Teach English in Spain with CIEE

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About

The CIEE Teach in Spain program offers the flexibility for you to work 5-10 months as an English Language Assistant at a primary or secondary public school in the Region of Madrid or Andalucía.

The diversity of cities and small towns in these areas means you can set yourself up for an immersive local experience or a more urban, international expat scene. You will have plenty of free time to travel, study Spanish, volunteer, or give private English lessons!

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 an online course to help you prepare for your adventure in Spain. You'll get detailed guidance on the visa process and 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 with CIEE Teach Abroad.

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

84%
based on 46 reviews
  • Benefits 8.1
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.4
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
  • Housing 10
  • Support 7
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 16 - 30 of 46
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Caitlin
9/10

My Year in Madrid with CIEE

This is my first year truly living abroad. CIEE has made a truly wonderful experience with teaching seminars and email blasts offered every so often to update us, keep us informed, and offer programs to help us improve our experience here in Madrid as well as our teaching skills! CIEE made the daunting VISA process simple with step-by-step instructions and instructors and group leaders available with any questions along the way. The accommodations during the orientation program were phenomenal--offering breakfast daily, a safe place to stay, and helpful group activities during orientation. My group leader, Sandra Kinkaid, was super fun and insightful. Her awesome walking tours and friendly advice were invaluable during what could´ve been a very stressful first week here. I loved my year here so much, I´m renewing for a second! I highly recommend this program for first-timers
living abroad.

How can this program be improved?
It would be awesome if CIEE could get on board with GENERALI insurance. I had to use iNEXT a couple times this year, and they are still in the process of reimbursing me for those doctors and hospital visits. It would have been much better to be able to use the public healthcare instead of spending full price on private doctors and hospitals and hoping to get everything reimbursed.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rob
10/10

Best decision I ever made

After being born and raised in Los Angeles, going to university there, and spending my first year as a graduate working in LA, I found myself yearning for a dramatic change of pace. I then learned about CIEE and eventually made the decision to leave everything to move to teach English in Spain. I had little to no experience as a teacher nor as a world traveler, but CIEE really provided us with the resources and community to begin thriving from the moment we arrived. And along with everything CIEE provided, Madrid is just an incredible place to live, work, learn Spanish, make tons of international friends, and much more.

How can this program be improved?
The housing search was certainly stressful for most people. So more involved, hands-on guidance from CIEE would probably be helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
5/10

Good place to start

Honestly, I chose CIEE because I was half nervous/half lazy to try and figure out the paperwork process on my own. After having been in Spain for almost a year now, I know that I could've completed the paperwork on my own. However, having CIEE's help, training, and hotel accommodation at the beginning of my stay here in Madrid took a lot of stress off of me. I would 100% say it's worth it to go through CIEE if they didn't charge so much, but I'm not sure the help was the worth the amount I gave them to help me. Still, I'm grateful for the help and the extra classes they held for participants throughout the year.

How can this program be improved?
I think a monthly workshop on how to improve as an auxiliar would be good. It was nice and fun to attend classes pertaining to Spanish culture, but more support focused on the auxiliar's actual job in the classroom would've been more helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
10/10

Go to Madrid!

Madrid was amazing. I taught 4th, 5th and 6th grade at a bilingual school in the suburbs and the students and teachers I worked with were great. Everyone spoke English pretty well and most of my teaching was in a small group setting. The pay was definitely liveable for the city and every month I was able to budget in some traveling too. I think the hardest part of going abroad was the language barrier. Even though I have a minor in Spanish it was difficult to communicate effectively at times but I tried to look at it as a learning opportunity. I was almost fluent by the end of the school year! I would highly recommend this program for anyone who likes teaching and wants to live abroad and travel!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Danielle
6/10

Not worth the money

The program is great in terms of answering questions about visas and paperwork. They’re very knowledgeable about housing and safety and things to do in Madrid. However, past that, I didn’t gain much and don’t think it’s worth the money. Orientation wasn’t super useful and the hotel is overpriced, although it is cool that you get to meet so many other teachers. I’d recommend applying through the ministry instead!

No, I don't recommend this program
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Ellen
7/10

CIEE Makes the Ex-Pat Life Easy!

Coming to teach in Spain through CIEE was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I had always wanted to live abroad but the logistics of applying to programs and all of the legal paperwork were extremely overwhelming. I felt very supported by CIEE, who constantly kept me in the loop on deadlines and important information via email. They got me through the visa-application process, and equipped me with incredibly useful information about how to find housing, a phone provider, etc. It was amazing to always have a reliable place to ask all my questions.

