Teach in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación FAQs

Since I moved to Spain to teach English over two years ago, I’ve gotten lots of questions about the program I’m here on, so I’ve decided to do an FAQ, soon to be followed by a pros and cons list… cause let’s face it- there are lots. Here it goes!

What’s the program called and what’s required to participate?

The program is called the North American Language and Culture Assistants program, or Auxiliares de Conversación. It is offered through the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is a part time English teacher assistant job.

There are other similar programs with slightly different schedules and other details. The first is the “Teach in Spain” program through CIEE. It’s the exact same job as the auxiliares program, but you pay CIEE $1,000+ to do your application and have the possibility of an orientation. Another one that’s pretty popular is the BEDA program that places applicants in private schools in Madrid, but that’s pretty much all I know about it… I’m an auxiliar expert 😉

To be an eligible applicant, you must have a bachelor’s degree. That’s honestly the only actual requirement, but there are other skills that will give you a leg up, even though they aren’t required.

A beginner level of Spanish will be helpful, for obvious reasons. The program tells you that you should have an intermediate level of Spanish before coming. They never “test” it, but many instructions for applying, forms, and orientations once you get here are in Spanish so you’d be at a slight disadvantage to not know anything. That isn’t to say it  can’t be done- I know a girl who came here knowing basically no Spanish and she made it through. Brushing up on your own over the next several months will make the application process smoother, and the adjustment process easier once you’re here.

It’s also not required to have any teaching experience, though I’m sure you can imagine why this would be advantageous. It can be intimidating to step in front of a class of kids of any age, so at least being comfortable with and liking kids is pretty much an unwritten requirement.

How does the application work?

In early January (it varies every year) the application goes live. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the application opens on January 9th, 2014. On the program website you’ll find extensive instructions on how to do each and every step of the fairly complicated application on the Profex website. You’ll have to create an account, fill out your CV (résume), and upload documents like a transcript, recommendation letter, personal statement, a copy of your passport, and a medical certificate.

After uploading the documents, you choose your preferred regions of Spain. The preference selection sheet looks like this:

**Navarra and Canarias are only for Brits through the British Council program, and Castilla La Mancha, Cataluña, and Valencia have not participated in the program the past couple years.**

As you can see, there are three groups that include all of the autonomous regions of Spain. You must preference each group, and then select your preferred region within each group. As you can see, it’s a bit inflexible and not all regions are participating. For example, if your first choice is Madrid and your second choice is Andalucía, you’re pretty much shit out of luck, as they both fall into Group C and you can only choose one.

After “preferencing” a region, you’ll state your preferences in terms of urban vs. rural and high school vs. primary school, though NOTHING is guaranteed, take it from me.

Once all is filled in and submitted, you receive a PDF with an application number. Its a long string of letters and numbers on the top of the PDF, and the last one to four digits are your application number. This number is your golden ticket, and the lower it is, the better chances you have of getting your first preferences. The program is gaining lots of popularity and people are on top of the application like frosting on a cake so low numbers get scooped up fast! But don’t worry- even if you get a really high number (like 3 or 4,000s) there is still hope! People this year have been getting placed all the way up until November and December, even though the program started in October and most people get their placements in the summer.

How much does it pay, and is it enough to live on?

Auxiliares in all regions (except madrid) get paid 700€ a month and work 12 hours a week from October 1st- May 31st. In Madrid, they work 16 hours a week from October 1st through the end of June, but get paid 1000€/month. I’ve found 700€ to be a decent amount as in both towns I lived in rent averages 250€-350€, less if you just want to rent a room in a place (aka live with roommates). On top of rent, you’ll need to pay electricity every two months, and water every three, plus internet. Some places may include the price of electric and water in the rent which can be great. In general I’ve found groceries and cell phone plans to be cheaper than they are in the US so thats also a good thing.

If you want to travel, eat out occasionally, and shop, you’ll probably want more income. It’s relatively easy to find work giving private English lessons in the afternoon, and since you’ll have so much free time (12 hours of work a week is nothing) you’ll probably want to fill up your afternoons with some classes to rake in some dough. Try posting an ad on tusclasesparticulares.com when you get to Spain and when you have a phone number. Spaniards much prefer calling to emailing so you’ll have a lot more success if you provide a number to be contacted at.

Do you have a visa? How does the residency work?

