Teach English as a Volunteer in Spain

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, CIEE Teach Abroad has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Rainy romps in Santiago de Compostela
Sunday lunch with my teacher/mentor's family
My host sister and I in León
Spain
Spain
orientation
orientation

About

CIEE offers a short-term, 3-month volunteer teaching opportunity in the region of Castilla y León, Spain. This program offers a low-cost gateway to the Spanish culture and language, with a homestay and meals included. You’ll have a position as a respected volunteer Language and Culture Assistant supporting local teachers 12 hours a week at a public school and receive 3-day weekends.

This is an incredible volunteer opportunity, a chance to dive into Spanish culture, gain language skills, and explore this beautiful country while making a difference for Spanish students in wonderful, welcoming communities. Local families involved in the placement schools volunteer to host participants because they are interested in cultural exchange and in learning English! CIEE will be there to support you with guidance, an in-country orientation, travel insurance, and 24/7 emergency support.

Discover CIEE’s 150-hour TEFL certification course. This course offers an interactive and immersive experience into teaching English as a foreign language that will fully prepare you to teach abroad, at home, or online.

Questions & Answers

The teaching program I participated in Spain was about 3 months. There are several teaching programs through CIEE. The one I did was all volunteer: In addition to teaching English 4 days a week I lived with a host family practicing English with the children and my host mother while they provided most of my meals. From my understanding, some of the other programs are a year long and you do get a...

Reviews

9.47 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • Benefits 8.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.9
  • Facilities 9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 17
Default avatar
Kat
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Don't debate it any more - Apply!

After I desired a shift in my career path, I applied to the program because it seemed like a great, immersive, but short-term opportunity. It turned out to be an excellent decision, and I have no doubt it will be for you too. CIEE is there with you every step of the way and streamlines the process - so whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned traveler, you'll be confident getting on that plane.

You can choose your preference for what age group you want to teach, so the sooner you apply, the better! You will likely teach a mix of different grades, which makes for a lot of fun. As far as how much "lesson planning" - that's up to you and the teachers. For some classes, I would propose things via email to teachers (like cultural presentations and games about Thanksgiving, etc), and they were thrilled. Other teachers preferred me to assist, rather than to lead. Both sides of this were really valuable, however!

What would you improve about this program?
It may be beneficial to get a better understanding from families of their preferences for the 5 hrs/week of English tutoring ahead of time. For example, it would be good to know if there is a strong preference for adult versus child-tutoring.
Default avatar
Kathleen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you have this opportunity to volunteer in Spain, take it!

Teaching English as a volunteer in Spain was a great experience for me. I taught the secondary school students at a school in Valladolid. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the other teachers because they were always welcoming to me. Many times the teachers would invite me to grab a coffee with them during the break time, or to try tapas after school. In addition, living with a Spanish family allowed me to gain a truly authentic experience. I learned a lot of Spanish along the way and I got to immerse myself in all parts of the Spanish lifestyle. My family was welcoming, fun, and always made sure that I was comfortable in their house. On top of all that, they were great cooks! I would definitly recommend this experience to anyone who is lucky enough to consider this opportunity.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to immerse yourself as much as you can, and make yourself a member of the Spanish community. For example, I would always to try to speak Spanish, I joined a Spanish running club, and was open to trying and seeing new things even if I didnt always want to. But for these reasons, my experience was richer, and unforgettable.
Default avatar
Ellie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer in Spain

This program is a great option for anyone who wants to travel and immerse themselves in another culture without leaving home for too long. This program is unique since you live with a host family, who provides you with housing, most of your food, and a truly immersive experience. Everyone’s experience will be different since there are so many towns, schools, and host families that you could be placed with, but overall the program is great and it gave me a sense of security to know that I had the support of CIEE andy host family for the duration of the trip. Spain has so many amazing cities to travel to and it is pretty easy to get around with public transportation if you are in a bigger city, like Valladolid, where I was placed. With 3 day weekends I was able to take lots of trips and learn so much about Spain.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone! You won’t love every single thing about Spain or the experience you’re embarking on, but you will have so many amazing experiences if you remember that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable (to an extent) and it’s okay to make a fool of yourself attempting to speak Spanish or doing things like the locals do. Most Spanairds seem to apprecciate that you are trying to speak the language, even if they laugh a little at your American accent.
Default avatar
Jaymie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience

