On Thursday, July 2, I received an email I’d be waiting months for: I was formally accepted as one of the 2020-21 Auxiliares de Conversación norteamericanos en España (North American Conversation Assistants in Spain). I was not given the school name or location, or even the city or province. I was told I would be placed in the region of Galicia.
In Spain, there 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. These autonomies have a similar parliamentary structure but all have their own laws, cultures, and even language. In Galicia, they speak Galician (Gallego) which is essentially a dialect of Spanish and Portuguese. Galician and Spanish are both the official languages of the region.
Auxiliares de Conversación is an “initiative of the [Spanish] Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The program is primarily devoted to providing US and Canadian college/university students and graduates (majoring in any subject) with the opportunity to assist foreign language teachers and to learn about Spanish culture and society, and about its education system. Students participating in the program must have English or French as their native language.” Individuals participating in the program assist in English classes in a Spanish school paired with a native teacher. The term is October 1 – May 31 (typically). Check out the FAQ for more detailed information about the program.
The application period was from January to late April. I didn’t find out about the program until mid-April through my TEFL course, so I applied just a few days before the deadline. It was a long two+ months waiting for an answer!
Within a week, I was given the province (Pontevedra) and the two towns of my school placements (Campo Lameiro and Meaño).
I got my official acceptance letter (carta de nombramiento) on July 9, which allowed me to formally start the long visa process, which I’ll cover in another blog post!