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The Auxiliares de Conversación Program in Spain is one of the most popular programs to teach English in Spain. The Auxiliares de Conversación Program is also called the North American Language and Culture Assistant Program in Spain. This isn’t meant to be confusing for you when you’re applying or looking for information; it’s just how the program is referred in both Spanish and English.
If you’re on this blog post, you are probably getting ready to apply to teach in Spain or at least seriously considering it. The Auxiliares de Conversación Program is one of many programs to teach English in Spain, so be sure to check out other programs to find the best fit for you.
Now, let’s start talking about How to Apply to the Auxiliares de Conversación Program in Spain…
There are very few requirements to be an eligible candidate for the Auxiliares de Conversación or North American Language and Culture Assistant Program. If you meet all of the following, then you are eligible to apply to the program!
1. Be American or Canadian or have a U.S. or Canadian Passport
2. Have a Bachelors degree or be a junior or senior enrolled in college
3. Speak English as your first language
4. Be in good physical and mental health*
5. Pass a criminal background check *
6. Be between 18-60 and not be over 60 on January 1, 2023**
*You will need to complete a physical by your doctor saying you are in good health and complete a criminal background in order to get your visa. While these are requirements, they would not automatically disqualify you from teaching English in Spain.
**Also, there is no age limit. However, the program materials state that most auxiliares are between 21 and 35, and if an applicant is over 35, it is up to the schools as to whether they want that candidate or not.
There are a few documents you will need to provide as well:
1. Copy of the identification pages of your passport
2. Copy of either your official college transcript or diploma
3. Cover letter describing why you want to do the program (in English or Spanish)
4. Letter of recommendation on a letterhead that is signed from a professor or supervisor
You apply through the Spanish government via their website called Profex. It can be a confusing process, but these links to the materials will help you along the way. All the links are for the 2022-2023 application.
North American Language & Culture Assistant Website
Application Guidelines for New Applicants
Guidelines for Reference Letter
The Auxiliares de Conversación application itself is broken down into 5 stages – inscrita, registrada, admitida, adjudicada/candidato seleccionado, and aceptada. As the application process moves forward, you will slowly, but surely see your status change.
The first, and arguably most important stage, is inscrita. Once you complete your application, your status will be inscrita, and you will receive your inscrita number. In a sense, everything depends on this number!
The Auxiliares de Conversacion Program gives an inscrita (application) number to each applicant in the order in which they apply, and subsequently, gives away teaching placements in that same order. Therefore, you want to submit your application right away to get a low inscrita number and an earlier placement.
All you need to do to get your inscrita number is fill out your basic information, CV/résumé, and your school/region placement, which is the fun part!
The school placement part allows you to select whether you’d prefer to work with kids or teens and in an urban or rural area.
For the region placement, you will select 1 region from each group. Then, you will rank the groups from 1 to 3. Here are the groups:
Group A: Asturias, Ceuta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, País Vasco
Group B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias
Group C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia
*In years past, Cataluña, Ceuta y Melilla, and Islas Canarias didn’t participate in the program. However, this can change depending on the year.
Read our Guide to the Regions in Spain for a full, detailed breakdown of regions in Spain for auxiliares de conversaciones.
Once you’ve completed all of the following, you will submit your application and receive an email with your inscrita number!
This is the point where you go back into the application and load the aforementioned documents into the documentos anexos section. This section can be found under curriculum > documents anexos.
In the documents anexos section, you can upload your passport, cover letter, college transcripts or diploma, letter of recommendation, and your signed and dated checklist. You will have to print the checklist, sign it, and then upload it again. Do not forget to upload the checklist!
Registrada will most likely be the shortest step in your processing of your application to the Auxiliares de Conversación Program.
You reach this status as the Spanish Ministry of Education goes through your application to be an auxiliar. You will get an email updating you on your new registrada status.
Most likely, this email will quickly be followed by another one saying you are now onto the next step, admitida. However, if there is a problem with your documents or application, they will email you with what you need to fix. You will then have to resubmit something and stay at registrada a little longer until they review it and give it the okay.
