Teaching English in Spain

Teaching English in Spain

IES Maese Rodrigo

How I Ended up Teaching English in Spain…


It was nearing the end of my senior year in college and I just wasn’t convinced that I wanted to start a 9-5. I’d studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Umass Amherst business school and I also was receiving a degree in Spanish. I took all of the right steps, buying a few suits, nice shoes, and a resume folder. I interviewed with various hotels (Marriott even sent me down to Maryland for their final round of interviews) but I just didn’t feel excited about anything.

When my Spanish linguistics teacher emailed us about a program run by the Spanish Ministry of Education for North American College Graduates to go teach English in Spain it was like a spark of hope in a dark tunnel. I applied right away, disregarding what my family, boyfriend at the time, and college professors and peers may have thought.

After the tedious application process, I waited patiently for my placement. I had chosen to be placed in the lovely Andalusia as a first preference as I had enjoyed the south so much while studying abroad in Granada.

Finally, sometime in late July, I received my letter: Carmona, Sevilla. I was thrilled to be close enough to Seville, Andalusia’s capital, to be able to live there and commute to work. I was so excited about my new adventure.

Gorgeous Sevilla

To prepare for the program, and also because I had the time and opportunity, I became TESOL certified at Massachusetts’ best course: The International Language Institute of Massachusetts. The program was an intensive month, but I learned a lot and had a great time.

I later learned that a TESOL certificate is far from necessary for this specific program, but I don’t regret it!

I arrived in Seville without knowing anyone, and gladly immersed myself in its culture, language, and food. I ended up staying in the program for two years, and while it certainly had its ups and downs, I appreciate all I’ve learned.

I recommend the language assistant program to anyone looking to live in Europe for a few years.

It isn’t the best organized program, and you won’t become rich with it either, but it is one of the only ways Americans can legally live and semi-work in Europe at the moment.

I encourage you to apply if interested!

And if you’re worried about making ends meet, don’t be! Check out my tips for teaching private classes and my favorite ESL resources. Soon enough you’ll have enough money to Ryanair around Europe without a problem!


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