A Language Assistant is a qualified and trained native English speaker who is acting as a support to the teacher, and as an English teacher themselves, in a primary school or high school somewhere in Spain.
Language Assistants are actual teachers in the classrooms and are not to be confused with TA’s in the traditional sense.
We are passionate about Language Assistantships and international exchange, so that we can best help Connect People to Places.
Giving you the experience of a lifetime in Spain! Through our Teach English in Spain Program we provide a unique program experience that is designed to offer a slice of all that Spain has to share.
We offer a personalized, one-on-one custom experience to each of our program participants. They are our priority. We have found that so often Language Assistants around the world are left without support, guidance and assistance for even the simplest of confusing tasks such as opening a bank account in a foreign country, all of which is amplified tenfold when you don’t speak the language.
We are there for our program participants every step of the way and continue to offer the same level of support and availability throughout the entire duration of their time in Spain.
If you’ve always wanted to live in another country, finally put into practice all those years of foreign language classes you’ve been taking, work and make money during the weekday and travel all throughout Europe on the weekends, we can help.
We understand how difficult and confusing it can be to move and to live in another country, and even more so if you don’t speak the language and have no one to assist you.
Reach out to RVF International if you are wanting to teach as a Language Assistant in another Spain, even if just for a year.
We accept applications year-round so you can apply anytime you like! Applications received between April 1st 2022 to April 1st 2023 will be considered for teaching positions in Spain for the 2023/2024 academic school year that starts October 2nd, 2023 and will end May 31st 2024. Applications received between April 2nd, 2023 to April 1st 2024 will be considered for teaching positions in Spain for the 2024/2025 academic school year that starts October 1st, 2024 and will end May 30th 2025.
Visit our Contact Form, fill out the information, and one of our program specialists will get back to you as quickly as possible to schedule a video call to further discuss all that the program has to offer. During the call, the program specialist will go over the application and on-boarding process of what all is required to save your spot in Spain!
The following is required to participate:
– A passport from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
– A Bachelor’s or Associate’s Diploma (please note that those applying from Australia and New Zealand can only apply with a Bachelor’s Degree)
Yes! As long as you graduate and receive your associates and/or bachelor’s degree before the program start date (October 1st of each year) you can apply.
The Teach English in Spain program runs every October to the following May. For example, the 2023/2024 program year will start October 2nd, 2023, and will end May 31st, 2024.
You will find out your placement in Spain sometime during the months of May to August. Placements are not received in chronological order based off when someone joins the program. We encourage everyone to approach the placement process with patience, and an open-mind!
The Spain Placement Program fee is $1,299 USD and the Spain Support Program fee is $1,599 USD, and both are broken down into two payments. The first payment, a $700 commitment deposit (non-refundable) is required to sign up for the program. The remaining balance of the program fee is due within five days of receiving your placement region in Spain (between May to August).
After joining the program, if you would still like to come to Spain but need to defer to another program year that works better for you, no problem! Your deposit can be rolled over to another program year so you won’t lose it. Keep in mind, there is a $250 USD Program Deferral fee to change program years.
Immediately after paying the Program Commitment Deposit, you will be contacted by one of our Teach Abroad Program Specialists to begin uploading several required documents to our online portal that are required to receive a placement in Spain.
We will need the following from you:
- A photocopy of your passport ID page.
- A Personal Statement on why you would like to teach English in Spain.
- A Letter of Recommendation from a college professor/instructor/employer or mentor.
- A PDF scan of your Bachelor’s Degree or your Official University Transcripts if you are still in university.
We use a reliable cloud storage and synchronization service developed for storing and sharing files. All of your documents and information are securely stored on encrypted servers and an encrypted network connection is used to transfer files. Once you finish the program, all of your documents are securely and permanently deleted.
You can apply directly to the program without a background check but, later on in the process, you will be required to obtain a national background check that the Spanish Consulate will use to issue your visa based on your criminal history. Also, after arriving in Spain, you will be required to obtain a background check from the Spanish Ministry of Justice before you are allowed to work with minors. We will completely guide you through both background checks. If you have a question about something that will appear in a background check, and whether or not it will make you ineligible for the program or for a Spanish visa, please contact your Program Specialist and they will use the utmost discretion and privacy, without judgement, in honestly answering your question.
If you have been detained, arrested or charged with a felony, you have little chances of being granted a visa, although we recommend speaking to your local Spanish Consulate first to seek their advice. If the crime was a misdemeanor, such as DUI / DWI, shoplifting, underage drinking or possession of a small amount of illegal substances, your chances could be better, but we cannot make any guarantees. A pattern of behavior could be grounds of denial, even for misdemeanors.
