Teach English in Spain with CIEE

Video and Photos

Chueca
Chueca
Relaxing at Templo de Debod
Relaxing at Templo de Debod
Bring joy and learning to classrooms of children!
Bring joy and learning to classrooms of children!
Explore the history and heritage of Madrid
Explore the history and heritage of Madrid
Meet new friends at your CIEE Orientation
Meet new friends at your CIEE Orientation

About

The CIEE Teach in Spain program offers the flexibility for you to teach English for 10 months as a Language and Culture Assistant at a public school in the region of Madrid.

You'll spend 16 hours a week supporting local teachers in the classroom and work only four days a week. This will give you plenty of free time to travel, study Spanish, volunteer, or give private English lessons. Our teaching placements are offered throughout the region of Madrid, giving you the diversity of cities and small towns and offering an immersive and local experience!

CIEE will be there to support you every step of the way. In addition to arranging a job for you in Spain, you will receive a high level of pre-departure support including visa application guidance, an online pre-departure course, and international travel and emergency medical insurance. Our 24/7 support and in-country orientation will ensure that you are prepared and connected throughout your entire program.

A CIEE TEFL Certification will give you the tools you need to succeed at being a teacher starting on your first day. Learn more about CIEE’s TEFL Certification Courses.

Questions & Answers

Because we work through the North American Language and Culture Assistant initiative with the Ministry of Education in Madrid, only citizens of Canada and the United States are eligible for our Teach in Spain programs.
Finding housing was pretty easy. There was a lot of anxiety when I initially started the process, but once I got started it was no big deal. I think I looked at 4 or 5 places and once I picked a place I got the keys that day. It was also nice because landlords let you pick how long you want your contract to last, so you don't have to sign for a year if you aren't staying quite that long.
Yes, it is enough money to get by. Although, if you want to travel, I recommend doing some tutoring lessons. Since you only work 16 hours a week, picking up 4 to 5 extra hours isn't a big deal-also a great way to meet locals. I made an extra 400-500 Euros a month this way.

Reviews

87%
based on 71 reviews
  • Benefits 8.3
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Facilities 8.1
  • Safety 9.2
  • Housing 10
  • Support 7
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 71
Default avatar
Stephanie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Teach in Spain

I was very happy that I chose to do this program. I absolutely loved my school and loved my bilingual coordinator. I wouldn’t trade my time in Priego for anything. At times it was definitely very difficult and lonely, but getting into a routine and learning the language more and more made it much easier. Also, it was super important to branch out and make new friends (local and american). I do think that CIEE should do a better job with language assistance as the cost of the program is quite large and there is an option to do the same program through the government for free. I’m not sure which program I would do if I were to do it again because the other Americans did have such a positive experience doing their program through the government.

What would you improve about this program?
I think a little more guidance would’ve been beneficial. Also maybe some more cultural opportunities that were promoted, or even language lessons.
Default avatar
Brian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Users Guide to CIEE Madrid

Are you ADVENTUROUS—-AND PATIENT
Those will be tested in your classrooms. Are you able to read cues from students—so you can pivot from
materials/methods that are foundering? If you’re also HUMBLE—you’ll debrief with the Prof and separate ‘wheat from chaff’ for the next session.
The students will challenge you.
They will madden, yet embrace you for honest effort. Beware, however, of older students who will seek your favor—this is just another test you must overcome.
Madrid has a dizzying social scene—for all tastes. Unlike the US, public transport works well—reliable and generally punctual. Get a Bono card—you’ll save enough to surpass the hassle.
CIEE preps you to succeed. Those who are truly serious about the teaching profession will grow the most—and perhaps renew or repeat elsewhere.

What would you improve about this program?
Give participants a stronger weight in their placement preferences.
Default avatar
Roy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I can't seem to forget nor get enough of.

I have traveled overseas many, many times, but my three months living and teaching in Spain through CIEE was by far the richest, most memorable experience I have ever had in a foreign country. The family I resided with (mother, father, two sons) was so very welcoming. And they included me in all their activities. I actually felt like a family member. I believe there is no better way to learn a language and a culture. Then there was the high school where I taught English. To a person, every staff member, teacher and student was cooperative, understanding and courteous. No one ever made fun of my faulty Spanish. And lastly, all CIEE staff were unbelievably kind and supportive, from the time I applied to my arrival in Spain to my three month stay. There was always someone on call should I encounter a problem of any kind--which I never did! I would return to Spain via CIEE in a heartbeat (and I will!) Gracias a todos!

