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How To Apply For The Auxiliares De Conversación Program In Spain

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Alright, if you’re here, it means you’ve decided to take the leap and teach English abroad in Spain!!! Or, you’re considering but are unsure if this is right for you. Well, either way, I’m going to break down how to apply for the Auxiliares de Conversación program in Spain (the program that I am currently part of). When I first applied to the program, I scoured the internet for “how to’s” and complete directions to correctly fill out the form because I could barely understand what I was reading. I had to use Google Chrome to translate everything the application said, just to make sure I was doing this right!

First things first, requirements. Here are the requirements for applying for this program (hint: they’re very minimal):

  • You must be American or Canadian.
  • A college senior in their last year or a college graduate.
  • English or French are your first language.
  • Good physical and mental health (you need to complete a physical and have your doctor state that you are in good health for the visa – this is a requirement for the visa, but does not automatically disqualify you for the program)
  • Clean criminal background (this is also a requirement for the visa, but does not automatically disqualify you for the program)

There is also no age limit to the program, although the guidelines states that most participants are between the age of 21-35 years old. If you are older than 35, it depends on if your school if they would like an older candidate or not. Through traveling and interacting with other auxiliars, I’ve seen that most fall between the age of 21-26 years old. The guidelines also says that a basic level of Spanish is required, but they never test you on that. So, if your Spanish skills are super simple, like mine were, you’ll be learning fast!

Before we really get started in applying, I would suggest reading the guidelines (THAT I HAVE NOW LINKED THREE TIMES) to understand what is needed and how do you apply. Now, on to Profex (the program used for applicants).  I hate Profex. It’s confusing and it crashes plenty of times in the first few days that the application opens (which, for the 2016-2017 school year the application opens TODAY, January 12th, 2015). Now, after going through the above mentioned requirements, and you’re still sure you’d like to apply. Here is a list of more paperwork that you need for your actual application form on Profex:

  • This checklist
  • A copy of the main page of your passport (I’d say better in color)
  • A copy of either your college transcripts or diploma (some people I know sent a scanned copy of their diploma. I downloaded the unofficial transcripts and submitted it onto Profex)
  • A signed and dated Statement of Purpose as to why you’d like to be part of this program (it can be in English or Spanish)
  • A letter of recommendation (on your college’s or company’s letterhead) from a professor or supervisor (this also needs to be signed and dated, I would ask for an electronic copy and a physical copy)

Things To Be Mailed Into Your State’s Consulate:

  • The generated PDF document from Profex (after you’ve completed and submitted all the required documents)
  • A signed and dated copy of the checklist

Profex

To actually apply, you must apply through Profex. It’s a bit confusing, but here are most of the materials you will need to get through and understand what you are doing! These are links provided for the 2016-2017 application.

Stages of the Application

There are a total of five stages of the application: inscrita, registrada, admitida, adjudicado/candidato seleccionado, and aceptada (YOU’RE IN, FORREAL!). The process to becoming aceptada is long, and calls for a lot of patience. When I applied back in February/March of 2014, I did not receive my adjudicado/candidato seleccionado until the beginning of May, and was not told where I would be living until the beginning of August!

Inscrita

Basically, the Auxiliares program is first come first serve. Your inscrita, is your application number in the process. People get a little ape crazy for this part, freaking out that if they have an extremely high number, they won’t be placed. Not true. Maybe, if you’re in the 4,000’s your chances are a bit lower, but this past year, people in the 3,000’s were getting placed at a normal time. Also, the lower your inscrita number, the higher chances you’ll have for receiving the region that you picked. Although, the Spanish government is a bit crazy, and sometimes people are placed in areas that they never even listed. It’s really “luck of the draw” and I can see them throwing darts as to where we’ll end up! (Although, I definitely recommend getting a lower inscrita number to receive your placement sooner.)

To receive your inscrita number, you’ll need to fill out your basic information on, add your CV, and choose which region you’d like to be part of! For the school placement, you can choose to work with children or teenagers, and decide whether you’d like a rural area or an urban area. For your region selection, you will have to choose one region, from six, and they are divided into three groups. You’ll need to rank your top three choices from highest to lowest. The groups are:

Group A: Asturias, Ceuta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, País Vasco
Group B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias
Group C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia

 

In the past, some regions are not available to North American auxiliars. I’d suggest reading the manual to see which regions are available to you. After doing all of that, you will receive an email with your inscrita number!! You’re almost there! Now, you can go back into the application and upload all of the required documents. This can be found under curriculum > documentos anexos.