Once you apply for the program, get accepted and get your specific school placement letter (carta de nombramiento) you can apply for a visa in your assigned Spanish consulate. You’ll apply for a short stay Schengen visa that’s valid for three months. Then, when you get to Spain, you’ll apply for a residence card before your visa expires which replaces your visa and is valid until the end of the program. The general visa requirements can be found on the NY Spanish Consulate website. Of course you’ll want to check the consulate website for the consulate that covers your state as the requirements and vary a bit.

Make an appointment to apply for your visa (you must go in person!) ASAP ’cause the appointments can get booked really far in advance. Then gather all of the documents required and bring them to your appointment. You’ll need to leave your passport at the consulate and provide them with a mailing label so they can send you back your passport and newly affixed visa. They say it can take a couple months to get sent back, though in my experience it’s taken much less time.

Once you have your passport and visa in hand you’re ready to go! Make sure to have copies of EVERYTHING because you’ll give the consulate lots of originals and copies and you’ll want to keep some for your personal records, and bring them to Spain with you to apply for you residence card, or NIE/TIE.

What’s the job itself like?

The job itself is extremely hit or miss. As I mentioned earlier, your preferences don’t always get taken into account, especially in terms of urban/rural primary/secondary. I requested a secondary school in an urban area and I got sent to a primary school in a town of 30,000 people and I was terrified. Turns out I actually much prefer having younger students so I’m glad they didn’t listen to me.

Over the summer or in September someone from your assigned school should be in touch with you. If they’re not, don’t freak out, and just show up at 9am on October 1st! I know that sounds crazy but they’re expecting you. You will be given a schedule of 12 hours, and if you’re lucky your coordinator will have your hours back to back four days a week. If you’re not lucky, your hours could be spread over 5 days with hour long breaks between classes forcing you to be at the school all day every day even if you only have 2 or 3 classes that day. Both situations have happened to me and there are pros and cons to each.

Your responsibilities will vary based on your school, and each teacher will have different expectations. I have been assigned to English and Science classes for the most part. My first two years I was at one primary school and worked with 3-4 teachers. For the most part I would go in and lead the kids through their English book which didn’t require any planning, and occasionally the teachers would ask me to prepare a lesson about a unit they’d be doing next week so I had advanced notice. On special holidays I’d give powerpoint presentations and review holiday vocabulary, and maybe do some sort of easy craft. I had an overall positive experience at that school and felt like a part of the school.

This year I’m in two primary schools on alternating weeks so it’s been more difficult to feel connected to each school. In one school I do all English classes and there is only one English teacher, so I’m with him all day, but my schedule is great because all of my hours are together so I can come to school late and leave early every day. The other school’s schedule isn’t as great so some days I have to be there all day, and other days I can leave a little early. At that school I work with a few different English teachers, and with the older kids I take them in groups of 5 to practice basic conversations.

So, what other questions do you guys have? Did I forget anything? Leave a comment if there’s something more you’d like to know and I’ll definitely do my best to answer! And check out this Pros and Cons list about the Auxiliares program.


76 thoughts on “Teach in Spain: Auxiliares de Conversación FAQs

  1. Hi! I am going through the process of applying now and am a little bit confused about how the lottery number/preference for region etc works. Is it truly a lottery where everyone gets a random number? Or is it more like first come first serve where the first ones to apply certainly get their preference? Ha or maybe it is not this simple?
    Thank you for your help!!


    • Hi Grace! It’s first come first served. Everyone is assigned a number in the order they apply, first time applicants and renewals all in the same “pool” or numbers. From my understanding, they then go through and place the people renewing to do a 2nd year based on their number. Then they go to the first time applicants and start again with the lowest numbers, so it is definitely useful to have a low number if you’re very set on the region you want. If you have a high number and have requested a popular region or a region where there are fewer placements, you’re less likely to get your first choice. Either way, you’ll almost definitely get a placement somewhere no matter what the number, even people with numbers in the 4,000s we’re getting placed this autumn to start ASAP, though most people get placed in the spring/summer. Hope that helps, good luck!


