After studying abroad in Madrid, Spain I fell in love with the people, the culture, and the language. I wanted to find a way to go back and get to spend more time in Spain. Luckily, my teacher had married someone from the United States who was only a couple years older than myself and was able to tell me about Auxiliaries de Conversacion, which is a program funded through the Spanish government. The program brings native English speakers from other countries such as the United States, Canada, England, and Australia to work in Spanish Elementary, Middle and High schools.
The program is a little bit vague when going through the process and can be frustrating at times but the pay off is a great way to live in another country. You will have to pay for your flights there and back, but the program pays workers 700 euros a month or 1000 euros a month if you live in Madrid. This is a very livable salary for Spain where the cost of living is much cheaper than in the United States. In my experience I spent about 400 euros on rent, 25 euros a month for my metro pass which was my transportation around the city and about 100-150 euros on groceries a month. That leaves you with 400-500 euros a month to spend on traveling or going out.
To supplement your income you can pick up English tutoring on the side were you can easily make another 50-75 euros a week depending on how many times you want to tutor throughout the week. The great thing about Auxiliaries de Conversacion is it is very doable on a budget. Your school schedule is only 4 days a week and they have to give you either Friday or Monday off which makes it perfect for weekend trips around Spain or quick flight elsewhere. You are only working 20 hours a week, but will probably end up working more hours than that, still it’s not a bad deal.
Auxiliaries de Conversacion is a great way to travel and live somewhere else while you are getting paid. You won’t be scrapping by on this budget which is always nice. It gives you the opportunity to travel a lot throughout Europe and if you live in Madrid or Barcelona you can get extremely cheap flight to a lot of other cities across Europe. Be ready though because teaching was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I learned a lot about myself in this process as well as how other cultures deal with certain issues.
I know a least 10 people who have chosen to do this program and everyone has learned and taken away something different. The program allows you to extended your stay and teach for an additional 1-2 more years if you would like. Throughout all of the ups and downs I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to change things up a bit and experience something new. The enrollment for the program starts in January and you will be assigned your location by April. If you have any questions about the program or want to learn more about the details, leave a comment below and we can talk.