Teach Abroad & TEFL

CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL

Why choose CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL?

CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL will support you through every step of your English teaching adventure, empowering you to explore new cultures, meet amazing people, and make a lasting impact on the lives of your students!

CIEE TEFL's online courses will teach you everything you need to know to be a successful English teacher, from how to plan and deliver effective lessons to how to manage a classroom full of students. CIEE TEFL courses exceed international standards and are recognized by the US Department of Education, so you can be confident that you are receiving the highest quality training.

CIEE Teach Abroad will help you find the perfect teaching job for your interests, and we'll be there for you every step of the way, from expert visa assistance to 24/7 in-country support.

Since 1947, we have been dedicated to our mission of promoting intercultural understanding. We're ready to help you learn, grow, and make a difference in the world!



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Yes, I recommend this program

What an amazing opportunity!

Taking this opportunity through CIEE was probably one of the best decision I have made. Starting this journey with CIEE has made this possibly because I dont know if I would have the confidence to do this without the helpful staff of CIEE who essential held my hand through the application, visa, and housing processes. I am grateful to now be here, settled, and having the time of my life. Seriously, just do it! I think this not only gives you the chance to live in a new country and experience all there is to do in the day-to-day life in Spain, but also travel around Europe easily. There is so much to do and learn, I have only been here for 2 months and already think i will stay at least a second year!

  • Learning a new language and culture
  • Meeting new people
  • Making amazing memories
  • Visa process
  • Housing search
  • Missing my dog (and family)
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great for first time living abroad

Teaching abroad with CIEE is great for anyone who wants a helping hand while moving abroad. They have a very thorough pre-departure course and instructions about how to get a Visa. They also provide reliable on-site assistance here in Madrid. If you're the type of person who doesn't have time to do your own paperwork research or you've never lived abroad before, I would 100% recommend applying through CIEE. If you don't mind navigating the intricacies of Spanish bureaucracy on your own and you're more independent, then maybe NALCAP is a better option.

  • Easy to meet people
  • Very reasonable monthly stipend
  • Difficult to find housing
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Yes, I recommend this program

Teach and travel abroad!!

CIEE made it exceptionally easy to transition to living and teaching abroad! The guaranteed placement in Madrid was a huge benefit. I have been able to enjoy a really fun and rewarding year abroad as a gap year between undergraduate studies and law school. I went on this adventure not knowing anyone and through the CIEE social media platforms and in-country orientation I have been able to meet so many new people and have found amazing friends. I would highly recommend this program to anyone ready to have an extraordinary, life changing experience!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Teach in Spain - Madrid

This program has been so fun! Obviously there are going to be adjustments and learning curves. Paperwork and appointments are stressful and honestly once you move to Madrid it is up to you (and your school) to figure out/keep track of bank/visa appointments, but the orientation was very comprehensive and everyone in your group goes through the same process as you which definitely helps! I have yet to have a boring weekend and even small things like going to the store or trips to work are all the more interesting in a completely new setting! I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in getting a look at real life in Spain!

  • Language practice
  • New perspectives
  • Very busy social life
  • Culture shock
  • Missing family/homesickness
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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Teach Abroad in Madrid

I loved this program! There is so much support offered for the government processes (visa, tie, opening a bank account, ect) and any of my questions were answered very quickly over email or text message. There was also an orientation provided in Spain when I landed which gave me the opportunity to ask questions, learn more, and fill out necessary paperwork with help and guidance on the spot.
One thing is your school placement may be far from the center of Madrid. For example, my school is about an hour and a half away on the metro or an hour on the bus which I do not mind but some people may. No program is perfect but CIEE provided so much support and guidance it was worth the cost in my opinion.

  • support/ guidance
  • guaranteed placement
  • may be expensive


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Rachel Dietz

Rachel is a Minnesota native who is passionate about multiculturalism and international education. As a CIEE Teach Abroad participant, Rachel was able to live in Madrid, Spain and loved teaching English to students of all kinds. During her time abroad she really enjoyed things like trying all different types of Spanish cuisine, traveling to various cities within Spain and all over Europe, and increasing her vocabulary in Spanish.
Rachel Dietz


Why did you choose this program?

