I am from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Before I came to Barcelona I just finished my Business degree and was working in the travel industry saving the $$$$$ to move across the world. It was actually my job that inspired me to do something like teaching English abroad.
I started out as a TEFL Iberia student and when I finished the course I started teaching in a private language academy. I also wanted to start broadening my experience within the business & marketing field as this is what I studied, so I posted on a facebook group to say I was interested in doing some internship work. Richard the Director came across it and reached out to me, and from there I started doing some marketing and administrative work for TEFL Iberia.
I started getting to know the ins and outs of the company and I learned an incredible amount about Spanish bureaucracy and the student visa process. I also did some social media work, so I really got to know a lot more about TEFL Iberia which was great. In early 2020 the previous Admissions Director moved on and that’s when I applied for the position. I think the fact that I had done the course myself and experienced life as a TEFL Iberia trainee, and went on to learn about all areas of the company as an intern, it kinda made me the perfect candidate!
A typical day for me is generally arriving at the academy or a close by cafe in the morning and starting with my emails. I am always in close communication with all of the current and up-coming trainees, whether it's guiding them through the visa process, arranging accommodation, or coordinating the current course and making sure everyone is settled. I also stay in contact with all of our Developing Teacher students, helping with things such as Spanish bureaucracy and visa renewals. So generally my morning is taken up with admin, which I actually quite enjoy, I really like coordinating things and then seeing everything come into place; a lot of work really goes into helping someone move overseas.
My afternoons are taken up with applicant interviews, which is when I interview interested applicants, to make sure they are a right fit for the course and also to make sure all of their questions are covered. I also manage the TEFL Iberia social media accounts so I spend some time creating fun and interesting content. I really like to focus on showcasing our trainees and graduates and their experience with us at the academy and in Barcelona. So yeah, my days can get pretty busy and every day is a little different. I also squeeze in some Spanish classes there as well!
Ummm, I think everything to be honest. It's such a different lifestyle here, back home I would need to jump in my car to get anywhere. It was real suburban life, whereas here I can walk out the door and I have a million different cafes and bars to choose from right at my doorstep, or jump on the metro and be in completely different vibe within 10 minutes, it really is crazy! One of the major things that stands out here is the eating out culture, it’s such a normal thing to head out for lunch or dinner any night of the week, which I LOVEEEE!
The openness to all the different cultures here is a massive thing I noticed, I think in Australia because we are so secluded, we get so caught up in in the Aussie bubble that you don’t really feel interested in getting to know the expat community, but here it is really just such an open and accepting space.
Definitely to be able to instil some confidence in future trainees. I always say, If I can do it, so can you! I always use my first hand experience of moving abroad by myself, doing the course with no experience whatsoever in teaching and then landing a teaching position within 2 weeks of finishing the course. I think when people hear that, it really shows that they can do it too. Also being able to answer people's questions about the course and how it's structured and really just being a sense of support for the trainees on the course. It can be intense, so I think it’s good to have someone who knows the feeling to be there to support you through it.
I would definitely say the close knit support, it’s such a supportive environment and the relationship you build with the other trainees and the tutors is really amazing. You’re supported step by step and the passion from the tutors really opens you up to this new world of language and learning that you never knew existed. It’s a support system from day 1 - before, during and after and I think that’s what really makes TEFL Iberia stand out.
Just do it! It’s something that you will have forever, it gives you this new amazing sense of languages and education and how we learn. You gain this amazing skill to teach someone something, it really is special and the experience itself is also one of a kind. Spending a month with other like minded people and working together, you build amazing friendships and then once you’re done, you have a whole world of opportunities ready to jump into, so really, just do it!
Getting to meet interesting people from all over the world and helping them come to this beautiful city to do something so fun and adventurous. I love being able to play some part in the reason that they are here doing what they are doing, I think that's pretty awesome!