My Barcelona Adventure


My decision to move to Barcelona and do the TEFL Barcelona course was made in December 2016 while I was recovering from laser eye surgery. My vision was blurry and I was house-bound due to the multiple eyedrops I had to use every hour or so and this gave me a lot of time to think and reflect upon my life and where I wanted to be! After living and working in London for six years, never really finding a job that stuck and spending all the money I earned to cover my extortionate monthly rent, I looked upon my friends that travelled with envy and realised that I wanted to do something similar. Knowing that I didn’t have enough savings to wander the earth without a job, I started looking into ways that I could earn money abroad while also being able to travel and see new places. One of my good friends from primary school had been living in Barcelona for a year as an English teacher after completing the TEFL Barcelona course so I decided to speak to her about it. Her life sounded wonderful; she was living in a beautiful city, experiencing a different culture, learning a new language and doing a job she loved. I’d visited Barcelona a few times in the past and I knew it was a city I was keen to know more about. Having had no prior teaching experience, I was keen to know how much the course prepared her for working as a teacher. She managed to fully soothe my anxieties by telling me about all the practical experience you gain during the course; by the time you start your first job you’ll already have taught numerous classes, which sounded ideal to me! My boyfriend and I had signed up to the August 2017 TEFL course by Christmas and the decision was made; we were moving to Barcelona.

August came around quickly and before we knew it we were packing all our belongings and flying to Barcelona. We’d found a lovely flat in Barceloneta (the beach area) through Air BnB and, despite it being absolutely beautiful, it cost a fraction of the rent we were paying in London (living in London really warps your perception on what is expensive!!) We started the TEFL course a week after arriving and it was full-on from day one! Almost immediately we were observing classes and being given career advice; I was learning so much about what it meant to be an English teacher as well as diving into the crazy realm of English grammar rules. I made friends quickly on the course; after going out for delicious tapas on the first evening and spending long days figuring out grammatical tenses and phrasal verbs, we were firmly bonded. It was great to have such strong support because we soon started teaching practice classes and observing one another. I was incredibly nervous before teaching my first class; it was an advanced class and with words like ‘hirsute’ in the set reading (that I had to look up in a dictionary!), I was worried that the students would see right through me and realise my inexperience. However, as cliché as it sounds, my fear dissipated as soon as the class took their seats and I began to teach. Prior to the class, we were all given an hour to prepare our lessons, which was incredibly helpful and I used every second to make sure I was prepared as I could possibly be. The class went as well as it could have done, and I soon realised I had nothing to fear; the students and my observers were very supportive and, I must admit, I even had fun! Which was something I really did not expect, especially from my first class. But I have always been a ‘people person’ and as soon as I started interacting with my students, getting to know them and covering the content of the lesson, I found myself laughing and relaxing and to be having a wonderful time.


I look back upon August 2017 with hugely fond memories. The TEFL course was intense and a lot of hard work, but it was also great fun and such a good experience. I made some friends for life and I learned so much about the English language, I gained valuable skills and, on top of all of that, I received a qualification that allows me to work anywhere in the world!


After completing the course, I continued to live in Barcelona for a further five months. One of my concerns before undertaking the course was how easy it would be to get a job afterwards; Barcelona is a popular place to live and I’d heard that the job market was pretty flooded, so I was expecting it to be difficult. I started sending job applications at the beginning of September, as well as creating a profile on tusclasesparticulares, and very quickly I was being invited to interviews. I decided that I would prefer to teach in a language school and have regular hours and a contract rather than teach private lessons, so that ruled out a few of my offers. I went to five interviews at different schools and was offered positions in all of them, I decided to take a job at a language academy in Poble Nou where I would be teaching a range of ages and levels; from six years old to adult company classes.

