In this post I will quickly talk about my journey to become a language assistant in Spain, and the auxiliar de conversacion program for Filipinos.
I first knew that Filipinos can come to Spain to work as English teachers or language assistants back in 2015.
I heard that an acquaintance whom I’d met at a pub crawl was moving to Spain. It sounded like another story of a Filipina wishing to work abroad, but her story piqued my interest. She was a successful broadcaster in the country, but she gave up everything and moved to Spain to become an English teacher. Some friends who knew that I’d been wanting to try living abroad suggested that I speak with her.
And so I did.
This acquaintance said she was happy with her job. Despite her success, she felt like something was missing and she needed a change.
So, after sometime searching through Google, she found that Spain offers foreigners the opportunity to live, study, and work in the country as a language assistant. The language assistant (or the auxiliar de conversación), will work 12-16 hours per week after taking a teaching certification course.
It was tempting to take the same route but the price wasn’t exactly encouraging: a hefty €3000+. This is excluding the visa application and the flights. In the meantime, I was desperately trying [and failing] to save up the money I would need to even get my visa application approved.
Fast forward to 2018: while browsing through Facebook, I saw a photo of a friend of mine taken in Madrid. Curious, I reached out to ask how he was doing and how he ended up in Spain. He mentioned that the Spanish government sponsors an auxiliar de conversación program, the same program as my acquaintance, but there was no need to pay any fees, besides the visa application, airfare, and accommodation.
I got even more curious, and this curiosity led me to read blogs upon blogs of people’s experiences as auxiliares.
I also vowed to make 2019 the year that I will move to Spain as an auxiliar de conversación.
And here we are.
What is the auxiliar de conversacion program?
The Programa de Auxiliar de Conversación (language assistants program) is a program in Spain that aims to improve the language skills of public, semi-private, and private-school students in infantil, primaria, secundaria, bachillerato, and formación profesional.
Spain’s Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional’s language assistant program is the most popular, primarily because there are no joining fees to pay. The placements are also plenty, and the requirements are not as extensive.
Besides the Ministry’s program, there are also private language assistants programs, but they require a joining/placement fee, and the hours could be longer.
Basically, an auxiliar (or colloquially, aux or auxie) under the Ministerio will be assisting English teachers during fun activities in the classroom to help practice the students’ language skills.
The Ministerio partners with public primary, secondary and language schools for this program. Auxies are usually assisting the teachers for 12-16 hours and receive a monthly stipend of €700 or €1000.
How can Filipinos join?
Under the Ministry, Filipinos can join the English program and become auxiliares in specific comunidades autónomas (regions). Unlike the other countries, Filipinos must first schedule an in-person interview with the Education Adviser. Once they pass the interview, they can then upload their application requirements in the Spanish portal called Profex.
The application period usually runs from mid-January to mid-April. The program sends out the regional placements in May. Applicants can expect to receive their final placements, which include the name of the school/s, in July until September. Classes begin in October and end in May or June (in Madrid).
Why did I create this blog?
I wish for my website to become a resource page for Filipinos who want to live in Spain as an auxiliar.
Most of the resources online are specific to North Americans, the largest group of auxiliares.
There aren’t that many blogs and Facebook groups that talk about the auxie life as a Filipino, so I wish to add to that small number of resources for Filipinos.
Stay tuned for more posts about my Auxie Journey!
Lastly, I hope that you will have all the information you need to join the auxiliar de conversacion program for Filipinos! CM