START A SUCCESSFUL TEACHING CAREER
We recommend you read the program essential information before applying
Early Childhood teachers need to experience the process of second language acquisition in young learners. This is crucial in order to understand an increasingly global society, in which students who speak different languages fill classrooms.
If you are a graduate in Early Childhood education and you are looking for international teaching experience, you are in the right place. This Early Childhood work experience in Spain will give you a new perspective on education. It will also ensure that you teach the ages that interest you the most: Early Childhood.
MAIN PERKS OF THE PROGRAM
THE UNIVERSITY COURSE
Each of the course modules is designed to guide participants through their teaching practice effectively. The content of the modules aims to cover each of the educational stages. One of the modules is tailored for early years educators. It includes stage-related readings and videos that will broaden their knowledge to teach infants.
It begins with an initial workshop in Barcelona or Madrid. After that first day, participants move to their destination and follow the rest of the course online, with the support of forums, tutorials, and a tutor. The completion and evaluation of the course will be based on the assessment of individual module reports.
Educators will be able to test their skills and knowledge in a real-world setting in Spain. Participants will have the opportunity to use their initiative and creativity to plan and conduct lessons.
Educators will focus on helping preschoolers improve their English, French or German speaking skills through games and activities. Meanwhile, their tutors and the main teachers will give general indications and guidelines on how to be a good preschool teacher.
There will be a good support system from two tutors. On the one hand, a university professor will provide guidance, when needed, to complete the online course. On the other hand, an experienced Early Childhood teacher will closely tutorize you.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
This could be the beginning of an endearing experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Early Childhood Experience in Spain
In recent years, Spanish schools and teachers in Spain have focused on second language acquisition during early learning. They want their pupils to be immersed in other cultures from the earliest stages of children’s development.
The schools seek to create high-quality environments for young children who are learning English as a second language. Consequently, Early Childhood jobs and work experience opportunities for native-level English speakers with this academic background have grown exponentially in Spain.
Indeed, around 70 out of our 200 partner schools all over Spain participate in this program. They are all private or semi-private schools. Most of them are bilingual centers, or centers in which English language teaching is considered a pillar of their curriculum. Nevertheless, their main purpose is to improve the English language and intercultural skills of their students with our programs and, therefore, both scenarios enable a great context to learn about the best teaching methods for preschoolers.
Catalina O’Brien is one of these recent graduates who has decided to take advantage of the exceptional conditions offered by Spain. Being an Early Childhood graduate from University College Cork, Ireland, she speaks about her Early Childhood work experience in Spain teaching preschoolers with Meddeas.
Catalina joined Meddeas’ Early Childhood work experience in Spain in search of teaching experience as an Early Childhood Educator. She had just graduated and thought that gaining international experience would be beneficial for her resume, as well as an incredible opportunity to broaden her mind and to grow on a personal level.
In Ireland, I taught in English, which is the children’s first language. In Spain, their first language is Spanish and they are slowly starting to learn their first words in English. This makes the teaching experience more challenging, but also more fulfilling because you really witness the kids making progress. I always feel so proud and accomplished when the children ask for things in English.
I was extremely lucky with my tutor at the school. She was so helpful, understanding, and kind throughout the entire year. My colleagues were always teaching me new things about Spain and recommending places for me to visit. Not only did I improve my Spanish from my colleagues but learned about the education system in Spain, which is something I’ve always been interested in.
Teaching as an Early Childhood educator and living in Spain with a Host Family has given me first-hand knowledge of Spanish schools and Spanish life. In fact, I feel that teaching English as a second language to preschoolers is the most valuable skill in my professional career.
Teaching English as a second language to two to five-year-olds is challenging, but I noticed that I made my activities more interesting and provoking in order for them to understand. The skill to be able to teach English as a foreign language is extremely valuable to me.
This experience teaching English abroad will set them far apart from other applicants in any position they apply for. International experience is extremely valuable in many jobs.
Also, teaching English abroad proves your ability to adapt to a new environment and to live and work with people from different cultural backgrounds. They will always have something interesting to talk about in a job interview regarding their experience abroad!
