Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more? Here are some answers to our most common questions.

What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

TESOL stands for ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’ and TEFL stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. Both are generic names for the same thing. The Trinity CertTESOL is an official qualification in TEFL provided by Trinity College London.

What is the difference between TEFL and CELTA?

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching) is the same as most one month TEFL / TESOL courses and is accredited by Cambridge University, which puts it on equal standing as the Trinity CertTESOL.

TEFL Iberia raises the bar in terms of what it provides and does for each student – check out more differences here.

There are so many TEFL/TESOL courses advertised – how do I know I am choosing the right one?

First of all you must ask yourself the easy questions – where, when, how much, how long, etc. You will come across a number of schools that meet your requirements. Many students choose our TEFL course as it has:

  • Outstanding graduate reviews.
  • External moderation and validation – you get an officially recognised Trinity CertTESOL qualification.
  • High quality course material and access to a large database of employer contacts.
  • Small groups, a personal approach and plenty of guidance
  • Modern classrooms and excellent value.
  • Many extra services included – appointments, accommodation, translation, etc.

Every school will have a different ‘vibe’ and you need to find the one that suits you. You should also consider the number of teaching practice hours offered and the variety as you will need to feel confident after the course to step into a real-life class and teach.

Do I need a degree to enroll with TEFL Iberia?

No. A degree is not required to get accepted into the TEFL program, but students do need to demonstrate sufficient qualifications/work experience prior to enrollment. For more specific entry requirement info, check out our entry requirements page.

Do I need to be a native English speaker?

An advanced level of English proficiency is required, but that does not mean that you must be a native speaker. In fact, around 20% of our students are not native speakers, and bilingual (or trilingual) people often make the best language teachers!

When is the best time to do the course?

Academic years vary from country to country so there is always work. Also, people come and go at all times of the year for whatever reason so you will never have a problem finding work. In Barcelona there is a spike in hiring activity in September and January but jobs become available year round as students sign up to English courses at different times of the year.

Does this course qualify me to teach English?

Yes. The Trinity CertTESOL is one of the few courses which are recognised by governments and schools internationally.

Where should I do my TEFL course?

Ideally in the city you’d like to work. You’ll make the most immediate job contacts, get to know the city and more opportunities will present themselves simply by being in the right place at the right time. Apart from being an amazing city, Barcelona is great destination as there is a large demand for English teachers.

What is the course workload like?

You’ll be in the school from 10.30-18.45, Monday-Friday. You’ll observe a lesson every day and teach 3 lessons per week. Initially these are short, 30min lessons, then 40min and finally full 1 hour lessons. There is allocated time in the schedule to do lesson preparation during the day, but you’ll probably need to spend an hour most evenings doing some extra preparation, at least for the first two weeks. In the second two weeks you’ll have free afternoons to work on your assignments and study for the exams.

The courses strikes a balance between being challenging and training you fully, but also allowing you to enjoy your time in Barcelona. You’ll work hard but you won’t be stressing till 3am to finish assignments!

Do I need a visa?

If you are a European Union citizen then you are free to work and study in any of the EU countries. If you are a non-EU citizen then you can stay up to three months as a tourist and you are free to study and do private classes during this time. If you would like to stay longer and obtain a work permit, the easiest way to do this is with a student visa, which will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week (which is full time for an English teacher). TEFL Iberia can process a student visa for you, for more detailed information please contact coordination@tefl-iberia.com.

Can I work on a student visa?

If you apply for a long-term student visa (more than 6 months), yes, you can work through a “convenio de prácticas”, which is like an agreement between us (your school) and your future employer. It states that you are studying with us and doing paid work experience at the school, which allows you to get a work contract and register with social security, etc. The only limitation is that you can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week (which is perfect for English teaching jobs).

How many hours can I work if I have a student visa?

Officially up to 20 hours per week.

How long does it take to process a student visa?

It varies from country to country but on average you should give yourself 2 months from start to finish.

Do I have to pay for the entire course before I can get my visa?

Yes, in order to be approved for the visa you must show that you have paid for the full course. You can pay for the course in instalments, but the full amount must be paid before you apply at the consulate.

What happens to my payment if the visa application is denied?

If your visa application is denied due to error on your part (incorrect information, missing paperwork, etc) you will be entitled to a refund of the course fees, minus 350€. If your visa application is denied due to error by the school you will be entitled to a full refund.

If my visa is not approved in time for the 1st day of my class can I push back my start date?

Yes, no problem at all.

Can I extend my student visa from within Spain?

Yes, if you have a long-term visa (7 months or more) you can extend from within Spain by signing up to further courses.

Can I combine courses to process a visa?

Yes, you could do 6 months of Spanish and 6 months of the Developing Teacher course, for example.

Can I process a visa from within Spain?

No, all first-time visas must be processed from your home country.

Do I need to make an appointment to apply for my student visa? How do I do it?

