After you apply to teach English in Spain as an auxiliar de conversación, you’ll probably be wondering:
“When the heck will I find out where I will be teaching and living in Spain?”
Since this question will be driving you crazy for the next few months, let’s take a look at the Auxiliar de Conversación Application Timeline.
The Spanish government which runs the North American Language & Culture Assistants Program does not really do a good job of telling prospective auxiliares when they will find things out, like when their application status will be changed from inscrita to admitida, when they will know which region they are placed in, and finally when they’ll find out what city and school they will be teaching in.
These are typical questions that quickly fill up the Facebook groups with messages of horror and panic that things are not progressing fast enough!
Remember, that this is the Spanish government running the program allowing you to teach in Spain, and if you know anything about Spain, things can be sllllllooooooooooooowwww (see: Spanish bureaucracy). While we know firsthand that the entire process will be slow, and at times agonizing, we’re hoping to calm some of those nerves and keep perspective auxiliares sane as the time approaches for when you will be teaching English in Spain.
And so it begins. The applications for teaching in Spain open up around the beginning of the month. You can check the Spanish Ministerio’s website for language and culture assistants. Once they have a specific date for the applications to open, it will be updated on their website.
Great! Now, you’ve applied. And now, you wait.
February to Early April
The next step is seeing your application status change from inscrita to admitida. This occurs once they have received all your documents that you send in as a part of your application, review them, and give them all the okay. In a sense, your application and documents are good to go once your status is admitida.
The application status could change anywhere from February to April. Make sure to give it time. Take a deep breath…or two…or three…and R-E-L-A-X. If you email your contact from the Spanish government, you’ll likely receive a response saying that they are working on your application, have a lot of others to get to, and will let you know once they know whether your application is okay or not. So just don’t do it because you’ll just be annoying them and it’s a waste of your time.
Late April to October
After all second years (first-time renewals) have been given placements, they will start assigning first years region placements. This typically starts to occur towards the end of April/early May. However, exactly when it begins can depend on when Semana Santa falls in Spain. For the 2019/2020 school year, placements began for first-year applicants in mid-May. Again, PLACEMENTS ARE ASSIGNED BASED ON INSCRITA NUMBER.
(2019/2020 UPDATE: Future auxiliares de conversación for the 2019/2020 school year have been receiving their regional placements in a different way than any other year for the past 10 years or so.
Applicants with inscrita numbers in the 4000s have been placed in their first choice regions before applicants with inscrita numbers less than 1000 in their first choice regions. Therefore, it is difficult to know if your inscrita number is too high to receive a placement because this is definitely a new process.
Our advice is to just wait and be patient, even though that it the most difficult thing to do. When you do receive your placement, be open to wherever it may be, even if it was not your first choice.)
Usually, they will give a certain number of placements a day and then wait for the next group the next day. Sometimes it takes longer than a day because they have to wait for perspective auxiliares to either accept or decline their positions first. Waiting a day or two might not seem that bad, but it’s worse when they stop right before your number on a Friday. Then, you have to agonize all weekend wondering where they will place you on Monday!
The region placements will continue based on inscrita number from that late April/early May date throughout the summer and into the fall. Those with higher inscrita numbers shouldn’t worry too much. You will probably be placed; it just might be later into the summer as people decline their placements. If you’re worried that your inscrita number is too high, read this post on Is My Inscrita Number Too High to Receive a Placement?
Approximately two to four weeks after receiving your region placement, you should receive your city and school placement. This is what most of us have been anxiously waiting for.
Now, go on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or whatever search engine you use to research the crap out of that city and school since we can only imagine you’ve done that with the region you’ve been placed in already.
Summer (Post-City/School Placement)
Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s time to move on to the Spanish VISA phase. (see: aforementioned bureaucracy). You should begin gathering your VISA application materials shortly after your general excitement settles from receiving your city and school teaching placement. VISA appointments take place anytime during the summer. We would recommend applying at least a month and a half before you plan on leaving though to give them time to process it.
If you receive a late placement in September or October, your school will understand that you were given a late placement and know that getting your VISA will take time.
Once you apply for and receive your Spanish student VISA, you are all set to go teach in Spain! Then, it will soon be January and the process starts all over again.
*This timeline is for first-year applicants to the North American Language and Cultural Assistants Program, and while second-year (first time renewals) have a similar timeline, it does vary a little bit.
**As this is run via the Spanish government, all dates are subject to change. This was complied based on the last few years of how the program was operating.