Catalina O’Brien, graduate from UCC (Ireland)
A Meddeas Early Childhood Educator is a recent graduate interested in acquiring full-time international teaching experience with young students from 0 to 8 years old. They get the chance to join one of the +300 schools we collaborate with in Spain to support the English, French, or German department, and collaborate with them through an internship scheme, delivering conversational activities to groups of up to 8, or up to 15 students at a time, while getting additional training from experienced teachers. They receive a monthly stipend to cover their expenses while having this experience.
Note that this role is different and more involved than that of a Teaching Assistant. Early Childhood Educators require plenty of initiative to prepare and deliver engaging and creative activities and fun games, following the guidelines given by the main teacher, in order to motivate the students, help them improve their speaking skills, and make them fall in love with the language.
You will have the opportunity to experience the process of second language acquisition in young learners, teaching alongside experienced Early Childhood teachers, to help you become a successful Early Childhood Educator.
You need to be a native-level speaker of English, German, or French. Native German and French speakers should have at least a B2 level (CEFR) in English because the university TEFL-related course is taught in this language. You need to fulfill one of these two prerequisites as well:
You must have no criminal records, and you need to hold a valid passport (not needed to apply, but necessary to start the visa application process, if applicable).
Not at all. There are no fees to participate in Meddeas. You will have to transfer a refundable deposit of €850 after accepting your placement as proof of your commitment to the program. This deposit will be refunded to you at the end of the program, once you successfully complete your school placement and university course.
No. Our program’s allocation process is profile-based. That means that our Human Resources Team will match your profile with a specific school placement (with its own requirements) so that you can benefit from this internship experience. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in a specific location.
Since we run a profile-based allocation process, we only consider individual applications. If one of your friends or your partner has also applied, please bear in mind that it is unlikely that we will place both of you in the same town or even region.
You will be enrolled in a TEFL-related course, adapted to school environments with a focus on Early Childhood Education, delivered by a Spanish University. The course begins with a one-day session in Madrid or Barcelona (TBC). After that, you will move on to your placement destination to collaborate with the school and complete the online course throughout the academic year.
The university will recognize a portion of your activity at the school as part of their academic training. In addition, you will have to dedicate around 360 hours (225 hours if you start in January) throughout the academic year to complete the course, with the support of forums and your university tutor.
Course completion and evaluation will be based on the assessment of individual modules. Tuition is paid for by the program and its completion is compulsory.
Our program runs from September/October/January to May/June. If you successfully complete the program, you may apply for a second year as a Meddeas Early Childhood Educator. You can choose to stay at the same school or move to a different one.
The Early Childhood Educator’s schedule will be set and modified by the school according to its needs, which means that placement’s characteristics depend entirely on the school, and participants are not able to change its schedule or conditions.
You will have between 20 and 24 in-class hours per week. You may be expected to dedicate an additional 2 hours to coordination meetings with other teachers, and may also have additional gaps between lessons. You can take advantage of these gaps to prepare activities and dedicate time to your online TEFL course.
If you live with a host family and your placement has less than 23 in-class hours per week, you will teach them in 4 days (mornings and afternoons), or in 5 mornings every week.
You will receive a monthly stipend that will vary in quantity depending on the number of weekly in-class hours and your lodging option, which are previously defined by the school. The amount ranges from €900 to €1,141 for the independent housing option and from €450 to €691 for the host family option.
The monthly stipend will allow you to live in Spain as a young professional, and is enough to pay your rent (in case of independent housing) and cover expenses. Keep in mind that larger cities like Madrid, Barcelona, or Bilbao are more expensive than medium or small cities. We advise you to come to Spain with some savings to help you get settled.
You will be entitled to the same holidays as the rest of the school’s faculty. You will have a Christmas and Easter break, local or regional holidays, and some long weekends (puentes). You will have a set school calendar and you are not entitled to any days off outside the pre-established holidays. Trips and travel arrangements should be made around your class schedule and school calendar.