How can this program be improved?
The iNext health insurance provided by CIEE is a little annoying to navigate - the reimbursement process is complicated and drags out. The insurance offered by the Spanish government seems to be preferable.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Olivia
6/10

Teaching in Spain is great, but CIEE is expensive and unnecessary

I've had an amazing experience teaching in Madrid. But I wish I'd applied directly through the Ministry instead of through CIEE. CIEE is really expensive and didn't offer me the help I needed. If you already speak some Spanish (I could get what I needed but was an intermediate speaker when I arrived) and if you have experience and are comfortable traveling, then it's so worth it to apply directly through the Ministry. You get much better healthcare (if you go through CIEE, you must pay up front and out of pocket, only to be reimbursed several weeks later-- which many people can't afford and functionally means you have no insurance). For me, CIEE was a waste of money, but if you don't speak Spanish and/or need lots of hand-holding because you don't have much experience abroad, then I suppose it's worth the money! Here's a searchable facebook group with all the info you could need: https://www.facebook.com/groups/madridauxiliares/

How can this program be improved?
Charge less money for people who arrive early/don't need as much support. Actually be helpful for the times we need support (medical emergencies, legal questions etc.). Don't just tell us we need to find someone else to help (i.e. with taxes etc.). We're paying you a decent amount of money, and we should receive assistance. Every time I went to the office, I got a smiling face but rarely actually helpful assistance.
No, I don't recommend this program
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Denise
10/10

A great help!

CIEE was the perfect program to help me prepare to teach in Spain. I appreciated they're help I obtaining my visa, answering questions, and preparing me for life in Spain.

The communication was excellent! Every one of my questions via email was answered within 48 hours. Having step by step help obtaining my visa was especially helpful. Many people who went to the consulate the same day as I did were missing an item or two from the list, but with the list provided by CIEE I had all of the necessary documents. Orientation was not only a good way to prepare to live in Spain, but also meet people in the program. I still spend time with several of the auxiliars that I met through CIEE.

One of the best parts ofb teaching in Spain is how easy it is to travel around Europe! I have loved seeing so many different cultures and so many different places. Make the most of it!

Some advice would be to watch the webinars they've put online. This will help you make a good decision about what type of program is best for you. Also, I would reach out to your school at the beginning of September via email or phone and take some time to stop by if you can before you begin. It gives you a chance to meet some of the teachers and shows that you are someone who is dedicated to this position. Best of luck!

How can this program be improved?
Make sure all of the orientation time is used wisely. Also, be sure to have orientation leaders who are fun and outgoing. Ours was a nice person, but everyone wished we were in one of the other groups because he didn't have much to offer... He was a student in Spain, not a former CIEE participant.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
8/10

Teach Abroad Madrid- Mostoles

I have had an overall good experience with CIEE. I just wish my school coordinator was more flexible to work with! I love my students and I have never learned so or felt so independent in my life, and I am surely an improved, more decisive traveler, friend and person because of this experience. Madrid has tons to offer from food to international friends, there is rarely a dull moment! There is so much the madrileños and spain as a country can teach you about history, language and fun, Madrid and Spain hold a special place in my heart.

How can this program be improved?
Schedule/start and end date for auxiliars along with clear expectations for the auxiliars that are given to the placement school and auxiliars.
Yes, I recommend this program
Trevor
10/10

Cannot recommend enough...seriously

To be fair, Madrid in and of itself is enough to ensure that almost any long-term stay will be rewarding. That being said, CIEE took care of so much of the nitty gritty stuff that can normally impede people from taking the plunge into this kind of an international adventure. By the time I arrived they had already helped me with understanding the visa process inside and out, as well as provide cultural and teaching guides. The staff -- especially during the critical first weeks of acclimation -- go above and beyond to make sure that everyone feels comfortable with adjusting to a new country, and they make the otherwise dreadful task of completing your immigration paperwork easy and seamless. They also had a lot of activities throughout the year that connect you with other teachers and staff. In short -- I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone. If you have lots of travel experience: you'll appreciate that they take care of the annoying tasks that come with moving so you can begin to immerse yourself in the country's culture and history. If you're a novice traveler: you'll get the kind of guidance and support than not only answers questions, but is intended to empower you to focus on your primary objective of relishing in a beautiful exchange of cultures! Sorry if this seems overly romantic. I just had a damn good time...

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ansley
9/10

Spain and CIEE are AMAZING!

I've loved moving to Spain. It's a challenge and a gift, and you have to be ready for some surprises. For example, my placement changed unexpectedly before I moved, and I was SO nervous to live inside the city of Madrid! But now I'm settled in a flat in the oldest part of the city, and can walk to art museums, cathedrals, Christmas markets, and the ballet. If you want to shake up your life and learn a new language, this is both a fun and practical way to do it!

Basic info: Auxiliares assist an english teacher in a bilingual school for 16 working hours a week. That includes tutoring groups of kids, conducting their weekly oral exams, or preparing information about America to spark their interest. I work from 9-2 MTW, with a 30 minute break, and 9-12 on Thursday. The cost of living is lower than in many US cities, so you can cover expenses (rent, food, doctor, going out to eat, metro pass, bills), plus some travel with the monthly stipend of E1000.