  2. Pingback: Pros and Cons of the Auxiliares de Conversación Program in Spain - Andalucía Bound

  3. Hi Chelsea,

    Thank you for writing this blog; it has been most enlightening and congratulations on meeting your beau! I have already submitted my application for 2014-15 and recieved a pretty low number (584 i believe). So, my concern is staying in Spain once the program has ended. I intend to begin a career in teaching living in Spain on a permament basis…..which would require that I seek full-time work …. I’ve read that auxiliares are not permitted to work in any other official capacity while on a student visa. Any thoughts?


    • Hi Clare!

      Thanks for reading 🙂 You have a great number so I wouldn’t worry about that. But you’re right… staying in Spain full time after the program is pretty tricky. My best advice would be to renew as an auxiliar again to give yourself more time to figure out a solution. If you’re from the US it’s quite difficult to get a long term residency card but it can be done. I think you just inspired a new blog post…


  4. Hi Chelsea!

    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I’ve often heard that getting a resident card is quite difficult. Well, I won’t worry too much. The first step is to be admitted as an auxiliar, right? Soooo, while I’m glad to have a realtively low “inscrita” number, I made the mistake of selecting Catalunya and Valencia, both of which no longer particpate in the auxiliares program….no idea where I’ll end up but I suppose that will be part of the adverture! New blog? I hope my inspiration is a good thing…. : )


  5. Hi Chelsea,

    Thank you so much for writing this, it’s very thorough!

    I was planning to apply for either 2015-2016 or the year after. A couple questions for you:

    -I was wondering how much Spanish is required. I took four years of Spanish and did great in the classes but (a. it was high school, and b. It will have been a decade(!) since I took the last class in high school by the time I would be in Spain). I was thinking of jumping into the 200 level series at a community college this fall, as wanted to show some formal qualification. But, it’s a big time/money commitment, so thus I was curious what level you’d applied (if it matters, I’ve educational experience, having taught occasional environmental classes on a volunteer and paid basis in the US and Ireland to both youth and adults).

    -Secondly, I will also be applying to the French equivalent of this program next year (which makes its decision on applicants sooner than the Spain program). That program lasts a year and you can’t renew right away, so if I’m accepted into the France program (2015-2016), I thought of going to Spain the following year (2016-2017). Do you know if one must always return to the US for a visa, etc, or if one can just apply for it from Spain? I’d rather stay with family & friends in Ireland and Germany than having to fly back, but if I must…

    Thank you!


    • Hi Noe!

      Thanks so much for reading, I’m glad you found it helpful! As for your questions:

      -Having basic Spanish will definitely help once you’re here, but though the program “requires” it, they never test you or anything like that. I’m not sure how much proof of knowledge they want to see on an application (I was a Spanish major in university so I didn’t have to think about it), but I know people who have come here knowing verrrrry little Spanish, so I wouldn’t stress too much about it. What you really “need” Spanish for is your daily activities, the Orientation meeting, and dealing with the logistics of being here (residency papers, banking etc) because those offices will expect to communicate with you in Spanish. It seems like you’re willing to learn, so with that attitude once you’re here, you’ll be great.

      -As for the visa- yes, you have to return to the US which definitely puts a damper on things and is definitely a bigger financial burden. You can probably get most of your documents in order from outside of the US, but for your actual appointment, you need to appear in person to the consulate, and they take your passport while they process your visa (because it’s a sticker they put in there) so you won’t be able to leave the country while it’s processing.

      Hope that helps!


  6. Thanks so much for responding, Chelsea! Good to know about the language levels and quite a pity about having to go back to the US (last time I stayed for 1.5 years with no need to return, but, so it goes).



  7. Hi Chelsea,

    …Are you still working as an auxiliar? How did you manage to stay in the country for 24 months? I was under the impression that only a maximum of 2 assignments are granted (1st year and rewnal) . Also, I read something about having to return to your country (in my case the U.S.) to reapply for a second assignment as an auxiliar. Is this correct? ….totally confused about the renewal process.

    Hoping you can shed some light.

    Thanks. : )


    • Hey Clare!

      Yep, I’m still an auxiliar! It is possible to get a 3rd (and even 4th occasionally) year. You just do the renewal the same as everyone else, but there’s an option to mark if its your 2nd or 3rd renewal. After being in Andalucia 2 yeras they told me to renew again they’d put me directly onto the waiting list, so I wasn’t really expecting a 3rd year placement until the fall or late late summer, but I found out in May (like everyone else) that I had been placed in Extremadura, my 2nd choice region. So I’m still here! And I’ve reapplied for a 4th year as a backup plan and just to see what happens.