It is required to present a background check from any country you’ve lived in for over 6 months in the last 5 years.
Ultimately, it is up to you! We recommend for all career decisions and life-planning decisions for the future to be made after we officially inform you of your school assignment in Spain, between May and August.
School placements are completely operated and managed by the local regional Spanish governments. Placements are available at schools in Spain in the following Autonomous Communities (Spanish Regions): Madrid, The Basque Country, Valencia, The Canary Islands, Extremadura, Cantabria, Murcia, La Rioja, Castilla La Mancha, Galicia, Castilla y León, Andalucía, The Baleares Islands, Aragón, and Asturias.
Placements are not currently available in Cataluña (including Barcelona), Navarra, or Ceuta and Melilla.
It is likely program participants will receive a school assignment in one of their region placement preferences, although it cannot be guaranteed. Nor can placement in specific cities within the region, the size of the city, the number of schools or school type (Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School, High School) be guaranteed.
Although region-specific and city-specific requests are often accommodated, it is not something that can ever be guaranteed.
We encourage everyone to approach the placement process with patience, and an open-mind. Spain is a uniquely beautiful country with so much to offer, in regions and cities both large and small.
The stipend is entirely determined, managed and distributed by the regional governments of Spain. RVF International does not employ you, provide the stipend, nor can we intervene in any way.
Please note that some regional governments have shown a pattern over the years of being late to deposit the stipends to the language assistants in their regions and show no signs in wanting to improve (Community of Valencia and Cantabria). In some cases, some language assistants don’t see their first pay check until January of that school year, when they should receive it in November. For this reason, we highly recommend all of our program participants to come prepared with an emergency fund of their first 4 months of basic expenses, approximately 3000€.
Two consecutive years! If you’d like to come to Spain for just one year and then return to your home country, that is perfectly fine as well. Renewal and acceptance for a 2nd year is highly likely but can never be guaranteed and is primarily contingent upon a good relationship with the school.
First year renewals (ie. second consecutive year teaching) receive a 50% discount on the program free.
In most cases, you will only be working 4-days a week and will likely always have a 3-day weekend each week where you can travel, explore your placement city, and spend your time like you want to.
Class will start at 9:00am and will end promptly at 2:00pm each day.
In smaller regions you can expect to work between 12 – 14 hours a week and in larger regions you will work between 18 – 20 hours a week.
The Language Assistant and the classroom teacher or department chair may agree upon other tasks or responsibilities for the assistant to carry out, such as attending meetings and participating in extracurricular activities. Language Assistants may also be asked to participate in a variety of fun and exciting events organized by the school.
You will be the English expert at your school and will be tasked with supporting classrooms as they teach subjects, such as science, social studies, English, and P.E. just to name a few, as well as leading groups both large and small in conversational English activities and exercises that promote language learning.
You will also be tasked with explaining and teaching your own personal US or Canadian culture and way of life to the students through presentations and classroom activities. For example, it is very common to give a presentation in November on Thanksgiving, or to help decorate the school in October for Halloween to introduce the students to holidays that are not common in Spain.
In short, your role is to encourage students of all ages in Spain to broaden their knowledge of your language and culture. At your school, you will be preparing activities that focus on language and culture, such as listening and speaking activities. You may also be asked to lead class sessions with smaller groups of students. You will need to fulfill your tasks in a responsible manner. Please note that you may be removed from the position by the school or regional Spanish government due to disciplinary or performance issues. A strong performance will allow you to receive a positive reference letter for the future, in addition to making the most out of your experience. You are encouraged to be conscientious and aware of the standards and rules set forth by the program and your school. You must be open to forming healthy working relationships with teachers and other members of the school.
The main goal of the program is to bring native-like speakers of English into every classroom in Spain to enhance students’ language skills. The language assistant serves as a linguistic model for students. Your role is to encourage students to broaden their knowledge of your language and culture. Therefore, you are expected to plan and conduct activities that focus on language and culture, such as listening and speaking activities, role play activities, or games for your students. You will lead these activities in class, with either the teacher or a smaller group of students in a different classroom. The assistant and the classroom teacher or department chair may agree upon other tasks or responsibilities for the assistant to carry out, such as attending meetings and participating in extracurricular activities. They may also be asked to participate in a variety of events organized by the school.
You can teach English at the primary school, middle school or high school level or Vocational Training programs (adults).
No! We try to make our Teach English in Spain program as accessible to people as possible and, therefore, we don’t require a TEFL or any previous teaching experience.