While the kids’ classes were challenging at first (I had never had any experience teaching children before and it is an entirely different experience to teaching adults), I grew to enjoy the high energy of the classes and I became very fond of the children. As the weeks went by, I learned what methods worked to encourage them to concentrate and work hard. I studied drama at university so I was keen to incorporate the creative arts into my classroom so I would often use roleplay, song and games with the children, which really worked to keep them engaged and enjoying English. My adult company classes were less of a challenge but they were a real pleasure to teach; my students were all very advanced and I was given a huge amount of flexibility so I could tailor the classes based on their interests and what they wanted to learn. We would watch a lot of TED Talks and discuss some interesting and important issues. I feel as though I learned from them as much as they learned from me sometimes!




I was teaching 18 hours a week, which meant I had plenty of time to explore Barcelona while earning enough money to live and enjoy myself. I had Fridays entirely off work, which meant that I could explore further afield and go to other areas of Spain. During my time living in Barcelona I had many weekends away, my favourite being Valencia, but we also explored Zaragoza, Tarragona, Sitges, Montserrat and Figueres. It was with a heavy heart that we made the decision to leave Barcelona, but I will always look back on my time there with very fond memories. My experience living and working in Barcelona has transformed me into a more confident and well-rounded person, my Spanish vastly improved and I return to the UK not only more employable than when I left, but also happier for having challenged myself, experienced a new way of life and seen more of the world. I now have the qualification and experience to work in any country in the world, which is a privilege I’ll always be grateful for.

By Hollie Brader 


For more information on our TEFL courses please visit


HAVANA by Camila Cabello: Lesson Plan for Young Teens


1) What do you know about Camila Cabello?
2) Where was she born?
3) Where does she live now?
4) How did she start her musical career?
5) What was the name of the group she was in?

Watch the Video

1) What happens when she goes into the bedroom?
2) Who is Juan?
3) Who is Rodrigo?
4) What do you think Juan is going to give her? Why?
5) What happened to the TV?
6) Does her sister take her out dancing? Why not? What does she do?
7) What does the grandmother tell her?
8) What do they decide to do instead? But what happens?
9) What does she do in the end?

Listen to the song and do the Gap Fill

At the end of the song:
1) What does Camila say to her boyfriend?
2) What does the girl in the cinema say?
3) What does Camila answer?
4) What happens when she leaves the cinema?
5) What do you think the song is about?

Post- video:
1) What do you know about Cuba? ( e.g. Where is it? What’s the population?
What’s the political system? Why did so many Cubans leave Cuba?)
2) Where is East Atlanta?
3) Where is Miami?

Havana by Camila Cabello – Gap Fill

Havana, ooh na-na (ay)
Half of my _______ is in Havana, ooh-na-na (ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
There’s somethin’ ’bout his __________ (uh huh)
Havana, ooh na-na (uh)
He didn’t walk up with that “how you doin’?” (uh)
(When he came in the _______)
He said there’s a lot of girls I can do with (uh)
(But I can’t ________ you)
I’m doin’ forever in a minute (hey)
(That summer night in June)
And papa says he got malo in him (uh)
He got me ______’ like
Ooh-ooh-ooh, I knew it when I met him
I loved him when I _____ him
Got me feelin’ like
Ooh-ooh-ooh, and then I had to _____ him
I had to go, oh na-na-na-na-na
Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (ay, ay)
He ______ me ______ to East Atlanta, na-na-na (uh huh)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Just graduated, ______ on campus, mm
Fresh out East Atlanta with no manners, damn
Fresh out East Atlanta
Bump on her _________ like a traffic jam
Hey, I was quick to pay that girl like Uncle Sam (here you go, ay)
Back it on me, shawty cravin’ on me
Get to ________’ on me (on me)
She waited on me (then what?)
Shawty cakin’ on me, got the bacon on me (wait up)
This is ________ in the makin’ on me (on me)
Point blank, close range, that be
If it ______ a million, that’s me (that’s me)
I was gettin’ mula, man they feel me
Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (oh, ay, ay)
He _______ me _______ to East Atlanta, na-na-na (oh no)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Ooh na-na, oh na-na-na (oo-ooh)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na-na (yeah, babe)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na-na (yea, yeah)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na-na (yea, babe)
Take me back, back, back
(Hey, hey)
______ me _____ to my Havana
Havana, ooh na-na
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na (oh, yeah)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na (ay, ay)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Uh huh
Oh na-na-na (oh na, yeah)
Oh na-na-na
Oh na-na-na
No, no, no, take me back
Oh na-na-na
Havana, ooh na-na