Yes, you should make an appointment at your nearest consulate. Here you have a list of all the consulates around the world

I already have a student visa with a different school. Can I renew with TEFL Iberia?

Yes, but your previous course must be related to teaching or Spanish. You need a certificate of completion from your old school (certificado de aprovechamiento) and an enrolment letter from us to take to the administration office.

Can’t I just apply for a straight-forward work visa?

Nowadays it is very difficult. The sponsorship process is a large commitment for an employer and it is very hard to find a company willing to take it on. Even if you do, you would have to involve costly immigration lawyers and prove that someone from the EU can’t do the job, which is extremely difficult.

Can I leave the EU to reset my tourist visa?

Yes, but you would have to leave the EU for a minimum of 3 months.

Is it possible to 'pause' my course and visa if I need to leave Spain and come back?

No, your visa has a fixed start and end date.

What is the difference between the NIE and TIE?

They are effectively the same. NIE: 'número de identidad extranjero' = your ID number. TIE: 'tarjeta de identidad extranjero' = your ID card. Your ID card has your ID number on it.

Can I work on a short-term student visa?

No, in order to work you need to be on a long-term student visa (7 months or more).

Where will I be based?

You will be based within 30min walking distance or public transport of the school. The Barcelona Metro is very extensive so you’ll usually be within a ten-minute walk of a metro station too, which means getting to the beach is also quick and easy too!

Will I be sharing with others?

Yes. If you choose our pre-arranged accommodation then we will house you with other students, ex-students, or English teachers already living here. If you’re keen on practicing your Spanish, then you can also request to be housed with a local. Living with people who already know the city is a great way to get to know Barcelona and meet a few people too.

What will my accommodation be like?

Our flats are all modern, clean and in good areas, with fully-equipped kitchens, washing machines and high-speed Internet. You will have your own bedroom with a double bed, clean bedding, a desk and complete access to the common areas. As soon as your accommodation is confirmed, our coordinator will send you all the details with photos of the flat and a map with directions to the school.

Are bills included?

Yes, all bills are included. Electricity, gas, water, wifi, etc are included. Food, meals and public transport are not included.

Are meals included?

No, they are not.

When should I confirm I would like accommodation?

As soon as possible!* The earlier you confirm you’d like us to organize you a room, the more likely we’ll be able to find you the perfect place according to your preferences. *Please note students must confirm and pay for accommodation at least two weeks before their arrival date, otherwise we cannot guarantee we will have a room available.

When would I move in and out?

This is flexible but we usually arrange for you to move in on the Saturday before your course start date and move out a few days after you finish. If you’d like to extend your stay before and after the course dates, then just let us know in advance.

Do I have to pay a security deposit?

Yes, you will be required to pay a refundable security deposit upon arrival, preferably in cash, which will be returned to you when you leave. It will be no higher than €200.

Can I bring a friend / partner / children?

It is possible to arrange accommodation for two or more people. Let us know as soon as you can so we can make arrangements.

Can I have guests?

Normally no, but it is possible to come to a private arrangement with your host.

Is it possible to stay in a one-bedroom flat?

We are able to organize a single flat for you but there will be a significant price increase. If you don’t mind sharing a flat but would prefer a private bathroom, we can also arrange this.

Can I register my address (empadronarse) at my accommodation?

This depends on your host, you will need them to sign a form that says you are living in the flat.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

English is the only language used in our classroom, and throughout the program, we will show you how to properly teach English without the usage of any foreign language. That way you can teach everywhere from Barcelona to Beijing. With that said, learning some basic Spanish will certainly enrich your Barcelona experience outside of the classroom!

Do you guarantee a job?

No, we provide you with all the resources and support to find a job, but ultimately the onus is on you to contact schools, send your CV, etc.

How long will it take me to find a job?

Normally two weeks of continued job searching. We run our job finding workshop early-on in the course so you can start looking for jobs before the end of the course.

How much will I get paid as an English teacher?

The average rate of pay nowadays for new teachers is 12-15€/hour. Working for an academy full time (20 hours) you can expect to earn 1100€/month after tax. If you add on 2 private classes per week (it is easy to do more) you can increase that to 1300€/month.

How many hours should I expect to work in my first English teaching job?

It varies. Some people obtain a full-time teaching position in one academy and teach 16-22 hours per week. Others start on a smaller timetable of 6-12 hours per week then gradually build up their timetable with other academies and private classes.

How easy is it to find a job in Spain?

Very easy. The English teaching industry is very stable; spoken English is a highly sought-after skill so there is still a large demand for English teachers. Job websites are updated daily with numerous job adverts ranging from private classes to full-time teaching positions.

What is the average cost of living in Barcelona?

You can expect to pay 500-550€ for a quality double room in a shared flat in the city centre, then about 140€/week on food and entertainment – this money will stretch quite far as Barcelona can be very cheap compared to the UK / US / Canada / Australia.