Teaching English in Spain...?

I'd like to find a job teaching English in Spain, however, I just wanted some advice from anybody who has ever done this before...
What was your experience like of teaching English in Spain?
Any tips/advice?
Do all teaching jobs in Spain require you to stay with a host family? (this is what I've come across during my job search!)
Thanks in advance :)

I'm also curious about this. Marking so I can see any replies. I have a friend who did it in China and I think he had to stay with a host family.

Hi everyone,
I have been living in Spain for 8 years, although I have not taught English (I have thought about it because it must be the most popular job for native English-speaking ex-pats).
I have met many English teachers, and none of them live with a guest family!

If you are from outside EU, you may find a job before you arrive in Spain, and your employer will handle the paperwork, some employers may place you in a "host family", to teach English to members of that family, but that is just one of the many teaching roles.
I know several people who offer English classes privately (from their own home or at the customers'). Also there are many Language Schools who employ many native-speaking teachers with the right qualifications.
US citizens will need a work visa from the Spanish Embassy in the USA.
Anyone working in Spain should be registered with several bodies and you need to be in the country of Spain (i.e. have a Spanish address) to do this paperwork, for EU citizens they are:
1. the local office of foriegners for your Identity document (N.I.E.)   - EU citizens can obtain an EU citizen´s registration instead.
2. the local town hall for resident-status (Empadronamiento),
3. the tax office (Agencia Tributaria)
4. and with Social Security (seguridad social) for public health care (except non-EU citizens who will need to prove their private health cover).

To get the above, you will need to provide other documents (e.g. Spanish bank statements, proof of home address etc etc) but once  you have these documents you can apply for a job in Spain or set-up as self-employed (autonomo).

I hope someone can clarify if I have made any mistakes or left anything out.
Good luck!
p.s. you can find much useful information in this forum - e.g. https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=655208

Hangoverocks.    4  and with Social Security (seguridad social) for public health care (except non-EU citizens who will need to prove their private health cover).

Just to clarify.    Non EU nationals who get a job will also get the medical cover the same as EU nationals

Hi adzbudz

I had a great time teaching near Barcelona, almost thirty years ago. After 5 years I had had enough of teaching mostly in the evenings, starting work mostly between 4 and 6. It gave me the feeling I was hanging around all day waiting to go to work. The teachers' age range was 25 to 40. Most people do it as a short term job before moving on. Socially, I had an outrageously good time and while my colleagues did take the job seriously - it was not too seriously. I taught in International House, Mataro - one minute from the beach :-)

One the other hand, a few years of teaching can certainly lead to some kind of step forward. I eventually ended up with a permanent job in a Dutch university, which I have recently retired from.

Nowadays, you will need a BA and a recognised certificate in teaching english. I recommend:

https://ihworld.com/schools/countries/u … ih-london/

They offer courses in teaching english and once you've got your certificate will be able to offer you a job in one of their schools.

Or, you could go straight to Barcelona and get a teaching certificate here:


A flat was found for me by the school I worked for.

Dare I mention 'pension'? If you work abroad consider maintaining payments into your UK pension. Also, check if you are building up a pension in the country you work in. And, I'd take out some kind of private pension especially if you end up moving to different countries.

Good luck


Hi again

If you don't have a degree, don't let that stop you. But...I would most definitely do a course in TEFL - teaching english as a foreign language:

[link moderated]



Hi Hugh,

The link to your suggestion is not visible. Will you kindly send it to me!?


Hi Stella - I've just sent it. Good luck. Hugh

Thank you! ☺️

Since so much teaching is now done remotely, you might like to consider working independently as an online English teacher.  You'd probably need to set up your own website in Spanish and English with a carefully compiled C.V. and perhaps some I.T. help to make sure you're prominently listed on search engines.  You'd also be well advised to get at least some of the qualifications others have mentioned above.

To work legally - even online - you'll still need to register with the tax authorities and all other necessary agencies in Spain.  But once set up, this could be a reasonably lucrative cost-effective and enjoyable way of working.

i like this suggestion and you can work in a beautiful part of the world also! Genius!

I realize this post is old now, but just in case there's another person doing research...

I got TEFL certified through Canterbury English, and the owner has been very helpful. Also the instructor of the course, John is FANTASTIC. Great teacher. Now, I've been with Canterbury for about three years and have renewed my student visa through them every year.

Not gonna lie-- finding consistent work in Spain can be tricky. Yes, Canterbury will help get you leads, but if you're only relying on teaching English for income, be ready to do a bit of your own marketing to try to get students. But, luckily, team is super flexible and I have been able to travel to other parts of Spain for work and also have time to work online to supplement my income. But, nothing beats living in Madrid, at least for me. The fact that I have been able to be here for as long as I have LEGALLY has been a gift.

If you think you'd like to give Madrid a try and you like being surrounded by fun, laid back fellow teachers, then think about giving Canterbury English a try.

Good luck,