Why did you decide to teach abroad with Language Corps in Barcelona?
Tim: I guess this is a 3 part question: Why did I decide to teach English abroad, why did I decide to do it in Barcelona, and why Language Corps?
As clichéd as it may sound, I decided to teach English abroad because it seemed like a great opportunity for me to experience a new culture, live in a new city, and meet interesting people all while making enough money to support myself for a time. Adding to this, going through the TEFL program allowed me to meet enough new people and provided enough structure to the experience that I wasn’t going into it completely on my own.
I decided to teach English in Barcelona because I wanted to improve my Spanish and live in a city rich in culture and excitement. Further, Barcelona and Spain in general has a high demand for English teachers, so it wasn’t too difficult to find jobs after getting certified.
Finally, after perusing a number of TEFL schools, Language Corps was easily the most student-friendly and accommodating. The staff was extremely helpful while I was planning my trip at home and more than exceeded my expectations while I was in Barcelona.
What made this teaching abroad experience unique and special?
Tim: From my students to my coworkers, the answer to this question is easily the people I met. My coworkers were as young, vivacious, and excited for something new as I was. They wanted to meet people from different walks of life just like I did, so we were naturally drawn together and had a ton of fun exploring the city together. My students were the same way: eager to meet a foreigner and learn a new language from a native, all while sharing their knowledge with me.
How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.)
Tim: While I’m currently working in an industry unrelated to teaching, the fact that I could pick up anytime and move to a different country to teach English is always in the back of my mind, which is fun. The time I spent in Barcelona greatly improved my Spanish which is invaluable working in Los Angeles (where I currently live) or anywhere for that matter. Finally, the experience itself is interesting and differentiates me from other people in my field: it’s provided me with a more international perspective and a greater understanding of our increasingly interconnected world.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering teaching abroad in Barcelona?
Tim: Start applying for your visa at least 8 months in advance of leaving. Search websites like idealista and loquo to find affordable living. Be open-minded: don’t come with certain expectations (like immediately finding a beautiful Spanish soul-mate or instantly being ingrained in the culture), but take every opportunity to meet new people and have fun. I guess that’s three pieces of advice.