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How to Teach Spanish Abroad for a Year

by Clayton Browne

Spanish is the the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, with more than 450 million speakers as of 2013. That means over 7 percent of the world's population claims Spanish as their mother tongue. Spanish is a romance language, and relatively easy to learn, especially if you already know another romance language or English. Spanish teachers are in demand in many places around the world, and a number of U.S.-based and Europe-based organizations sponsor programs for young adults to teach Spanish abroad for a year or longer.

Earn a professional certification demonstrating your proficiency in Spanish. A number of organizations offer certifications, but the Spanish as a Foreign Language, or DELE, certification is the only certification recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The DELE exam program as a partnership between the Instituto Cervantes, the University of Salamanca and the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Investigate a few Spanish-teaching abroad programs. With some programs you pay for your own travel, but room and board is covered in your host country in return for your teaching. You might also receive a small stipend. In other cases, you might be hired as a part-time or temporary employee. Well-known teaching Spanish abroad programs include CIEE Teach Abroad, Spanish Abroad, don Quijote and Teachanywhere.

Apply to the teaching Spanish abroad program of your choice. Do research to make sure that the organization has a good reputation, and that there are no surprise additional fees or extra add ons when you arrive in-country. Also, confirm that all necessary visas and other travel documents are included as part of the program.

Tip

  • Consider traveling to China, Japan, Russia, India or another country where Spanish teachers are in demand on your own, rather than part of an official teaching program. You can find work with a language teaching school or work with private clients after you have arrived. However, some tourist visas are only valid for six months, so you may have to renew your visa if you want to remain and teach for a full year.

Warning

  • Obey all of the laws and immigration regulations in your host country. Trying to skirt the rules to make extra money or stay longer than permitted by your visa is unwise.

About the Author

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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