Interested in Teaching Abroad? Read why some people decided to come to Spain!
Moving abroad and taking a year "off" can be daunting. It can be scary. It can also be exactly what you need. Hey, it's what I needed. And remember, people do do it. One of my biggest concerns about taking a gap year was what I would do when I would come back. It was a dream of mine to move abroad for at least a year, but there was this thought in the back of my head that I would be behind somehow, in my career and in life. I felt like society was constantly telling me not to go. However, most everyone that I talked to about it had the most encouraging things to say and thought it was a great idea. The more I talked to people, the more I found out that maybe it was more common than I thought. The "Oh! My friend's sister or cousin's roommate is doing that, you should talk to him/her" become a frequent suggestion.
I'm four months in and I can easily say it's been one of the best experiences and decisions of my life. While yes, it's absolutely amazing frockling around Europe, it's been even more rewarding developing a self-confidence and getting to know the best version of myself, which I honestly couldn't find for awhile — (This specific teaching experience and definitely the people I've met along the way have been a big part of that). AND I still have 6 months to go! One thing I've known and now have accepted is that after graduation, there is no straight path for anyone to take even if it feels like everyone is "climbing the corporate ladder". You have to create your own path, and it's scary. But once you learn to not only accept but embrace the unknown and the rollar coaster that is life, it really gives way to more possibilities and positivity to life.
From the first day of orientation, I've realized that there are a million reasons why people are here! It was so refreshing to see people from all walks of life. While a majority, I would say, are people fresh out of college, there were also people in their late 20s, 30s and even people in their 50s-60s. Some people were taking a sabbatical and others were previously teachers in the states wanting to do something different. I've collected a quick survey response with people explaining in their own words the "why." While this includes many recent graduates, know that this is 10 responses out of over 400 teachers here in Spain. This program is really meant for anybody, as long as you have an intermediate level of Spanish :) Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions and/or thinking about it!
Why did you decide to teach in Spain?
LeighAnn, 24: "I wanted to get better at Spanish/have some fun before committing myself to grad school."
Christine, 22: "I’m taking this year as time to figure out what I want to do for my career after graduating from my undergrad school. Originally wanted to become trilingual with Spanish on top of American Sign Language and English to strengthen my applications to grad school. Now I’m still working on Spanish but also deciding what kind of grad school I want to go to/"
Amanda, 23: "Not knowing what the hell I wanna do with my future 😝 where better to figure it out than Spain?"
Alicia, 23: "Gap year before law school."
Huliarr, 26: "I'm 26 and have been working as a teacher in the US for the last four years. I needed a change and really wanted to return to Spain. I came with the intention of staying for a couple of years depending on how the year goes. I would also like to pursue a masters here."
Christina, 30: "I’ve been teaching for six years in Chicago, and needed a change. My favorite class of seniors graduated, so I wanted to leave the school too. I’m turning 30 in May but had never traveled abroad, so I took a jump! I chose Spain to improve my Spanish as well."
Tori, 22: "I took a gap year after graduation because I have no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to travel, see the world, and experience other cultures as much as possible before I settle down and get a real job."
Gianna, 23: "I fell in love with Madrid/Spain when I studied here so I knew I wanted to come back and live abroad for an extended period of time. This was also a step forward in trying to figure out what I want to do for my career (testing out teaching) while also practicing Spanish and having the ability to travel more. Nothing holding me back in the States so now was the time!"
Valery, 22: "I'm a recent grad that studied international management and business law, was going to go to law school until a semester abroad made me want something else and made me realize I didn't wanna stay grounded in one state for however long it took me to build up my career. While I decided what I wanted to do I wanted to live where I spent one of the happiest semesters of my life while also being able to live on my own, cue finding the auxiliar program. I hope to find a permanent job that does have to do with something I'm interested in (humanitarian work, public relations, commerce, etc) because I feel more at home here than anywhere else."
Ben, 23: "I applied to study abroad in Madrid during college but decided to study in the UK instead, so I still wanted to chance to live in Madrid after college and improve my Spanish."