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.
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?