Teach English in Spain with CIEE

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About

The CIEE Teach in Spain program offers the flexibility for you to work 5-10 months as an English Language Assistant at a primary or secondary public school in the Region of Madrid or Andalucía.

The diversity of cities and small towns in these areas means you can set yourself up for an immersive local experience or a more urban, international expat scene. You will have plenty of free time to travel, study Spanish, volunteer, or give private English lessons!

CIEE will be there to support you every step of the way! In addition to arranging a job for you in Spain, you will receive a high level of pre-departure support including an online course to help you prepare for your adventure in Spain. You'll get detailed guidance on the visa process and travel and emergency medical insurance. Our 24/7 support and in-country orientation will ensure that you are prepared and connected throughout your entire program with CIEE Teach Abroad.

A CIEE TEFL Certification will give you the tools you need to succeed at being a teacher starting on your first day. Learn more about CIEE’s TEFL Certification Courses.

Questions & Answers

Because we work through the North American Language and Culture Assistant initiative with the Ministry of Education in Madrid, only citizens of Canada and the United States are eligible for our Teach in Spain programs.
Finding housing was pretty easy. There was a lot of anxiety when I initially started the process, but once I got started it was no big deal. I think I looked at 4 or 5 places and once I picked a place I got the keys that day. It was also nice because landlords let you pick how long you want your contract to last, so you don't have to sign for a year if you aren't staying quite that long.
Yes, it is enough money to get by. Although, if you want to travel, I recommend doing some tutoring lessons. Since you only work 16 hours a week, picking up 4 to 5 extra hours isn't a big deal-also a great way to meet locals. I made an extra 400-500 Euros a month this way.

Reviews

84%
based on 46 reviews
  • Benefits 8.1
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 8.4
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
  • Housing 10
  • Support 7
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 46
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Rebekah
8/10

Teaching in Madrid

I loved teaching English in Spain through CIEE. Their help in the visa process was excellent and they made it much easier to get set up over there. Spain is an incredible place to live and travel, and you also have Europe at your fingertips to explore. I met one of my best friends through CIEE's group Facebook pages, which made it not only easier to go over there knowing someone ahead of time but also made my time there more enjoyable having such a good friend to go through the experience with.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by changing the orientation. There was a lot of potential to give a good amount of very useful information during this time, but the orientation leader did not do a very good job in her public speaking role.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Caroline
10/10

An excellent program with good support

I taught English in Madrid through CIEE and was very pleased with the program. The most valuable aspect of the program for me was the level of support that I was given. There were some delays getting my visa and I was late getting abroad, but CIEE was in touch every step of the way and walked me through the whole process. They were very understanding and helpful and made a stressful process much easier. I would definitely recommend this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Krysten
9/10

CIEE Teaching English in Spain

I found CIEE to be very helpful in getting me established for my first year in Madrid. It is a tough process moving to another country and they were here to do some of the hard work for me and make sure that I had everything in order for the move. Once here, during the orientation, I found that they were quick to ensure help and make sure that simple things like setting up a bank account or getting your residency card was taken care of.

How can this program be improved?
I'm not sure there is more they can do to improve this program as some of the issues lie outside their realm of support.
Yes, I recommend this program
Maggie
8/10

Almost-bliss in Alcobendas

I worked in a bilingual secondary school in Alcobendas, which is a suburb just outside Madrid. My commute was not very long and easy to manage, and my school also had 6 other auxiliars whom I got to work alongside. I lucked out that my coworkers were good company and were dedicated to helping the students.

The school’s facilities were not bad. There wasn’t any WiFi, but each room had a functioning computer and projector. A few didn’t have adequate audio systems (makes videos unhelpful). My bilingual coordinator (my supervisor) was extremely qualified, consistent, and organized—and I’m sooo greatful. I have had a few problems with some of the teachers (lack of organization/experience), and my concerns have been heard and addressed.

If I had planned better, I would have renewed for a second year in the program. Unfortunately, I’ll be heading back to the States. It’s been a fun ride though. :)

How can this program be improved?
Maybe get input from auxiliars on their impressions when they arrive vs. when they leave. You may be able to show potential auxiliars how people’s perspectives change and grow.

I would have preferred to have a few more classes where I get the same students (so you can build some sort of rapport).

Some teachers need to set a standard of quiet behavior and raising hands (it’s a hard rule to get the students to abide by if it’s only me asking for it).
Yes, I recommend this program
Herbie
10/10

Recommended

Teaching English in Madrid is a great experience whether you want to be a teacher or not. It has been great to understand the Spanish culture and get to know the children and families that your teach. CIEE did an amazing job bridging us into the program. It was more expensive but worth it , in my opinion. They guided us through all the paperwork and made sure we had friends and connections in Madrid so we were very confortable when they set us free to teach. I would recommend CIEE to anyone who is trying to teach English in any country.

