Spain is one of the most popular destinations to teach English as a
foreign language; the weather is fine, you can live reasonably comfortable (but never rich) on the wages, and
English is vital for Spaniards. With so many places to chose from I thought I’d
do this two part blog on the best places to teach English in Spain.
This week’s blog is based in Andalucía.
|Seville at Night|
Seville is the capital of Andalucía. It’s a flat city with a population
of about 1 million so it’s got a lively feel. The city is centred round
the 4th largest Cathedral in the world and the River Guadalquivir. It’s
funny but I used to hate Seville. Some things still get on my goat, but in
general I’m happy here. (Photo by lilivanili)
Teaching English in Seville
Despite the current recession, jobs exist in Seville. There are three
main language schools and about ten or so smaller ones spread around the city.
Classes are mainly for kids and teenagers, although at the moment demand for adult English is high. You can get a mixed bunch of students depending on
the area. Where I am the students are generally fine, quite motivated and not
too problematic, but in other areas they can get quite boisterous. I’ve been
here seven years so I love teaching Sevillanos, they can get rowdy and overly proud of their city but in general they’re a good laugh and keen to learn.
Things to do
I’ll be honest, after about two days I’d seen almost everything in
Seville. As I said before, the city is built around the cathedral (free entry
on Sunday, if not then €8) and the River Guadalquivir (free to walk along 24
hours; I spend a lot of time there). I went up the amazing Tower of Gold
once, which is worth it for the view, but the museum is a bit pants. The Alcazar
or Royal Palace (free for residents or €8), is impressive to see the mosaic
walls, but the best bit is playing hide and seek in the garden maze.
There are tons of bars and places to grab tapas. A new attraction, which
isn’t very popular with the locals, is the giant Setas – Mushrooms. For €1.30 (free for residents) you can go up the
top and see a decent view of Seville; it’s best at night to see all the churches
and Cathedral lit up. Seville is a great place to live and learn Spanish. Popular festivals are Semana Santa; a
religious festival around Easter and La
Feria; a mad drinking and dancing party at end of April or early May.
|View from Gibralfaro|
If I had to live in another place in Andalucía then I’d
probably choose Malaga. It’s the second biggest city in Andalucía with a
population of almost 600,000 and is the fifth largest in Spain. Despite being
on the Costa del Sol, Malaga has kept its Spanish culture and the eight months
summer season makes it a great place to live. (Photo by Gotardo)
Teaching English in Malaga
There are plenty of language schools in the centre of Malaga and
surrounding areas. Demand for English is high due to the booming tourism
industry. There are also language schools dotted along the coast in places like
Torremolinos (nasty), Fuengirola, and Marbella. Apparently the students
are a bit more open minded than in Seville, but they are just as proud to be
Like most cities in Spain the Cathedral is one of the main sights. My
favourite part is the Castle of Gibralfaro which you can explore while seeing great views of Malaga and the sea below. I’ve never been
in the Alcazaba but it’s supposed to be pretty cool too. The centre of Malaga
is buzzing with bars and nightlife is excellent; my brother-in-law lives there
so most times we ‘go out for a quick beer’ we normally get back at about 6am.
The best attraction about Malaga has to be the beaches. The one in the centre is
not that pretty, but if you go east along the coast the sand is whiter and
cleaner. The Picasso museum (just round from the Cathedral) is worth a look, as
well as the English Cemetery about 20 minutes walk from the centre.
If you’re after a quieter, more bohemian place to teach English then
head to Granada. I think the mountain backdrop makes the city prettier than
Seville, and walking about the Albaicín’s winding medieval streets is a joy.
Granada is small with a population of only about 300,000 so if you like chilled
out places then it might be perfect for you.
Teaching English in Granada
There aren’t as many language schools in Granada, which means they’ll be
fewer jobs (surprise surprise). However, a quick look on google gave me a list
of about ten academies so there are opportunities. I’d imagine working in
Granada would be a lot more laid back than other places in Spain, plus with the
more cosmopolitan feel you’d get a mix of students too; could be fun. (Photo by pandahaccer)
Granada is all about the Alhambra (book ahead). The first time we went we missed out
on the Royal Complex because we didn’t pay attention to the time on the ticket.
Walking about the Generalife gardens and seeing the views over the city are the
best parts. There’s an excellent view of the Alhambra from the other side in Plaza San Nicolas. I’m sure you’ve guessed there’s a cathedral to
see too, check out the Royal Chapel to see where the Catholic Kings are buried.
Be careful outside though because the gypsies can get quite aggressive. As
mentioned before just walking about the Albaicín gives you a great feel of the
bohemian atmosphere. You’re also only about 30 minutes from the beach and the
Sierra Nevada is great for skiing.
I hope that gives you more of an idea of teaching English in Andalucia.
Check out my blog this Saturday (updated on 3rd of May, the second part will be live on Tuesday the 8th of May) for a similar article on Madrid, Barcelona, and
Labels: barcelona, Granada, madrid, malaga, Seville, teaching in spain, TEFL Spain, valencia, where to teach english in Spain