What would you improve about this program?
Nada. Nothing. Everything on my end and theirs worked out so well.
Default avatar
Micaela
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Option for First Timers

CIEE is a great option for those who have never taught/studied abroad before, those that don't speak Spanish, or those who do not have the time to invest in preparing everything on their own. The Auxiliar program is large enough and established enough that if you wanted to and you felt comfortable enough, you could navigate it on your own, but for those that are nervous, busy, or only speak English, the CIEE support and orientation is great! They give you guidance on finding housing, obtaining a visa, what to expect from your schools, among lots of other great information. (The program fee is quite expensive though, $1000 for what essentially amounts to just information and a few nights in a hotel for orientation, especially since you can't renew with CIEE for your subsequent years without paying another $500).

I had an amazing time in Madrid. My schools and fellow teachers were amazing, the vibes of the city are so fun, and I got to know incredible people from all over the world. I went in expecting to only stay for 6 months and I almost stayed another year because I was having such a good time.

What would you improve about this program?
It is a little expensive for what they offer. Also, it's silly to charge $500 to renew.
Default avatar
Jay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent - Highly Recommend!

For the Spring Semester of 2019, I taught English in Spain through CIEE and the first thing I want to say is that my experience was excellent! I enjoyed every minute of my first semester and actually reapplied to teach one more year. I was placed in Huelva, which is located in the south of Spain - Andalucia. I will be teaching one more year at the same school in Huelva. The support from CIEE from the very first step until the very last step was top notch! The team in Portland, especially Hilary, was also fast and informative. I wrote many blog posts for CIEE so I worked with her quite often and she was always pleasant and kind. For anyone interested in teaching abroad, I would highly recommend considering CIEE. It is a door-opening experience that anyone would enjoy!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Budget your money wisely! Life in Spain is generally cheaper than it is in the US so your dollar goes a lot further (even though the dollar is worth less than the Euro), but if you are not smart about your spending you may run out sooner than planned. It is easy to say "yes" to everything presented to you but smarter to know when to say "no." If you create a budget that you can stick with, you will stress far less than spending, spending, spending.
Default avatar
Margaret
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

Spain is a relaxed, slow paced country and allows you to really get the chance to explore. Depending on the area you are placed, there is usually some English speakers, so if you are new to the language there is some relief in knowing you can communicate the basics. I recommend meeting locals and having language exchanges to really immerse yourself into the culture. Spain is a very cultural based country and has many amazing traditions, which I recommend taking part in. The program has Facebook groups so that you can meet others doing CIEE in your area/close by and has alumni providing info for the newcomers. Everything is fairly cheap, so it's easy to live on a low budget. And of course, you can't go wrong with the delicious wine and tapas!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would partake in more language exchanges and speak more Spanish with my American friends. Get out of your comfort zone, because that is the best way to learn. I would try to get even more involved in the holiday celebrations, as I was just arriving to Spain during this time of the year (Dec/Jan). Being open-minded to different foods is something I wish I would have done more of. I am vegetarian so it was hard for me to eat a lot of the food, but I also have a tendency to stick to the same few things when it comes to food. Branch out and really submerse yourself into the Spanish culture and lifestyle.
Default avatar
Tracy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach in Spain Madrid

I had such a great experience teaching English in a high school in Madrid! Through CIEE I was able to make friends right when I arrived through orientation. If I hadn't have had orientation I don't think it would have been as easy to meet fellow Americans! They also helped a lot with the visa process, setting up a bank account, setting up cell phone service which was all super helpful. They also gave a lot of information about getting public transportation card and residence card which as very helpful! I was placed in a high school and had an hour commute which was pretty typical for teaching in Madrid. I was lucky that my school was very lenient with travel plans and allowed me to take a couple days when family was visiting etc. Some of my friends weren't as lucky. I recommend using CIEE!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Listen to CIEE's advice from the start, they know what they're talking about!
Default avatar
Jenifer
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank you CIEE for an incredible year in Spain

First and foremost, I loved my school and my co-workers. It is great knowing that my school supports me in everything and will always have my back whenever I need them. Granada is a beautiful city and could not have wanted a better experience teaching English than in Granada. Spain is unique and beautiful in its own unique way. I am three cities away from visiting all of Andalucía. With CIEE, I got to travel around Spain and Europe. My next trip is definitely to Morocco!!! The staff at CIEE couldn't be more helpful and are always there to answer questions. I honestly never felt alone being abroad since CIEE will always be there for you. Teaching English has always been and passion and I am blessed that I got the opportunity. to both teach and travel, which is also a passionate of mine. This year has been one of the bets years in my life and I owe it all to CIEE.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Definitely would plan more weekend trips abroad. I traveled to Sweden, Scotland and England, but I would definitely could have traveled more. With CIEE, you will have plenty of time to travel and explore Europe and even north of Africa.
Default avatar
Nicole
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Granada, Spain