Glossary:  Some definitions from Urban Dictionary:

shawty = sexy girl

caking= flirting;

bumper= butt

diggin’= liking


Complete Lyrics

Havana by Camila Cabello
Havana, ooh na-na (ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na- na (ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na- na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
There’s somethin’ ’bout his manners (uh huh)
Havana, ooh na-na (uh)
He didn’t walk up with that "how you doin’?" (uh)
(When he came in the room)
He said there’s a lot of girls I can do with (uh)
(But I can’t without you)
I’m doin’ forever in a minute (hey)
(That summer night in June)
And papa says he got malo in him (uh)
He got me feelin’ like
Ooh-ooh- ooh, I knew it when I met him
I loved him when I left him
Got me feelin’ like
Ooh-ooh- ooh, and then I had to tell him
I had to go, oh na-na- na-na- na
Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na- na (ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na- na (uh huh)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Just graduated, fresh on campus, mm
Fresh out East Atlanta with no manners, damn
Fresh out East Atlanta
Bump on her bumper like a traffic jam
Hey, I was quick to pay that girl like Uncle Sam (here you go, ay)
Back it on me, shawty cravin’ on me
Get to diggin’ on me (on me)
She waited on me (then what?)
Shawty cakin’ on me, got the bacon on me (wait up)
This is history in the makin’ on me (on me)
Point blank, close range, that be
If it cost a million, that’s me (that’s me)
I was gettin’ mula, man they feel me

Havana, ooh na-na (ay, ay)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na- na (oh, ay, ay)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na- na (oh no)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ay)
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Ooh na-na, oh na-na- na (oo-ooh)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na- na (yeah, babe)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na- na (yea, yeah)
Take me back, back, back like
Ooh na-na, oh na-na- na (yea, babe)
Take me back, back, back
(Hey, hey)
Ooh-ooh- ooh
Ooh-ooh- ooh
Take me back to my Havana
Havana, ooh na-na
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na- na (oh, yeah)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na- na (ay, ay)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana (ay)
Havana, ooh na-na
Uh huh
Oh na-na- na (oh na, yeah)
Oh na-na- na
Oh na-na- na
No, no, no, take me back

Oh na-na- na
Havana, ooh na-na

Lesson created by Erwin Ebens


To learn about our TEFL courses please visit

Some of the peculiarities and challenges of teaching in Kazakhstan.


The Republic of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world. Its area is 2,724,900 sq. km. The nature is so diverse: mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, canyons, hot springs, steppe and forests – you can find it all here. Descendants of the nomadic culture, Kazakh people still respect the traditions of hospitality.  It is a very peaceful and politically stable country. More than one hundred and thirty ethnicities call Kazakhstan their motherland. Such a melting pot of traditions develops into a unique and diverse subculture. There are numerous festivals of folk music, craft fairs, and exhibitions on any given day. The city cafes and restaurants will treat you with traditional Kazakh, Russian, Georgian, Uighur, Dungan, Uzbek, Indian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Check, Italian, Korean and other food.


The Constitution guarantees the freedom of choosing the confession. Sometimes, a church, a mosque, and a temple stand next to each other, and it does not bother any group of people, including somebody like myself – agnostics. There are only a few countries in the world that equally celebrate Muslim Kurban-Bairam, Christian Easter, and a pagan new year – Nauryz, and Kazakhstan is one of them.


Most of foreigners find the living conditions quite comfortable. We have central heating, stable electrical and water supply, developed public transportation, banking, sports facilities and other products of civilization.  But watch out for taxi drivers – they think it is their duty to charge you 10 times more than a local! Get agreement on the price before the ride, or use Uber, InDriver and other apps for the smartphone.


Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for foreigners who get their salary in Euro or US Dollar, the national currency continues to fall. Of course, there is a luxury segment in entertainment, and the prices vary in different regions, but on average, with 10 dollars in your pocket you will be able to spend a good day, enjoying food, concerts, cinemas and exhibitions. Native English speaking teachers can easily negotiate $1,000 and more, which will be enough to cover your living expenses and fun social life.