      As for having to return to the US, it’s not true. Once you get your new school assignment letter you’ll be able to renew your NIE. The only problems you might encounter are that they may want to see proof that you’ll have health insurance and enough money to get through the summer since you won’t start working and your health insurance won’t kick in until October.

      Hope this helps!


      • Hi Alison,

        I used HTH Worldwide travel insurance for the months I needed it in Spain last summer. This summer, I haven’t got anything. I know thats not very smart of me, but I’m hoping if I get a social security number I’ll at least be covered for emergency care. good luck!


  8. Hi Chelsea,
    Still wondering about the renewal process through NALCA. I would like to participate in the auxiliaries program as long as possible – it seems that this would be the only way to stay in Spain long term and possibly begin a career in teaching. That said do you know what the likelihood is for a 3rd or 4th renewal? is it fairly common or more like trying to win the lottery? I want to be realistic about the chances of staying ( or not).

    Also, I know it’s been a few years since you went through the process but were you required to obtain both a state and FBI background check? How long before you received results?

    Sorry to bombard you with questions – as always, I really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

    Thanks again! : )


    • Hi Clarise!

      Renewal for a 3rd year is definitely probable, but you can’t expect a placement where you want it. I wanted a 3rd year in my same school, and I got placed in a different autonomous community. I moved because it was my only real option for being able to renew my NIE. I’ve submitted a renewal for a 4th year this round, so we’ll see what happens! Though I’m not getting my hopes up, so I’ve got some other options as well, for example a similar (but seemingly more intense) program called UCETAM that’s only in Madrid.

      When I did the process we all had to get FBI background checks, though after I’d already done mine they changed the requirement so that you could get a state background check. The state checks are pretty quick I think, but my FBI one took at least a couple of months!

      Good luck, thanks for reading 🙂


  9. Hi Chelsea,

    So I too made the unfortunate mistake of choosing Valencia and Cataluna! My application number is 2466 too, high number. Should I be freaking out?


    • Hey! Don’t freak out, you’ll definitely get a placement… Just be open minded! It’s likely you’ll get your third choice f it was a big region like Madrid or andalucia. If those weren’t your third choice it’s likely you’ll end up there anyway because those regions get the most auxiliares. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by getting yor heart set on somewhere… You’ll har a great time where ever you end up. Let the fates decide! The worst part will be the wait… Good luck! And thank you for reading 🙂


      • Hey,
        Thanks for the feedback, it feels good to hear it from someone who is/has gone through the process! My third choice was Pais Vasco, which I’m starting to think will teach me the Basque language instead of Spanish LOL! We will see but yes I’ll leave it to fate!


      • Chelsea,
        you had really a good experience. I went to Spain last summer, i was not a teacher but a student, because i would like to learn spanish. In the school where i was ,there were a lots of english guys teaching english and they told me that they are very required and thet they quickly found a job. I reccomend to all of you to have an experience like mine, i learn a lot in few weeks. This is the link of the school if you are interested http://www.idiomas247.com/


  10. Hey Chelsea,

    I also have a quick question – I’ve applied and have a relatively average number (1977) but I’ve put Andalusia as my first preference. I’ve already lived in the region for a year and am desperate to go back! As an auxiliar in Andalusia, do you know much about places there? Are there enough so that I will go where I want?

    Thanks for the great info!


    • Hi Dani!

      Andalucia has the highest number of placements after Madrid, so I think you have a good chance of getting placed there. Just keep in mind that not all of the placements are in big cities like Seville or Malaga. Keep your mind open to the smaller towns too and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time. I was placed in a town of 30,000 which scared me cause it seemed small, and I loved it!

      Good Luck!


  11. Hi,
    I know you said all other regions beside Madrid get 700 euro per month. I’m wondering how much in taxes gets taken out of that each month. Thanks!


  12. How much savings money should Auxiliars plan on bringing to Spain?
    And is this program going to be extremely difficult for someone with no experience finding housing and living independently (aka straight out of undergad)?
    Thanks- your blog is great!


    • Hey Katia,

      I would shoot for about $2000, which is less in euros. There are lots of start-up costs (check out my post about that) that you might not think about until you’re there and see what you’ll need for your apartment etc.