This has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I have to admit, I was quite nervous about going through with this. I graduated from college in 2014, worked for a while while trying to figure everything out- like what I really wanted to do. I was nervous that I was “too old” to teach abroad, because it seemed like most participants were doing this right after graduating. Long story short, I’m so happy with my decision. No regrets at all! Whether you’re trying to be an educator, want to see if you’ll enjoy it, or have no plans at all to teach in the future- this program is still for you. It’s a whole experience that will help you grow as a person. Personally, I have learned that I can go abroad, live independently, learn new skills, and meet new people all on my own. There is nothing better for self-confidence than that. My school is great. I work in a town just outside of Granada where the teachers, students and staff are all so kind and welcoming. I won’t lie, there are some challenging days. I work at an elementary school and the kids can be loud, disruptive, etc. Honestly though, it’s a good challenge, and I always feel like I’ve made at least some small positive difference. CIEE has been right there whenever I’ve needed them, and any step along the way. Even though I did move here alone, I know that I can always reach out to the staff here in Spain if I ever needed them. They’ve been very responsive and helpful- especially Michaela. I remember her checking in on me once or twice and I really appreciated that because I know there are lot’s of participants. I could go on and on, but the short of it is that I am having a great time here and would definitely recommend anyone to give it a shot.

What would you improve about this program?
At first I thought that the cost could be improved for participants, because it does seem like a lot. And it is, especially for students and young professionals. However, for the first year of doing this, I think it was worth it for me to have the support from CIEE.
Default avatar
Joanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great support to begin teaching

CIEE has made my experience teaching in Spain a smooth, fun, well-organized process. They offer help through a messy and complex visa application, making it straight forward and clear. When it came time to renew my placement, they helped consistently through that process as well. Both before arriving and once in Spain, they provide supportive and consistent communication and have made me feel ready to take on new transitions and challenges with confidence. I love knowing that I have resources and support while being able to live my life in Spain independently and make the experience my own. Michaela is the primary contact in Andalucía and she is absolutely incredible at giving individual help, answering every kind of question, and being responsive to everyone. I can tell she loves her job and it really shows in the way she supports new teachers. A fabulous program all around.

Dublin Castle
Jorge
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review Jorge L. Fernández

Pros: Excellent support and orientation from staff during the whole process: application, pre-arrival and academic year. Great opportunity to start in the world of teaching. The job itself is very rewarding since you're helping your students to improve their English proficiency. It is ideal for people who like backpacking since you only work four days a week. You can also do private lessons for more money and teaching experience. Madrid is full of fun and opportunities, you can always find something to do in the city. You can also go almost anywhere in Spain from Madrid. Madrid is well connected to other countries too.

Cons: In case you're renewing your placement, you don't get paid during the summer vacations, so you better save some money.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Start with English private lessons since the beginning
Default avatar
Teresa
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching In Madrid

I applied to both the government program (North American cultural assistant program and CIEE. I decided to go with CIEE because I knew I wanted to be in Madrid. With CIEE, you hare guaranteed to be in the community of Madrid. I knew I didnt want to a huge commute and wanted to have help with the student visa application and ongoing support throughout the year. When I went with CIEE, my school was 30 minutes away. The help with the student visa was awesome, everything was super clear and I just had to show up to my appointment that CIEE had set up for me beforehand. Overall, my experience with CIEE has been great. If I need help with something, they are there and there are monthly activities and lots of people that you met in Orientation before the school year starts.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I found out my friend was in Morocco for work, so I decided to buy a ticket on Monday night to see her that Friday. I never plan a trip so late like that, but Spain has taught me to go with the flow and if a cool opportunity like the Morocco one comes up, you just go for it and dont look back.
Default avatar
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Teach Abroad

