Alumni Spotlight: Tim Baumann

Tim was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, where he attended school at University of Southern California, studying Neuroscience. While there I worked in several research labs, as well as in government. After graduating, he decided to take a year off between graduating and going to law school. In this time he chose to teach English in Barcelona, which was one of the most fun and exciting decisions he has made. Now he studies and works, which is much more boring.

Why did you decide to teach abroad with Language Corps in Barcelona?

Meet Tim Baumann!

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.