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

85%
based on 48 reviews
  • Benefits 8.1
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.5
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
  • Housing 10
  • Support 7
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 46 - 48 of 48
Default avatar
jetsetter
9/10

Best year of my life!

I went through the 2-week immersion program, so my first few weeks in Spain were filled with orientation schedules, host family obligations and a general frenzy. Once finished with orientation, I had to sort out my rusty Spanish, my apartment, my roommates, my school, my transportation, and my routine – amidst on onslaught of cultural shocks and new sights. But with the foundation and the tools that CIEE provided me, I felt more prepared to face those challenges and knew that I had a support system to combat any issues I couldn't handle on my own. Over the course of the year, CIEE offered us private lesson opportunities, monthly newsletters, a frequently updated forum, and contests to keep us involved. Not only that, but my fellow CIEE participants were the people who became my closest friends in Spain. CIEE grouped us by region during orientation, so the friends that I made in the first couple of weeks were close by enough to visit and travel with.

On a day to day basis, I struggled with your typical abroad challenges, one of them being the language. The accent and colloquialisms in southern Spain are different than anywhere in the world, thus posing a major challenge to my application of the bit of Spanish that I came in with. I did learn Spanish (poco a poco) in the classroom, but I was supposed to speak only English to the kids, which definitely limited my speaking. I tended to stick to the same verbs and vocab when conversing, which meant that I didn't improve my skills as much as I hoped. If I had put more time and money into Spanish lessons, I might have seen more of a difference, but perhaps CIEE could have facilitated online Spanish classes or weekly lessons or webinar discussions about our setbacks with Spanish. They did a great job at the start of the year setting us up with Clic, host families, and Spanish-basics, but if they carried that throughout the year, my Spanish would have been better off.

I also could have benefited from a more organized CouchSurfer-like CIEE community. The Facebook forums were a good place to start, and often helpful with questions, but it would have been nice to have a more developed travel network of peers that were trustworthy and in the same boat. After all, we only worked 12 hours a week, so we had plenty of free time to travel. Each city/town could have a very specific CIEE travel guide (like the TripAdvisor .pdfs, but aimed at 20-something-year-olds) that highlighted the actual MUST-sees of places, 3-day itineraries, CIEE-beloved restaurants, favorite nightspots, best neighborhoods to visit, best tapas to try, what hostels to go to (if there are no CIEE hosts available), where to fly in/what transport to take, and budget finds. I would have loved that and definitely offered my own couch and tips for travelers visiting Cadiz!

All in all, by the end of the year, I was thriving. I had mastered enough Spanish to live and work in Spain. I appreciated and enjoyed every minute with my students, roommates, and any Spaniards I could befriend. I know the CIEE was a good choice for me, because I didn't have confidence going into the year, but with their help, I was able to make the most of my experience (so much so that I applied and was accepted for a second year of teaching in Spain!). I hope that anyone considering CIEE decides to go through them -- I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sevilla-Girl
6/10

CIEE - Save Your Money

The only reason you should sign up with CIEE to teach in Spain is if you want to be absolutely guaranteed to be assigned a school in Andalucia. Otherwise, you should save your money and apply directly through the government.

CIEE offers an orientation program that occurs two weeks before the school year starts. This orientation program is a waste of time if you have ever lived abroad before. Really, I learned basically nothing, and some of the information was completely inaccurate. In the end, the only thing I really gained from orientation was the friends that I made who were in my program.

After orientation, I barely ever heard from CIEE. They sent out one email each month, which contained some information, but most of it was useless. The only real times they sent out useful information was when they were addressing a concern that had been raised by several participants and had already been answered on a group Facebook page.

All in all, if you have never lived abroad before and are absolutely set on living in Andalucia, I guess that CIEE fits the bill. Otherwise, it is option that is not at all worth the expense.

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
MollyC
8/10

CIEE in Andalucia

CIEE is a great idea for the person who is looking for an abroad setting but needs a little bit of support if things get chaotic. CIEE works with the Junta de Educacion in Spain and reserves spots for "auxiliares de conversacion" to be hired in schools through CIEE, specifically in ANDALUCIA. When you pay CIEE's fee, you are paying for the staff that lives in Spain and runs the program and an orientation that introduces you to topics such as apartment hunting in Spain to different accents within the Andalucian area. One positive (or negative) thing about the orientation is you immediately are meeting fellow English speakers starting their year in Spain at the same time. You have a community, should you choose to be a part of it. Although you are able to contact CIEE at any point, there is NO DIFFERENCE in your job if you went through CIEE or bypassed it and went straight through the Junta (you would be saving a few grand but have a much more complicated and confusing application process). Since this was not my first time abroad, I really didn't need the ready support I essentially paid for, but for the first timers, it may prove to be worthwhile.

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...