It is not compulsory to know Spanish to join the Teach Abroad Program, but we do highly recommend that you have at least a basic conversational level, as you will be living in Spain for at least a year and a great majority of the population only Spanish and/or one of the other official languages in Spain (Catalán, Euskera, Gallego, and Valenciano). If you want to improve your Spanish before coming to Spain, we recommend signing up for our Spanish Course!
For the purposes of this program, all that is required at a minimum is either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Any other accomplishments, such as Master’s degrees or higher, and / or several years of teaching experience, although prestigious and great, won’t translate to a more say, control or extra advantage in the school assignment process.
Other than the RVF International Teach English in Spain program fee, you will also need to pay the fees associated with your visa and required visa documents, totaling about $200 USD, as well as your plane ticket. If you have lived in another country for more than 6 consecutive months in the last 5 years, then you will need a criminal background check from that country which will cost between $70 USD to $150 USD.
As long as you indicate early on in the on-boarding process that you would like to be placed (meaning in the same school or same city) with someone else in particular in the program, and if you both apply to the program at the same time, it is likely this request can be accommodated, although it cannot be guaranteed that you’ll eventually be placed together. Groups larger than two are likely to be placed together either in the same school and/or city, although it is not guaranteed. We encourage everyone to approach the placement process with patience, and an open-mind!
Travel to Spain
If you are not an EU-citizen, you will need a visa to teach English in Spain. However, if you are an EU-citizen, you won’t have to apply for a visa to enter Spain and the EU.
If you are not an Eu-citizen, you will require a Spanish Student Visa, which will allow you to teach English in Spain with the program. As part of the program, we will guide you through the entire visa process, we will schedule and/or confirm your visa appointment with the Spanish Consulate if allowed, or guide you through the process depending on Consular requirements for visa applicants. We will be there in case you have any questions or hiccups.
You will have to apply for the visa physically in your home country. For example, if you are American, you will have to apply for the visa in the United States at the Spanish Consulate that oversees your state. If you are Canadian, you will have to apply for the visa in the Canada at the Spanish Consulate that oversees your province.
Your Program Specialist will work with you one-on-one to gather all the required information we need from you to communicate with the Spanish Consulates to ensure your visa process is incredibly smooth and stress-free. The visa support will be for the year the program starts in Spain. We will personalize the timeline specifically for you and anything we cannot take care of on our own for legal reasons (i.e. getting fingerprinted) we will walk you through how to handle it or direct you to a partner company that will take care of it for you.
For the purposes of applying for your visa to Spain, we highly recommend applying for the visa from your home country. For example, if you are American, we recommend you applying inside of the US and if you are Canadian, we recommend you applying inside of Canada.
If you apply within your home country, we will:
- Schedule and/or confirm your visa appointment with the Spanish Consulate if allowed, or guide you through the process depending on Consular requirements for visa applicants
Officially translate all documents that require translation into Spanish by a sworn translator (only in Spain Support package).
If you are applying for a visa to our program and are currently in Spain finishing up another program, we will direct you to one of our vetted and trusted immigration lawyers in Spain to help you renew your long-term residency in Spain without having to return home for a visa.
IMPORTANT: If you are applying for a visa from a country that is not your home country or Spain (ie. an American living in South Korea applying for the Spanish Visa while in South Korea), we will not assist with the visa process and will direct you to the Spanish Consulate in that area to coordinate your visa process, visa appointment and translation services. However, you are of course able to join the program, receive a placement, and receive all program benefits and access to excursions, but we will not be responsible for the visa process if it is in a country that is not your home country.
If you have lived in another country for more than 6 consecutive months in the last 5 years, the Spanish Consulate requires that you submit a criminal background check from that country, along with its Apostille or legalization stamp. If the country is a Member State of the Hague Convention, we will assist with your criminal background check and accompanying Apostille, as well as translations if they are necessary.
If the country is not a Member State of the Hague Convention (such as China), we are unable to assist with the international criminal background check process.
By no means does this signify you cannot join the program. We would be thrilled for you to join our program and receive a teaching placement in Spain if you require an international criminal background check from a country that is not a Member State of the Hague Convention. We simply wish to be transparent that we are unable to assist with the international processes of countries that are not members of the Hague Convention.
In an effort to mitigate as much risk as possible for those in our program, we always follow the official guidelines of the Spanish Consulates in North America. Concerning purchasing flights to Spain, they recommend waiting till you have the visa in your hand before purchasing your tickets to Spain, and it is what we recommend as well.
