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in     by Charlie Merry 25-07-2016

After all the planning and decision making, in two months I’ll be living in Asturias, in Northern Spain. I’m a student at the University of Southampton, studying History and Spanish, and decided to apply for a job as an English assistant through the British Council. I found out I’ll be working in two different primary schools, helping the kids with speaking English and teaching them about customs and traditions in the UK.

Some of my friends are going to a university, or have a found a job themselves, but for me the best option was British Council.

For me, the main positives were that:

  • They find the job for you
  • You can express a preference for where you would like to be
  • It’s a secure and well-paid job - 700€ a month
  • You only have to work 12 hours a week
  • You aren’t meant to teach, only be an assistant – so not too much pressure!

However there were some negatives, which not everyone knew about when they applied:

  • Once you have your placement you cannot change it
  • You have to pay for a CRB equivalent which costs £60 and is only valid for that year
  • You might have to wait until June/July to know where you would be going
  • You might have to work in two or three different schools
  • It could be more difficult to find people your own age than if you were at a uni
  • You could be placed at a bilingual school where they use a regional language

Finding out my region and schools

I didn’t actually get my first choice – Asturias was my third – but there are positives to wherever you end up. It’s a cooler region, so there are less tourists, and it’s cheaper. I will be living half an hour from an airport, where returns to Gatwick can be as cheap as £50.

One of my worries was what the teachers would be like that I’ll be working with, and so I’m super relieved that they’re really lovely. I’ve been contacted by teachers from both schools, and found out I’ll be starting on 3rd October. They’ve answered any questions I have, offered to help me find accommodation, and even added me on Facebook!

Next steps

So, I can finally start booking flights and looking for accommodation. It’s difficult to do from England so I’m planning on going there for a weekend next month to sort things out, and meet my teachers before I start working. First of all, I need to sort out all the final documents which I have to organise before I go, which is what the next post will be about.

A Guiri Abroad

Personal blog: https://myfoodbabysite.wordpress.com/