To travel and experience life abroad is a dream for a lot of us. While some get lucky and are able to find jobs abroad that pay well, some are are not and get stuck to dreaming. As Filipinos whose English is second language (well, for most), a lot take the route of teaching abroad as a way of starting a life abroad.
This is not uncommon since there are really high demands for English teachers abroad. Spain, for example, is known for hiring non-Spanish teachers to teach English. In this article, I will be sharing some useful guide to get you started on your journey of becoming an English teacher in Spain.
TEFL, TESOL or CELTA Certification
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), or Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) are the certifications you need to qualify you to teach in Spain.
You only need one of the three. I repeat, JUST ONE of the three.
A Bachelor’s degree is also not always mandatory. There are institutions/employers who do not require Bachelor’s degree such as tutorial centers and language assistants, but that doesn’t mean that your degree is a waste (if you happen to have one) because most international schools would require one on top of the TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification. Needless to say, your market for employer is larger when you have a Bachelor’s degree.
Another important thing to remember in securing certification is that you must get it from an accredited institution, otherwise, it will not be recognized.
There are also websites such as www.mytefl.com that offer certification through online classes, this way, you can “attend” classes at the comfort of your own home! We have 40% discount when you use our code 2MONKEYS and it will only be $179 USD.
You can read more about TEFL certification here.
We have also partnered with Let’s TEFL to offer accredited 120-hour TEFL courses with a 60%. Just use our exclusive promo code - TWOMONKEYS. Let’s TEFL courses include free certificate shipping to the Philippines!
Research, research, research!
Once you have your certification, the next thing to do is to look for a job in Spain. <Add links for job sites from select cities in Spain> With the help of the internet, you can search for hours to find the best institution/employer for you. This also allows you to specify which city in Spain you wanna work in, be it Madrid or Barcelona, it is your call. Just look up schools/institutions that are hiring and you can give it your shot!
Moreover, it is best to communicate with them before you arrive in Spain so you have something to immediately look forward to once you’re there. Also, a little experience of teaching English here in the Philippines (i.e. as an English tutor) would surely make your resume extra appealing to potential employers.
Always be on the look-out for the Language and Cultural Assistant Auxiliary Program of The Spanish Ministry of Education. This is an annual program established by the Ministry of Education of Spain where they offer Language and Culture Assistants positions in Spain for Filipino university students. This gives the accepted participants the opportunity to live in Spain and take part on an internship experience in select Spanish public schools. On the link above is the complete list on where you can teach and the requirements!
According to the Ministry, the main purpose of the position will be “to support the teacher of English in primary or secondary education or in language schools. At the same time, this program allows Spanish students the opportunity to study English language in depth and get to know the Filipino culture by interacting with English native speakers.”
Through the Auxiliary program, you’ll be able to secure a teaching assistant job in Spain with the privilege of further studies. This will also entitle you to the benefits of a monthly allowance of approximately 700 € (1000 € in Madrid and Comunidad Valenciana), Health Insurance, initial training course at the beginning of the school year, an official certification issued by Spanish educational authorities, and paid school holidays (i.e. Christmas and Easter). However, lodging and airfare are not included.
Oftentimes people who wants to work as an English teachers in Spain secure tourist visa as initial step of getting there but it’s not recommended since you really need to secure a long-term student visa which entails applying to a school or university.
Once you’re hired, your employer shall be responsible to helping you secure a proper working visa. I highly suggest that you secure the correct visa. NEVER work on a tourist visa as this practice is illegal. Not only are you violating Spanish laws, you also expose yourself to the risk of getting deported.
If you’re applying for the Language and Culture Assistants position offered by the Spanish Ministry of Education, once you’re accepted, you will be granted a 90-day student visa. But since the duration of your stay in Spain is more than that, you will be required to apply for a Temporary Residence Card for Foreigners, or what they commonly call as “TIE”, at the Immigration Office in Spain. This TIE will provide you with legal residency in Spain AND once in Spain, with your TIE, you will be able to travel around the Schengen area countries for 90 days for each period of 180 days!!! Isn’t that great?!
Also, the Spanish Ministry of Education requires the following steps to be kept in mind:
1. You need to apply for your visa through BLS INTERNATIONAL VISA SERVICES PHILIPPINES, INC., the external service provider of the Consulate General of Spain in Manila:
a) by e-mail: email@example.com, or
b) by phone (+632) 812 7370, or
c) online at https://ph.blsspainvisa.com/ Click on Book your Appointment/For Consulate/Book your Appointment.
2. Remember, you are applying for a LONG STAY VISA. Just ask for ONE SINGLE appointment (print your receipt). If you reserve more than one appointment in the system, they will cancel all your appointments.
3. Make sure you will be able to attend the appointment when requested. If for any reason you need to change your date, you need to cancel the previous appointment and request a new one.
4. You need to have a VALID PASSPORT in order to apply for the visa. Required minimum validity must be for the duration of the stay (recommended until at least September 2020).
5. You will need to have ALL THE OTHER DOCUMENTS REQUIRED (click here to see required documents to apply for visa) when you attend your appointment at the Consulate. If you do not bring all the required documents and exactly as they are required, you visa will not be granted. You will be granted a visa starting one week before you start at your school (October 1).
6. You will be granted a STUDENT VISA, not a tourist visa and once you get to Spain you need to get your TIE in order to reside legally in Spain for the whole period you will be there as a language assistant.
7. If you intend to travel as a tourist around the Schengen area countries before starting your position as language assistant, you will need to apply for a tourist visa at the Consulate of the country you intend to travel around, including Spain.
8. You can only apply for your visa 3 months before the intended date of travel (not before). Since you will be traveling during the last week of September, you can have your appointment at the Consulate to apply for your visa from the last week of June.
9. VERY IMPORTANT: medical certificate and NBI clearance will need to have a validity of three months after the date of issuance and be still valid when you apply for your visa. If the documents are valid when you apply for the appointment at BLS (please print the receipt that shows when you requested the appointment), they will also be considered valid when you submit them at the Consulate.
10. FLIGHT TICKET What kind? You do not need a round trip ticket since you probably do not know exactly the date of your return. When to buy the ticket? Do not buy your ticket before your visa has been granted. (Source: Spanish Ministry of Education)
Network Expansion in Spain and Meeting Other Filipinos
Expanding your network in Spain will help you a lot in terms of securing more jobs. For the most of us, you only have you to support yourself once you’re there (assuming that you do not have any relatives or friends in Spain). Hence, it is important that you cover all the expenses of living in a foreign country. In order to do this, you can secure part-time jobs as English tutor which you can find through your network of employers or friends.
Know basic Spanish
Lastly, one way of impressing your potential Spanish employer is to speak basic Spanish! This isn’t mandatory though, but Spanish being a lot similar to Filipino, it’ll be easy ti pick up basic conversational Spanish. The ease of communication surely work in your favor and come on, knowing a lot of language is undeniably cool.
There you have it, these are your basic guide to teaching English in Spain! Although these steps do not guarantee employment abroad, at least these steps can help you get started with your journey. If you want to know more about teaching abroad, click here!