Recognition of foreign qualifications in Spain

Hello everyone,

Were your professional qualifications recognised in Spain? What country did you complete your qualifications in? What profession are you in?

Did you have to go through any formalities to get your qualifications recognised, such as to have them translated?

If your qualifications weren't recognised, were there any additional tests or exams you had to complete before you were able to practice your profession in Spain or continue with your studies?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Hi Priscilla,

Yes I had my CELTA in Spain. I had Tefl from Ireland and other papers from Ireland

Hi Priscilla, I never had my professional qualifications translated, because it is useless. Although in theory one has the same rights as Spaniards the only thing in Spain you need is a right friend at the right place to get you in, your curriculum is not important at all. It is the same story for the Spaniards. I have a  doctoral degree in Toxicilogy, a Bsc. in Science, I am a qualified teacher in Science, speak English, Dutch, Spanish, French and German. The formal Mayor of the town where I live assured me he had never seen anyone with so many qualifications  but he NEVER offered me a job at his private Academy! I have been painting houses, cleaning pools, anything to earn my livings, at 61 years old I am with pre-pension right now

Wou ovgastel , I kind of agree with you. I think we must also have some kind of faith. I mean everyone told me because I am Hungarian I will not have a job (non-native) .
some British friends of mine left Barcelona as they haven`t found any jobs. I was happy when after 1 month I got an offer although I never really worked in Barcelona just around it. Villasar de Mar was amazing and Badalona.

Ovgastel good luck with everything! I hope when I am 61 I will be as positive as you!

My wife vaguely looked at getting her teaching qualifications convalidated or whatever th verb is. Asking around, checking websites etc she decided it was a waste of time. There's the cost of official transltions, the difficulty that older qualifications weren't recorded in the same way and a general unwillingness of schools to take on foreigners as "proper" teachers.

The funcionario system is also a big hurdle for lots of public jobs. Even if your qualifications are accepted you still have to pass the oposiciones. I saw something on the telly yesterday that said there were some public exams for 1400 teaching positions. There were 28,000 hopefuls. So why take on somebody with odd qualifications?

To back up, to some degree what ovgastel says I've been teaching English for a few years. One place I worked a lot of the course was around the world of work. It proved to be a challenging concept for most of my students. Very few of them had ever done an interview. They got their job because their uncle knew someone or their brother in law did.

As usual Culebronquitis has a good post, perhaps because he is from Alicante (if I remember correctly). Back in the 1990s, I had to get my University classes convalidated in order to receive credits toward getting my PhD as a Ing. De Caminos (Civil Engineering) at the UPC in Barcelona. I have two memories of the experience. The translation of my classes by an "official" translator was expensive and the translation was unacceptable, as the translator had no idea how to translate upper level math and engineering courses to Spanish. I ended up making a large number of corrections, and returning the translation to her. The cost was well over 100 dollars, for a few pages of classes and grades. Then there was a long wait, maybe 6 months or more before my classes were convalidated, but I did receive credit for a number of classes, which allowed me to do more research and less classwork so it was worth it. During my tenure at the UPC, I once overheard a fellow grad student refer to me as an "enchufado". This bothered me a bit as I liked to feel that I was there based on past merits, but it was somewhat true, as had worked with the vice-rector of research and considered him a friend. In truth in Spain there is something of a dual system. In private industry, the principle way one gets work is by connections, whereas, for government jobs, including teaching positions, getting a job as a "funcionario" is a long process in which one competes against a huge pool of candidates, preparing by obtaining, more degrees, studying long hours for "oposiciones", learning languages, and working at temporary positions, all to get points to be higher up in the "bolsa de trabajo". I can't imagine a foreigner making it over all these hurdles, and putting up with occasional temp jobs for years to become a "funcionario".

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