Once your entire application has been reviewed and everything is deemed correct, you will be “admitted.”
Congratulations! You will be going to teach in Spain! However, your excitement may soon wear off because your patience will undoubtedly be tested before reaching the next stage.
After a long wait – 3 months or so – you will receive your regional placement (autonomous community) via email. Then, you have to accept or decline your offer. You have 5 days to do this!
If you do not respond – accepting or rejecting – your placement will be considered declined and will be given to someone else. The placements begin around May and start with second-year renewals and then move on to first-years in order of inscrita number.
If you accept the placement, you become aceptada!
Carta de nombramiento
This is where you find out which school you will be teaching in! It’s arguably the most exciting step in the entire process because you can start researching where you will be looking and living in Spain!
You should get the email 2-3 weeks after you’ve accepted your position. However, it is Spain, so be aware of the potential for delays.
Now that you’ve successfully navigated profex and accepted your position, you are probably scouring the internet researching as much information as possible about the city you’re placed in. This is what you should be doing!
Keep in mind, though, that the process of you getting to Spain is not over because you still have to get your visa before you can can live and work in Spain as an auxiliar de conversación.
Make sure to read our other posts on the Auxiliares de Conversacíon Application Timeline and Is My Inscrita Number Too High to Receive a Placement?, and see what a typical day in the life of an auxiliar de conversación in Madrid is like!
Muchas gracias por otro post brillante. Me anoto todos tus consejos desde hace tiempo y me encantan!!!
De nada! Gracias por seguirnos. Cualquier otra cosa nos puede contactar.
Mike and Becca,
This is the post that brought me to your blog. It is very helpful – thank you! – but the rest of the blog is why I will keep reading about your travel adventures. Your photography is striking and the accompanying travelogue is engaging! My husband and I also kept a travel blog from 2012-1014 when we were traveling through Central America. It is a wonderful way to keep the experiences fresh in your mind, while you are planning the next great trip. 😊 I am looking forward to reading more about the places the two of you visit!
Thank you so much, Valerie! We really appreciate the kind words about our travel writing and photography. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to write about!
Thank you so much! This has been super helpful. I really appreciate it.
I had a question for you. It’s been over a month since I’ve accepted the placement. Would you recommend that I write to them regarding the carta de nombramiento or wait a little longer?
We’re glad the post was able to help you out! We’d recommend waiting a little longer before writing them. The cartas all come out based on the autonomous community you applied to. Some communities, usually Andalucia, will start coming out quicker than others. Wait a little longer before emailing them, but in the meantime, start on all your visa paperwork and documents. The earlier you start on this the better. Hang in there! We know waiting on the carta is the most stressful part because you want to know where you’ll be placed!
Thank you for the super informative post! I REALLY want to do the auxiliares program for the 2020-21 school year but I’m 38 now (and will be 39 by the time the school year starts). Yours is the first blog post where I’ve read that if you’re older than 35 it’s up to the school to decide if they want you. Do you have any idea what the likelihood is of me getting accepted into the program? Have you met any first-time auxiliares that were older than 35? I appreciate any advice you can give me!
Hi Kathryn! Thank you for your kind comment, and we’re glad our post helped! According to the 2020-21 school year auxiliar guidelines, there is no limit for age. It just says that most auxiliares are between 21 and 35. When Mike was an auxiliar 3 years ago, there were a handful in Logroño over 35. Remember the earlier you apply the better! Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help!
Replying to Kathryn – in early 2017, I was sitting in an airport in Belize and struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler. She was en route to a English teaching position in Guatemala, after having spent the prior year traveling. However before that, she’d spent several years working in Spain through the auxilares program. I didn’t ask her age, but she looked at least as old as I, if not a few years older (and I was 47 at the time).
I know its too late to apply for the coming school year, but would encourage you to do it next year, if you’re still interested. Best of Luck! Liz
Thanks for sharing, Liz! Due to everything going on, the Auxiliares Program is still accepting applications for next school year. They close on April 30th.
