Teach English in Spanish Schools. No Fees

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About

Support the local language teachers and helps students with verbal practices. As one of them, your tasks would include encouraging oral practice, explaining your culture and even helping with other subjects!

Would you like to become a Language Assistant in Spain this academic year? Teach English, get paid and receive TEFL training! Boost your CV with this international experience! The placement runs from January 2021 to June 2021.

Highlights
  • Guaranteed monthly grant.
  • Professional placement in a Spanish school, teaching 20 hours per week.
  • Spanish public healthcare coverage.
  • Initial training and teaching workshops.
  • Ongoing in-country support from the school’s tutor and from Meddeas.

Questions & Answers

Hello Margarita! Yes, we are finishing our allocation process for January 2021. If you are interested, send your resumé to candidates@meddeas.es. Thank you!

Hello Laura! Thank you for your interest. In that case, you will have to complete the AMET program that combines teaching practice and online training. Thank you.

Hello Laura, Our program is a grant program so you have to be a recent graduated. Also, we offer placements all over Spain and we ask for a deposit that is refunded at the end of the program if the candidate completes the program successfully. Thank you

Hello Matt, You can join our programs if you are a recent High School/ University graduate. Thank you.

Reviews

9 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • Growth 9.2
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 8.5
  • Safety 9.6
  • Benefits 7.7
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.2
  • Facilities 8.2
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 17
Default avatar
Lisa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Meddeas Review

Meddeas helps to place you in schools throughout Spain, working with mostly private and concertado (semi-private/charter) schools. They help you with the visa process, documentation you need while in Spain, and are a resource for help during your time in Spain. I have found that they are very responsive and if they don't have an answer for my question they take their time to assist me or reference me to who I should speak with.

One thing to keep in mind is that every experience greatly varies. Meddeas works to place you in the school, but each school has a different idea for how they want to use their language assistants, so you need to be flexible and understanding that Meddeas although they provide guidelines of what to expect, isn't in charge of your actual teaching experience so be sure to have a conversation with your school about expectations and if this changes or they expect more than what Meddeas states you can then talk with Meddeas for support in this process.

Meddeas also requires you to take an online TEFL course (or Early Education course or Advanced TEFL course depending on your prior experience) while in the program. This course depending on your professor can be helpful, but in my opinion, it isn't the most useful course I have taken. Although I do well on the assignments and have learned somethings, I have had to rely on my prior education classes I took at university, and I know that friends who have no experience have had to put a lot more work into the class to understand concepts that are shared or understand how to lesson plan since their professors didn't give them enough guidance. For being a program that accepts people with no experience I think this is an area that can be improved, to provide more help for teachers who are experiencing the classroom for the first time.

Meddeas offers two options for living: with a host family or independently. If you live with a host family you receive less of a stipend since your room and board is provided by your host family. I chose the host family option because I had studied abroad before and loved being with a host family, but I have found this experience to be a different one. When studying abroad you don't have as many responsibilities and there are no expectations except for sharing your culture and learning about your family's culture. Whereas with the Meddeas option you are expected to have English days two times a week (depending on your schedule) and 2 Saturdays in a month. So there is a responsibility for teaching and interacting in English. I at first didn't think I would mind this and since I loved my host family experience I decided to sign up for it, but after being in the program for six months and now on my second host family (since my school splits the time among two families) I realize that it wasn't the experience that I thought it would be. I love my families and I'm really appreciative to have lived with them, but I think that having to speak in English and help give lessons to the children or the adults in the family is a tiring expectation. If it naturally happened I think I wouldn't mind it as much, but to go from teaching English all day to coming home and two days of the week continuing to teach in English or play games with the children is more tiring than I had expected. I miss my host family days where when I came home from a school day I could choose to speak whichever language I wanted and was able to do the activities I want while having a family to come home to. If you have never lived with a host family and have a lot of energy and want to experience an authentic living situation I think the host family route is great. But if you are wanting more independence or know you need time away from constantly being an English teacher, then maybe consider independent living.

Overall Meddeas has allowed me to travel and teach which is what I wanted from this job. I really enjoy my students who range from an age of 8-18. They keep me laughing and I feel as though I have learned a lot about myself from teaching them this year! To be a teacher in Spain you need patience, flexibility, and creativity! Students enjoy your lessons when they are entertaining and engaging. Often times classes are changed around or a teacher may ask you to talk about something you were not prepared for, so that is where the flexibility comes in. And lastly, you need patience to accept Spanish culture and to be able to control the energetic/talkative students.