      I don’t think I would classify it as extremely difficult. I also came straight from undergrad having lived in the dorms for 4 years, but I am naturally a very independent person so I actually loved the freedom of being an “adult” for the first time. There’s always stress involved when it comes to making big decisions, like deciding on an apartment, but you won’t be alone! After a few days of stress and searching you’ll find something and will be really proud of yourself once you settle in 🙂

      Thank you for reading!


  13. Hi Chelsea-

    What a great blog you have set up! Super informative and honest. I really appreciate the detail you have gone into,especially with the budget information. My husband and I are looking at giving the program a go in 2015. I was wondering if in your experience you had known any couples who applied and what the placement was like. If they were able to live in the same city or region? Of course all of this assuming we applied right away.

    Thanks so much! I hope you are enjoying your summer and getting ready to go to your cousins wedding!!


    • Hey Sara!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it 🙂

      From what I’ve heard based on participating in multiple facebook groups for the program, couples usually don’t have trouble getting place together. If you apply early and have low numbers, you can put in the application that you’re applying with a spouse and it’s a pretty high chance you’ll get placed in the same city. I’ve seen a few couples who weren’t placed together at the beginning who then emailed and got it all fixed. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it, especially if you apply early in the game!

      Hope you’re enjoying the summer too, thanks!


  14. Hey there,

    I have been accepted into the program and am now greatly stressed about acquiring the visa. Do you have any particular tips? How long did it take for you to get yours processed? How did you acquire your medical background and criminal background affirmations? Is it possible to apply remotely? Do I have to go to the consulate twice–once to apply and once to pick up?

    Thank you!


    • Hi August,

      The process will vary depending on your consulate. Some are stricter than others, but overall, if you get all the appropriate documents it’s pretty straightforward once you’re actually at the appointment. For my medical certificate I printed the template (english on the top half and spanish on the bottom half) and had my doctor scan it onto a paper with the letterhead and he signed it no problem. for the background check, I got an FBI check that took a while to get back. I think now lots of consulates accept state background checks which are much easier to obtain. then you have to send that to the department of state to get it apostilled.

      I think most consulates require you to apply in person, though there are a few that dont. I think most will mail your passport with the visa back to you if you supply them with a prepaid envelope, but check your consulates website to make sure of the details.

      Hope that helps! Good luck!


  15. Great information! I have a couple questions for you. I’ve been accepted and placed in las Islas Baleares. I’m actually traveling at the moment and won’t be home to start the visa and background check process until the end of July. Do you think that will leave me enough time to finish everything before October 1st? And, where did you get the medical insurance from? Thanks so much for your help!


    • Hey Eric, that should be enough time. The consulates seem to be good about finishing it for you before your flight. You have to tell them the date you want your visa to start, usually they’ll put the date your flight arrives to Spain. Then they’ll get the visa to you before that time.

      Medical insurance is provided through the program. Your card will get mailed to your school and you don’t have to do anything to activate it or anything. Hassle free! Hope that helps, thanks for reading!


  16. Hi!

    I was wondering if you knew how to go about getting a job as an auxiliar without reapplying. I was one this past year, and at the time of renewals i was really fed up with Spain (I lived in freezing cold León, can you blame me?) and didnt send in my paper application. I then decided I did want to be an auxiliar in May. Ive worked it out with them and they have all of my things, but I havent heard fron them yet. Ive heard about people going into the office in Madrid and getting a job on the spot. Should I try this or do you know anything about this? Im still in Spain and have a bit of time left for me to ask! Thanks so much.


    • Hi Jessica! Unfortunately I don’t know much about that situation. I think it is possible (Kaley, author of the blog Y Mucho Mas has done it) so your best bet is probably to go to their offices and ask! Good luck!


  17. HI!

    Your information is very helpful! I have recently just applied to the program and I cannot be more anxious and excited about it all! I have a relatively low inscrita number but my only concern is the fact that i’m not a college graduate yet. By Fall 2015 I will be a senior. On the application it states that juniors/seniors are eligible.. But will i get pushed to the bottom of the list since i’m not a graduate yet? What are your thoughts?

    Warm Regards!!


    • Hi Natalie!

      Thanks for reading 🙂 I’m not quite sure about your situation. It seems pretty clear to me that only college grads are eligible (it’s a bit different for UK residents). So I guess technically you can apply as a junior but since you have to submit transcripts they might not approve it! Do you plan on taking a break between junior and senior year? If not it might be best to just apply for the next round because the jobs available his round are for October 2015.


