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We know that trying to find the best program to teach English in Spain can be a bit daunting, especially when starting out. This breakdown of 7 Programs for Teaching English in Spain will help you find the one that is the right fit for you!
1. Auxiliares de Conversacion – North American Language and Culture Assistants
The Auxilares de Conversación Program is by far the most popular program for teaching English in Spain. However, that does not necessarily make it the best program. It, like every other program, has its ups and downs.
Through the Auxiliares de Conversación Program, you will be working as a North American Language and Culture Assistant. While that’s a mouthful, it basically means that you are a native English speaking assistant in a classroom. As an auxiliar de conversación, you work 12-16 hours per week and make €700-1000 per month.
The upside of the program is that it makes it very easy to live and work in Spain for Americans. The €700-1000 per month salary they pay you is enough to live on. Plus, you can always make extra money on the side teaching private lessons or teaching English online for VIPKid.
The downside is that they do not help you with the application, visa process, or finding a place to live. There’s a lot to do on your own, but luckily, there are also plenty of resources to help you.
Another downside to the auxiliares program is that you cannot pick what city you want to live in. You select three autonomous communities in Spain and rank them and are randomly placed with a job in one of them. This could be great if you don’t care where you end up living and working in Spain, but bad if you want to live in one specific city.
For a detailed breakdown of each region in Spain, read our Guide to the Regions in Spain.
The Auxiliares de Conversación Program runs from October to June for everyone not placed in Madrid, whereas the Madrid auxiliares work from October to July.
Typically, the application process opens up in January and runs through early April. Placements are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis based on your application number, so try to apply immediately!
Read all about how to apply for the Auxiliares de Conversación Program HERE.
*UPDATE: CIEE suspended their Teach English in Spain program as of March 22, 2020 due to COVID-19. This puts all of the teachers in their program in a difficult position because they are living and teaching in Spain, but are no longer supported by CIEE. This includes financial as well as other supports CIEE’s program includes. People teaching in Spain are put in an extremely difficult position because they now have to decide whether to stay in Spain or move back home. For this reason, we are no longer recommending CIEE to those looking to teach English in Spain. Please look at the other programs listed in this post.
The CIEE program to teach English in Spain is really an offshoot of the Auxilares de Conversación program. CIEE is a very big international education company that helps those looking to work as auxiliares in Spain. Teaching English in Spain through CIEE is the same job and same pay as the Auxiliar de Conversación program mentioned above. However, CIEE only offers positions in Madrid.
If you want to work as a language assistant in Madrid at a public school, CIEE is a great program to guarantee you will get it. In the past, they have offered positions in Andalusia. They may be more receptive to city or region preferences than the Auxiliar program, so if you absolutely need a specific region, CIEE can help you with that.
There is one major downside to CIEE though. Teaching in Spain through CIEE costs A LOT of money! The program fee is $2,000. However, they do provide a lot of help with the Student Visa you will need to get, airport pickup, orientation, and hotel stay while you try to find an apartment. Thousands of people teaching English in Spain do all of this without paying a program fee, but if these things are all important to you and make you feel more comfortable, the CIEE program for teaching English in Spain might be the way to go.
For more information about the CIEE program to teach English in Spain, click HERE.
BEDA is a similar program to the Auxiliares de Conversación Program; however, it is only at private, Catholic schools in Spain. You will still work as a language assistant in the classroom though. The majority of the placements are in Madrid, but they do have other placements throughout Spain.
BEDA language assistants pay depends on how much they work, which falls between 18 and 24 hours per week. They make €875-1165 and work September-June.
The application and placement process is a little more intense compared to the Auxiliares program because there is an application fee of €175, which also covers the cost of a university course you have to take during the year. There is an interview you will have to do over Skype too. The application usually opens in late November and goes through early January with placements coming in June.
For more information about the BEDA program to teach English in Spain, click HERE.
ConversaSpain is another program that is very similar to the Auxiliar de Conversación program. However, they only have placements for language assistants in Madrid and Murcia.
Madrid language assistants work 16 hours per week and make €1000 per month. Language assistants in Murcia work 15 hours per week make €875 per week.
The ConversaSpain program separates itself by offering program add-ons, like TEFL certifications and Spanish classes. This could be a big advantage to ConversaSpain over other programs for teaching English in Spain, but these add-ons do come at a cost.
For more information about the ConversaSpain program for teaching English in Spain, click HERE.
UCETAM is another program for people who want to teach English in Spain as language assistants. Through UCETAM, you will work 18-26 hours per week and make €1000-1400 per month.
The program runs September-June with applications starting in January and ending in February. There is an interview as part of the application process as well as a €150 deposit to hold your placement as a language assistant with UCETAM.
If you are dead set on living and working in Madrid, then UCETAM is a program teaching English in Spain you might want to consider because all their placements are in Madrid.
For more information about the UCETAM program to teach English in Spain, click HERE.
The Meddeas Program also has you working as a language assistant in Spain in about 200 private schools around the country. Language assistant in the Meddeas program work 20-24 hours per week and make €330-990 per month depending on your living situation.
Language assistants with Meddeas have the option to live with a host family, something not offered by other programs. In living with a host family, you will get paid less, but you won’t have to pay for food or find a place to live. The payment structure is much more complicated than other programs, but this chart will explain it all.
If you need more in-depth information about teaching English in Spain through the Meddeas Program, this is their FAQ for prospective applications.
The Meddeas Program also requires its language assistants to take a course on teaching by a Spanish university. This could be good or bad depending on what you are trying to get out of your time teaching English in Spain.
For more information about the Meddeas program to teach English in Spain, click HERE.
7. Franklin Institute
The 7th program we have listed to teach English in Spain is the Franklin Institute Program. While it still allows you to teach, live, and work in Spain, it is a little different from the other programs because you will be teaching English in a school in Spain and earning a Master’s degree at the same time in conjunction with the Universidad de Alcalá.
The Franklin Institute offers degrees in:
- Master in International Education
- Master in Bilingual and Multicultural Education
- Master in Learning and Teaching Spanish as a Second Language
- Master in Teaching
- Master in Higher Global Education
- Master in School Management
The Franklin Institute has 3 options for its participants that affect their salary and cost of tuition.
For Option A, you can work at a private or charter school in Madrid as a language assistant while doing the coursework for your Masters and get paid €600-900 per month and pay nothing for tuition.
For Option B, you work at a public school in Madrid as a language assistant while studying for €1000 per month and pay €3800 in tuition.
For Option C, you do not work as a language assistant while studying and pay €4200 for tuition.
Teaching English in Spain through the Franklin Institute is an excellent option if you are looking to get a Masters degree in an education field while earning some money on the side. It’s also good if you are specifically looking to live and work in Madrid. However, definitely consider the fact that you have to study for a Masters too since there are other programs to teach in Spain that can guarantee you a spot in Madrid.
For more information about the Franklin Institute program for teaching English in Spain, click HERE.
While there are other programs out there, these are 7 of the most popular programs for teaching English in Spain. Thousands of Americans do these programs every year. Some do them for a year, while others intend to do these teaching programs in Spain long-term.
Also, make sure to check out the average rent and cost of living in all of Spain’s regions, so you can live comfortably on your teacher’s salary in Spain.
Hopefully this post has helped you narrow down which is the best program for teaching English in Spain for you, or broadened your horizons and made you aware of other programs.
If you have any questions about any of these programs or about how to teach English in Spain in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. While have not done each and every program in Spain, we can answer to the best of our ability or put you in contact with someone who can answer your questions.