Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are getting ready to apply to teach in Spain or at least seriously considering the possibility of it. There are plenty of different programs through which you can teach English in Spain, and the North American Language & Culture Assistant program is just one of them. The program is also known as the as the auxiliar de conversación program in español. When you’re browsing the internet, you will commonly see people refer to the program under both names.
There are very few requirements to be an eligible candidate to be a North American Language & Culture Assistant. If you meet all of the following, then you are eligible to apply to the program!
- American or Canadian.
- A college senior in his or her last year or a college graduate.
- Speak English or French as your first language.
*You will also need to complete a physical by your doctor saying you are in good health and complete a criminal background in order to get your visa. While these are requirements, they would not automatically disqualify you from teaching English in Spain.
**Also, there is no age limit. However, the program materials state that most auxiliares are between 21 and 35, and if an applicant is over 35, it is up to the schools as to whether they want to candidate or not.
There are a few documents you will need to provide as well:
- Copy of the identification pages of your passport
- Copy of either your college transcript or diploma
- Statement of purpose describing why you want to do the program (in English or Spanish)
- Letter of recommendation on letterhead that is signed from a professor or supervisor
You apply through the Spanish government via their website called Profex. It can be a confusing process, but these links to the materials will help you along the way. All the links are for the 2014-2015 application.
- North American Language & Culture Assistant website
- Profex Manual
- Application Guidelines for New Applicants
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Checklist to Print Off
- Guidelines for Reference Letter
The application itself is broken down into 5 stages – inscrita, registrada, admitida, adjudicada/candidato seleccionado, and aceptada. As the application process moves forward, you will slowly, but surely see your status change.
The first, and arguably most important stage, is inscrita. Once you complete your application, your status will be inscrita, and you will receive your inscrita number. In a sense, everything depends on this number! The North American Language & Culture Assistant program gives an inscrita (application) number to each applicant in order from which they apply, and subsequently, gives away teaching placements in that same order. Therefore, you want to submit your application right away to get a low inscrita number and get an earlier placement.
All you need to do to be inscrita is fill out your basic information, CV, and your school/region placement, which is the fun part!
The school placement part allows you to select whether you’d prefer to work with kids or teens and in an urban or rural area. For the region placement, you will select 1 region from a group of six in 3 groups and then rank them from 1 to 3. Here are the groups:
Group A: Asturias, Ceuta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, País Vasco
Group B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias
Group C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia
*The last few years Cataluña, Ceuta y Melilla, Islas Canarias, and Valencia didn’t participate in the program.
Once you’ve completed all of the following, you will submit your application and receive an email with your inscrita number. This is the point where you go back into the application and load the aforementioned documents into the documentos anexos section. This section can be found under curriculum > documents anexos.
You reach this status after you mail the signed checklist and signed pdf print-out to your consulate. The Profex Manual has the mailing address for each consulate. It may take a few weeks to get your application to this stage. Each consulate goes about this on their own timetable, so some will move faster than others.
Once your entire application has been reviewed and everything is deemed correct, you will be “admitted.” Congratulations! You will be going to teach in Spain! However, your excitement may soon wear off because your patience will undoubtedly be tested before reaching the next stage.
After a long wait – 3 months or so – you will receive your regional placement (autonomous community) via email. Then, you have to accept or decline your offer. You have 7 days to do this. If you do not respond – accepting or rejecting – your placement will be considered declined and will be given to someone else. The placements begin around May and start with second-year renewals and then move on to first-years in order of inscrita number.
If you accept the placement, you become aceptada!
Carta de nombramiento
This is where you find out which school you will be teaching in! It’s arguably the most exciting step in the entire process. The letter should arrive, errr, email should arrive 2-3 weeks after you’ve accepted your position. However, it is Spain, so be aware of the potential for delays.
Now that you’ve successfully navigated profex and accepted your position, you are probably scouring the internet researching as much information as possible about the city you’re placed in. This is what you should be doing! I know I spent hours pouring over Google maps and using street view to walk around my city. Keep in mind, though, that the process of you getting to Spain is not over, as you still have to get your VISA.