  18. Hi Chelsea,

    It’s been a year since anyone has commented, so I hope you see this. A few questions, if you don’t mind:

    1). I just received my lotto number, 2528. Is that number low enough to guarantee a placement? Do you know roughly how many positions total are available? Would you say my number is mid-range or high?

    2). I’ve applied to this program, BEDA, and UCETAM, just in case I don’t get placed in one. Do you know if all three programs assign placements at the same time?

    Thanks so much for writing this blog and for all your help!


    • Hi Jarrod, thanks for reading! I’d say your number is mid range as in previous years people get up into the 4000s. I’d say you’re definitely going to receive a placement, it just might not be exactly where you requested. In regards to BEDA and UCETAM, they will probably get back to you before this program will because you have a highish number, but as long as you’re adaptable and don’t have your heart set on a specific city, I think you’ll definitely be in Spain come October. Good luck!!


  19. Hi Chelsea,

    Thanks for your blog! I just have some similar questions. I just registered and my application number is 3609! I was surprised to see it be so high already! I’ve been looking to apply since January of 2014 and am kicking myself for not applying earlier. I was wondering if I should be worrying at all and if I should be applying to different programs as backups. I put Pais Vasco as my first choice, Galicia as my second, and Madrid as my third pick. Would you say it would be impossible to get my first or second pick?

    Thanks for your help!


  20. Hi Chelsea,

    Thanks for writing this blog! I am applying for the 2015-2016 school year and I put my first choice as Aragon, then Madrid, then Pais Vasco. I know that Aragon doesn’t have a whole lot of spots and even with a lower inscrita (318) it is a hard region to land in so I was thinking about what will happen if I get my next choice (Madrid) and I am realizing, I WOULD RATHER BE IN ANDALUCIA (if not Aragon)! I know the program normally tells 1st years that their preferences are like glue but have you ever heard of people emailing the program and asking REALLY REALLY nicely? lol Also, how far do you travel to get to your school each day? What is a normal commute for someone in Anda if they live in a large city? (That you have heard of from friends or experience yourself).



    • Hi Sara… I think your preferences might be set in stone.. I tried changing mine once and it didn’t work out. That isn’t to say I don’t think you should try emailing… You never know! But also, don’t get your heart set in any one place. You will end up loving wherever you go… It’s the school and the people that make the experience and you can find good and bad apples all over Spain.

      As for the commute, I have no experience with that as I’ve always lived in a smaller city. I imagine it wouldn’t be more than an hour in the bigger cities, but could be more or less depending in if your school is in a pueblo, the city center, if you have to take public transport or if you can catch a ride with other teachers. Hope that helps!


  21. Hello, so I received my number and it came up to 1048. What do you think about the chances of A. getting a placement since it’s not a super low number and B. being able to teach in Navarra which is where I placed my first preference?
    Responses appreciated!


    • Hi Seth, you’ll definitely get a placement! Your number isn’t all that high considering people get place into the late 3000s or more. If my memory serves me, Navarra doesn’t have many placements so I don’t know how probable it is that you’ll get one. However, in the Facebook group for this years auxiliars I think there is a spreadsheet detailing how many people got placed in each region this year… Maybe try snooping around! Or ask in the group if anyone knows about Navarra. Good luck!


  22. Hello Chelsea!

    Thank you for writing this blog (:

    So, In January I applied for the 2015-2016 year and my inscrita number is 2351. The application process officially ends April 7 (this Tuesday) and I’m biting my nails! So, how soon do you think I will hear back from them? How soon did you personally hear back form them and what was your inscrita number?

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon (:

    Un saludo,



    • Hi Cosette! Thanks for reading 🙂 It’s hard to say when you’ll hear back, but I’d say before the end of May, and within a few weeks of getting you region assignment, you’ll get your school assignment. Things seem to be moving along more quickly these days, but when I was a 1st year I got my region assignment (andalucia) in early May and my city in late June. My inscrita number was in the mid 100s but this was also back in 2011 so I think the’ve streamlined the process a bit. If you join the facebook group you will start to see people obsessively sharing their numbers and when they get placed to help you get a better idea… good luck!!


  23. Hello,

    My inscrita number is really bad- 4504. Do you think there’s a chance that I will get a placement? Have you ever heard of someone NOT getting a placement?