How can this program be improved?
The program was excellent. I loved the orientation but I wish CIEE continued to have activities throughout the year to increase our cultural experience. After orientation was over, we didn´t hear from them unless we contacted them.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Elizabeth
8/10

Best Adventure of My Life

I went to Cacabelos , Leon, Spain for three months to teach English to grades 7-12. I got the chance to stay with a host family who took the absolute best care of me. My host mom and dad were amazing cooks and fed me all I could eat. My host sisters and I got rather close as well, and even let me come hang out with their friends on several occasions. I met so many people at the school I worked at. So many of them went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and happy. I loved getting the chance to teach students of another language what it is like where I am from. you could tell they were baffled by anything I said because the USA is so interesting to them. I miss them and think about the experience I had every day. I wouldn't change it for anything and am so thankful that was what I decided to do once I graduated.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I would have known about my placement earlier. My host family told me they knew I was coming in early December when I didn't find out until early January. That was very frustrating since it was decided well before I knew.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sarah
9/10

CIEE made taking the leap abroad a whole lot easier

After graduating from college, I knew I wanted to move to Spain to teach abroad. There are a number of programs, but after doing my research, I found CIEE to be the best choice for me. I know the cost may make many participants hesitate, and it is a lot of money, but the support I got from CIEE was worth it. Especially as a first year Language and Culture Assistant, there are so many things to do and so many unknowns. From answering emails about the visa to making the process of getting our residency cards simple and streamlined, I was so happy to have CIEE there to help me with what would have otherwise been an overwhelming process. I knew I always had someone to turn to for accurate and timely information. For me, that was a weight off my shoulders! The other great thing that CIEE led me to were some of my very best friends in Spain. I made incredible friends during orientation! I'm so happy I chose CIEE for my teach abroad experience. It made moving abroad a much easier transition, and I couldn't have asked for a better year in Madrid.

How can this program be improved?
I did the "Basics" orientation, which was really a one-day orientation. I would've liked if this was stretched over two days with more opportunity to get to explore the city and settle in a bit (for the same cost).
Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
8/10

Go for it...

I didn’t think about it twice or about what I would be missing back home. I thought about what I would gain and how after I have completed the year I could say that I said I wanted to teach abroad and I did. You can apply for the program on your own but since it was my first time living abroad I appreciated the support given by CIEE. The two week housing they provided along with the general information presentations were great and I’m glad CIEE took care of most of the paperwork.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Helen
8/10

Good experience

Pay is pretty low since it comes through the Community of Madrid, and I truly lived paycheck to paycheck but it was a great experience. I didn't love it so much for the work aspect as I did from the perspective of living in Madrid. It's the kind of program where you go to your job and tolerate it (at least that's how I felt), but in my opinion most people enroll as a means of living in Madrid. I did this program the year after graduating college as a break of sorts, but by the end of the year my long commute, high cost of living relative to salary, and feeling kind of useless and bored at work made me decide not to renew.

How can this program be improved?
Increase salary as cost of living, and rent especially, has increased greatly in the city in recent years. I recognize that it's kind of out of the jurisdiction of CIEE since payment comes through the Spanish government, but it's been a defining factor of this year for me.
Yes, I recommend this program
Jennifer
7/10

Jennifer

Use the ministry instead of the other programs to teach abroad. It costs less. Save up as much money as possible before you go so you can spend time exploring europe. I made it a goal to go to 1 new country a month! This program will benefit me in the future because I had to learn how to deal with issues such as the language barrier, how to work in the same class with another teacher simultaneously, and challenged me to grow personally. It was the mist difficult year of my life but it's also been the most life changing and rewarding!

How can this program be improved?
I would recommend teaching abroad but using the Ministry, not using CIEE. It is way too expensive for the amount of help I thought I received. Also, my school was located on the border of the community of Madrid. It was way too far away to commute everyday and was difficult for a foreigner who is new to the country to learn how to get to work. There was a bus strike in my school's town as well which meant transportation to my job everyday was very limited, sometimes the bus not coming for 2 hours. Finally, I think this program and the community of madrid should take into account if you are over 26 or not before they place you because the Abono for those who are is really expensive and with my school being in the farthest zone, I had to pay 90 euros a month for transportation. Some benefits included a schedule that allowed for lots of time to explore spain and I loved all the staff at my school!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Danielle
9/10

CIEE Teach Abroad Madird

I had studied abroad in Spain and was really hoping for a way to live abroad again after graduating. Teaching in Madrid was the perfect way to do this. It was the perfect experience for a recent graduate. I got to do something totally new and it gave me time and perspective to plan what I would do in the future.
CIEE was very helpful throughout the application process and facilitated a very smooth transition for me when I arrived in Madrid. I met so many great people, was able to immerse myself in Spanish culture, traveled all around Spain and around Europe and really enjoyed my job as a language assistant.