Hi Liz – Thanks for this feedback! I actually did apply back in February and got my placement in Andalucia today! I’m thrilled, and really hoping the program doesn’t get cancelled due to the virus situation!
Hi Mike and Becca-
I have three questions if you don’t mind!
What is considered a “low” inscrita number? I’m 892 and applied about 3 hours after the system opened. This is my first time applying.
You mentioned emailing the contact for our states listed under 2.2 of the guideline but I’m wondering if they got rid of this requirement this year? I remember seeing it when I first started researching this opportunity but can’t find it anywhere now.
Also, do you happen to know what’s the earliest someone could hear they’ve been admitted? Do they usually wait until the application window closes to start admitting people?
Thanks for your help!
Hi Annie! 892 is definitely a low inscribe number, and you will receive a placement. What region was your first and second choice? With number 892, you will probably get your first choice unless it was an autonomous community that doesn’t have a lot of placements.
In the past, you had to sign and date the checklist and mail it. We just updated that part of our post. Sorry! All you have to do this year is sign and date the checklist and upload it to the documents anexos section of the application.
Usually, they will start updating applications to registrada and admitida within a few weeks of the application start date. Last year, we applied on January 9th and were registrada and admitida on January 20th. Hopefully, they move just as fast this year!
“You mentioned emailing the contact for our states listed under 2.2 of the guideline but I’m wondering if they got rid of this requirement this year?”
I’m also wondering about this? I sent an email to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with my signed and scanned solicitud. I’m hoping that one of these is the correct email address to send it to, because I can’t find much information regarding this. Or maybe it’s not even necessary?? I seem to find some different information on different parts of the auxiliares website.
They changed it this year, so you do not have to email them anything. You have to upload all your documents, including the signed checklist, to the documents anexos section of the application. This is a change from previous years where you had to email or mail them signed documents. We hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!
Very informative , a great opportunity for someone to teach in Europe while learning a very rich culture.
Thank you, and yes, it’s a fantastic opportunity to teach in Europe!
Hello! This is a very descriptive blog post with so much great information. I am going to be graduating from college soon with my master’s and it is my dream to teach abroad. Unfortunately, this is all very overwhelming to me with all the different ways to go about making this dream come true. Do you recommend applying to the ministry directly over using a third party? It seems like every website has a different opinion. I would love your insight and help with this process!
Hi Andrea! The whole process can definitely feel overwhelming at times, but remember that it’s all worth it in the end! We recommend applying through the ministry instead of a third party, like CIEE. You end up paying the third party more money than it’s worth. In saying that, we know plenty of people who have had great experiences applying via a third party. The ministry does not provide too much support, but there are plenty of Facebook groups that are full of information, and you can ask specific questions about what to do. Plus, once you’re here, other auxiliares are more than happy to help you out! Let us know if you hav any other questions.
Hello! Thank you so much for all of the detailed information! Do you happen to know how much the monthly stipend would be for working in Sevilla?
You’re welcome! The monthly stipend for Sevilla is €700. Make sure to see our Guide to Regions in Spain for average rents and thoughts on living there.
Thanks! I did see that article and it is so helpful! One more question: do I need to have my letter of recommendation and my diploma ready to upload when the application window opens? Or can I add that later? It’s unclear on the application site, but I thought I saw somewhere on your blog that you only needed the first few pieces of info to submit the application and get my inscribe number. Thanks again for sharing your valuable expertise!
You can add those documents after submitting your application. You add them under the ‘documentos anexos’ section on the left hand side under ‘Curriculum.’ Our recommendation is to get those added as soon as possible after finishing the application though.
Thanks so much for all this helpful info! I really appreciate the detailed information about each region. I had a question regarding letter of rec… do you happen to know if it needs to be physically signed or is a typed signature alright? I haven’t been able to figure this out.
You’re welcome! For the letter of recommendation, it probably should not be typed. It can be an electronic signature though. While we’re not 100% on that, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hope this helps, and let us know if you have other questions!