For those looking to make that giant leap and move abroad to study English, there are so many dilemmas. Probably one of the biggest is what type of course to enroll in.
If you’re in this boat, chances are you’re caught in the middle of deciding whether a TEFL course or the Auxiliar de Conversación is right for you. So, we thought we’d break it all down and simplify, to give you a better understanding of the two. Who doesn’t love an informed decision, right?
A TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course is a globally recognised training course that gives you the skills and experience to teach English abroad.
Once you complete your TEFL course you’ll be free to find work wherever you like. A good TEFL provider will have lots of contacts in the local job market and should be able to put you in touch with local schools and employers. You’ll earn as you learn, working in teaching jobs that help hone the skills you learned in the classroom. These skills range from grammar skills to things like lesson planning and techniques to make lessons fun and dynamic.
When signing up to a long-term TEFL course (such as the Developing Teacher course at TEFL Iberia), you may be eligible for a visa, which means you can stay in the country for a certain period of time. You’ll also receive support in finding the perfect place to stay and settling into the local scene.
A free program for North Americans that’s sponsored by the Spanish Government, the Auxiliar de Conversación is officially known as the North American Language and Cultural Assistant Program, but is often just called ‘the Aux Program.’
Students apply to gain experience as a language and cultural assistant in a public school in Spain. You apply for your preferred region and, if your application is successful, you’ll be placed within one of 300 schools.
In the aux program, students are supposed to work 12 - 16 hours per week, teaching lessons over 4 days a week, but often end up working longer.
If you want control over the experience, with plenty of support along the way, the TEFL program is the way to go. A course like TEFL Iberia’s CertTESOL program gives you freedom and flexibility. Crucially, it gives you an enjoyable experience – the best way to learn.
With the Aux Program, a lot of it comes down to the luck of the draw. Yes, you might end up in a great school with no problems. But many Aux students find that they just aren’t supported enough and often end up taking way more classes than they bargained for. It’s free though, which may well appeal to those on a budget.
Whichever you choose, throw yourself into it with a curious mind and a sense of adventure… and prepare yourself for a life-changing experience!
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