I chose the CIEE Teach Abroad program in Madrid because I really wanted guaranteed placement in that region of Spain as well as support with the moving process (like the visa assistance). Additionally, I was traveling alone so I wanted to be connected with other people who were going to teach abroad making the in-country orientation another important factor so I could meet new people right away.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

CIEE assisted me with the visa application process and helped guide me to get all my paperwork in order before leaving the US. After arrival in Spain, I attended orientation with CIEE Staff where they covered information like what to expect for the teaching position, how to get your residency and metro cards, insurance and safety information, as well as planned cultural activities. Throughout my 2 years teaching in Madrid I was also invited to various events with CIEE staff. I didn't have to organize much on my own- CIEE was great about keeping me informed each step of the way on the tasks I needed to complete to successfully teach abroad in Spain. The most work I did was to find housing once I arrived in Madrid, but CIEE did offer advice to help me navigate that process as well.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One thing I would tell people that are going to teach abroad in Madrid with CIEE is to do your research and plan your trip with adequate time. The earlier you apply to the CIEE program the better, as it allows for more time to save money, apply for your visa without stress, and to be able to source information about Madrid that will make your time in Spain easier. The research process should be thorough- what are the different neighborhoods and what do they offer? Where is your school placement and how would you get there on public transportation? What are the biggest national holidays and what are the local customs? What are cultural differences between US and Spanish schools? These are just some examples, but they are things that are important to know beforehand so that you can show up to your first day at work cool, calm, and collected.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

When I was teaching in Madrid I worked Monday-Thursday and I had 16 classes (all 1 hour each). I was usually at school from 9am-3pm and when I wasn't in class I was either prepping class materials in the staff lounge or in the cafeteria having a coffee and tostada with the other language assistants and the teachers that I had befriended at the school. After school I usually gave private tutoring lessons to make some extra cash and then weekends were for going out with friends, traveling throughout Spain and Europe, and time to relax.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear when going abroad was about being able to make friends. Having been abroad before, I knew that having a good support system of friends is important to avoid being homesick and to really make the most of your time living overseas. To overcome this fear, I decided to go through a program like CIEE because I knew that they would connect me with others who were going to teach in Spain. And from there I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I had to meet new people: I went to a meet-up in my hometown in the US with people from CIEE who I met on the CIEE Facebook group, I made plans to go out for drinks with people at orientation in Madrid, made sure to friend/follow people on social media to stay up to date, made an effort to get to know the other language assistants and teachers at my school placement, and attended all the events that I was invited to throughout the year by CIEE and other organizations.

What is the most important skill to work on if you want to be successful when teaching English abroad?

The most important skill is to be proactive. The process of moving abroad requires you to pay very close attention to various tasks and not doing so can delay or even terminate your plans to move abroad to teach English. Once you arrive, it's really important to be proactive about integrating into the culture and into your job, because you are a visitor, not the protagonist. This means you need to be the one to initiate learning the language, the cultural norms, the social interactions to help build trust, etc.- all of these things can help you to give a good first impressions and set the tone for a positive experience.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Alissa Malbrough

Job Title
Senior Coordinator
A high school trip to Italy first sparked Alissa’s interest in living abroad. Since then, she has studied in Argentina and taught in Ecuador, Spain, and South Korea. As a previous CIEE participant, she is excited to help others explore teaching abroad.
Alissa Malbrough


What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is from studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I spent a week backpacking through Patagonia with friends. I went ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier, explored Los Glaciares National Park, and hiked for the first time in El Chaltén. This trip really cemented my love for travel and adventure.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

In the time that I have worked here, I’ve become more knowledgeable on how to provide solutions and offer support for teachers. It’s important to take the time to listen and respond to requests in a timely manner. I really enjoy being able to share my own experiences teaching abroad and hope it encourages other teachers as well.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I enjoy hearing stories about CIEE Alum who choose to continue teaching abroad; whether renewing their contract or teaching abroad with us in another country. Having taught abroad in Spain and South Korea, I understand the excitement of wanting more time abroad. I also enjoy hearing about teachers who have met their partners while teaching abroad!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I could go on any program, I would choose CIEE's Teach in Thailand program. I have always wanted to travel to Thailand and learn more about Thai culture. I like that the program has a one-semester option and includes housing. Also, I’d love the chance to take Thai language lessons and meet other teachers at orientation.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

One aspect that makes our team unique is first-hand experience teaching abroad. I think it’s important to offer teachers an authentic perspective on what it’s truly like to live and work abroad. For me, I participated in our CIEE Spain Volunteer program a few years ago. My experience in this program led me to continue teaching abroad for the next few years.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe the biggest factors of success for a company are directly attributed to its values, leadership, and culture. Encouraging collaboration and responding with integrity creates a healthy work environment. I am glad to be a part of the CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL team and to work with individuals who truly enjoy what they do.