How to Apply for the North American Language and Culture Program

Updated in: February 2016

So you want to become an Auxiliar de Conversación in Spain and do your part in enriching the minds of children, who, after all, are our future……..Well, if we’re being totally honest here, maybe your endgame is just to spend a year living on the beach in one of the coolest countries in Europe, heard this was a way to do it, and thought, ¨Um…YES! HOW!?¨ Maybe you miss Spain after an unfairly short study abroad semester, or maybe you’re an aspiring teacher who wants to get a year of experience while living and traveling in Europe. You might not know anything about the job or even much about Spain, and if that’s the case, fair enough. Whatever your reason is, I wrote this article to explain everything and to help you do it.

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What is an Auxiliar de Conversación?

To put it simply, we are assistant teachers in the Spanish school system who aid in teaching how to speak English. That´s what the conversación part is all about. The program is officially called the North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain for us norteamericanos, but we’re called auxiliares on this side of the pond. We are employed by the Ministry of Education of Spain.

Where? When? How long? And for how much $$$?

We work 12 hours a week (16 hours in Madrid) in either an elementary, secondary, or language school and get paid 700€ a month (1000€ in Madrid, because that shit be priiicceeyyy). Here comes THE question of the entire program: IS THAT ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON!!??@#$$  Yes, it is. Considering it’s common for some Spaniards to get paid 1000€ a month to work, this is a really great gig. We also get full medical insurance. Usually we work 3 or 4 days a week—some unlucky few go five days—but it will depend on the schedule that your school makes for you.  Our contract is from October 1 to May 31 (people in Madrid go until June 30).

You will choose 3 regions (not cities) as your top choices and will be placed depending on your application number. The sooner you apply, the smaller your application number will be, and the more likely you are to get your first choice. Veteran advice: APPLY THE DAY IT OPENS!!

UPDATE: All regions are open this year 2016!

Spain map

 

Am I qualified for this position?

  • Are you an American or Canadian citizen?
  • Do you have a college degree or will you graduate by the start date of the program?
  • Is English or French your first language?
  • Are you in good physical and psychological condition?
  • Do you have a clean background check?  (People with DUI’s and drinking tickets have been accepted in the past, so don’t have a heart attack yet. You should still try.)

If you answered YES to everything above, you’ve got what it takes! No teaching degree or certification is required.

Here is the program’s official Application Guidelines PDF. Read ALL OF IT!

When Can I Apply?

The application process usually opens from early January to the first week in April.  Click here to check for next year’s exact dates.

 

How to Apply to Be an Auxiliar de Conversación

Before I start explaining the process, here are some very important links you need to review (I will be going over these links as we go):

Alright, let’s begin!

What do I need?

You will need the following documents in PDF format only:

  1. a copy of the front page of your passport (which needs to be valid through the whole program)
  2. a copy of your university transcripts (I requested an electronic copy of mine which worked nicely.)
  3. a letter of recommendation (guidelines here)
  4. a letter of intent – This is a cover letter, no more than 250 words long (preferably in Spanish but can be in English or French) which states why you want to do the program and your main purpose for applying. You also need to say somewhere in it that English is your native language. It must be SIGNED AND DATED! Don’t forget this.

Step 1:

Go to the Profex Login. Follow this detailed ENGLISH explanation in the Profex Manual to create an account and complete the whole process.

Attach all the documents I mentioned above.

Profex Page

In this step you choose your first, second, and third choices of region. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CHANGE THESE LATER! When you hit submit, that’s it. Remember the regions that are not participating that I mentioned above.

Step 2:

After you submit your application, print out your Profex application and SIGN IT! Here is an example of it.

Also print the checklist, a copy of your passport, college transcripts, signed and dated letter of intent, and the signed and dated letter of recommendation.

Step 3:

Send all of these printed documents by mail to your regional Educational Advisor whose address is listed on pages 9-10 of the Application Guidelines.

Step 4:

Now it’s just a waiting game.  If you’re not too cool for Facebook, search “Auxiliares de Conversación,” find this year’s group page, and request to be a member. This will be your single best source of information all year long and a way to ask questions to other auxiliares. Once a member, PLEASE use the ‘Search this group‘ box before asking a question to see if it has already been asked and answered. With thousands of people in the group, there are a lot of repeat questions.

