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Living Your Experiences Here in Spain!
Monica Vera – Caracas, Venezuela
Dear future TEFL teachers,
One thing that is certain is that traveling is the best education money can buy. If you love to travel and experience new cultures, learn new languages, and make new friends, then Madrid is the place for you. Living and working in Madrid, Spain is like traveling the world without leaving the city. Madrid is a big city with a small city feel, a metropolis where Spanish people from different regions and people from all over the world come to live and work. Its location in the middle of the country is ideal for people who want to visit the multitude of little towns housing the historic and beautiful Spanish cathedrals and castles. And for the traveling buff, you can always find great flights all over Europe for weekend trips.
Before I decided to move to Spain I spent hours on the internet trying to figure out how I could live and work in a foreign country. Teaching English abroad seemed like the right opportunity to make my dream come true ASAP! After sifting through what seemed like thousands of programs I became convinced that the Canterbury TEFL program was the best way to go. I soon left all my doubts behind and decided to come to Spain. I have been living in Madrid and working teaching English through Canterbury for 6 months and I am certain that I made the right decision.
The Canterbury TEFL program is composed of modules based in theory and practice which not only prepares you for working in the field it offers you an internship to start you on your way. This is something unique I didn’t find in any other TEFL programs. The best part is that the program is short and sweet. Before I knew it I had completed the program and was making money teaching within a month of my arrival. The Canterbury teachers and staff are not only qualified and helpful they truly care about you and about making your experience here a success. The Canterbury club is a valuable bonus that provides you with a supportive group of people and fun activities that can make the transition of moving to a new country much easier and tons of fun.
Teaching English to Spanish speakers is one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I have learned so much about the Spanish culture from each one of my students and at times I feel like they teach me more than I teach them. Living and working in a foreign country not only teaches you about the world it teaches you a lot about yourself. It’s the door that opens up a world of opportunity and gives you unique and diverse experiences you could write volumes about. These and many other amazing experiences await you so pack your bags and come to teach English through Canterbury TEFL!
Monica Vera – Class of October
Louise Dreisig – Copenhagen, Denmark
Dear future TEFL students,
If you’re reading this, you must be thinking of coming to Madrid to do the TEFL program at Canterbury, but you’re not quite sure. Well, let me share my own experience with Canterbury and Madrid with you – hopefully, it will help you make your choice!
I’m a 23-year-old Danish girl who has been living in Spain for more than four years now. My original plan was just to stay in Madrid for a year to learn some Spanish, and then return to Denmark, but that’s not how it all turned out. I found it impossible to just leave my new life behind after that first year was over, so I ended up staying here, and I started studying tourism at a Spanish university.
I didn’t have the idea of doing the TEFL course until more than two years later, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it before. As a non-native English speaker, I was a bit unsure whether I would be able to find work teaching this language, or whether I’d even be qualified. However, at Canterbury, I was met with such a warm and friendly atmosphere that I soon stopped worrying. I had a great month during the course, I met some wonderful people, I learned a lot, and I found a job that I really enjoy.
The TEFL program was very interesting, the instructors were friendly and professional, and there was a good balance between theory and practice, including videotaped practice classes and presentations that are done in class. The course also includes twenty hours of real teaching with real students, which is probably where you learn the most. The theory is good, but the experience is better!
If you speak English but not Spanish, teaching is probably the best job you can possibly get here. Everyone in Spain wants to learn English lately, so there’s plenty to do, and Canterbury really does give you the work they promise. It’s a really rewarding and interesting job if you care enough to make an effort, and it does something that isn’t as easy as it sounds: it gives you a direct contact with Spanish people and culture.
Many foreigners who come here end up talking only to other foreigners, especially if they take a Spanish course because it’s just so much easier to meet people who are in the same situation as you. But when you teach, your students are Spanish, and getting to know them will give you a different insight and a more authentic image of Spain.
My life is very busy between studying and teaching, but I can honestly say it’s worth it. If you’re not a native English speaker, don’t despair: I haven’t had any problem finding work, and what I learned at Canterbury even gave me the experience and confidence to start teaching private Danish classes. Who would have thought there’d be a market for that? And if English is your mother tongue, well, make the most of it! Share your language with the world, have fun and be paid for it too!