Thoughts on CIEE: On the front end, it is more expensive to apply via CIEE, but the insights and assistance are worth the cost. Months before the move, Maxine, and later Samantha, were there to field my (numerous) questions about everything from applying for a visa, to school placements, to the delays caused by the 2017 hurricanes. They also have an in-country course that provides details on housing, managing finances, the metro system, banking, getting a permanent residency, health care, cultural differences and on and on. An in-country staff is also available by email or office hours to help with difficult questions or in case of emergency. Big thanks to CIEE for all their help!!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked more information about groups and clubs in Madrid, as it can be hard to meet other Spaniards at first.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brendan
10/10

The most amazing start to the most amazing life

A year ago I was just about to leave for Spain with CIEE, and little did I know it would change my life. They eased me into everything, which I thought was going to be a joke because I had already studied abroad in Salamanca three years prior. Thankfully they were there to thoroughly explain and guide me through things, and thank goodness I went to those orientations. I ended up make a friend base as well from CIEE. I ended up meeting someone that I'm head over heels for and I'm currently living with them (empadronado which CIEE explained as well). I'm continuing a second year at the same elementary school, and I'm going to be an orientation leader this year for CIEE. They are always trying to improve year by year and I'm so excited that they are letting me become a part of their team!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jose
8/10

Great Opportunity, make of it what you will.

My name is Jose Colchado and I am a retired public school teacher, and university professor and administrator. I have over thirty years of education related experience and have taught at every grade level from kindergarten to post graduate.

Even through I am retired I have continued to be involved in teaching; as a substitute teacher, GED instructor, and conducting workshops.

I applied for the CIEE Teaching in Spain for two reasons; CIEE was the most responsive to my questions and provided guidance at all steps of the application process and I wanted a program in Spain where I could learn more about the country which had such a great influence on Mexico, my parents' home country. The application process can be difficult and will cost you money. For example, I had to go to California for the consulate "interview" which turned out to be just handing over my application papers. Once you get to Spain CIEE provides the support you need to finalize additional paperwork, assist with housing hunts and arranging for low cost daily transportation.

I asked to work with first and second graders and was assigned to the Colegio de San Blas in Ajalvir a suburb of Madrid ( a 30 minute train ride from Madrid ). I live in Torrejon de Ardoz a 15 minute bus ride from Ajalvir. I am glad I live and work in the suburbs. No long daily commute and still close enough to everything. I was surprised by two things at my school; the noise level and , what was to me, a lack of discipline, that takes away from instruction, and how little effort was made to make me feel welcome and part of the school ( it could have been me!). Because I am not the teacher "in charge" I get to teach without the responsibility for grading or other paperwork. The kids are great, just like first and second graders everywhere, eager to learn and willing to do whatever you ask them. I am able to incorporate movement and art in active learning to support the teaching by the teacher.

Teaching four days a week gives me plenty of time to travel, During four day weekends I have been to Valencia, Toledo, Cadiz, Austurias, Guadalajara, Seville and during holidays I went to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Lisbon and I plan to go to Brussells and nearby cities and the Canary Islands. Bus, train and air travel is very inexpensive if you buy your tickets early. Housing during your travels can be cheap if all you need is a bed and a bath. In most cities, once you get to the city center, you can walk to most of the sites worth seeing. What an opportunity to travel throughout Europe!

Even though I have my own apartment, I live frugally and with my stipend I am able to meet my living expenses and have some money for travel ( I do supplement my travel with a small part of my retirement income).

There is so much to see and do. So much to learn. It all depends on what your priorities are and how you choose to spend your time and money!

How can this program be improved?
During the application process, applicants should be made aware that there are business that expedite things like the FBI report and apostille process . I am sure that program people are well aware of the problems people run into in the application process and ways to deal with these should be readily available to the applicants.
The host schools and teachers should be given guidelines on how to orient the the people assigned to their school: assign a teacher to be a "buddy" to help with whatever issues may arise and to make sure those assigned there are "included" in everyday activities like the discussions at break time; assist host teachers to know how to best use the knowledge and skills of the assigned assistants; the role and responsibility of the assistants to maintaining discipline in the classroom ( I found I did not understand what teachers would or would not tolerate in behavior) and making assistants aware of what they are expected to "teach" at least a week before.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rebekah
8/10

Teaching in Spain with CIEE

I love CIEE. I have studied abroad and now taught abroad twice through their organization. One of the main reasons I chose to teach abroad through CIEE was that they provide a very easy way to apply and give a lot of help and support through the whole process. I have always found the staff to be very friendly and helpful and would highly recommend CIEE to anyone who is interested in studying or teaching abroad.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved for the Teach in Spain Basic participants in the form of better information about the craziness of the apartment search in Madrid.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Andrea
10/10

CIEE Madrid Teach Abroad Program

I can truly say I have learned alot, met wonderful people and grew professionally, all while immersing myself in a new culture. The CIEE team makes this transition into a new country and job smooth and you feel supported the whole way. One of my favorite memories of this experience was the last dinner of the orientation. In this dinner a group of people randomly sat at a table together for dinner and became a true group of friends. That moment set the tone for the rest of my time here. I am so happy I took the chance and came abroad because it changed my life.

Yes, I recommend this program

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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...