Facebook page

What’s next?

INSCRITA–  Online application submitted.

This is the most important thing! You want to complete the application as soon as possible to get a low application number so that you will be placed before the other thousands of people that apply. You should receive an email saying you’re inscrita right after you submit your application on Profex. If not, it has not been submitted correctly and you need to fix it on Profex ASAP! It will say BORRADOR if your application is still a draft.

MY INSCRITA DATES: My first year in the program I was inscrita on February 27, 2014 because I was a little late to the game. I was application #3297.  My second year I was inscrita on January 8, 2015 (the second day) and STILL was application #823. It fills up that fast!

REGISTRADA– Paperwork is registered.

The papers you mailed to your coordinator have be received and you’re not missing anything. Sometimes this step happens at the same time as the next one, Admitida.

MY REGISTRADA DATES: First year:  March 28, 2014. Second year: March 13, 2015.

ADMITIDA– Application complete!

All of your paperwork has been processed and you have submitted all of the required documents. You now can be given a placement in the program! YAY!! This means you still have to wait to be given a job, but you will most likely receive one. There are people with application numbers in the 4,000’s who get placed, you just have to be patient.

MY ADMITDIA DATES: First year: March 28, 2014. Second year: March 13, 2015.

ADJUDICADA–  Placement assigned!

Finally! The long and painful wait is over! You will receive an email with your placement which YOU MUST ACCEPT OR REJECT WITHIN 5 NATURAL DAYS or you’re automatically rejected—talk about the ultimate horror story! The accepting/rejecting process is here.

ACEPTADA–  You accepted your placement.

RENUNCIA–  You failed to accept your placement.

 

CARTA DE NOMBRAMIENTO

This is a letter that you will receive in the mail (or email) that will allow you to apply for a visa, which you need to start right away! It states your school’s address, that you have health insurance, and a contract for an academic year with the program. Let the adventure begin!

 

I hope this helped! Ask me any questions that you have or if you have any additional advice, comment below. Get started applying for your visa! Happy travels!

Written by

I’m an American expat living in Galicia. I want to inspire travel, learn a dozen languages, and try every food in the world.

19 Comments

  • Devon Medlin

    The site looks dope dude 🙂

    • Heather

      Hi Devon!
      Thanks man! I know it took months, but I guess I get an ‘I told ya so!’ I’m doing it!

      Subscribe to keep updated, and good luck this year!
      Heather

  • www.antonyk.com

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info.

    I am glad that you simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Heather

      Thank you, I really appreciate that. And you’re welcome! I remember going through the process, making lots of small mistakes, and thinking “I wish there was a good blog to explain exactly how to do it.” Since I couldn’t find a very thorough one, I decided to just make one myself! Here I am!
      Glad you’re enjoying it. You can subscribe to receive emails (in the box in the top right corner) if you’d like and never miss a post!
      Happy travels!
      -Heather

  • Emily

    Hey! This was a filled with great advice. I just got my inscrita number, 3185. I really want Madrid but I guess its time to wait, once I send my papers in. When did you get accepted like for your placement the first year? Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Heather

      Hey Emily!
      I’m glad you found my post useful! I got accepted (adjudicada) my first year with the inscrita number 3297 on May 23 for my first choice: Galicia. (I still have the emails so I know the exact dates.) I was then given my actual placement with the school’s address on June 10. With your number and the fact that you want Madrid (the most requested region in Spain), I would probably expect to get your second or even third choice depending on what those regions were. But you really never know! Some people with larger numbers sometimes randomly get Madrid because people ahead of them decline their placements. Don’t worry, no matter where you go you’re bound to have fun; it’s Spain!
      If you have any more questions, hit me up!
      Happy travels and good luck this next year!
      -Heather

  • Samuel Martinez

    Hi, Emily!

    Loved your post. I see you made a high inscrita number on your first time applying and still got a placement..thats awesome! I am ok with mine 2325 but still a little “worried” lol. I put madrid, aragon and asturias as my 1,2 & 3 preference choices. Also, my application is already on admitida status, and my regional advidor has been very helpful and super communicative by email. So on your opinion what do you think may be my chances for the 2016-2017 program? And by which date on your experience I may receive the email for adjudicada status? My advisor told me that they will be assigning placements around mid may. Any info from you will help.

