If you’re interested in living in Spain’s thriving capital city and taking a TEFL course in a place where learning English is “la moda” and locals are known for “killing the night” in a Hemingway-esque fashion, have no fear: Madrid offers several opportunities for prospective TEFL teachers from all over the world.

Photo credits: federicojorda.

The typical TEFL course in Madrid lasts four weeks. These courses are usually quite intensive, with classes being held for several hours per day, Monday through Friday. The course framework varies by program and language academy but generally consists of instruction about subjects such as TEFL theory, classroom management techniques, and how to create effective TEFL lesson plans.

Additional components in the typical TEFL four-week course include workshops about CVs and resumes, cover letters, and other career advice. Also, some academies offer opportunities for prospective TEFL teachers to instruct real ESL students as part of their programs.

Several TEFL academies include secondary options in addition to their regular four-week TEFL course. For example, Tt Madrid, the International TEFL Academy, and EBC offer year-long packages that provide additional training, support, and other courses after the successful completion of the four-week long course. Non-EU residents are required to have a student visa to live and study in Madrid for one year, but the language schools that have year-long TEFL programs will often directly assist their students with the visa process.

Other TEFL options in Madrid are online courses or a combination of both on-site and online classroom instruction. The advantage to taking online or partial online courses from Madrid language academies while living in Madrid is that it is easier to network and receive in-person assistance when necessary. Moreover, many TEFL language schools have other free resources that their students can access throughout the duration of their TEFL course.

When and Where to Look

Generally, the more research you put into a potential TEFL course, the better. When looking at prospective TEFL courses, you may want to consider such things as the type of accreditation, TEFL course curricula, reputation, and post-course completion assistance that each TEFL course offers.

For example, are you looking for direct job placement assistance, or are you planning on conducting a more self-driven job search? Moreover, you should also keep in mind how much time you may need to dedicate to finding accommodations, getting over jetlag, and acclimating to life in Madrid.

Also, it can be prudent to research when each course begins and ends. While there is always a demand for English teachers in Madrid, the work available during summer months—August in particular—can be quite scarce temperatures rise, many businesses close, and flocks of madrileños flee from the infamous Madrid heat to the beaches. Therefore, if you’re planning on looking for work immediately after graduation and don’t have a visa, it might be wise to avoid taking classes in the summer.


While some programs are designed for people with previous teaching experience, others are designed for people with little to no previous teaching experience. You also are usually required to be either a native or a fluent speaker of English.

Post-TEFL Resources

Some TEFL courses provide intense job search assistance both during and after a TEFL course completion, but direct job placement services are not guaranteed. Nevertheless, TEFL course graduates often have access a wide array of resources and business contacts from their academies.

Fortunately, a variety of different opportunities are available for prospective English teachers in Madrid. Government- and regional-sponsored teaching programs include the North American Language and Culture Assistant Program, and UCETAM.

Corporate businesses also will sometimes directly hire English teachers to teach English to their staff. There are also many language academies which English teachers for children, teenagers, and adults. Furthermore, there is a high demand for private English tutors and au pairs. In addition, if you are looking for temporary summer employment, there are English language summer camps both in and near Madrid which hire English teachers and counselors.

Cost of Living

Although Madrid is the most expensive city in Spain and the 22nd most expensive city in the world (source: Lonely Planet), it’s relatively inexpensive in comparison to other European capitals like Oslo, London, Stockholm, and Paris.

According to Numbeo, the average utility costs are 125.58€ per month, grocery prices can range from anywhere from 0.70€ to 8.96€ per item, and the average cost of a monthly transportation pass is 54€. (Keep in mind that Madrid has an extensive transportation system and that the monthly transportation pass, the Abono, covers trains, busses, and the Metro.)

If you’re interested in renting your own apartment, the average rent for a one-bedroom piso in the city center is 737.65€, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is 543.75€. However, much cheaper options to consider are renting a room—a habitación—in a shared apartment. Room costs vary from as cheap as 200€ to 500€ depending on the size and location. Rooms in more upscale neighborhoods and that are closer to the city center will normally cost more, but it’s not unheard of to find a reasonably-priced, decent habitación in the heart of the city.

Contributed by Michelle Philippon


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