By Matt Birgy
English teachers abroad experience life in a foreign country as authentic as it comes. Living as a local while teaching English abroad in a nation like Argentina, Mexico or South Korea provides the opportunity of a lifetime to immerse yourself in local celebrations, unique cultural events and national holidays in ways a tourist just can’t.
This includes sport, and rightfully so. The grandest international spectacle of them all, the FIFA World Cup, brings out the pride and identity of a nation like none other. Sure, we air it on television here in the United States and pockets of fans gather to enjoy matches, but this doesn't hold a candle to the "Total Fandom" you'll experience actually living in a soccer nation across the globe, like Spain, Germany or Brazil, where the sport is followed with a passion and fervor, Duke basketball and Green Bay Packer fans can only dream of rivaling.
Getting a job teaching English in Spain takes a lot of planning and knowledge about the teaching market, especially for Americans. Here are some key items you need to know in order to ensure a smooth transition to life abroad and successfully secure a teaching job.
• Hiring Seasons - September/October & January are prime hiring periods.
• Visas - The type of visa will depend on your nationality and your job.
• Locations - Madrid is the top job market; Barcelona & Bilbao are other top options.
• Finding Jobs - Plan on being on the ground in Spain to interview during hiring seasons.
• Interviewing - Be prepared to interview face-to-face with your TEFL certificate & sample lesson plans in hand.
• Resources - From expert advisors to local job boards, ITA grads receive all the resources they need to get a good job teaching English in Spain.
By Lynda Galea
Moving to teach English in Spain but don't speak a lick of the local language? Don't worry, there's an app for that. Not sure how to get around the new city you'll be living in, or where to grocery shop and find dinner? You guessed it, there's an app for that too! These days, mobile apps are making our lives that much easier; there's virtually an app for almost everything! Whether you're vacationing in Spain for an extended period of time, or teaching English there indefinitely, here are some of the most convenient and useful apps to have on your phone while navigating life in Spain.
Recently we took a look and shared 15 celebrities who took the leap to teach English abroad before they were famous (we’re not saying teaching English abroad will make you famous— unless you can act like Ed Norton or make a living pranking Dwight) and it got us thinking a bit.
What if fictional TV characters had the choice to teach English abroad? Would they jump on the opportunity, and if so, where in the world would they teach? And since there is no wrong answer here, we figured we would take an educated guess or seven.
Got a special someone in your life, but want to move overseas? Traveling with your spouse or significant other is possible in every English teaching market. In the summer of 2009, my wife and I sold most of our stuff, packed a few bags, and headed off to Madrid, Spain, to start a new life together as English teachers. We had done all the research, we got TEFL Certified, saved money, and come up with a solid plan. Yet, even then, we were still scared half to death about actually following through with this dream of ours. Quitting our careers to move halfway around the planet without a job, friends, or place to stay seemed….well….crazy!
We had each other though, and in the end, that gave us the final push we needed to pursue this adventure. I can confidently speak for both of us when I say, it was the best decision of our lives!
So you're moving halfway across the world to teach English abroad. The thought of waiting in the cold for a stalled train or not having right correct local currency to take the bus is enough to make you never venture out, especially when living in a foreign country. Indeed, wondering how you will get around is something that many first-time travelers and teachers worry about as they contemplate their options.
Not to worry, future teachers, your mind is about to be blown by some of the most efficient, clean and flat out cool transportation systems from abroad. Here are our top choices!
I was 20, in college, day dreaming about my dream-life in Spain. I dreamed of sunny days in parks that have been around for centuries. I imagined myself walking through museums studded with Picassos and Goyas. I saw myself meeting my friends for tapas, all while having deep, Hemingway-esque conversations. Within months I was actually in Spain, living this dream.
While I was fortunate to experience each of these things while teaching English in Spain, I came back to the U.S. with a thirst for something more….but still in a Spanish accent. My thirst was satiated upon my next trip to Central America…and then again to South America and Mexico and beyond. Before, I had seen Spain as the end all be all of the Spanish-speaking world, but experiencing Latin America changed this, and my world, entirely.
So, if you want to learn Spanish and enjoy a tremendous international experience teaching English abroad, here are 11 of the many reasons to consider teaching English in Latin America rather than Spain.
- Has the history, romance and beauty of Spain been calling you?
- Do you dream of living in one of Europe's most historic and exciting cities, famous for its culture, museums, nightlife and fantastic cuisine?
- Do you want to learn Spanish and get international work experience on your resume?