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Advice for a pre-beginner?

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Joined: 13 Mar 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:48 pm    Post subject: Advice for a pre-beginner? Reply with quote


I'm just posting to ask about some general advice for someone looking to move to continental Europe, most likely Spain, to look for teaching jobs. I'm planning on doing a CELTA course in August and move over as soon as I've completed my course and look for jobs. The course costs around £1250, is that a normal price for a 4 week long course? I've got an English Literature degree, but I have no teaching experience. I'm a 23 year old English male so I'm hoping that will help too. Ideally I'd like to live in Spain or Germany, but I've read on the Germany boards that it can be quite difficult to get work there without experience or even just knowing people there.

I'm hoping to have around £1500 saved up for rent, deposit, travel, food expenses while I look for work and get adjusted to living abroad. Does anyone think that that's a reasonable amount of money to have saved up or would they recommend more for getting started in a new place? I'd like to save some money to travel after I've been working, is this something I should find relatively easy to do on a beginner's teachers pay? I spent a month in Seville last Summer and found food etc to be incredibly cheap compared to England. One of the main reasons I'm wanting to move to a foreign country is to learn a new language, and because my Spanish isn't exactly what anyone in their right mind would call fluent I'd love to get lessons. Are language lessons cheap? Are there many language exchange programs in larger cities such as Madrid and Barcelona? I'm going to study the language again before I go over to a point where I can get by, but I want to support my day to day learning with actual courses/tutors.

I'm also moving away to enjoy life in a larger city so any general advice about life in big Spanish cities would be awesome, such as public transport, crime, nightlife, locals attitudes to foreigners etc.

Thanks for any forthcoming advice!
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 83
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


You can get language exchanges everywhere in Spain if you look online. It's the best way to improve your Spanish and it's free! Try Conversation Exchange. About cities; I think there is more crime in Madrid and Barcelona than in many other cities as you would expect. But a lot of big Spanish cities are quite safe because Spain has a huge police force and many people are walking around until very late at night. You even see kids on the streets with their parents after midnight. In fact I sometimes see parents with babies in late night bars! It can be more dangerous between 5 - 7 in the morning when a lot of people have gone home. As for local's attitude to foreigners, I'm afraid it can depend on the colour of your skin. Sad fact about Spain. That's not to say all Spaniards are like that of course.
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Xie Lin

Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, Dosed!

Your CELTA price is about average, or at least within the middle range. There are less expensive courses around, but there are also more expensive courses. Cheapest (that I've seen) is around 1,000 euros; most expensive is around $4,000. Most fall within the $1,500 to $2,500 range. Sorry to be mixing my currencies!

I think your projected savings are On the light side for living expenses for a month of CELTA, a job search, and a month or more of teaching before your first pay.

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Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 751
Location: Panama City, Panama

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2000 euro equivalent in savings for making the move seems on the low side, sorry to say. Room in a shared flat will be 230-300 euro. Double that for the deposit. That leaves you 1500 euros. You'd likely have to arrive there around 10 September and would get your first pay at the end of October. That's 7 weeks, in which time you'll also have some start up costs (new stuff for the flat, plates, bed clothes, maybe hooking up internet and mobile.) Doable, but I would forget any major travel ideas post-CELTA.
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