I realize I haven't written a post in several years so I thought it would be helpful to write one last post and give a quick update on where life has taken me. I occasionally get an e-mail from my blog with people inquiring about the program I did and questions about some of my travels. I want to leave the blog up in case anybody stumbles upon this blog and has questions.
For those who are thinking about doing the program or have just finished the program I wanted to give a little bit of insight into what it is about and how I have used this experience in the position that I am in now. I did the program through the Ministry --> https://www.mecd.gob.es/eeuu/convocatorias-programas/convocatorias-eeuu/auxiliares-conversacion-eeuu.html. For those who are even thinking about the program just a little bit, DO IT! Because Spain is slow and disorganized with the type of programs they provide Americans, you have to be patient and go into it with a "make the best of whatever is given to you" type of attitude. I'm not going to go into too much detail but the programs I know that allow American to live and work in Spain are the Ministry program (what I did), BETA, and UCETAM. The ministry gives the LEAST amount of help, but it doesn't have an interview process and pretty much accepts everyone, as long as you submit your application in a timely fashion. BETA and UCETAM both have an interview process and are more selective. People look at those over the Ministry program because they provide guidance with the VISA process, housing, bank, etc. I didn't need a program like BETA and UCETAM to support me; I relied on blogs to set everything up. All the programs provide Americans with the same opportunity though, which is the chance to live in one of my favorite countries, Spain and provide them with English teaching positions. Your responsibilities there aren't comparable to a teaching position in the United States. Every school is independent on how they use you. Some split up the class with the teacher and you have a smaller group to work with. Some teachers will have you just teach them American culture. Some will make you lead the classroom in every aspect. Some will just have you assist in the main teacher's activities. Every school is different and you have to go in with an open mind not knowing what your job entails specifically! For more specific questions, hit me up!!
For those who just finished their program and are anxious like I was about the next move, don't fret - you will be able to find a job!! I have been teaching Spanish for the last two years since moving back and I am absolutely in love with what I do. I did not go to Spain knowing I would go back to the USA 100% for sure teaching Spanish. I did not even expect to stay in Spain another year - it just happened! I truly believe that the adventures and hardships that followed my time in Spain were supposed to happen for me to be in the position that I am now. Anyway, some of my other friends that did the program as well moved on to the Master's program in Madrid with Instituto Franklin. I actually had applied and been accepted to that program but I declined it my third year because (1) issues with visa (2) I wasn't 100% sure that teaching was the route I would take going back home. For those thinking about Franklin but have NO certification whatsoever in teaching, you can still teach coming back home. Every state is different with their rules, but in Maryland you can teach in a private or charter school as long as you have a degree int that subject. Being certified is definitely preferred but you can get that while you are working. If you are unsure how to get a teaching position without being certified, hit me up! The Masters degree you get from Instituto can be accepted, depending on your county and state. I have some friends who are still living abroad whether it is teaching English with the Ministry program, doing their Masters, or backpacking around. Some friends aren't doing anything education related and have continued the careers they planned on doing after the program (non-profit work, graduate school, etc.). Everyone's path is unique after the program and what's most important to do is listen to your heart. NEVER compare yourself to where your peers are at in their life. That is something I struggled with during my transition back in the States, and it won't get you anywhere. Believe in yourself and your abilities!
Last but not least, a quick update: I taught at a charter school in DC when I first got back. I am now at a private school in Maryland. I am not certified in teaching Spanish by the state so I am not allowed to work at a public school, but I am currently working on my masters where I will finish the program with a masters and certification to be able to teach in a public school. I also completed proficiency tests (ACTL OPi and WPT) after returning to prove my fluency. I love what I do and wouldn't change it for anything!
Questions about the program, life in Spain, traveling, or just anything you feel like asking -- shoot away!