With all this in mind, I would recommend Meddeas for people who want to teach in Spain. It's a well-supported program. There are no fees for the program, but there is a deposit that needs to placed and you have to pay for airfare to Spain, travel/accommodation to the induction meeting, and visa fees (so keep that in mind). No experience is needed to apply. There are different teaching options depending on your experience. You are able to give preferences during your application process. You will take an online course and receive TEFL certification. And most importantly, you will be able to teach English and share your culture with your students!

What would you improve about this program?
If you are accepted into the program you begin with an induction meeting that is an all-day meeting in Barcelona. I found that this meeting which consists of training sessions and a lot of paperwork to not be the most beneficial, especially since I have had experience teaching in the past and felt as if the sessions to help with lesson planning weren't too helpful. I think there should be separate sessions for people with some experience and people with absolutely no experience (since this program doesn't require you to have teaching experience). I understand that there is paperwork that needs to be completed so that aspect of the day made sense and getting to meet other language assistants and create a community is also helpful, but I think they should reconsider the sessions that are given and the timing of the meeting.

I would also change the expectations of living with a host family. I think that it should be encouraged that the language assistants can talk with the host family and come up with a schedule that incorporates English activities without making it feel like too much and allowing for time for the language assistant to have downtime. Maybe have meal times every day be English times, or have the times spread out for a couple of hours each day. Make it so that one English activity needs to be done in the day and that this is scheduled in. I think if the English days fell more naturally and with fewer expectations then it would be not as tiring and feel like you are a part of the family rather than a teacher living in the house.
Default avatar
MaryAnn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unbelievably rewarding!!

Meddeas: Meddeas has been extremely helpful through the whole process in terms of USA documentation, visas, Spain documentation, etc. Sometimes they don't have all the answers, but in all honesty, the laws and regulations are changing per city in the US pretty fluidly, so I can only imagine managing other countries, too. On top of this, I've heard that other programs don't help with this aspect, so it's definitely a huge benefit. Moreover, Meddeas has given us opportunities to connect with other language assistants through FB pages and our induction meeting. I think the greatest plus side of this program is that you don't have to pay any fee to commit to it, just a deposit that (if you meet necessary criteria) will be given back to you at the end of your term. Going off of that, you get paid monthly and receive a TEFL certificate - again, with no cost to you.
School: The school's truly are going to vary immensely by location, type, grade, etc. My experience has been good so far, but it does require patience. The US system and Spanish system work at different paces. In my personal experience working in secondary, the teachers don't prepare much more than a day ahead of time for a lesson, which was off-putting at times. However, it didn't interfere with my job much as I was mostly taking students out of class in groups to practice speaking for Cambridge Exams. The teachers were the sweetest and truly care about their students' development.
Host Family: My host family is the absolute greatest. I've been blessed with having a family that treats me like one of their own. Aside from teaching the family, I really have bonded with the kids and learned a bunch from them in Spanish, culture, traditions, etc. They'll for sure be invited to my wedding in the future :)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
As opposed to other comments where Language Assistants have their families as a second job, I've experienced a lack of work to do. The kids are extremely disinterested in learning after having been in school from 9am - 5pm every day. The family also hasn't committed to maintaining a regular schedule with me for English Speaking Days because of the kids' varied schedules. So, I often feel like I'm not doing enough. I try to compensate by speaking English more often than not, even on off-days. This is a bit of a bummer because I'd like to practice Spanish more, but I know it's my own fault for not bringing it up sooner to the family. Just a regret, not a complaint! If you join the program with a host family, don't be scared to lay down the rules as they are written in the contract!!
Default avatar
Olivia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Meddeas Review