    Thanks in advanced,

    Samuel

    • Heather

      Hey there Samuel,
      Thanks for reading my blog. Honestly you should not be worried in the slightest about not getting into the program. Your status is already admitida which means you have supplied every document and met every requirement for the program, so now you just have to wait for a placement. What you should be prepared for is that you might not get Madrid. No one knows for sure but we think Madrid accepts only about 2,000 auxiliares. With your number you might get your second choice, probably not Asturias since it’s the smallest region, or even a random region. You really never know because people with lower numbers deny their spots all the time. I was placed on May 23 my first year with the inscrita number 3297 so you’ll probably hear back about yours early to mid May. Don’t sweat the process too much. I did my first year too but there is really nothing to worry about. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Happy travels!
      -Heather

  • Alexandra

    I got Galicia!! I emailed you as well! This blog has been so helpful and I JUST got my acceptance as of yesterday!!
    I can’t wait! My number was 2076 and Galicia was my 2nd pick if anyone cares.
    GAHHHH I am so excited!

    • Heather

      Hey hi Alex!

      I just emailed you back! Way to go! Get ready for an awesome year to come. Thanks for checking me out and let’s stay in touch.

      Happy travels,
      -Heather

  • Bekah

    Hi Heather,

    I got accepted to Galicia as well, it wasn’t any of my picks, but I don’t care – I’m going back to Spain!! 🙂 I will emailing you because I have lots of questions (apartment finding, transportation, etc.) I didn’t get the acceptance letter in the email ( 🙁 ), but if I’m possibly close to you, would you like to meet up for some tapas and beers?

    Thank you again for all of your blogs and advice!
    -Bekah

    • Heather

      Hey Bekah!
      That sounds great! Let me know where you get placed. Thanks for giving my blog a look. I hope you found some of my posts useful. I am adding new stuff all the time, especially about Galicia! Good luck and email me with any questions you have!

      Happy travels!
      -Heather

  • Kane Hernandez

    Heather,

    Thanks for this post! I just got placed in Ponteverda! Im so excited! So I got myself a little DUI a few years ago and am really worried about the visa process. Is there anything extra you’d recommend doing for those of us that have a blemish on our record? Or could you put me in contact with anyone who you know who has a less than squeaky clean record and still got a visa? Thank you!

    Kane

    • Heather

      Hey there Kane!

      Sorry that it took so long to respond to you. Your messaged got buried under a few other comments I received at the same time. I have heard of quite a few people that had blemishes on their records having no trouble with the visa process, so I assume it just depends. I bet with a DUI that you will be fine since some other people with drinking records were accepted as well, although there is really no way to truly tell until you attempt to get your visa. Good luck and sorry I couldn’t be more help.

      Happy travels!
      -Heather

  • Alana

    Hola! I was wondering if you could help me – my application says “sin destituda” even though i know I selected “auxiliares extranjeros en espana”. Do you know how to fix this?

    • Heather

      Hey Alana,

      Sorry, but I have been looking all over and cannot find what that would mean. Are you a renewal or a first year? Is there anything missing in your application? Did you send it in and get an email that you were “inscrita” before it changed to that?

      -Heather

  • Ebony

    Hey Heather! This post was extremely helpful! I JUST found out about this opportunity the other day and applied. I’m a little worried because my application number is 4649 YIKES!! But you’ve heard of people getting accepted in the 4000’s? I put my top 3 choices but I’m not limited to those areas. I just want to be in Spain, teaching and learning Spanish! Do you think not caring where I’m placed will help my chances? Thanks!

    • Heather

      Hey there Ebony!

      I’m glad you found my article and that it helped you out! I wouldn’t stress too much about that number. My first year I had 3300 something and I got placed near the end of May. Also, I got my first choice of Galicia! You may have to wait a long time (maybe almost all summer) to hear back about it but a lot of people have gotten placed in the 4000s. It will help tremendously if you’re not picky! You’ll being getting one of the last placements they have. Good luck and I hope it all works out!

      Happy travels!
      -Heather

  • Adriana S.

    Hi,

    I applied on the first day the application opened and received the “admitida” a week later. The application closed and I can no longer sign on the same way. I see my name and information but I can’t see my solicitud. I wanted to check the site to see if I got in case I missed the email. Can you only find out if you got in by email?

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