The World as a Workplace: Teach English in Spain and Make Money as a Traveler
Wouldn’t it be great to earn money while traveling? To work in a country of choice and have an income at the same time? What about a wildlife job in Australia, helping out on a farm in Norway, or working with children in a summer camp in the United States?
There are many ways to see the world and earn some money. More and more people write a blog with personal travel experiences. They give tips about islands to visit, hikes to make, or the best budget restaurants and hotels. So many other travellers have the same interests and love to read about it.
Teaching English abroad is another popular way to travel the world. It enables globetrotters of all ages to make money and dive into a completely different culture at the same time.
An important step in becoming an English teacher abroad is getting a TEFL teaching certificate. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. You can take online or face-to-face classes at many different schools, but not all of them are equally good, so be sure to do some research before starting a TEFL course. Consider not only the cost but also the number of hours, the depth of the course, and the educational institution’s reputation. In addition, a good TEFL course should offer support in searching for a job as a TEFL teacher.
Teaching English in Spain
At the moment, a popular country to teach English in, is Spain. Why? Well, think of its sunny climate, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, and Mediterranean cuisine. Spain has it all!
English teachers in Spain are in high demand due to the increasing attention of the Spanish government on learning a foreign language. Speaking a foreign (second) language has traditionally been a weak point in Spanish education, and with the support of the European Union, Spain has put this point on top of its to-do list.
Also, the pandemic situation has influenced the increasing demand for English teachers. The reduced number of job offers and the already high unemployment rate made more Spanish people decide to follow an English course to increase their chance of a job abroad or with an international company.
Tips when applying for a TEFL job
Since Spain is a popular TEFL destination, there can be some competition. For this reason, employers often prefer teachers who have completed an intensive practical TEFL course over teachers with only an online certificate. So, apart from a 120-hours TEFL certificate, an additional Teaching Practicum will prove your experience in the classroom and can improve your chances of getting a teaching job.
There is a range of positions available all over the country, from private tutor to full-time teacher in a private school or language academy. Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, and Malaga are the most popular cities for teaching. For a true immersion in local culture, it might be better to look for a job in smaller towns like in Andalusia.
Applying for an English teaching job can be done all year round, but most schools will be actively looking for teachers between April and June (at the end of the school year).
What is the Average Salary of a TEFL Teacher in Spain?
A basic full-time TEFL job will pay about €1,200-€1,500 monthly, which is an adequate wage for making a comfortable living in Spain. Be sure to understand the job contract concerning compensation, vacation time, and unemployment. Most of the time, newly hired teachers start with a three-month test period. During this period, the employer has the right to fire the employee if they feel the employee is unfit for the job. In an interview for a teaching position, talk about personal experiences and show eagerness to learn and be flexible. The last two attributes are essential for teachers.
For those who plan to teach in Spain, Teaching English in Spain: The Ultimate Guide – 2021 | TEFL Org gives a clear overview of the teaching requirements, cost of living, salaries, and TEFL jobs.
A Different Culture with Different Habits
Living abroad brings about the inevitable cultural experience (or sometimes even a culture shock). The cultural differences between home and the new country are sometimes significant and require time to adapt. Yet, they are very helpful to learn about oneself and the new country’s habits, traditions, and people. Read here what other people experienced when moving away from home.
In Spain, for example, the concept of time is different from England. Being “on time” is a flexible concept. After-school appointments happen just some minutes (or hours) later than agreed, and plans might change at the last minute. Spontaneity seeps into the daily life of the Spanish population. Be open, and embrace it!
One of the big positives about teaching in Spain is the work-life balance. Usually, students have a two-hour long lunch break where they go home to have lunch with their families and come back for two to three hours in the afternoon. These lunch hours are perfect for teachers to plan their lessons for the next few days or enjoy an extended break themselves. After school, there is time to practice sports, even go to the beach or immerse in cultural activities.
Be aware that Spain has many languages and dialects that are very different from the “standard” Spanish, like Catalan, Basque, and Galician. It can be challenging to adapt and learn the regional jargon, but that makes the experience even more unique! Finally, classroom dynamics might be different from home. In Spain, teachers have a more interactive, hands-on-teaching approach, and students are more used to communicating with their teachers in the class.
To conclude, traveling and working abroad is a live experience. It is a wonderful challenge for travellers who love to go on a discovery, acquire a new language and get familiar with a new culture. Travelling the world might even give a life-long change for the better. Read it in On-magazine.