Auxiliar de Conversación Region Preferences

In filling out the application for the auxiliares de conversación (North American Language and Cultural Assistant in English) program, it’s required to select regional preferences. The regions are broken down into 3 grupos with 6 regions in each. The grupos are:

  • Grupo A: Asturias, Cueta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, aux
  • Grupo B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias
  • Grupo C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia

They make you choose one region in each of the 3 grupos and then rank the grupos from 1 to 3, in order of your top preference.

When I was doing my application I was unaware that certain regions were most likely not participating. I later found out through Trevor Huxham’s blog that in the 2012-2013 school year, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, and Valencia all cancelled their programs. Now, these regions could very well decide to participate in the program again; however, those chances are probably very slim. There has also never been anyone heard of who was placed in Ceuta y Melilla, Islas Canarias, or Navarra. Luckily, I did not choose either of these last three.



As I was furiously going through the application, trying desperately to get that elusive low inscrita number, I came to the regional preference part of the application and came to a sudden halt. I realized that I had not really thought too much about where in Spain I would prefer to go. I love Granada when I studied there in 2010, and it would be more then great to return. This time though I was just so excited to be going back to Spain in general and was excited to actually be living in another country, something I’ve always wanted to do.

Puente del Alamillo - Sevilla, Spain

Puente del Alamillo – Sevilla, Spain

I could have selected “no preference,” but I chose not to. Instead, I decided on País Vasco for Grupo A, Castilla-La Mancha for Grupo B, and Andalucía for Grupo C. Obviously I didn’t know that Castilla-La Mancha had cancelled their program the past year. Fortunately for me though, that was my third in my rankings of the grupos. I had Grupo C (Andalucía) number one and Grupo A (País Vasco) ranked number 2.



Honestly, I would be perfectly happy in any of my preferences and anywhere in Spain. I know that I could be put in a big city or a small pueblo, either of which I would be glad to be in. The charm and allure of southern Spain excites me and calls for me, especially after having lived there for 6 months. However, the more mysterious and undiscovered Basque Country beckons me too. In fact, Madrid, Extremadura, and everywhere else in between interests me as well. As I said before, I’m just excited to be returning to Spain and to be living in another country. It’s been one of my goals for as long as I remember, and what better time than now to do it.

If you could select a region of Spain to live where would it be? What were the preferences you selected, and where did you end up? 

21 responses to “Auxiliar de Conversación Region Preferences

  1. I totally think that openness is the first step to enjoy the program and making the most out of it. I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me in the past five years and been completely disappointed or have decided not to go. Being in a big city certainly has it’s drawbacks, too! I myself was bummed about not getting Granada, but figured eight months was not a huge commitment either. It all turned out better than expected!

    • Thanks for the reply Cat! I know there are cities that I think I’d prefer more than others, but know that I will find happiness in wherever I end up being placed. It has to be better than my current cubicle anyways!!

  2. When I was considering this program I decided my preferences would be Andalucia and Pais Vasco as well. I think there’s just something so conserved about those 2 regions; the palpable pride in identity and their own culture that draws me in. Plus you can’t go wrong with the great tapas and pintxos in both places 🙂

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Mike! I’m gonna have to echo Cat’s sentiments from above and commend you for being laid-back about your placement situation. And smaller towns ain’t so bad at all (but only as long as they have a Mercadona and a bus station!!!).

    The Basque Country seems to get a fair number of language assistants per year; I hope you get placed in that green, mysterious, and tasty land! I’m reading through The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky right now and it is a *very* fascinating read.

    • Thanks Trevor! I’ll have to check out that book, especially if I’m placed there. Wherever I end up being placed you’re more than welcome to come visit sometime. Also, a Mercadona and bus station are very important indeed!

  4. My preferences were:
    1. Catalunya
    2. Madrid
    3. Pais Vasco

    If I had known of cancelled regions it would be:

    1. Aragon
    2. Castilla y Leon
    3. Asturias

    My luck xP. I hope you get your region sir! Spain is beautiful and truly teaches you how to seek and enjoy pleasure in living. Can’t wait to return!

    • I hope you get your regions too! Spain definitely does teach you how to seek and enjoy pleasure in living. I remember filling out the application and I felt happy-go-lucky until I hit the preference section. It then got serious all of a sudden because these were all of a sudden my actual selections!

      • Haha right! I actually had to do a few days of research on the regions before selecting my top 3. I skyped a dozen friends living in Spain. Ended up with a high inscrita # too lol xP

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  8. I was lucky that none of my preferences where the regions that aren’t participating! Mine were Madrid, Cantabria, and Asturias; I loved the north by decided on Madrid to experience something different 🙂

    • I wish I would have realized that my last choice was not participating, but oh well, hopefully I’ll get one of my first two!

      • Andalucía seems to have a lot of placements so you have a good chance! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, and everyone else!

      • Thank you! Whether I get Andalucía, País Vasco, or any other placement I will be excited to just be going back to Spain and pursuing a dream of mine!

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  12. I chose
    1. Madrid
    2. Catalunia (not knowing that it was cancelled or else I would have chosen Galicia)
    3. Asturias

    I really wanted Madrid where I studied abroad but I ended up not getting any of my choices. They placed me in Castilla y Leon and I’m pretty excited. I feel lucky to have even been chosen at all considering it’s July and I’m just barely getting my placement!

    • That’s great, Kelsey! I applaud you for your open-mindedness with your placement. It seems as though far too many people are easily dissuaded from the opportunity of living and working in Spain because they didn’t get their “perfect” placement. I’ve been to parts of Castilla y Leon before and really enjoyed it. Logroño isn’t too far from Castilla y Leon so maybe I’ll see you over there! Best of luck with the Visa process!

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