So you want to live the dream? You want to teach English in a school in Spain and you want to do so legally.
Well good news for you, there are a few great programs here in Spain that actually allow you to do so by teaching as an “English Language Assistant”. These programs allow native-English speakers to legally live and work in schools across Spain on a student visa. One of the more coveted programs and a program that ITA Barcelona encourages its alumni to apply for is the Meddeas program. The application for this process can be lengthy, but very much worth it once you receive your school placement offer.
Participants in the Meddeas program essentially work in a Spanish private school for a full or half an academic year. You can be teaching a wide range of ages, anywhere from 1-18 years old. The students’ levels of English vary based on their ages. Throughout your participation in the program, you receive a monthly stipend and free teacher training through an online course provided by the accredited Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. There are three different levels of the program that participants can choose from based on their education, experience, and background.
No matter which program you apply for, you will be teaching a minimum of 20 hours a week for 5 days a week (you can teach up to 24 hours a week and your stipend will reflect the hours you teach and the program you are in).
Here is a breakdown of the different programs offered:
- Advanced Program: for candidates who hold a degree in Education or a degree in English Language or any degree + a TEFL certificate (perfect for most ITA alumni!)
- Teach up to 15 students
- Monthly stipend of €932 OR accommodation with host family + €482.
- Graduate Program: for candidates who hold any degree
- Teach up to 8 students
- Monthly stipend of €882 OR accommodation wit host family + €432.
- Speakers Program: for candidates who hold any degree/ university students/ gap years
- Teach up to 3 students
- Monthly stipend of €860 OR accommodation with host family + €332.
To apply to the Meddeas program, click here. You will be asked to enter your name and email. Once entered, you will immediately receive an email that includes a brochure of frequently asked questions about the program as well as the application form. You will be asked to complete the application form and send your CV. If you are eligible, Meddeas will contact you inviting you to a first interview via Skype. If you are successful, you will have a second interview via Skype with one of the Meddeas delegates. This second interview is typically conducted in person with a Meddeas representative who lives in a city near you (the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany – or via Skype for candidates outside these regions), however, as of May 2020, these interviews are taking place via Skype due to COVID-19.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the application process:
> Request detailed information and the application form here.
> Complete the application form and submit your CV/resume via email. In the application form you will identify which program you are applying for and list your preferences of student ages and locations in Spain.
> If eligible, you will complete your first Skype interview. This interview can be anywhere between 30 – 50 minutes long.
This first interview will include the following:
- A short “quiz” on the Meddeas FAQ that will be sent to you beforehand.
- Questions about you and your teaching experience, experience with kids, level of Spanish (no level is required), etc.
- Your program preferences (which program you would like to participate in, your school and location preferences, etc.)
- A short lesson planning activity.
If you are successful with the first interview, you will be invited to a second Skype interview. This interview can also be anywhere between 30 – 50 minutes long. A different person from your first interview will conduct this interview. The interviewer will not have access to your first interview, so some questions may be repetitive.
This second interview is more in-depth and will include the following:
- Another short “quiz” on the Meddeas FAQ.
- More questions about you and your teaching experience.
- More detailed questions about your program preferences, what ages you would like to teach, and exactly where you would prefer to teach. One of the goals of this interview is to match you with the perfect school based on your preferences.
- Activity component to test your level of English, fluency, and ability to think on your feet.
Finally, your Placement Offer!
Upon successful completion of the above, Meddeas will offer you a school placement that matches your profile. You can either accept or reject the placement, however, if you choose to reject, it is not guaranteed that you will receive another offer. If you accept, you will be asked to submit a program deposit of 850€ that you will receive back upon the successful completion of the program. You will then begin the process of applying for your student visa. Meddeas will provide you with detailed instructions on how to go about this and are there to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the documents you will need such as your official enrollment in your UIC course, your contract with your school, etc. You will be responsible for scheduling an appointment to apply for the visa at your closest Spanish consulate and collecting other documents needed such as a background check, medical certificate, proof of private health insurance, etc.
So when should you apply? Meddeas is always accepting applications so there is necessarily no concrete deadline you will need to apply by. If you would like to begin teaching in September/October, you should aim to apply during February/March of the previous school year. This will give you enough time to complete the interview process, which can take about a month, and then complete the lengthy process of applying for your student visa. It is also possible to begin your placement during January and teach for half of the academic year.
Interested in learning more about Meddeas?
Feel free to reach out to ITA Barcelona alumna Casey (and author of this lovely blog post) over at @case_ofbrooks! Personally, I had a great experience with this program and would recommend it to anyone seriously interested in not only teaching in Spain but gaining valuable teaching experience in a classroom setting. Meddeas was extremely helpful throughout the visa application process and was always there to answer any questions I had throughout the year. However, this program is not for anyone looking just to get a visa to Spain and to be able to freely travel around Europe, Meddeas is very clear about this and you will need to be committed to the program as you are expected to be in the classroom 5 days a week. With that being said, you will still be able to travel on weekends and will have 2 weeks of vacation for Christmas and Easter, so it is a win-win!