Hi all! If you’re reading this, you likely want to teach English in Spain. I’ve received a lot of questions on Youtube, my Twitter, and Instagram about the auxiliar program, so I’ve put together all the FAQs and answered them here in this cute little blog post for you to reference any time you’d like. If you don’t feel like reading, I’ve linked a video below that has the same answers in a more candid format.
I’ve been living in Spain since the fall of 2018. I have worked at three different schools in the region of Galicia which is located in northwestern Spain, right above Portugal. I am not affiliated with the embassy and cannot answer official questions. All of these questions are based on my personal experience. So here’s the link to the manual with more official answers and contact information.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started with these Teaching English in Spain FAQs
Applying for the Auxiliar Program for North Americans
What is the Auxiliares de Conversación Program
The Auxiliar Program is an initiative of the Ministry of Education. It is funded by the Spanish government. The program is primarily devoted to providing university students and graduates from the US, Canada, Australia, Austria, New Zealand, the UK, France, and the Philippines with the opportunity to assist foreign language teachers and to learn about Spanish culture, society, and education system. People participating in the program must have English, German or French as their native language.
What are the requirements?
To apply you must have two complete years of university experience, a BA or BS degree, hold a US or Canadian passport, and be fluent in English.
What expenses does the Embassy of Spain take care of prior to arriving there?
NADA. You are responsible for all of your moving expenses, such as flights, rent, pocket money, food, visa fees etc.
Do I get to choose my city?
Nope, sorry you don’t get to pick your city. However, you do choose your (region), but there’s no guarantee that you will be placed there. You rank your top 3 choices during the application process. Once people learn their regions, some email the regional director to express city preferences. If you truly want a certain city, you might be able to find someone to swap with.
Can I choose what level I teach?
Once again, this is someone you don’t get final say over. Just like your region, you can indicate your preferred level. The options are primary, secondary, adults, and trade schools. I’ve spent my last two years in primary schools, but some of my friends have done a mix of trade and secondary schools.
When can I apply?
The applications open mid-January and close mid-April each year.
What is the visa process like?
It wasn’t too difficult for me, but my embassy doesn’t require documents to be translated and I didn’t need an appointment. Each embassy has different requirements. So look them up. Some of you will have to travel across state lines multiple times and others will be able to just road trip a few hours. But some of the universal documents are your offer letter, copy of the application, doctor’s note, background check, and money order.
Being an Auxiliar in Spain
What does an Auxiliar do?
An auxiliar is a language assistant. You help Spanish teachers with classroom activities, pronunciation, and provide students an opportunity to learn about your culture. You day to day will vary from school to school and age to age.
How much money does auxiliar earn?
In most regions, an auxiliar will work 12 hours a week and ear 700 euros a month. I live in Galicia and earn 935 euros for 16 hours a week. In Madrid, they earn 1000 euros a month, for 16 hours a week.
How much pocket money should I bring?
I suggest at least 2500 USD if you’re coming to Galicia and want to have a social life in the first month. If you’re in another region, I’d say double that. You’ll have to cover expenses such as security deposit, rent, food, transportation, Spanish phone, identity card, etc. Then if you want to plan a trip for the upcoming holidays, it’s good to book in advance.
How else can I make money as an auxiliar with a student visa?
There are two ways. Sometimes language academies will hire native English speakers as you can work up to 20 hours on a student visa. But it can be difficult to find someone willing to do the tax paperwork. The next option is private English classes. I was able to find mine through local Facebook groups and parents.
Any other tips?
Don’t be afraid to make friends with people doing your program and locals. It’s a great way to get over being homesick, come up with ideas for your classes, and just decompress. When it comes to hanging out with locals, you get a different view of your region and you get to practice your Spanish skills.