    • Hi Andria,

      It’s possible to not get a placement I suppose, but it’s much much more likely that you’ll get a placement, just much later… maybe in September as people reject placements, or in October when people don’t show up and they need to fill spots. good luck!!


    • Hi Andria,

      Did you end up getting a placement for the 2015-2016 school year? If so, when did you find out and what region were you placed in? I’d love to get a better idea of what my chances are, as I have just applied for 2016-2017 and my number is 4524. Thank you!


  24. Hi Chelsea,

    You seem to really know the inner workings of the program! I was just wondering if the selection process is based solely on the application number or if they actually take into account your experience, qualifications, etc. From what I’ve seen it would seem to be the former, your thoughts?

    On one hand, a focus on qualifications would be good for people like me who have some background in teaching/Spanish and, of course, this would give some incentive for experienced teachers to join the program. On the other hand, those who are super keen to teach for the first time would be disadvantaged and, for that reason, I suppose the earlier applications should be given unconditional preference.

    Unfortunately, my number is over 4000 so I’m actually wondering when I might expect to hear back. According to your article, it seems I may not hear back for some time…


    • Hi Travis, you’ve got it right. As far as anyone can tell, it’s based solely on your application numbers. I totally agree with your reasoning, though (favoring people with experience vs. giving passionate newbies a chance)! It’s hard to say when you’ll hear back. Renewals are already getting placements, then they’ll start with first time applicants. Since your number is high you might not hear back until August. But who knows? Unpredictability is a key feature of this program so… cross your fingers and start saving money!


  25. Hi Chelsea!
    I’ve been offered a position in Aragon for this fall, however, as a small region, I am not able to find much information or advice from past students about the pros/cons of the placement. Have you heard much about Aragon or know of any blogs from people who have been there? Also, are there any other ways to know specifics about the placement before accepting other than the region you will be in? Like whether you will get rural/urban? Grade level of students? etc? I have also applied with a family member and while we both received the offer on the same day for the same region, I am concerned that we may not be in schools close enough to live together, since from everything I’ve read it, the program seems like one big gamble…
    I’d love any advice you have! Thanks!


    • Hi Abby!

      A friend of mine as actually an auxiliar in Zaragoza this year and I think she’s really liked it there. She works in a small town but lives in Zaragoza. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to find out what kind of school or place you’ll be in until you get the assignment. I have heard that they’re usually accommodating if you’ve come with a family member and (if you’ve indicated it on your application) will try to place you in the same city. If they don’t, you can always contact them and explain the situation to see if they can shuffle things around! My advice would be to accept your placement in Aragon and wait to see where you and your family member get placed. With any luck you’ll both be working in or near a bigger city like Zaragoza and you’ll be able to live there together! Good luck!


  26. Hi Chelsea,

    I just have a couple of questions regarding the paperwork after accepting your placement. I will be in Extremadura this fall; however, Im having concerns about the application process for my visa. We, i believe, need a police background check, ?a doctors clearing? , and also my Consulate is very far way, (houston) while im at The University of Oklahoma in Norman (7-8 hrs away) and i have to be there in person?.. Im still waiting on my carta de nombramiento to start the paperwork process, however i would like to start it asap. What would you suggest I do going about this?

    Thanks for your blog, it truly is great and have learned so much from it. Hope all is well.

    Un saludo,



    • Hey Mario,

      Congrats on your placement! Yes you’re right- you need a police background check and a doctors note. Double check on your consulates website to see if a state background check will suffice or if you’ll need an FBI background check. I think many consulates are accepting state checks these days as the FBI checks take a very long time. You can also see online if your consulate requires you to go in person. Some consulate accept mail-in applications and others dont, meaning you’ll have to go in person. I had to travel 7 hours away to apply for my visa the first year too, so I feel your pain! You’re doing the right thing by gathering all the documentation needed for your visa at this point. If you need to go to your consulate in person you’ll probably need an appointment so make it now. Your carta de nombramiento is only one piece to the complicated puzzle so while you wait for it just get everything else together. Hope that helps! Also, check out the auxiliares facebook group… lots of people and you’ll be able to find someone who has the same consulate as you so you can get more specific help from them!

      Good luck!