I found this program in April of 2018 while I was at my desk at work, hating my job, and dreaming of teaching in Spain. I knew I wanted a change, but I was so worried about leaving my security for the unknown. I worked in finance and though it paid very well, I was unhappy. I couldn’t find many reviews about the 3 month teach in Spain program through CIEE, so I was nervous to go for it. Now that I’m 2 months into the program, I can say whole heartedly that it’s the best decision I’ve made. I felt supported before departure, my questions were answered very quickly, meeting at the airport was easy, and orientation with others in the same boat as me made me feel a lot better. The first week or two were overwhelming because it’s definitely an adjustment. I know a lot of Spanish, but no one speaks much English (even the English teachers), and I didn’t expect that. My host mom doesn’t speak English, and the host dad only speaks a bit, but I couldn’t have asked for a better family. They have a young boy and girl too, and I love them to death. I’m already getting emotional about leaving them!! They will forever be my family, and I feel so grateful that I was placed here. My school is amazing too! The teachers are so helpful, and the kids are very eager to learn. I could go on and on about this program because it’s been the biggest blessing. My only regret is not doing a longer program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is if you’re contemplating this program, you should go for it! It can be overwhelming, but as long as you prepare, everything will work out just fine.
Default avatar
OLayinka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience

I was excited to experience a different culture and my stay in Spain did not disappoint . I had a lot of fun doing activities with the students and getting them to become more comfortable speaking English. The cities there are very beautigul. I stayed in Salamanca and had the chance to visit Gijon and Sevilla, which was nice. My host family was very nice and accommodating. My first week there, they took me to the main city to see some sights and try food at their favorite restaurants.
I also did private tutoring for one of the students at the school. My last week in Spain, we baked gingerbread cookies, which was a first for them and they turned out pretty good!
The orientation in the beginning of the program really help to set expectations and answer any questions. CIEE let us know how to have a safe and fun experience and kept the line of communication open for us for continuous support. Overall, it was a very cool experience and I'm glad I signed up for it.

Olayinka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience

I was excited to experience a different culture and my stay in Spain did not disappoint . I had a lot of fun doing activities with the students and getting them to become more comfortable speaking English. The cities there are very beautigul. I stayed in Salamanca and had the chance to visit Gijon and Sevilla, which was nice. My host family was very nice and accommodating. My first week there, they took me to the main city to see some sights and try food at their favorite restaurants.
I also did private tutoring for one of the students at the school. My last week in Spain, we baked gingerbread cookies, which was a first for them and they turned out pretty good!
The orientation in the beginning of the program really help to set expectations and answer any questions. CIEE let us know how to have a safe and fun experience and kept the line of communication open for us for continuous support. Overall, it was a very cool experience and I'm glad I signed up for it.

profile pic
Alissa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Yet

I've lived abroad in other countries, but this has been one of the best experiences abroad! From the community to the students to my host family, I am so glad I chose to do this program. I applied very late (the day of the deadline) and the staff was communicative and helpful! The orientation in Spain was thorough, and I'm glad I was able to meet the other participants. I volunteer at a high school and everyone there is extremely kind and welcoming. I do recommend this program for those who are pretty independent or have some travel experience, though. You only work 12 hours a week and can easily travel on the weekends! Last weekend, I went to Salamanca (such a beautiful city)! Also, while it's not required to participate, definitely practice your Spanish beforehand. Overall, I recommend.

Default avatar
Natalia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Texan in Spain

As most people in this program will tell you, I spent my first week in Spain in a constant state of panic. My host family was wonderful, my school was better than I could ever hope for, and I was gaining a once in a lifetime experience; but it was also the hardest thing I have ever done. It is difficult to feel like you don´t understand anything. It is really difficult to feel like a stranger everywhere you go. And it is extremely difficult to think that it will get better. But it does. This has been the greatest experience of my life. I have made best friends here, I have traveled to Italy with Italians, explored villages with natives from Spain, and ate way more food than I ever thought possible. While I do miss the comforts of living in a big city, this experience has given me an entire new perspective that I am so grateful for.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice with this program is to say yes to everything. At first everything is so new and really overwhelming that it can be difficult to even think about going further outside of your comfort zone, but I encourage you to say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. By saying yes to coffee with strangers and awkward dinners with families I had never met, I found myself with some of the most influential relationships I have ever had.