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Everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Spain

International teachers

With a vibrant educational system and a strong emphasis on language learning, Spain offers a unique and enriching experience for international teachers.

International teaching positions in Spain provide competitive salaries, generous benefits packages, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Spanish culture and language.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming an international teacher in Spain, including visa requirements, cost of living, healthcare, cultural expectations and norms, and expat communities.


Visa requirements for living and working as an international teacher in Spain

International teachers who want to live and work in Spain will need to obtain Residence Visa with Working Permit Exemption – TRE (more than 90 days).

Generally, the application process will involve providing proof of employment, education, and financial stability. Additionally, applicants may need to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish or the language of instruction, depending on the school’s requirements.

Once the visa is approved, teachers will need to obtain a residence permit, which can be done in Spain. The residence permit will allow teachers to live and work in Spain for the duration of their contract.

It’s important to note that the visa and residence permit process can take several months, so teachers should plan accordingly and allow ample time for processing.

For detailed information, visit the Spanish government website.


Cost of living for international teachers in Spain

Generally speaking, Spain is an affordable country to live in, with a lower cost of living compared to many other European countries.

Basic expenses such as rent, groceries, and transportation are typically lower than in other major cities across Europe. However, larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona can be more expensive than smaller cities or towns.

Housing costs can also vary greatly depending on the location and type of accommodation chosen. International teachers may find that shared accommodations or renting a room in an apartment can be a more cost-effective option.

Additionally, healthcare costs in Spain are lower compared to many other developed countries, and many employers offer healthcare benefits as part of their employment package.

Overall, while the cost of living in Spain can be somewhat higher than in some other countries, it is still generally considered to be a reasonable and manageable expense for international teachers.

Cost of living in Barcelona (USD)

Rent for one-bedroom apartment in city centre – $1,243 per month
Rent for one-bedroom apartment outside city centre – $955 per month
Loaf of bread – $1.55
Litre of milk – $1.15
12 eggs – $2.80
Takeaway coffee – $2.45
Meal for two at mid-range restaurant – $64.70
Public transport – $2.60 one way


Healthcare for international teachers in Spain

Spain has a universal healthcare system that provides comprehensive medical care to its citizens and legal residents. As an international teacher working in Spain, you will be entitled to participate in this system and receive medical attention in case of illness or injury.

The healthcare system in Spain is known for its high quality and efficiency, with modern facilities and highly trained medical professionals. In general, healthcare services in Spain are provided through a combination of public and private healthcare providers.

As a participant in the public healthcare system, you will be required to pay into the system through monthly contributions from your salary. In addition to this, some private health insurance providers also offer policies that cater specifically to expatriates living and working in Spain. These policies provide additional coverage and peace of mind in case of medical emergencies.

Many international schools in Spain offer health insurance as part of their employment package.


Cultural expectations and norms for international teachers in Spain

One of the most important cultural values in Spain is the importance of relationships and social connections.

Spaniards value personal relationships and are very social, often enjoying long meals with family and friends. Therefore, it is important for international teachers to make an effort to build relationships with their colleagues and students, and to participate in social activities outside of work.

Another important aspect of Spanish culture is the importance of punctuality. Spaniards tend to be more relaxed with time, but punctuality is still highly valued in the workplace.

Additionally, Spanish culture is known for its relaxed and laid-back approach to life, so international teachers should be prepared to be patient and flexible in their daily routines.

Finally, Spanish culture is deeply rooted in tradition, particularly in the areas of food, music, and dance, so it is essential for international teachers to be open and respectful of these traditions and to learn as much as possible about the local customs and practices.


Expat communities for international teachers in Spain

Cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville are home to large expat populations, with many English-speaking communities that provide a range of services and activities, including language classes, cultural events, and social gatherings.

These communities can help new arrivals settle in, make connections, and adjust to their new surroundings.

Additionally, many international schools in Spain have a significant number of expat teachers, providing a built-in network of colleagues and support.


Schrole international schools in Spain

Ready to find out what Spain has to offer you? Explore Schrole international schools in Spain now:

Benjamin Franklin International School 

Full access

To career opportunities across the globe

$50 USD per year
Paid membership
  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of 400+ international schools representing 100+ countries.
  • 5,000+ teaching vacancies every recruitment season.
  • Unlimited number of job applications.
  • Custom alerts so you’re the first to hear when your preferred roles are posted.
  • Access to virtual and in-person recruitment events with school leaders and recruiters.

Limited access

To career opportunities across the globe

Free membership
  • Ability to create a unique educator profile that holds your references and important documents, such as teaching qualifications, all in one location.
  • Access to our entire database of schools to discover your next teaching role.
  • Submission of three job applications.

I have been a school-level user of Schrole for recruiting for the last three hiring cycles and have found the platform they provide to be intuitive and comprehensive. The user interface stands out from others in the market as a crisp interface with the right level of features included at the right places. For me, the top two features are the ability to create school-specific application questions for applicants, and the availability of a short and long form applicant documentation PDF. If you’re looking for a recruiting platform, I highly recommend considering Schrole.

Dr. Richard Granger Deputy Principal of Secondary School
Taejon Christian International School

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