I couldn't say enough positive things about CIEE. The pre-departure support and orientation were so helpful. Staff consistently replied to emails before arriving in Spain and after arriving they have office hours and phone numbers for on site support as well as mobile support. The orientation was a great space to meet my future friends and coworkers. The 10 day stay in the hotel gave time to be in a close space with all the other assistants and we all shared a very unique experience that I won't forget. I would recommend this program to anyone even slightly interested in living abroad. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity and am so grateful I chose CIEE. I have people from home asking me how I manage living abroad alone. The cool thing about CIEE is that I never really feel alone. I have my friends, orientation leader, and support with the staff if I have questions or need anything. My Spanish coworkers couldn't be kinder and more supportive. This has been an incredible experience and I'm sad its coming to an end and I have to go home because this has been the most exciting year of my life. Thank you CIEE.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment of this experience was the moment I got off the plane in August and realized I was beginning a 10 month journey in a foreign country. Without the orientation leaders and CIEE staff I think it would have been too overwhelming. As I soon noticed everyone was in the same position and the staff were young people who were in my shoes not too long ago. They made it so much more comfortable and exciting for me.
Kelly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Time Abroad - Kelly Kaufman

So many people want the experience of a life time, right? Skydive, hike Machu Picchu, cross the seas in a submarine. Maybe living abroad? In a place that speaks differently than you, eats differently, acts somewhat different. This place that (until you go there) mostly has just existed in your imagination. But then you hear about CIEE from somewhere, and a portal suddenly opens to that place. For me, Spain was the place and CIEE the portal. After you apply and get accepted they take care of every doubt, every stress, every worry you may have: where will I live? How do I deal with the foreign government? What if I get sick, or lose my phone, or can't understand this strange document? I was utterly amazed with the efficiency and commitment of the CIEE staff, before and still after I'd made landfall in Europe. Those things aside, I had no idea how much FUN they would make our week-long orientation. After a few hours of learning the necessities they packed our days full of tours, restaurants, flamenco, and just plain enjoyment. Not once will you be bored, stressed, or regretful. Now one last thing - because of CIEE I met some of the coolest, most interesting people that I ever have and to today I see on the weekly. You thought you were the only cool person coming to teach? Well, go through the CIEE experience and you'll see your'e not. You'll meet dozens on dozens of other like-minded people who have come to make that experience of a life time right alongside you. That's a promise.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Prep yourself for jet lag or come early! Many many people the first day of orientation and did not prepare themselves as well as they could have for jet lag. I recommend looking online for all the tips and tricks you can find on beating it, or come a few days early. This will make a huge difference in your energy level when you need it as high as possible!
Nathan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Review for Teach English in Spain with CIEE

CIEE did an excellent job with Visa process, they provided forms and tips to make the process very smooth. Once I got to Spain they were helpful during orientation, once you start teaching most of your communication will be through your school, although CIEE is there for emergencies or anything else you may need.

The CIEE orientation was helpful to get acclimated with the city and meet people in the program. The one con I had about the orientation, is they had you do a pre-departure course, which seemed mandatory but it wasn't. Multiple people didn't complete the course and it wasn't a big deal.

If you are a teacher, this program will be a lot of fun but different. Since you are a language assistant you rely on the other teacher to let you know what they need you to do. I had great teachers who used me and my teaching skills, and other teachers who were not as prepared. I learned valuable skills such as flexibility, working with English Language learners, and connecting with people from different backgrounds. If you are looking for an opportunity to have control and your own classroom, it will be very different.

If you aren't a teacher, do not be stressed out about the teaching. The most important part of the job is having basic conversations in English. The students and teachers will be excited to get to know you.

It was a very nice schedule only teaching for 16 hours, which allowed my wife and I to travel on the weekends.

If you are a couple and planning to apply together, make sure you are specific with what age you want to teach if you want to be at the same school. We were a little frustrated because our number one priority was to be at the same school, but my wife preference was primary and my preference was secondary. As a result we ended up at different schools. It all worked out in the end and we were happy with our placements but make sure you specify.

Overall CIEE is a great organization, my advice is to ask questions, and be in communication with them to make sure it is the right fit for you. Spain is an amazing country and there are a lot of fun places to visit.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't make the pre-departure course seem mandatory unless it is actually mentioned or used in the orientation. Or make sure people complete it before the orientation is over. It was frustrating stressing over it while packing and taking care of things before leaving and then coming to orientation and finding out people didn't complete it.

Have a break out session during orientation for teachers and non-teachers and overall have more emphasis on the teaching.

Since Spanish isn't required for your job, having a certain level of Spanish shouldn't be a requirement. It is helpful to know it, but it is easy to get around in Madrid with only English.

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About CIEE Teach Abroad

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in...