Yes, it is possible, although we recommend first speaking with your veterinarian to better understand the current travel rules surrounding pets on planes, animal importation procedures, as well as current vaccination and quarantines laws.
2023/2024 Program Year Pre – Arrival to Spain Expected Costs
All costs mentioned on our website and in our conversations with you are estimates. The cost of living in Spain, like anywhere, can fluctuate depending on the region and the city. We do the best we can to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date numbers but please keep in mind that they are estimates and can fluctuate depending on location.
Estimated Date of Expense
Program Related Expense
Estimated Cost in USD
April 2022 – February 2023
Program Commitment Deposit
Criminal Background Check + Apostille for Visa Appointment
June – August 2023
Program School Placement Deposit
June – August 2023
Official Translation of Visa Documents for Visa Appointment
July – September 2023
Spanish Visa Fee for Visa Appointment
July – September 2023
Travel Expenses to Spanish Consulate for In-Person Visa Appointment
50 USD – 200 USD
Flight to Spain
500 USD – 1000 USD
2023/2024 Program Year Post – Arrival to Spain Expected Costs
Estimated Date of Expense
Program Related Expense
Estimated Cost in USD
1-2 Weeks Airbnb Cost Before Moving into Spanish Apartment
200 USD – 400 USD
October 2023 – May 2024
Rent a Room in Spain per Month
150 USD – 500 USD
October 2023 – May 2024
Metro/Bus Pass per Month
25 USD – 100 USD
October 2023 – May 2024
October 2023 – May 2024
Spanish Cellphone Service per Month
October 2023 – May 2024
WiFi Cost per Month
October 2023 – May 2024
Utilities per Month
October 2023 – May 2024
Food for One Person per Month
Your visa appointment will be held at the Spanish Consulate that oversees the State/Province of your permanent address. In order to issue a visa to Spain, the Spanish Consulates require in-person appointments and, although in certain circumstances they will allow visa applications to be sent via postal mail, it is best to plan accordingly to be prepared to visit the Spanish Consulate in person in late July / early September for your visa appointment. We will schedule and/or confirm your visa appointment with the Spanish Consulate if allowed, or guide you through the process depending on Consular requirements for visa applicants.
Below is a list of the Spanish Consulates in the United States and Canada and the States/Provinces that they oversee. You will have to visit the Spanish Consulate that supervises the State/Province where you are permanent resident.
Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C.: Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina.
Spanish Consulate in New York City: Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.
Spanish Consulate in Boston: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine.
Spanish Consulate in Miami: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina.
Spanish Consulate in Chicago: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
Spanish Consulate in Houston: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi.
Spanish Consulate in San Francisco: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State, Wyoming, Northern California Counties (Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Buttle, Calaveras, Colusa, Contracosta, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humbboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehema, Trinity, Tulare, Toulumne, Yolo, Yuba).
Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles: Southern California (County of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara y Ventura), Arizona, Colorado, Utah.
Spanish Embassy in Ottawa: National Capital Region (Ottawa and Gatineau).
Spanish Consulate in Toronto: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario (except Ottawa), Saskatchewan, North West Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.
Spanish Consulate in Montreal: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec (except Gatineau), Newfoundland, Labrador.
Spanish Embassy in New Zealand
If you have a spouse and/or children, they will each be able to apply for a Dependent Visa so they can stay long-term in Spain with you. Dependent Visa’s are only issued to Spouses and/or Children, and are not available for engaged couples, dating couples or friends.
If you are engaged or dating, and you would like your fiancé/fiancée, boyfriend/girlfriend to come with you to Spain, they can either apply to the program if they are eligible, register for classes at a university in Spain or a Study Abroad program in Spain and receive a Student Visa that would allow them to stay in Spain for the duration of the course, or they can travel to Spain on a Tourist Visa that is only valid for 90-days out of a 180-day period before they would be required to leave Spain and the Schengen Zone.
Getting a long-term visa to Spain for a family member is straightforward as long as they are a spouse or a child. The process for a long-term visa for a fiancé/fiancée, boyfriend/girlfriend is less so and requires them studying at a university or traveling to Spain for a maximum of 90-days ever six months on a Tourist Visa.
RVF International does not assist with the visa process for children or for a family member, or a fiancé/fiancée, boyfriend/girlfriend who is not in the Teach Abroad program.
Life in Spain
Since you will be in Spain on a Spanish Student Visa, you won’t be permitted to contract with a company such as a restaurant or store. However, if you are wanting to make some extra money on the side while in Spain, we would definitely recommend private classes!
