is inescapable, though there are plenty of peaceful refuges throughout this Mediterranean island to relax, regroup, and feast on delicious seafood. The Spanish call their nightlife la marcha (the march) because they typically prefer to have one drink in a single bar before moving on to the next.
To foreigners, the bullfight remains the most celebrated Spanish sporting tradition, futbol is the undisputed king of the nation's sports landscape. Club teams such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are among the top-ranked teams in the world, and Spain's national team finally ended generations of heartbreak by taking home the World Cup in 2010. Spain, being one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, is also full of world-renowned ski slopes and popular ski resorts.
When you’re teaching English in Spain and getting to know Spaniards, not as a tourist but a local living and working in the area, you’ll undoubtedly detect a slight shift in cultural norms. The tradition of dos besos (two kisses) during an initial introduction between two women (or a man and a woman) is as old as the Spanish culture itself. Spaniards themselves are ‘close talkers’- men rest their hands on one another’s shoulders in conversation, while women often walk arm in arm.
One of the most thrilling, flamboyant countries in Europe, Spain’s culture is best viewed as a contagious, street theater in which all visitors are invited to participate. While some cities have retained their medieval charm, others have ushered in the 21st century by erected sleek, modern structures and skyscrapers. Spanish cuisine is a carnival for the taste buds- tapas reigns supreme, with each small plate more delectable than the last. A lunch spent amongst the Spaniards, gazing out at the Mediterranean, may convince you to linger just a little longer in this idyllic country. Stylish without being pretentious, while working as an English teacher in Spain you will have the unique opportunity to observe Spanish culture from the inside.
Potential English teachers will be expected to interview in person once they arrive in Spain. Begin looking for a teaching position at the middle of September into early October, and then again in January. Most teaching contracts end in late June. If you’re looking to teach through the summer, opportunities at summer English language camps exist throughout Spain. With a TEFL certification you will be qualified to teach students of a broad range of ages and ability.
English teaching jobs in Spain require a TEFL Certification. You can obtain your certification by enrolling in our on-site TEFL course in Barcelona Spain, another one of our Worldwide TEFL courses, or by taking our Online TEFL Class.
Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy is a world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online. ITA offers accredited TEFL certification courses online & in 21 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards & widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world. ITA provides all students and graduates with lifetime job search guidance. ITA has certified more than 35,000 English teachers and our graduates are currently teaching in 80 countries worldwide.
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