For those aspiring educators who are looking for a laid back Spanish destination away from the hustle and bustle of the country’s larger cities, Alicante is the perfect destination to teach abroad in Spain. Although a smaller Spanish city, Alicante has been an important seaport on the Mediterranean for hundreds of years. Those who find teaching jobs in Alicante will surely realize that the city has lost none of its historical charm or importance.
Teaching Jobs in Alicante
While it is possible to find teaching jobs in Alicante instructing a variety of subjects, if you are employed full time by a local school the vast majority of employment opportunities lie in teaching English. Spanish schools generally look to hire from within the country for full time teaching jobs in Alicante, or at least from within the European Union to avoid visa complications, which can sometimes make it difficult to obtain teaching jobs.
The good news is that English teaching jobs in Alicante are fairly plentiful. Spain’s population has one of the lowest English-speaking proficiencies in all of Europe, and as the language becomes increasingly important to master in the globalizing world, more and more English teaching jobs are opening up for native-speakers.
There are a couple routes you can take in order to teach English in Alicante. The first is earning your TEFL certificate through a one month training program, and then applying to English teaching jobs in Alicante at language academies. If you find an English teaching job in Alicante this way, then you will enjoy the security of full time employment, which entails working between 20 and 30 hours a week in Spain. Also, if you go this route you may be able to find tutoring opportunities on the side to increase your income.
The second route is becoming a language and cultural assistant in a Spanish classroom (ranging anywhere from primary school to adult lessons). Spain’s Ministry of Education provides one-year grants for citizens of the United States and Canada to work as native English-speaking aides for bilingual education programs in cities all across the country. Applicants are allowed to rank the regions where they prefer to teach English in Spain, and while it is not guaranteed that you will land an English teaching job in Alicante, there is certainly a good chance.
Life in Alicante
Alicante is a small city located in the south of Valencia, pristinely settled on the Mediterranean seaside. Thanks to its beautiful setting and architecture, the city has developed into quite a popular tourist destination over the years. The most iconic part of Alicante is undoubtedly the Santa Barbara Castle, built over 1,000 years ago and still towering over the cityscape from its central perch on Mount Benacantil.
Alicante enjoys a balmy Mediterranean climate of mild temperatures year round. However, it is located on the Costa Blanca, which is a 120 mile span of white sandy beaches where you can spend many warm days relaxing and soaking up the sun. The city is easily navigable by bus and tram, and also hosts its own train station and airport making travel throughout the rest of the country efficient and accessible.
Alicante is fairly affordable compared to many other European cities (unfortunately Spain was one of the hardest hit countries by the recent recession, and the economy is still recovering). Still, keep in mind that you will likely not be making a king’s ransom teaching English in Alicante. You will earn enough to get by, usually between $1,000 and $2,000 per month depending on the amount of hours you work, but do not expect to save up an enormous amount of money. However, also keep in mind that the experience will be far more valuable than a large savings account.
Accommodation & Visas
The easiest way to secure housing while teaching in Alicante is by living in a hostel upon arrival and while searching for openings in local apartments (there are many Spanish websites where you can find housing listings). The city is small, so finding your own piece of real estate can be expensive. Instead living with roommates, either fellow ESL teachers or local Spaniards, will prove the most affordable option. Plus this could be a great way to make friends and practice your Spanish on a regular basis!
If you are coming to Alicante through the Ministry of Education, then they will help you to organize a temporary one-year student visa. If you are working at a language academy or another type of school, then your employer will likely have to sponsor you to obtain a work visa to teach in Alicante. Either way you will need to sort out the paperwork at your nearest Spanish consulate (you can check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to find one in your home country).
Teaching abroad in Alicante will be a tremendous growth experience and an exciting adventure to embark upon. Adapting to the ways of another culture can always be challenging, but odds are you will find the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle of Alicante to be a welcome adjustment. If gaining international teaching experience, lounging on beautiful beaches, and perfecting your Spanish sounds like an enticing experience, then teaching jobs in Alicante may be a dream come true!