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got questions about living in Spain?

 
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:06 pm    Post subject: got questions about living in Spain? Reply with quote

Try this website.. Expatica

Its got lots of practical information about the logistics of moving to and living in Spain. Bank accounts, finding rental property, getting around, etc etc etc.

Have a good day.

Lozwich.
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MO39



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1970
Location: El ombligo de la República Mexicana

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just checked out Expatica and the first thing I saw were several horror stories of people moving to Spain and having to leave after a futile search for teaching jobs, even after getting a TEFL certificate there. How typical do those of you who have spent some time in Spain (especially in Madrid) think these tales are?

MO39
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Eric Paice



Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi MO39,

I had a look at Expatica but I couldn't find the stories. Where are they and I'll have a look?

Personally, I haven't had any problem at all and I've been here in Madrid for getting on 18 months. I've got loads of state-side friends who have been teaching away here for quite a while too.

As much as certification is starting to get important it still doesn't guarantee you a job because if you have the personality of a brick you'll never get work as a teacher regardless of what qualifications you have. Could be that the people just weren't cut out to be teachers.

Teaching is seriously human so if you don't have the right attitude it's best to choose a different career.

Eric
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1449

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:09 am    Post subject: Working in Spain Reply with quote

When I was teaching in Spain there was a scandal about language schools going out of business, leaving teachers unpaid and students tied into legal contracts that obliged them to pay for classes they would never receive.
There are, however, plenty of reputable employers, large and small, and emand for teachers remains as high as ever.
Remember that if you're not a citizen of an EU country, you'll need a work permit in order to work legally in the EU.
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MO39



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1970
Location: El ombligo de la República Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:23 pm    Post subject: Expatica (cont'd) Reply with quote

Hi Eric,

To find the tales I wrote of on the Expatica site, click on Spain, then Survival, then Jobs. The story at the top of the Jobs screen (When It's Not All Sunshine and Success) is the one I was referring to.

Thanks for your comments. I have taught before and my personality has always been one of my strong points (a naturally shy person, I become quite a ham when I get in front of a class), so once I get my TEFL certificate, I have high hopes that I will be able to find work and settle in Spain for a while.

MO
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MO39



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1970
Location: El ombligo de la República Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

I forgot to thank you for your comments also.

MO
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CharlesTESOL



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 81
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horror stories exist for every country I'm sure but the experiences described in the story on the Expatica web site would have unnerved me if I had read them when I was considering coming to Spain. I am so happy here that I'm really glad I didn't come across anything like that! However, I was lucky to hear enough cautionary tales that perhaps they acted as reality checks. So, I'll offer the following for whatever it's worth.

The fact is that although I know lots of people who have gotten certified in Spain AND found work here, it is not what I would describe as "easy." Certainly it's not as easy as finding work in a place like Korea, for example. Spain requires some real effort, creativity and persistence. However, as someone who has been here for several years now I can tell you that it is worth it. People generally need to:

a. drop off a lot of CVs (and make follow-up calls and visits)
b. be willing to work for more than one school
c. accept schedules that may include early hours, late hours, travel time
d. put time and effort into getting private students, too
e. not give up after only a few weeks
f. not expect to make enough to purchase and/or maintain your own home

That last point was one thing I noted about the story on Expatica -- the couple bought a flat here! Teachers in Spain usually must be willing to rent a room in someone else's apartment and then put together a full time schedule working for one or two schools as well as teaching a few private students. So, maybe the key is coming with the right expectations and living reasonably. That doesn't mean sacrificing much other than some of the creature comforts found in places like the UK and USA. After all with relatively large number of holidays we get here and the cheap travel deals available, I see an awful lot of English teachers getting to enjoy Spain and neighboring countries. Plus, food prices are so cheap here that it is possible to still eat well, especially if you eat at home most of the time and opt for the 6 or 7 euro "menu del dia" when you do eat out. And it's hard to beat a good bottle of Spanish wine, which is usually an incredible deal.

One of the people in the article mentioned that perhaps her problem was related to her age -- 42. Well, I've known people in their forties and older who have been successful as English teachers in Spain. Off hand I can think of a 50 something year old woman who is leaving after a year of teaching at academies in Barcelona, a 50 something year old man who has been teaching private students and at academies in Madrid for about two years -- and he earns enough to live on his own rather than share an apartment. Actually, many executives prefer being taught by older teachers with some previous life experience. So, from what I see there is enough work to go around for all ages. There is also good news in the fact that the turn over is so high in our line of work, what with most people only wanting to do it short term, that anyone worth his or her salt who sticks around for more than a year is likely to be promoted or be able to find higher paying work eventually.

If people are willing to do the things I mentioned above, as well as the things you'd normally expect like looking and behaving professionally, they should find success in Spain. On the other hand, if they want to save money or pay off student loans, or buy a home, places like Korea, Japan or Taiwan would probably be better choices.
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