How can this program be improved?
I think that there are ways that they could cut program costs and more guidance on finding housing would be useful as that can be really stressful.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kara
8/10

CIEE Teach Abroad

As I recent grad, I knew I needed something different than the typical 9 to 5 drag. I wasn't ready to jump into a career and I had always wanted to travel so this was the perfect fit. The past 10 months have been some of the best of my life. I made lifelong friends, traveled to a bunch of new cities and really immersed myself in Spanish culture. This program allowed me to discover things about myself that I never would have thought were possible which I know will help me when it comes time to actually re-enter the "real world."
I would definitely recommend teaching abroad with CIEE but I would also caution those that choose to do so. CIEE was fantastic when it came to pre-departure details. They helped with my visa and passport as well as preparing to apply for my temporary citizenship card in Madrid. They realy helped me feel comfortable with leaving the US for 10 months. However, CIEE made it sound like there would be a lot more support upon arrival which was only a little true. I had never left the United States before coming to Spain so this was a big reason why I chose CIEE. After a four day orientation, I still had no idea how teaching worked, where to open a bank account, how to find an apartment or where to buy a cell phone plan. They glossed over alot of key points that I think would have really been beneficial to me and my fellow teachers.
Overall, CIEE is a fantastic company to travel abroad with but I would hope that anyone who signs up under the same impression that I did, asks around before paying their program fee.

How can this program be improved?
A stronger focus on teaching methods and the actual job itself.

Better program leaders that have ACTUALLY TAUGHT ENGLISH. Mine was just some random Spanish guy who had never taught in his life. Not helpful AT ALL.

Be more upfront about the actual support here in Spain
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bridget
7/10

Worth the Annoyances

I loved my experience teaching in Spain and I'm so glad I did it. My goal was to travel, become more fluent in Spanish, and "clear my head" from the grind of my previous office job. I was definitely able to do all of these things, and make friends along the way thanks to the CIEE orientation and 2 week immersion program. The school I was placed in treats me very well, but CIEE did not do a good job of helping me out with the location and, as a result, I commute 3 hours a day, and it costs me 90 Euros/month (most people who are closer to the center pay only 20/month). Money is tight but because Spain is so cheap, it's enough to get by. Definitely happy I made this move.

How can this program be improved?
CIEE should do a better job of making sure everyone gets placed in Madrid center, especially if they're over 25 years old.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Grace
9/10

Big City Life

It is a big adjustment moving to a big city like Madrid. I had never had the experience before even though I am quite well traveled and had visited the city before, I still didn't really know what to expect. CIEE offered a lot of support before the program started and after arrival to the city. I am very grateful that even after orientation was completed we continued receiving emails from CIEE that included information about different events and things to see in Madrid. I have learned so much in my time here and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in having a really different and unique experience, even if teaching isn't the long-term goal. I have always wanted to be in education and so this year teaching English has definitely given me a lot of really practical professional experience but I've also learned so much on a personal level as well. I have gotten used to being a lot more independent, navagating a new city on my own, and to making new friends in a really different context. One of the best things I've done with my time here is to take dance classes, where I met a lot of locals and have tapped into my passion of dance in a whole new place.

How can this program be improved?
My year participating in the program seemed very smooth and we were provided with a lot of support. I've heard from participants from past years that the program was poorly organized, but I think those kinks have been mostly worked out.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alexandra
8/10

A unique and memorable experience

I would absolutely recommend taking the chance to teach abroad in a foreign country. It's such a different way to travel and experience the day to day life and culture of a country. I would not recommend paying the money to have a provider coordinate your position in Madrid. You will want to save your money for the other necessities that come with moving to a new place, especially a country capital. They add up fast! If you take the time to look for them, there are plenty of free options for information and help via Facebook pages, traveler blogs, and organizations for example City Life Madrid. The company CIEE provided a comfortable orientation weekend, a host family for the first month, and a basic level Spanish class. As well, throughout the year they provided resources and an occasional social event. However, there are other resources provided by the company that are also provided in other places for free upon arrival. Regardless of what you feel financially comfortable putting your money towards, it would not be a waste to make the investment of traveling to teach abroad. I will be returning to teach for a second year, possibly a third, and I think that speaks miles for how much I have genuinely enjoyed from this experience.

How can this program be improved?
Create a more honest comparison for the cost of the program versus the cost of perusing the opportunity on your own. Allow for candidates to feel like they are being honestly informed about what they are paying for, rather than feeling deceived later on.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About CIEE Teach Abroad

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in...