Registrada

To get to the registrada (registered) stage, you will need to mail in your PDF version of your application form, from Profex (after completed), and the signed and dated copy of your checklist. In the Profex Manual, you can find the person to whom you should send your information to, and the address for the Spain consulate in your state.

Admitida

After all of your paperwork has been reviewed, you’ll be admitted!! Hooray!! You have almost made it to the final step and closer to Spain! When you are admitted, this just means that all of your paperwork was done correctly. Now comes the most fun part, waiting for your actual placement in Spain. This, my friends, will take a while.

Adjudicada/Candidato Seleccionado

After waiting, waiting, and even more waiting (it took me about three months), you will FINALLY receive your regional placement in your email. You then have seven days to accept or decline your offer to work in the program. Placements start in early May, beginning with second year renewals and then first year auxiliars in order of their inscrita number. If you choose to decline your offer, your place will then be offered to someone else.

Admitida

If you’ve accepted your offer, you’re admitted! Which means, CONGRATULATIONS YOU’RE GOING TO SPAIN!!! 

Carta de Nombramiento

Your “carta” is the email/letter you receive that tells you specifically which city or pueblo you’ll be working in and your schools! Hooray!! For my first year, this didn’t arrive until August! This is the exciting part, and probably the most surreal. You’ll get your school’s email and can finally start chatting with them about the upcoming year and getting to know them better. The process for receiving your “carta” can vary, because, well… it’s Spain, and things are a bit chaotic on this end.

Hooray!! You’ve applied, been accepted, and are now freaking out on what to pack, how to freshen up your Spanish language skills, and dreaming about those tapas and sangria. Don’t get carried away, just yet. The process to get into Spain is not over. You will still need to apply for your student VISA to enter into the country, look for a piso, and ultimately start your life. The fun is JUST beginning and now you can start preparing yourself for the adventure of living abroad and immersing yourself into the culture!

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If you have any questions about applying for the auxiliares de conversación program, or would like to chat about my experiences before you apply, feel free to contact me! I’m happy and open to sharing my experiences and tips with you! (:

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  • Claire

    Hey there! Thanks for writing this, it is super helpful. I have tried to reach the application several times and my network and/or computer says it is unsafe to enter the website….any advice? I have tried several different networks and computers :/

  • Avi Thompson

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much. I understand now. I should have read more thoroughly and carefully. Thank you!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey! We receive the student visa. They will only be for 3 months, but once you get to Spain, you’ll have to apply for your NIE which is your identification number/card. That card will allow you to stay in Spain until the end of your teaching time! (: Hope that helps!

  • Avi Thompson

    Hello, Do you know what Visa type we are supposed to get? I got D and I am freaking out because I don’t think it’s right, they marked that mine expires in January of 2018! I would still be working for another 5months so wtf?!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey! (:

    So excited that you’re applying! I am not sure where the website could be for the location preferences. I remember when I applied the past few times, the selection was part of the PROFEX part and then there were a few sequences that I had to follow to reach the different parts of the application.

    Sorry I can’t be of much help!

  • scoobycat

    Hi Cassandra,

    I had just submitted my passport, degree, letter of intent, and my letter of recommendation for the application. I am now trying to navigate from this area to the area where you rank your ideal locations. I am having trouble finding this webpage with the checkmark to indicate your ideal regions. Would you have any suggestions?

    Thank you for your time and attention to my message!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey Joseph! That’s awesome (: I’m excited that you both want to apply! And yes, I think there were a few people who applied with their significant other, or with their friend, and on the application they mentioned that they were applying with someone and would like to be placed together. Again, it is all up in the air, because I’m not sure how the Spanish government does it, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It definitely doesn’t hurt to try though!

  • joseph

    Hello : ) My girlfriend and I are wanting to apply together. Did you ever meet anyone who applied together and were placed in the same region?

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey Natasha!

    No, I don’t remember my number, I think it was under 2000 though. Probably in the 1000s. I was placed in my first choice regions both times. I think because I had a lower number and as a second year we are given preference. I know some people were placed in places that were there 2nd or 3rd choices.

