Spain is one of those places you fall in love with instantly, and it was certainly love at first sight for me. I have been living in Spain since 2005. During this time, I have been teaching and working closely with teachers-in-training. My love affair with Spain is still going strong and I consistently see first-hand how this country can get its grip on those coming to take TEFL courses and provide an unforgettable experience.
So, you can trust me when I say that Spain is one of the best places in the world to take your TEFL course! Why? Here are my top ten reasons to take TEFL courses in Spain:
1. Living costs are low.
If you are on a tight budget, taking your TEFL course in Spain could actually save you money. Depending on the location of your course, expect to pay somewhere in the region of €50 per week for food and drinks, €300 to €400 per month for accommodation (in a room in a shared flat) and €1 per ride on public transport. There are also plenty of things you can do in your free time which don't cost a penny. You could beach it up, climb mountains, hang out on terrazas, attend street parties, join a language exchange, the possibilities are endless.
2. Amazing climate.
For sun-worshipers, Spain is a paradise. Mild winters and hot summers make living in Spain as easy as pie. Temperatures can vary from north to south and from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean Sea, but all in all, you can expect temperatures on average around 10 to 20 degree Celsius in the winter and 25 to 35 degrees Celsius in the summer. This climate makes it perfect for lazing on the beach or sipping a cold beer during the balmy evenings. Expect to be outside a lot when you aren’t busy with your TEFL training, and don't forget your sunscreen!
3. High demand for English lessons.
If you are planning to stay in the location of your TEFL course and get a teaching job, Spain is a great option. In most large cities, such as Barcelona, ESL teaching classes can be picked up within a few days of TEFL graduation. Regular comprehensive schools in Spain don't tend to provide English classes of a high standard, which paves the way for private English language academies to offer their services. In-company classes, Cambridge or IELTS examination preparation, and teaching young learners are very popular and in high demand throughout Spain.
Taking your TEFL course in Spain will open doors for you and prepare you for immediate employment following successful course completion.
4. Language learning opportunities.
If you've dreamed of learning another language, or perhaps you already picked up some Spanish during high school or college and would like to improve, spending time in Spain is a sure-fire way of learning the lingo quickly. Being immersed in the culture of Spain and putting yourself in situations in which you’ll need to communicate with Spanish speakers is the best way to pick up the language. Combine this with organized Spanish classes, which are easy to find all over the country, and before you know it, you'll be chatting away in Spanish like a local.
5. Great food.
From irresistible paella to tasty tapas and fresh fish to sizzling steaks, Spain has everything you need to satisfy your taste buds without piling on (too many) pounds. Some of the best restaurants in the world are located in Spain, and the regular Spanish bar usually doesn't do a bad job at competing with those either. Food is one of the most important elements of Spanish society, which is why Spanish lunches last forever and nights out tend to revolve around tasty treats and sampling local wine or beer.
6. Friendly people.
It is easy to meet people while earning TEFL certification in Spain. Renowned for being open, Spanish party-goers are not afraid of asking you where you are from, what you doing, and whether you prefer fideua or arroz negro. Spanish social life makes it easy not only to practice your Spanish, but also to get to know people fairly quickly, which is great if you come to Spain alone and don't know many people.
7. Fiestas and festivals.
Spaniards have a reputation for partying, which they try hard to maintain. Expect some of the strangest and most random festivals in your region no matter which one you choose, and street parties at the drop of a hat. Community spirit is high on the agenda in Spanish culture and fireworks are set off at any opportunity. Don't underestimate the stamina of the local elderly population either!
8. Discover Europe.
If your plan is to explore some of Europe after your TEFL course in Spain, it's pretty easy, cheap, and fast to do so. Whether it's over a weekend or for a longer period, flights and other transportation options are within easy reach, and it will be easy on your pocket too. Ski in the Alps, marvel at historical buildings in Rome, take in an opera in Vienna, drink beer in Prague, or hop over to London; it's all possible from Spain.
9. Diverse culture.
Orrrrrr...you could stay in Spain and still feel like you have traveled to another corner of Europe. Spain is home to an array of diverse cultures and languages. Andalucian food, accents, and the lifestyle of the south is very different from that of Galicia in the north, for example. Catalan, the language of Catalunya in the north-east, is worlds away from Euskara, the language of the Basque country in the north of Spain. By staying in Spain, you can still feel like you have traveled; all you have to do is jump on a bus or train for a completely different experience.
10. Lots of choices.
Spain is a popular location for TEFL courses abroad, and to meet demand, over the years TEFL course providers have popped up all over the country. The result? You’ll have plenty of TEFL courses in Spain to choose from. This might seem a little overwhelming at first, but as long as you choose a TEFL course with accreditation, such as by Trinity or Cambridge, which will be recognized by employers, it will be a good start. Other things to consider are a good careers service, reputation, and community.
This article was contributed by Oxford TEFL, which provides Trinity-accredited TEFL courses, in Barcelona, Malaga, and Cadiz, Spain.