Louises’ legendary Spain TEFL Experience
Tell us about yourself. We’d love to know about your background and what drew you to teaching abroad!
Hi! My name is Louise, I’m 31 and from Ireland. During Covid, I was bitten by the travel bug and was looking at ways to travel and make a steady income. A few friends mentioned teaching English abroad. The more I looked into English teaching, the more the idea grew. I have a love of experiencing new cultures and food. I came from a media background, and after I graduated with my Masters, I decided to manifest a new life for myself in Spain.
Was Spain your first teaching placement? If so, what advice would you give to students looking to go?
Spain was my first teaching placement. The three-month internship was organised by TEFL Institute of Ireland and Educados International, it’s a good time to decide if you’d like to continue teaching in the future. I went to the Catalan region in Spain it’s very cold in the winter so do pack warm clothes.
Did you travel alone? If so, was it hard to make friendships?
I travelled alone. I was afraid at first of getting a plane by myself, but it was a very liberating experience. I didn’t find it hard to make friends. Spanish people are very welcoming and loving people. When they know you’re new in town, they will make you feel at home. I made friends with the staff in cafés, restaurants and bars.
Tell us about your host family. How has it been becoming part of a Spanish family?
My Spanish family were absolutely incredible!! I felt very welcome from the moment I met them, and they made sure that I felt at home. I honestly can’t write down how amazing they were, and even now, my eyes are starting to water. We video call regularly, and we’re planning to meet again soon.
Now that you have completed your placement in Spain, can you tell us about the highlights of your experience inside and outside the classroom?
The staff in the school were lovely. Not many could speak fluent English, but even the teachers who had a little, I had the best laughs with them. The catering staff were amazing. Inside the classroom, I saw students as friends. They brought me so much joy and laughter. Getting out of bed, even on a cold Winter’s morning, was a lot easier. I often saw hot air balloons in the morning. A beautiful view.
What was your favourite thing about Spain?
I would say, my host family. They’ve become a second family.
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified, and what made you choose the TEFL Institute?
I liked how there was a selection of opportunities available after the course, and I liked how you could study in your own time. I also liked that you could attend different Webinars, for example, starting up your own business online.
Did you experience any culture shock when you first arrived?
Yes, not as many people spoke English as I thought. This was mentioned before. I travelled by Educado International, but it surprised me still. I was in a school in the Catalan region on the border with France, so if you have Spanish or French, it’s a great advantage. I found Catalan a lot easier to learn then Spanish personally.
What advice do you have for individuals considering using their TEFL certificate to focus on teaching English abroad?
Ireland has become very expensive, and by teaching English abroad you can live more comfortably. I would recommend downloading as much as you can from the course and storing it away on a Drive because you never know when you might need to revise or search for a fun game to use in class.