You will have access to the Spanish Social Security system (national healthcare) for the duration of the program. The Public Administration (Spanish government) will deduct a small amount from your monthly stipend (between €9.40 and €11.50, approximately) in order to pay compulsory Social Security contributions in exchange for nearly universal medical coverage.
Although you will be covered by the Spanish healthcare system, you will need to purchase an additional private health insurance plan if you are a non-EU passport holder to satisfy visa requirements. Successful candidates may look for their own options or contact Meddeas, since we have partnered with a private health insurance provider to offer affordable coverage that complies with visa requirements.
You are expected to show initiative and commitment and perform professionally. Meddeas and/or the school have the right to cancel an Early Childhood Educator placement if any of them consider that the participant exhibits a lack of professional behavior.
If this occurs, the Early Childhood Educator loses the deposit and all inherent rights (placement, social security, course, stipend, etc.). In addition, the program is legally obliged to cancel the visa (if applicable).
If you decide to leave the program, you will lose the €850 deposit and all inherent rights (placement, social security, course, stipend, etc.) In addition, the program will be legally obliged to cancel your visa (if applicable).
Yes. If you decide to live by yourself, we strongly recommend that you look for a shared apartment located close to your school. It will be easier for you to walk to school each day instead of relying on public transportation.
Meddeas does not provide accommodation, so you will be responsible for finding an apartment to rent. Our Admissions Team will offer you tips and links for finding an apartment in Spain. You will also be invited to the Meddeas Facebook group, where you can communicate with other Meddeas participants who might also be looking for an apartment in the same area. Nevertheless, negotiating an apartment contract or security deposit will be your own responsibility.
Yes. Living in Spain is a great way to practice the Spanish language, and staying with a Spanish host family will be the best way to make the most of this unique experience. The family will introduce you to many typical Spanish traditions that will help you discover a new culture and, most likely, make friends for life. In some schools, you might be placed with two or three host families throughout the year.
Through this very special opportunity, you will find yourself being part of an authentic Spanish family and all that comes with it: living in their home, eating together, playing games, and going on family trips. It is a dream come true for those who want to live like a Spaniard for a few months. Check the Host Family Conditions.
Schools understand that you might have little teaching experience. At the same time, they expect you to show serious commitment. You will be expected to be involved with your students, demonstrate motivation, maintain professional conduct, and use good interpersonal skills. Proactivity, flexibility, and initiative are essential to planning, preparing, and delivering your own activities.
One of the school’s teachers will be appointed as your tutor. They will guide you and you can ask them for advice when needed, but you will be expected to independently plan your own activities and games.
Meddeas collaborates with private and concertado (charter or grant-maintained) schools. Some of them are non-religious, whereas others are Catholic. In a Catholic school, a Language Assistant is expected to be respectful of the school’s beliefs and customs, and to avoid controversial topics. It is not necessary to share its ethos, but the above is a must. If you have any questions on this matter, you will be able to address them during the interview.
Successful candidates will receive all the relevant details, including location, students’ age group, and school characteristics before accepting a placement offer. Once accepted, details cannot be changed upon the Early Childhood Educator’s request. The school defines them and may adapt the ages of children that participants are placed with, according to their needs.
If you are interested in becoming a Meddeas Early Childhood Educator, you can apply through our website by filling out the online Application Form.
We will evaluate your eligibility and, if you meet the requirements to enroll in the program, we will arrange a first online interview with you.
If you make it to the second stage of the recruitment process, you will be invited to a second online interview. If you successfully complete the second stage, you will be considered for one of the available placements for which your profile matches.
Finally, you will be asked to sign an agreement. You will receive the name of your school before transferring the refundable deposit to ensure your placement. You will then be accepted into the program and will be able to start your visa application process, if applicable, with the guidance of our Admissions Team.
The program does not include any fees. However, you will have to pay for some things with a set and known cost:
Non-European passport holders (visa requirements)
Prices vary from country to country. Please check the fees that apply to your particular case.
As Meddeas is a training program, you might be eligible to defer your student loans during the program. Eligibility for deferment will depend on the requirements established by the institution granting your loan.
We will evaluate your application and determine whether you are eligible to participate in the program.
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