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Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

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  • dav_58
    12 July, 2008 at 13:04
    • Total posts: 2


    I’m just looking into starting out in the teaching world and am planning on signing up to do the CELTA qualification. I’ve decided its about time to leave the grey rainy days of england behind and take up a new challenge abroad. My main choices of destiations are Spain and Italy and i was just wondering what peope thought of these places for studying my CELTA and then breaking into a ‘decent’ job!? Is it very difficult to land a job abroad straight from finishing a CELTA course and does anyone have any good or bad experiences of learning and teaching in these countries that might be of use!!? How have people found living abroad and are there any particular places to avoid or that would be suitable?

    Any help or info would be great, living expenses or best areas to live…….

    Many thanks,


    17 July, 2008 at 11:35
    • Total posts: 590

    Reply To: Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

    Hi Dave

    Studying for the CELTA in the place where you want to teach afterwards has its advantages. You can start to make contact with local schools much more easily if you’re there – a lot of schools in Spain and italy tend to rely on teachers walking in off the street, so to speak, rather than advertising their jobs on the internet or elsewhere. The school where you take the CELTA may be able to help in that regard too.

    As for landing a job straight after the CELTA, it’s certainly possible. Not in every school, to be sure – some schools have a minimum requirement of a year or more experience. But there are some, particularly in the bigger cities like Barcelona or Rome, who employ newly qualified teachers, it’s just a question of persevering with your applications.

    If you’re in one of thee cities, bear in mind the living costs. While not as high as London, for example, you still don’t want to be hunting around for a job for too long without money coming into the bank.

    Salaries are not great – expect something like 800-1000 euros a month in these cities. It’s enough to live on, just, but don’t expect much left over at the end of the month.

    I’ve taught in both Spain and Italy, and enjoyed both a lot – cities like Barcelona and Rome had everything to offer, as you’d expect from a big city. Smaller towns will give you more of a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and language, but have fewer job opportunities. It depends what you’re looking for really.

    Hope that helps.


    26 September, 2008 at 13:25
    • Total posts: 6

    Reply To: Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

    I know nothing about teaching in Italy, but right now I am researching taking a TEFL course in Madrid and then teaching there. From everything I’ve found and heard so far, it seems that there are quite a lot of jobs out there, you just have to find them and apply! The TEFL courses I have narrowed it down too both have job placement assistance. They of course cannot guarantee you a job, but finding a program that offers this should be a great help to you! They also will help you get ready for applying for jobs….resume/CV… interview practice, etc.

    Good luck!

    31 October, 2008 at 10:46
    • Total posts: 7

    Reply To: Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

    Hi Dave,

    I can only speak about my own experiences, but they’re all positive in regards to Spain. I came here five years ago with just a rucksack on my back, an empty bank account (first wife!) – a man well on the wrong side of 40! After a week in Madrid (too big! too busy!) I took the AVE train to Seville and started a 4 week CELTA course at CLIC. (you need to book the course several months in advance because there are lots of people who have the same idea)

    During the course there was plenty of advice about finding a job. CLIC themselves would have offered me a place, but I lacked a degree. I thought the lack of a degree might hinder me in finding a job, and some of the schools I visited were almost horrified that I did not have one – despite being a published author of 20 years standing! Despite being "uneducated" I was offered a job before I finished the CELTA course. It was at a small school in a village 15 km outside Seville.

    I wrote an article for Living Spain magazine about their school. It will give you some insight into some other teachers’ experiences here. You can read it here http://richalmers.com/?p=288

    The school owners, Ali and Rob, sorted out a house in the village for 300 Euros a month and I spent a wonderful year in the village, getting to know the locals, cycling the magnificent routes through the sun-baked countryside, and enjoying the food and drink. It was one of the best years of my life, and it has since got even better.

    While doing the CELTA course I had unknowingly been teaching my new Spanish wife who I bumped into while cycling in Seville some months later. I thought I was a bit old for her, so never dared ask her for a date. She eventually got tired of waiting and asked me out on a date instead and after getting married in Gibraltar have since bought a flat together in Seville.

    When the contract at the village school finished I walked into another job with a large teaching organisation in Seville – this time my lack of degree did not matter, as I had a year’s teaching experience!

    I would heartily recommend Seville as a place to life, if you don’t mind 350+ days of sunshine a year, 73kms of purpose built cycle tracks (with free bikes laid on by the council), hoards of beautiful girls (who are falling over themselves to date an English teacher to improve their English), wonderful food, fantastic wine, a laid-back atmosphere, and the most wonderful students to teach.

    I currently teach 11 hours a week and spend the rest of my time writing and building a teaching website. My wife is studying languages at the University of Seville and works part-time in the evenings. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

    So what are you waiting for, Dave? If you offered me a thousand pounds a week and a free mansion in the UK, I’d refuse. There is no way I’m going to exchange my wonderfully sunny life for the grey, rainy days of Britain.

    4 October, 2011 at 12:55
    • Total posts: 8

    Reply To: Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

    Hi Richalmers,

    Just wondering if you are still teaching at ELI and if life is still good in Seville? I met some reps at the school at a jobs fair and they seemed like a really good crowd. I am thinking of moving over to Seville or Valencia, but it depends on finding the work and cost of living.

    4 October, 2011 at 13:42
    • Total posts: 7

    Reply To: Any Views…Italy or Spain!?

    Just wondering if you are still teaching at ELI and if life is still good in Seville? I met some reps at the school at a jobs fair and they seemed like a really good crowd. I am thinking of moving over to Seville or Valencia, but it depends on finding the work and cost of living.

    Hi Maggiemay,

    I’m not working for ELI now (Did I mention I worked at ELI in my earlier post?), though my wife is. I now teach students around the world exclusively online from my online school at http://linguaspectrum.com

    ELI is a reputable company and good to work for. They pay promptly, offer plenty of staff training and will go out of their way to help teachers settle in. I would recommend them. They are also expanding, from what I hear.

    Life is still wonderful in Seville. I can’t see myself leaving any time soon.


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