I've had a really great experience here in Spain. I was fortunate to be placed with two other language assistants at my school. Through this, we've been able to create a strong support system, something necessary when you're away from the comfort of your home, family, and friends. The two girls I work with have become my best friends throughout these past several months. I've met many people through this experience and have been able to create a more positive outlook on life. The school I work at has all the teaching materials I need to do my lessons. The classrooms are equipped with SMART boards, black boards, computers, speakers, etc. The English teachers I work with are supportive and want to help me grow as a teacher. They allow me the freedom to plan and teach my lessons independently but also step in when feedback is necessary. I love working with them and I love this job because there is so much trust and independence from the very beginning! This is the perfect learning experience for someone who wants the freedom to teach what they want immediately without having to go through a training or school program. I also really like how we are able to take a TEFL course on the side through the International University of Barcelona, Catalunya. While it will be helpful to have TEFL on my resume, I wouldn't say the course is that beneficial. The teachers aren't helpful and during our monthly online class portion, they read off scripts instead of having a conversation or seminar based class. The online class is a waste of time. Some of the assignments are helpful, however some are so pointless. Sometimes, it seems as if they only give assignments because they need to--not because it will actually help us become better teachers. I wish our course was more focused on class management skills and linguistics. The teachers don't give any sort of feedback on any assignments. My teacher even mixed up one of our assignments with another class she had! My classmates and I were all so confused until one of us brought it up and the teacher finally admitted she was wrong.

While I teach, I also live with a host family. When you apply with Meddeas, you have the option to live independently or live with a host family to immerse in the language and culture. When you live with a host family, room and board are provided in exchange for English lessons all day twice weekly and two Saturdays a month. I chose to live with a host family because I thought I would be able to save more money and learn more Spanish. While my host family here has been so kind and helpful in making me feel comfortable in this new country, there are also some things I wish could be improved. I begin school every day at 9am and usually end at either 1pm or 2pm. Right after school ends, I have to give English lessons all day until the children go to bed. This means playing with them and teaching them English for 8 hours a day on top of the work day 9-2pm. So on English days, you are working from 9am-11pm (a 14 hour work day!!) I understand I did sign up to live with a host family so this is my job, however it can be extremely exhausting. On English days when we have school holidays, you're expected to be with them all day from when they wake up to when they go to bed because there is no school--so your school holiday isn't really a holiday. Then on English Saturdays, you spend the whole entire day with them. I'm lucky that my family likes to sleep in on the weekends so our days normally don't start until 10 or 11am, but it's still a reallyyyy long day!! It's very typical for Spanish families to have au pairs and care takers so in the beginning, I found myself becoming an au pair as well as having my own job as a language assistant. I've had to clarify with my host family that my job wasn't to be an au pair or babysit the kids. Other than this, I've been able to create a strong relationship with my host mom and we'll definitely be keeping in touch and visit each other in our home countries come the future. We go on hiking trips a lot and have visited the beach house a few times. We also went to see Cirque de Soleil which was such a cool show and experience! I'm lucky I live with this host family as I've been able to build really great relationships with the adults, however the English days with the kids can be exhausting.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I were to do this program again, I would most definitely pick living independently over with a host family. Additionally, living independently allows you so much more freedom to do private lessons on the side. Currently I do about 8 lessons a week (about 80 euros) but if I didn't live with a host family, I could do up to 25+ hours a week, which could be 250+ euros or an extra 1,000+ euros a month (without taxes)!! Where I live, you can find rent as cheap as 175 euros /month and food is extremely cheap, so teaching lessons over living with a host family definitely makes up.
Default avatar
Amanda
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommend the program, just not the host family

This program has been an incredibly enriching experience. Compared to other English teaching programs in Spain, I have had zero issues with being paid on time and the support staff is quick to respond to offer advice for any issues that may arise. I love the school where I teach and feel I have learned a variety of skills that will prepare me for any future career I may want. However, the only regret I have for this experience was choosing to live with host families. If you live with host families, you are required to spend two afternoons per week and two Saturdays per month teaching English. You receive less of a stipend because your rent and food are covered by your family, but the program massively favors the family. I work around 72 hours per month teaching English to my host sibilings. My first siblings were 11 and 6 and my current siblings are 9 and 4 so you can imagine how fun it is to keep them engaged for 4-10 hour long English lessons. While it is called a host "family" I feel much more like an employee who lives in the house. The parents will leave on English days to go out and sometimes I do not see them for 8 hours and it is just me taking care of the children. In my current house I do not need to set an alarm because my 4 year old host sister wakes me up screaming at 7 every morning. I think the idea of living with a host family is great, because you can learn the language and save money, but it is basically adding a second job to your original job of being a language assistant.