Of course nobody can guarantee that your experience will be as positive as mine, but I think it’s worth a try. Living abroad can be a great adventure, and I can honestly recommend this country, this city and this school.
Louise Dreisig – Class of September
Mark Flemming – Washington, D.C.
Dear Perspective Canterbury Students,
I am a 24-year-old Washington, DC native who took the Canterbury TEFL course in January. I came to Madrid on a whim but after a year here, I can say it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I started my studies in Spanish when I was 4 years old at my bilingual elementary school in DC. I studied Spanish until I was 14 after which I applied for a year abroad in Zaragoza. I got into the program but my parents decided at the time, I was too young to spend a whole year abroad by myself. Therefore, I did not attend the program and shortly there after, my studies in Spanish concluded as I had passed out of all the Spanish classes at my high school. My next chance to live in Spain did not come until college but again, timing, sports and my majors would not permit me the opportunity. It was not until graduating college I was able to set out on the adventure I had been waiting for my whole life.
Like anyone who just up and decides to leave their home of 22 years, the idea of coming to Madrid not knowing anyone was a little daunting at first, but whether it was luck or fate, I couldn’t have ended up associating myself with a better English academy than Canterbury TEFL. One of the things that makes the academy so special is that it realizes the big step all of its students/professors have taken by packing up and moving to a foreign country and therefore are extremely accommodating and helpful with every aspect of your new life in Madrid.
When I first arrived, I was able to pick the brain of the Canterbury staff about everything from a good place to start looking for an apartment to the best mobile phone providers to cool tapa bars in the city. This is very useful even from the standpoint of someone who had 10 years of Spanish training because Spaniards, while very, very friendly when you get to know them, can sometimes appear a bit unapproachable or intimidating upon first glance!
Another of Canterbury’s wonderful traits is that other teachers/students just like yourself surround you. Whatever his or her motivation to come to Spain might have been, everyone you work with is in the same boat looking to experience something new. Some people come for a “post-undergraduate adventure” before settling down for good in their career path. Others come to improve their Spanish.
Moreover, others come after having had years of life experience in other job markets but just want to try something completely different. I personally was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the teachers were in similar situations as my own: having gotten into a post-graduate program but wanted to defer a year or two before hitting the books again. It was very comforting to know they were mulling over the same decisions as I was at the time.
Overall, I would say that Canterbury TEFL provides a unique opportunity to all its students and employees: the opportunity to live in a foreign country not as a tourist or a student, but an actual member of the society. I cannot help but smile when I think to myself, “No, I did not get a chance to study in Spain when I wanted to, but now instead, I am immersed here in life and work, which is much more rewarding, and I did it all by myself.” For anyone looking for a life changing experience, there is no need to look further than Canterbury TEFL. It was able to help me realize one of my dreams, and hopefully, it can do the same for you.
Mark Flemming – Class of January
Nicholas Hanna – Chicago, Illinois
Teaching and studying with Canterbury TEFL was a fantastic experience! Their program was an essential stepping stone in my transition to a foreign country and my success as a language teacher. The TEFL course gave me the skills and experience I needed to feel confident as a teacher of English. The program focuses on teaching theory and provided me with the tools necessary to effectively succeed as a language teacher. I learned how to properly create a lesson plan, handle a classroom and solve problems. Their instructors were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They were always willing to answer my questions or offer up advice.
When I did begin teaching my own classes, I was given students with a sincere interest in learning and a desire to improve. Everyday was a welcomed challenge and an exciting opportunity to teach, interact and have fun with my students. The majority of my classes were within the Madrid metro system and were easily reached. I eventually built up more than 20 hours per week teaching for Canterbury.
Canterbury also put me in touch with a community of expatriates involved in the same things as me. When living and working abroad, it becomes easy to miss home or feel isolated. Canterbury’s social events and generally friendly atmosphere provided opportunities to meet friends and share experiences. I had a lot of fun with Canterbury’s staff as well as my fellow teachers.