    I didn’t hear from them my first year until July or August, so they definitely take their time when assigning positions. I’m sure it has to do with the amount of people that apply and they have to go through each application to place people. If you want to check in to see how things are going, I’d recommend emailing the consulate in your state. That might help! They may not have answers to give you either this early in the game, but it might make you feel a bit less anxious (:

    Hope this helps!
    Cassandra

  • natasha🖤

    Hey! I had a quick couple questions. First, when you applied the first time, do you remember your application number? Like was it under 2000? And second, were you placed in any of the couple regions you picked, or was it completely out of what you expected?
    I applied in January, and my application number is 1904, so the anxiety is really setting in as April rolls around. I’m just nervous of being placed completely outside of my preferences. Just looking for some reassurance as I play the waiting game.

  • Cassandra Le

    Of course!! I hope it all works out!

  • Raj

    Lol, I submitted my online application yesterday and mailed the documents today. Got an inscription number of 2698. Hoping I get an urban area! Thanks again for linking the step-by-step manual!

  • Cassandra Le

    Raj, hahaha I read your comment while I was a bit tipsy after going out and it made me laugh out loud while laying in bed! HAHA! I hope you figured out how to do it and got your application in! (: Let me know what happens!! So excited for you!

  • Raj

    Thank god you linked the pdf for the step-by-step manual on how to apply! I was this close to ripping my hair out and giving up on figuring out how to even apply.

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey! I am not sure, as I’m not applying this year, so I don’t know which regions are available or not. In the past years, the only region that wasn’t available to applicants from the US was Cataluña, where Barcelona is.

  • AMK

    Hi Cassandra, I have read through the guidelines but I can’t seem to find any info on which regions are not available. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hm, I’m not sure what you mean by creating a login and choosing English or Castellano. I applied three years ago, so I’ve used the same login since then. But usually when I created a login username, I used my license number because I didn’t have an NIE (or identification number) yet. I would assume if it says to choose Castellano, I would go with that one! For the past three years I’ve applied, the application ends up being in Spanish. I hope this helps!

  • E.P

    Hi there! I had a quick question about profex…..on the manual when creating a log in, I see that it shows to choose castellano. However, it has the option of ingles or castellano. So is castellano correct? Thank you!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hi Lauren,

    Yay! I’m so glad that you are thinking about applying! When I applied last year and the year before, I didn’t have to put in any information about my passport right away. You’ll only need your passport once you’re admitted into the program and need to get your visa (: At least this is to my knowledge.

    I hope this helps!
    Cassandra

  • Lauren Nichols

    Hi Cassandra,

    This is a really helpful post! I am in my last year of graduate school and I am looking in to teaching english abroad. My passport recently expired and I am planning on renewing it after winter break (January 2017). Do you know if I can apply to the auxiliares de conversación program with my expired passport and explain that I am getting it renewed?

    Thank you!

    Lauren

  • Cassandra Le

    Hey Ignacio!

    When I was accepted into Castilla La Mancha my first year (which was two years ago), I got accepted in early May and didn’t actually hear anything from them until late July/early August! It made me super worried, because I wasn’t sure if this program was even real! I also was worried about the visa, but depending on where you live and where the consulate is that you need to go to, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    What I did was start slowly on the visa paperwork. I got my doctor’s appointments scheduled and the background check slowly together. Just so when I received all the information, I could go directly to the consulate and turn in my paperwork. Since I live in Virginia, I had to go to the DC consulate and it took a month for the paperwork to process (but sometimes even sooner). Don’t freak out, too much! My advice is to start getting your paperwork ready and from there, just be patient. The program can get a bit frustrating! If you want, you could try to email the Castilla La Mancha representative for the program and ask them if they have any updates.

    I hope this helps!

  • Ignacio

    Hi Cassandra! Thanks for the post, i was hoping you could lend some insight on my issue. I was accepted to teach in Castilla La Mancha but it is middle of July and I still haven’t received the letter telling me which school/city i’ll be in…will i have enough time to do a visa?? Ho much should I be freaking out?

    Thanks!

  • Cassandra Le

    Hi Ms. Strong!

    So glad that you stopped by my blog (: I hope Caroline is doing well and all is well on your end!!

    Cassandra

  • Patty Strong

    Hi Cassandra,
    This is a lively and informative post. I am glad to know what you’re doing and how you are spreading this news. I am just your old roommate Caroline’s mom. I was asking her about you and she told me about your blog. Well done, Cassandra, and good luck! Patty Strong