Sun, Sea, and Sangria - Your Life in Spain as an English Teacher

Articles from United States Illinois, United States | Sep 12, 2011

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  One of the most thrilling, flamboyant countries in Europe, Spain’s culture is best viewed as a contagious, street theatre in which all visitors are invited to participate.  

A landscape steeped in romance, Spain’s mild climate, miles of seaside and mouthwatering cuisine has been attracting visitors from colder climates for centuries. In 2007, Spain became the second most visited country in the world after France. Unlike France, however, Spain is also one of the most popular places in the world to work teaching English. Here the market for English teachers continues to thrive as one of the strongest in Western Europe. 

As an English teacher you’ll find there is no shortage of late-night clubs and bars in Spain. The tradition of tapas and wine at dusk is as much a part of the cultural landscape as the daily siesta. Everywhere from Seville to Madrid, strains of jazz solos, folk song refrains, and the resounding bass from stereo speakers can be hear roaming narrow streets and seeping through the windowpanes.

Laid-back but still very high-energy, Spanish nightlife is unarguably some of the best in the world. Ibiza serves as the nucleus of Spain’s music scene, attracting revelers from around the world. Its electrifying party atmosphere is inescapable, though there are plenty of peaceful refuges throughout this Mediterranean island to relax, regroup, and feast on delicious seafood. The Spanish call their nightlife la marcha (the march) because they typically prefer to have one drink in a single bar before moving on to the next.

To foreigners, the bullfight remains the most celebrated Spanish event. In modern Spain, however, popular support belongs to local futbol teams. The younger generation is more enchanted by the members of the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona teams, less so by the toreadors of yesteryear. Spain, being one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, is also full of world-renowned ski slopes and popular ski resorts. When you’re getting to know Spaniards, not as a tourist but a local living and working in the area, you’ll undoubtedly detect a slight shift in cultural norms. The tradition of dos besos (two kisses) during an initial introduction between two women (or a man and a woman) is as old as the Spanish culture itself.  Spaniards themselves are ‘close talkers’- men rest their hands on one another’s shoulders in conversation, while women often walk arm in arm. 

One of the most thrilling, flamboyant countries in Europe, Spain’s culture is best viewed as a contagious, street theatre in which all visitors are invited to participate. While some cities have retained their medieval charm, others have ushered in the 21st century by erected sleek, modern structures and skyscrapers. Spanish cuisine is a carnival for the taste buds- tapas reigns supreme, with each small plate more delectable than the last. A lunch spent amongst the Spaniards, gazing out at the Mediterranean, may convince you to linger just a little longer in this idyllic country.  Stylish without being pretentious, while working as an English teacher in Spain you will have the unique opportunity to observe Spanish culture from the inside. Potential English teachers will be expected to interview in person once they arrive in Spain. Begin looking for a teaching position at the middle of September into early October, and then again in January. Most teaching contracts end in late June. If you’re looking to teach through the summer, opportunities at summer English language camps exist throughout Spain. With a TEFL certification you will be qualified to teach students of a broad range of ages and ability.

English teaching jobs in Spain require a TEFL Certification. You can obtain your certification by enrolling in our on-site TEFL course in Barcelona Spain, another one of our Worldwide TEFL courses, or by taking the Online TEFL Class.

Contact International TEFL Academy today to speak with an advisor to find out about our online course, multiple on-site TEFL classes or request a brochure to learn about TEFL training courses and a comparison of the most popular countries to teach English.

Editor's Note: See this article on our website here:

Tags: TEFL , TESOL , Spain , International TEFL Academy , ITA , course , class , article , journal , story

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