What would you improve about this program?
Give different options in addition to the two evenings per week and two Saturdays per month with host families by setting a number of hours instead of a specific number of days (example: two hours every weekday, 3 hours two days a week and 4 hours one day a week)

Set an age minimum for the children of the household (I would recommend at least 8 years old)

Have some sort of host family questionnaire for Language Assistants asking about allergies, age preference (young children vs teenagers), food likes and dislikes, and hobbies, level of Spanish, and for families asking the level of English of the children, hobbies, and their expectations so that both the Language Assistant and family can feel more prepared upon the arrival of the student.
Default avatar
Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I couldn’t imagine a better experience

I studied abroad in Madrid in university and knew I wanted to return to Spain. While studying abroad I was traveling almost every weekend and didn’t get to fully immerse myself in Spanish culture. Now, placed in a town in Andalucía, I feel like I really know authentic Spain and have grown so much from the experience. I teach students from 3-16 years in a local colegio, the work is straightforward and not too demanding, the students are really engaged and have been a joy to teach, even as I came in with not much teaching experience! You have a great work-life balance and the pay is enough to enjoy yourself and cover the basics like rent and groceries. I was especially drawn to this program because it offers TEFL and other certifications, which makes me feel like I’m still furthering my education after graduating from university. Overall I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to live abroad and teach for a year, it’s been a great choice and I’m so happy to be participating in it again next year!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Moving to a city I had never heard of, living with people I didn’t know, and teaching classes on my own with little experience-all terrifying! Turns out there was nothing to be scared of, adjusting to it all only took a short time and now I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Default avatar
Mary
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding Experience, It has its ups and downs

Pros: Great support staff from Meddeas. I was placed in a bilingual school and really liked the facilities and students. I feel like I grew as a professional and it has helped me decide to really go into teaching or not. My school followed my contract and I had little frustrations. I didn't have to take work home. My school had transportation for me and provided lunch each day.
Cons: You get a preference on where you want to be placed, but Meddeas doesn't really listen because it's based on each school wants. So basically it doesn't matter what you give as your preference. We are overworked (way more hours) compared to the Auxiliares (government program) so I think we should get paid accordingly. Pay by hour is very very little. I got placed in a school out in the country so my commute was long.
Overall, this is a great program for those who didn't study Education and want to spend a year abroad trying out teaching. I didn't work in the classroom at my school so I didn't get exactly the experience I wanted to figure out if I enjoy teaching and want to continue or not. The bottom line is, it depends on what school you get. My school didn't need me teaching whole classes so I didn't have to do that. It was harder to travel that I imagined because I worked five days a week. But I feel closer with my school and the students because I was working whole days, and I absolutely loved my students. You are not the lead teacher in any way so this may not be the right job for people who really want to teach abroad as a career. It's not the kind of program that will develop you as an educator. But it was a great experience and I would recommend it to others.

What would you improve about this program?
Increase pay to reflect how much we work per hour.
Default avatar
Adam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Autonomous Auxiliare de Pais Vasco

I applied to Meddeas long after the traditional post university retreat from a "real" job auxiliare de conversacion program in Spain had closed. It took a skype interview and a jaunt to Dublin to get me into the program.
My application information was deemed enough to make me suitable for a position in Bilbao in the Basque Country. Apparently it's in Spain but I haven't seen much to suggest that's true. It rains almost every day and people say aupa more than hola.
Political unruliness aside I've had an incredible year at my school and a great experience with Meddeas.
The Meddeas team have been so helpful and always quick to answer my questions. (Quick as in, within the week, which is pretty tremendous for a Spanish program)
An added benefit (see short term stress) is the compulsory participation in an online TEFL course. This has been a pretty frustrating process for me as a lot of the taught material is so general that I end up doing extra leg work on top of it just to arrive to class prepared. That said, having a TEFL certificate and a years experience should make me employable the world over as an English teacher.
Have too many memories to even begin to share. Get your applications in and go make your own memories.

What would you improve about this program?
A bit more money wouldn't go a miss as we are a little overworked and underfucked compared to the auxiliare participants. But hey, if money is my only issue then they've done a top notch job because more money would always be nice.
Tesi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredibly rewarding experience

I am not an education major but even so, I have found this experience incredibly rewarding. Meddeas was very helpful throughout the entire process and while I was not placed in any of my 3 preferred locations, I am happy with my location and have learned to enjoy it. The Meddeas staff tries to help as much as they always can, so I never felt lost during the application process and after my arrival in Spain. They honestly always try working with you and I really appreciated that. The work experience is quite demanding but if you are up to the challenge I am sure you will find it as rewarding as I have. I wake up every morning wanting to go to work and see my kiddos! My coworkers have been very supportive as well and I am sure I can apply the work experience I have gained here to any future job I have. The added TEFL course is an excellent part of the program as well.