I’m going to be a North American Language and Cultural Assistant

I have big news. But first, the background:

I started thinking about the North American Language and Cultural Assistants Program last year when my friend Bill was applying. I was too nervous to apply, plus I had a fantastic job that I still loved and felt like I had more to learn from. However, as soon as he and Derek got their acceptance letters from their programs, I committed to visiting them in December. First, I had never been to Europe, and cheap accommodations FTW! But it was also a chance to see how my friends were faring with their schools and an opportunity to decide if I thought teaching English abroad was right for me.

I went in December, and it was good.

Greenery and hills in Galicia, Spain.

Greenery and hills in Galicia, Spain.

I applied in mid-February.

Just last week, I was accepted into the program and assigned to the region of Andalucía in the south of Spain. Ever since, I’ve been reading about Andalucía and all its cities. I picked up some spanish readers and grammar movies to brush up. I have to hurry, because the job starts in October and I’m moving to Spain in September!

Topographical map of Andalucía

Topographical map of Andalucía

(Note: the previous was my big news!)

I still don’t know which school I’ll be in. First, the program, which is run through the Spanish government, assigns you to a region. Then, the region assigns you to a school. The school then contacts the assistant and tells them more details.

Once you’re assigned to a region (and before you’re assigned to a school), you can email the region’s “Junta” and request a city. I requested Almería (first choice) and Sevilla (second choice), although really I would be happy in almost any major city. For example, although Ronda is small (only 35,000 people), it’s in one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever seen on Google Images. I also considered Cádiz, which is near the Strait of Gibraltar across from Morocco. It has nice recreational beaches, but is a little smaller and more touristy than Almería.

Why Almería?

  • has an airport with cheap flights to other major European cities
  • large city with nearly 200,000 people provides good private tutoring prospects for a side job
  • on the Mediterranean coast and near a national park with greater flamingos and other interesting wildlife, including poisonous vipers
  • has an arid climate, which means little rain and an average of 320 sunny days per year
  • average temperatures are moderately high, which means 70 degree weather in December and lows around 45 degrees even in January
Why Sevilla?
  • it was my favorite city in Spain when I visited last December
  • it also has warm December weather; I wore short sleeves during my stay
  • it’s also a large city with a train hub on the AVE through Córdoba and Madrid, and it has its own airport
My priorities overall were:
  1. to be close to cheap transportation at the city, country, and international level
  2. to have a large population for safety, things to do, and people to tutor for extra money

Everything else is just a bonus. I’m so excited to go, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Thanks for being interested in my adventure! I promise to share lots of pictures and great stories, as well as some info about what it’s like to live in Spain and be involved with the program.

Promise you’ll visit me?

6 thoughts on “I’m going to be a North American Language and Cultural Assistant

  1. Wow, sounds like a fun adventure/work coming up. I’m excited for you, but you have lots to do before then!

    • I’m assuming that’s RT. Very good! You might be able to get lower, though, like $650 — that’s what I got for December 2010 flying in to Madrid. I’ll let you know my city as soon as a know so that you know which airport is best 🙂

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