In Spain, private classes are known as clases particulares, and are very common for native English speakers to offer. If you ever have questions about how to find clases particulares or how to best market yourself so that you can acquire clients while in Spain, we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
You won’t have to pay taxes in Spain on what you earn each month as you will be on a Student Visa and not a Work Visa. What you earn each month will be a stipend and not an employee salary subject to Spanish taxes.
With regards to paying taxes in your home country, we recommend contacting a tax professional in your area. You will most likely not earn enough to have to declare your foreign earned income; however, we advise to speak with a professional for further clarity as each case is slightly different.
Yes, if properly managed, you will earn more than enough money to live comfortably in Spain. Thankfully, the cost of living in Spain is much less expensive than it is in the US or Canada and, if managed well, your monthly stipend, will cover food, housing, transportation, as well as allow you to travel and explore Spain and Europe.
Yes, you will receive free health insurance from the Spanish government. The regional Spanish governments, not RVF International, entirely find, recommend and use the specific insurance company. The medical insurance will cover repatriation, medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and/or hospitalization expenses. The insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions, Dental or Vision.
Please note that the Community of Valencia is typically late in providing the health insurance to the language assistants placed in their region. It is also not uncommon to have to ask for the document multiple times, for them to be unresponsive, and for them to redirect you the health insurance company instead of sending you the document.
If you have any medication that you currently take regularly and are uncertain if you will be able to find it in Spain (the EU has very strict pharmaceutical laws and their are many prescription drugs in North America that are not distributed in the EU), we recommend speaking to your doctor in your home country and bringing 9-months supply with you
Starting in October, you will be paid at the end of each month via direct bank transfer from your placement school to the Spanish bank account you will open after arriving in Spain.
The regional governments will only deposit the stipend into a bank account with a Spanish IBAN, not into any accounts from other EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. It is important to set up your Spanish bank account as soon as you arrive to Spain, to not incur any delays in receiving your stipend.
Like anywhere, public transportation in Spain is very accessible and affordable in larger cities or areas with large populations sizes, and can be less accessible and frequent in smaller, rural communities. In large cities, it is very common for Program Participants to take the subway (metro) to work, or to hop on the bus or train. In smaller, more rural communities, there will most likely not be a subway (metro) and bus lines will be less frequent. It is common for Program Participants in smaller communities to carpool to work each day with other teachers or to live closer to the school where it is possible to walk or bike to and from work each day.
We encourage everyone to keep an open mind when it comes to commuting to and from work, as well as traveling around Spain. It is important to remember that you will be in a new country with different transportation practices and it will be a great opportunity to embrace the Spanish way of life!
In the Spain Support Program, before you arrive to Spain, we will go over exactly how to open your bank account in Spain, as well as how to get cell phone service so that you can have cell coverage wherever you are in Spain. We recommend several Spanish banks and cell phone providers and we will get you connected with them so that you can have a bank account and a working cell phone from day one.
In the Spain Support Program, we will guide you through the process of finding housing in Spain. We will provide you with the necessary information that you will need to securely, safely, and efficiently find either an apartment or a room shortly after arriving to Spain.
Your Program Specialist will sit down with you shortly after you receive your regional placement (not specific location placement) where we will ask you to fill out our Housing form to let us know what you are looking for in-terms of size, pets/no pets, roommates/no roommates, vicinity to your school, etc. so that, once you receive your specific school placement, we can create a database of approximately 20 listings that match the criteria you have filled out in the form.
They will then guide you through the process of how to schedule appointments so that, after arriving in Spain, you can attend the appointments and move in to the first listing you like.
We recommend staying at an Airbnb, hostel, etc. for the first week or two upon arriving to Spain.
All of the apartments we will send you will be fully-furnished, meaning they will contain everything from plates and utensils, to towels and beds. You won’t have to bring over anything to furnish the apartment, nor will you have to buy anything in Spain to furnish the apartment unless you wanted to.
If you prefer to rent a room with a Spanish family or European university students, that is also a possibility and your program specialist will guide you through the process of how you can do that.
On average, everyone in our program that proactively follows our guidance and steps is able to move in to their fully furnished apartment in Spain on day Two or Three after landing.
- Webinar providing helpful tips and guidance related to looking for housing in Spain.
- Continuous email support during our work hours.
- Personal 10-minute Zoom support calls.
- A list of personalized housing listings in your area matching your preferences.
- An extensive detailed PDF guide regarding different things to keep in mind during the housing search: what to avoid, what to look for, things that aren’t common in Spain, your best resources to find a place, templates in Spanish to reach out to properties, etc.
- Guide on how to register your address at your local city hall.