Living in Madrid and teaching English changed my life and was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I recommend it to anyone seeking the opportunity to experience something new and exciting.
Nicholas Hanna – Class of September
Marijike Mulder – Amsterdam, Holland
This is to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed my stay in Madrid at Canterbury TEFL. After having worked for many years (I am 53 years of age) as a communication consultant in Amsterdam, I decided a few years ago to take a year off for a sabbatical leave. I went for six months to Chile and worked as a volunteer at a high school in Chile’s most southern city, Punta Arenas.
I helped the local teachers teaching English and French (we Dutch know our languages…). I also was involved in forming a summer school, in which we taught English to eager locals, to professionals as well as to children. It was a very exciting and rewarding time. What it lacked though, and what I was looking for, was to become more professional in the job of teaching. You really have to know your stuff to keep everybody interested and see results.
So I decided to improve my Spanish further and to learn more about teaching. I selected a TEFL school that offered both opportunities. I picked Madrid, being not too far from my homeland; choosing Canterbury seemed to be too easy an option. The school offered what I wanted: the possibility to improve my Spanish as well as a very interesting and challenging TEFL course. It looked solid and exciting at the same time.
Now, being back in the Netherlands, I look back at a really enjoyable time in Madrid. My Spanish improved and I sharpened my skills. The teachers and staff at Canterbury were really nice and supportive. Even though most TEFL students were a lot younger than me I had no trouble feeling part of the whole group, thanks to good communication and a friendly atmosphere.
Furthermore, teaching on the job turned out to be an excellent way to know Spain and the “Madrileños” a lot better. Canterbury sent me to excellent places (offices and private homes) where I taught English and French for some months. I asked for a variety of students and that’s what I received. Among my students, I had an accountant and a hotel manager, I taught a class to engineers, and also I remember two little sisters with a very ambitious mother. Furthermore, the city of Madrid is enchanting, lots to see and to enjoy.
In short: the training was excellent, this way of learning more about a country and it’s inhabitants is very rewarding and I can recommend it to everyone who considers to do the same. Cheers!
Marijike Mulder – Class of August
Robert Thornburn – Los Angeles, California
To all TEFL candidates,
I am writing this letter to let you know about the positive and rewarding experience I had with the Canterbury TEFL school. I moved to Spain in July for love. My girlfriend is a Madrid native. After living in Los Angeles for 25 years I was ready for a change in my life but this was a major commitment, and one of the first decisions I had to make was how I would earn a living in Europe speaking very little Spanish.
I had some private teaching experience but little hands on in a classroom. Canterbury TEFL totally prepared me for teaching English in a foreign country. After doing their one month course in August, I felt confident and ready to provide my Spanish students with a quality English education.
I found the staff to be honorable, knowledgeable and friendly. The classes were very well structured between theory, business and children. All the teacher trainers did their best to make the classes interesting. Considering we’re talking about English here, it’s amazing that I can use the word inspirational to describe some of the classes I had with John Bouse, one of the theory instructors.
Like most things, the key to becoming better at it, is experience. Canterbury provides its teachers with key presentation assignments throughout the course to get your feet more than wet. Some students actually start earning through teaching before they finish the course. Canterbury does provide it’s teachers with paying students/clients. There are other language schools claiming this, but it’s a sad fact that not all deliver. Canterbury wants you to work.
In fact, you must satisfy their minimum teaching hour requirement before you receive your TEFL certificate. Madrid is filled with close to one hundred language academies, so there is no shortage of work for teachers.
Canterbury also provides it’s student teachers with group excursions, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some of the delights that Spain has to offer. There is also the Canterbury Club for socializing and networking with other teachers and Spanish students. Yes, you can work as a teacher here in Spain with an English teaching job abroad!
In summary, I had a great experience at Canterbury TEFL. I’ve made new friends for life. I’m supporting myself with a rewarding occupation and living in Europe. I’m happy. Perhaps you could be too.
Robert Thornburn – Class of August
There’s more to come! If you would like to contact some of our other previous graduates, click here.
Photo by Viktor Krč on Unsplash