  27. Pingback: Pa’ España!! | Carpe Your Diem

  28. Hey Chelsea,
    This is getting to you rather late in the game, however I just received my placement on Tuesday. I have been placed in Extremadora, which I’m not particularly sure how to feel about it. Do you know anyone who has been placed here?
    Another piece of stress is that October is coming much sooner than later. Will I be able to get everything together in time? Is there any way I can go later than October? I hate to burden you with these questions, but I have found literally no contact information to get any sort of answers. I have not accepted the placement yet because I am so unsure and have virtually no details besides my region I’m placed in.
    On another note, thanks for being so awesome with answering questions for everyone. You are amazing!



    • Hey Steph,

      You should accept the placement ASAP and then worry about the details. Many people are placed in Extremadura (I was one of them 2 years ago!) and there are plenty more in the Facebook auxiliar groups (if you haven’t found the groups yet, I highly recommend you do)!

      Make an appointment at your consulate ASAP and look up visa requirements for your consulate and start getting stuff ready while waiting for your assignment letter. It won’t be a problem if you arrive late as long as you let your school know (once you find out what school it is).

      Don’t worry and dive in!

      Best of luck!


  29. I got accepted to the program but it doesn’t tell me what region i would be placed in. Do we have to accept before we know? What if it’s a region we aren’t wanting to go to?


  30. Hello, I got placed in Extremadura. Do you think I could live in Madrid and travel to work? Or living in the area is more helpful? I lived in Madrid before and really was looking forward to going back.


    • Hi Fabiano, it seems like that would be a very long commute. I don’t think it’s feasible unless another teacher at your school does the same thing and you get a ride with them. Extremadura has some great qualities though, hopefully you go and end up loving it! Madrid will always be there waiting 🙂


  31. Hi Chelsea! I love your blog, thanks for all the great info and insight. I applied for a position in the Auxiliares program in January, my status was “admitida” about a week after the applications opened so I was pretty happy about that. My application number is 1445, so I just wanted your opinion on the likelihood of me 1)receiving a position and 2)getting my first choice? My heart is pretty set on going to Spain so I am anxiously waiting and checking my status each and every day lol. Thanks so much!!


    • Hey Joseph,

      You’ll certainly receive a position! Whether you get your first choice will depend on what your first choice was.If it’s Madrid or Andalucía you’ll probably get it, as those places have the most positions I believe. But regardless, you’ll definitely be going to Spain, so get excited!


  32. Hey Chelsea,

    I enjoyed your article very much.

    I have a poor number (4100), and I was wondering the likelihood of me getting a placement? I saw in a earlier comment that if I were to get a placement it would be in the Fall. How does that work with getting a visa? I know the Spanish govt. isn’t the quickest organization. Thanks for writing an informative and excellent article.


    John Paul


    • Hey John Paul, glad you enjoyed it! I can’t say for sure whether you’ll get a placement, but as it’s Spain you can expect the unexpected. I know people in the 4000s have definitely got placed before. If you do get a placement in the fall, your visa process will look the same as it would have earlier. It just means you’ll start later at your school, maybe arriving in December. If that’s the case, you and the school need to get in contact so that they are aware of when you’re coming. Good luck!


  33. Hi Chelsea, Thanks for your blog. It´s really helpful! This will be my second year starting in October 2017 to 2018 in the Basque Country. I love it here and I already know that I´d like to stay for a third year at the same region. As you have stated, a third year is possible, but probably not with the same region. Right? I am here by the Irish Board of Education. Do you know if each country has a certain amount of applications or would it be advantageous to apply as a dual citizen with the other country? I know it´s a difficult question, but any insights would be great.


    • Hi Kevin, I wish I knew the answer, but I don’t. I remember back when I was an Aux other regions might have had different rules regarding 3rd years. Reapplying as a 1st year might work, but then again, reapplying as a 3rd year with a compelling personal statement and request from teachers at your school might also. You could try emailing the people from the program and see what they say? Good luck!


  34. Hi Chelsea,
    I just applied with a preference for Andalucia. I hope to be in Granada (as I studied abroad there for a year back in 2012. Unfortunately my number is 3769. Any idea of whether getting this preference is feasible/ when I will hear back?

    Are there other programs that you recommend applying to in the meantime? I have taught kindergarten in California for the past three years, have preschool teaching experience, and taught English in Spain 5 years ago. Are there programs that look at experience over just the number of your application?


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