Would appreciate any help and advice

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Would appreciate any help and advice

Unread postby Dcavanagh » 24 Nov 2012, 14:36

Hi there,

I'm 24 years old (male), work in a boring office job and the only thing that is keeping me sane these days is the thought that come August, I will have left this country to go travelling (Ideally indefinately!). I know a lot of people who live in continental Europe, Japan etc. but none of them went down the teaching english as a foreign language route so they haven't been able to give much advice. (They work in finance and/or professional work)

I've saved a bit of money so I want to get the best value for it - I will do a Celta course. I want the training and also I feel that I've a better chance of getting a job straight away if I do this course and mingle with my peers and hopefully pick up a few contacts for later on. I'm thinking of doing it in Barcelona, and I've heard that jobs are relatively easy to get there, despite the Spanish recession. The plan would be to work there for a year and then move on to another European city. Naples say, or maybe Istanbul. In my own Jack London/quasi travel writer way I'd like to live for a while in every major European city (I'm Irish by the way and I've wanted to go travelling since forever but money was always an issue in the past). Money isn't really an obstacle initially but I will need to find a teaching job within a month of completing my course, so doing the Celta course in the city I plan to teach in is a big deal for me.

Can people give me their personal opinions about employment prospects (I plan to do the course in August) in the greater Barcelona area in September/October 2013? Personal stories would be much appreciated, because I really don't trust any of the sales hype on any of the course websites. Also advice on what kind of websites I should use to find a houseshare when I get there, help with getting to grips with transport, best place to buy a bike (Will be one of my first purchases!) or general help on how to get through the course (I hear its pretty intensive, but I already work an unsatisfying 60 hour week in my job so I think it won't be all that for me!). Also, when I should apply and how the application procedure works. (Do I need to do an interview etc.)

Thanks again guys, would really appreciate your opinions.
Dcavanagh
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Joined: 24 Nov 2012, 14:24
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Would appreciate any help and advice

Unread postby Briona » 25 Nov 2012, 17:59

Hi there,

Though not in Barcelona, I am in Spain and employment prospects for EFL teachers are good despite the recession. Doing the course in August is ideal because you'd be on the ground at the peak hiring time. Some schools even offer their graduates a job on successful completion of the course.

I actually did my CELTA in the Barcelona area a couple of years ago. I chose that particular provider because at the time it was the only one offering the five-week option. Don't get me wrong, the course was still incredibly intensive but that extra week gave me a little breathing space which undoubtedly had some bearing on my final grade, a Pass A.

Should you be interested in going with the same provider, you can find all the relevant information here: http://www.cambridgeschool.com/ (click on 'teacher training' in the top right-hand corner). Note that they are based in Granollers, which is about 40 mins by train away from Barcelona Sants station.

Accommodation
The best sites (that I know of!) for finding accommodation are Idealista (http://www.idealista.com/en/), Enalquiler (http://www.enalquiler.com/) and Loquo (http://www.loquo.com/en_us). Note that Loquo is a little like Gumtree in the UK and thus you may be able to buy a second-hand bike there too.

Transport
For transport within the city have a look at TMB (http://www.tmb.cat/en/home). For regional or long-distance trains you'll need RENFE (http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html).

Hope that helps. If you have any other Qs, please ask and I'll do my best to help (although most of my knowledge is Madrid-related!).

Briona
Briona
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Re: Would appreciate any help and advice

Unread postby Dcavanagh » 26 Nov 2012, 19:56

Thanks Briona, nice of you to give your time to share your thoughts. I actually know a couple of people in Madrid so it would be something of a plan B for me in case Barcelona doesn't work out. In fact, I'm not actually tied to anywhere or anything. If I managed to land a teaching job in Seville/Zaragoza/Valencia/wherever I'd be happy enough, its adventure I'm craving more than anything else.

You say people had jobs lined up after doing the course. What is the money like relative to the cost of living? Don't get me wrong, I'm not doing this to save for a mortgage or anything but I don't want to live like a complete pleb either. I want to go out and have a good time now and then. I'm finding it hard to visualise what the money actually means. Would I be able to find a job in a school or would it be for a private outfit? Sorry for all the questions but as you can imagine I'm eager to find out as much as I can.
Dcavanagh
Registered Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Nov 2012, 14:24
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Would appreciate any help and advice

Unread postby Briona » 27 Nov 2012, 00:07

Hi again,

It's not that people had jobs lined up after the course, rather that they were invited to apply for some timely vacancies by their course provider once they had completed it. This does tend to happen. The school is happy to employ you because they've just trained you - they know what you're like!

The majority of jobs are at private language schools, in other words schools that teach English to children, teens and adults AFTER school or work. Consequently, much of the teaching will be done between 16:00 and 22:00. That said, some businesses want early morning classes so you may be expected to work split shifts. If you're unlucky there will be some Saturday teaching involved as well.

When compared to the cost of living, salaries in Spain are not especially high. You can expect to take home anywhere between €800 and €1,300pm. The exact figure will depend on how many hours you work and where you are living. If you opt for one of the big cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia, your biggest outgoing will undoubtedly be your rent. More than likely you will have to share a flat with one or more people for which you can expect to pay €300pm upwards. I pay €336pm + bills for a tiny (and I mean tiny!) room in a three-bed flat. It's fine for now but I will definitely look for somewhere else next year. All in, the rent and bills account for almost 30% of my wage, which is actually not too bad. I find that I can live on the rest quite easily. However, I don't really drink and I don't tend to do 'big' nights out. I do a lot of travelling and sightseeing though.

That's it for now. If you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Briona
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Posts: 86
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 21:33
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