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
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.
- North American auxiliares website
- Profex Manual
- Application Guidelines
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Checklist (to print)
- Guidelines For The Reference Letter
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!