Showing posts from June, 2013

My Review of Spain’s North American Language and Culture Assistant Program

From last October through May of this year, I worked as a North American Language and Culture Assistant at a bilingual elementary school in southern Spain, a job in which I assisted teachers in English, science, and music classes for 12 hours a week in return for 700€ a month and health insurance. I lived with two other Spanish guys in an apartment in the World Heritage-listed town of Úbeda and was able to travel all across the southern half of the country as well as to France and Morocco. Nine months of speaking Spanish and being immersed in Spanish culture—not to mention living on my own for the first time—turned out to be one of the best years of my life. Skyline of Jaén city seen from the castle So, what are my thoughts about the program? If you guessed that they’re mostly positive, you’d be right—just take this post’s first paragraph (or read this blog!) as proof. My personal experience as an auxiliar de conversación was a great one, and I was so fortunate to end up a

How to Renew for a Second Year for Spain’s Language Assistant Program

LAST UPDATED JANUARY 2014 After applying and getting accepted into Spain’s language assistant program , and after living and working abroad for a whole school year, you’ve decided you want to do it all over again. You’ve read through Spain’s official how-to-renew guide , but their guide for renewing via Profex is all in Spanish and the application period begins tomorrow…so what do you do? Read below, that’s what! In this blog post, I want to make it as clear as possible how to renew for Year 2 (or Year 3…) since the process is similar, yet different, from Year 1. If you finish reading the post and still have questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it! Me at the Plaza de España in Sevilla 1) Figure out where you want to renew Sevilla’s Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir River at the blue hour Not everyone chooses to stay at their same school for a second or even a third year; sometimes people want to change from a rural to an urban setting, from a primary

Ceuta and Melilla: African Spain

While traveling between Spain and Morocco over this spring’s Semana Santa vacations (Easter break), I took ferries between the Spanish cities of Algeciras and Almería and two more Spanish cities on the coast of North Africa: Ceuta and Melilla. Yes—little exclaves of the Kingdom of Spain sitting on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, two outposts of Europe in Africa. Before I got interested in Spain a few years ago I had absolutely no idea these geographic oddities existed, but Ceuta (pronounced “THAY-OOH-tah” [ˈθew.ta]) and Melilla (pronounced “may-LEE-yah” [meˈli.ʎa]) are just as much Spain as Barcelona, Bilbao, or Burgos. They don’t belong to any Autonomous Community (think Andalucía, Galicia, Catalunya…) but are Autonomous Cities in their own right and responsible for all their own affairs. View this post on Instagram AFRICA. And yet, I'm still in Europe. Welcome to the geographic oddity that is Melilla, Spai