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The North American Language and Culture Assistant Program in Spain is one of the most popular programs to teach English in Spain. The North American Language and Culture Assistant Program is also called the Auxiliares de Conversación 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 English and Spanish.
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 North American Language and Culture 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 North American Language and Culture Assistant Program in Spain…
There are very few requirements to be an eligible candidate for the North American Language & Culture Assistant or Auxiliares de Conversación Program. If you meet all of the following, then you are eligible to apply to the program!
1. American or Canadian
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 condition*
5. Pass a criminal background check *
6. Be born no earlier than October 1, 1960**
*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 2020-2021 application.
The North American Language and Culture Assistant 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 North American Language & Culture Assistant 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.
If you are trying to decide on what region in Spain to live in, check out our Guide to the Regions in Spain that breaks down the major cities, average rent, Auxiliares Program, and thoughts on living in each region.
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 North American Language and Culture Assistant Program .
You reach this status as the Spanish Ministry of Education goes through your application to be a Language Assistant in Spain. 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 a North American Language and Culture Assistant.
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?