If you're in the market for an exotic job locale, what better place to start than Spain? Teaching English in Spain is a fulfilling, challenging, and exciting career option meant only for those with a true sense of adventure.
Unlike other countries where native English speakers may find it fairly easy to get a teaching job, Spain is a bit trickier. If you're an American, finding a job teaching English in Spain may be fairly difficult. But it's not impossible.
The key problem for Americans is that when schools in Spain look for English teachers, they tend to look towards Ireland and England. In order to hire an American to teach in Spain, the employer must petition the Spanish government to earn working papers for the teacher. In order to earn these papers, they must prove that the job cannot be done by a Spanish native. With all of this hassle in getting the legal paperwork, it's no wonder why E.U. residents tend to have an edge over Americans.
Of course, some Spanish schools hire American teachers without the proper paperwork, but you're putting yourself in a bad position if you choose to work this way. Attempting to work illegally will most likely get you an automatic rejection at many schools and companies that are hiring. Even if you are offered a position, working illegally means that you will not be able to sign a contract, and this means you could lose your job at any time. For the most stability for everyone involved, we strongly recommend working legally when you choose to teach in Spain.
In order to obtain a legal work visa for teaching English in Spain, you must find an employer who is willing to petition for your work papers. Believe it or not, this is possible even if you are American. Some companies prefer teachers who speak American English-particularly those whose students will be interacting with the Western world. Large corporations that deal with America may very well prefer an American English teacher for their employees rather than a British or Irish one.
If you're having trouble finding an employer while living in your home country, consider traveling to Spain on a student visa in order to search for a job. Visas allow you to stay in Spain for a minimum of six months. A student visa can be obtained by appearing at a Spanish consulate with all necessary paperwork, including a passport, letters from your university, and a doctor's note. Research the consulate and make sure to bring everything you'll need.
Once you get to Spain, be prepared to pay for lodgings and expenses while you hunt for a job. Looking in person will give you a better idea of what jobs you're applying for and where you may want to live. It will also increase your chances of getting hired.
Teaching English in Spain is a challenge, but is far from impossible. All it takes is a lot of preparation and some extra legwork. If it's your goal, you can make it happen. Just be prepared to work for it!
By Michelle Simmons