8 reasons you have to teach English in Spain
Posted on 13-02-2020 by Joseph Francis
So, you’re considering heading off to teach English in Spain? Excelente! There’s hardly a better place to ply the TEFL trade if you’re into stunning mountain ranges, fresh farm-to-table foods, age-old traditions, grand palaces, and gorgeous beaches. Really…
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Spanish cuisine is just paella and Rioja. That spicy rice and those rich reds do make an appearance, of course, but anyone looking to teach English in Spain can look forward to plenty, plenty more in the way of sustenance. There are pintxos in San Sebastian made from crusty bruschetta and seafood. There are tapas dishes in Seville with chili-topped potatoes. There are razor clams and mussels and padron peppers straight from the grill to get through in Galicia. It’s fantastic.
In Spain they call them sierras. If that evokes images of dusty ridges and deep canyons, then good. The mountains of Iberia are just that, swirling with plumes of sand and topped by stacks of stone. At least, that’s what you get down south and around the erstwhile stomping ground of Don Quixote. Creaking windmills dot the vistas, olive groves spill down to babbling creeks, whitewashed villages wisp along the hillsides like clouds in the distance. The best regions for these highlands are La Mancha and Andalusia. Meanwhile, provinces like Basque Country and the Spanish Pyrenees come with snow-caked summits that resemble the Alps – with skiing to boot.
Loads of people will head off to teach English in Spain for the express purpose of learning the lovely local lingo. Yes, your job will be to teach the folk over in Iberia your native tongue, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop with the vocab sessions yourself. In fact, immersion is one of the most certain roads to fluency in any language, and living and working in Spain is nothing if not immersion!
…obviously! Spain is famed around the world for its shimmering sands. The best-known link up along the southern shores, starting beneath the rugged cliffs of the Costa Brava, rolling all the way to the Costa del Sol (heard of him?). If you’re off to teach English in Spain, then it’s likely you’ll have time to explore even more than that. The wave-battered beaches of Asturias often draw a gasp with their awesome swells and mountain-backed coves. Then there’s Galicia’s green coast, laced with ancient pilgrim’s paths. Also, Cadiz is a land of wide sands and wetlands, fronting the Atlantic, not the Med.
Alright, so cards on the table: Spain isn’t the best place to earn megabucks teaching English. For those, you can look to Saudi, the UAE, Japan, and the like. But that’s not to say you’ll need to live the life of a hermit and scrape a living from the sierra farmers in these parts. In fact, salaries for private tutoring sessions can be up to $30 an hour in the land of flamenco, while contract work can pay in the region of $1,100 USD/month. That’s not bad; not bad at all.
The rolling hills and great sierras of the Spanish countryside might be the stuff of postcards, but don’t go thinking that the looks stop dead when you enter the cities. Not a chance. Spain is home to some of the grandest, most flamboyant, most OTT and wonderful towns you could ever imagine. Barcelona regularly tops bucket lists with its Sagrada Familia church and humming La Rambla. However, Madrid is a famed party mecca, Valencia is a science lover’s dream, and Seville touts great royal palaces aplenty.
Spain was once the epicentre of a vast empire that stretched from the plazas of Madrid to the misty rainforests of South America and Southeast Asia. Evidence of those great and glorious years stand with the UNESCO palaces of the capital, and in medieval fortress cities like Cadiz and others. But there’s more, as Moorish castles pop up above the beaches of the Costa del Sol and aged Roman ruins sprawl over the coastal plains near Gibraltar.
Last but certainly not least, the Spanish people add stacks of spice to any adventure here. Friendly and funny, welcoming and warm, they’ll greet you with tables of tapas and endless chatter. From Ronda to the Basque Country, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are the flamenco-twirling Andalusians, the wine-loving Rioja folk, and the hardy hill people of La Mancha. If you’re going to teach English in Spain, it’s sure to be as much a human experience as a cultural one.
Of course, all the above are just a taster of why you’re making the right decision to teach English in Spain. If you’ve been to this wonderful part of Europe and want to share more, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below the line. Alternatively, check out our online courses and work in Spain programs.