IMG_1952 (1)

There is a surprise waiting for a foreign teacher, who comes to the class for the first time. It is quite a pleasant one – in our country students stand up to greet the teacher.  Beside the sign of respect it help students to “switch their brains” from previous activity or conversations and focus on the subject.

The Kazakh educational system provides quite a broad range of knowledge and information in different spheres, but when it comes to the development of such important competencies as collaboration, critical thinking and creativity it leaves much space for improvement. Pupils get used to receiving and following teacher’s instructions. They are rarely given tasks that require independent or group thinking.  Because of that the following typical situations may happen.

Situation 1 – Reading. You give time for students to go through the text and then ask questions to see if they understood it.  The learners use the shortcuts: they find the sentence with the same words that were in a question and read it.  They may not pay attention to the fact that the question had “not” in it, and asked for different information.

Situation 2 – Speaking. Your purpose is to activate the vocabulary on a specific subject. Let it be “Shopping”. If you ask to make dialogues “In the shop” it won’t be enough. You would have to assign roles (a shop assistant and a client), provide more specifics on the type of a shop (food/clothes), and explain what they conversation must be about (return/looking for different size or color, etc.)

Situation 3 – Writing. You ask students to write an opinion paragraph, or a problem/solution essay. The students search the Internet and plagiarize the text, without even trying to paraphrase.

Situation 4 – Team work. Group studies and team projects are not common in our schools. If you teach children and young people without work experience, then you will have to facilitate the process.

Situation 5 – Collusion. The understanding of “friendship” takes a strange form.  If the learner rejects to give his work to be copied by another student, he will be considered to be a bad friend and a mean person.    

Good thing is that all these difficulties can be overcome with the time. Just be persistent, and explain your requirements and expectations clearly.

By Динара Карамуратова


To learn about our TEFL courses please visit

How to receive medical care in Barcelona


It’s inevitable; if you’re living in Barcelona long enough, you’re going to have to see a doctor at some point. You do not generally have to pay your own money for health care if you are registered properly or have private health insurance. The process is a little different depending on your situation.

EU Citizens

EU Citizens should carry their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to ensure they receive free emergency health care. However, EU citizens who are resident in Spain should register with a doctor (see #3 below) to ensure they receive free health care in all situations.

Americans & others

Americans, and others who don’t qualify for free health care (see #2 below), should take out private health insurance to ensure their costs are covered.

Illegal workers

You are ‘illegal’ if you are employed in Spain, but not paying into the social security system; or if you’re resident in Spain but can’t provide proof of address (ie. you are living in a shared flat without your name on the contract). If this is the case for you, your only option is to visit a hospital (see #2 below) and you may be asked to pay.


The health care in Spain is very good, but, in typical Spanish style, navigating the bureaucratic process isn’t easy. There are several ways to access health care in Spain, each with their own pros and cons.

#1: Call 112 (the European Emergency Number) or 061 (Health Emergencies)

If you need immediate medical attention, call 112 or 061. Depending on the call centers, calls can be handled in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and German (as well as the national languages).

You don’t have to be registered, or hold any form of documentation to be admitted to a hospital. However, you may have to pay for your visit afterwards.

#2: Visit a hospital

To qualify for free services in Spain, you must either be registered with the state health care system, have private health care insurance, hold an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or hold a passport from Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, or Peru. If you don’t qualify, or if you don’t bring documents that prove you qualify, you may have to pay for the treatment you receive.

You must bring:

  • A form of ID (such as your passport), and
  • Proof you qualify for free health care (such as EHIC), if you have it,

To one of the following hospitals:

  • Clinical and Provicial Barcelona Hospital: Carrer de Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona |
  • Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron: Paseig de la Vall de Hebron, no. 119, 08035 Barcelona |
  • Hospital del Mar: Paseig Marítim, 25-29, 08003 Barcelona |
  • Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona: Passeig de Sant Joan de Déu, 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona |
  • Hospital de Barcelona: Avinguda Diagonal, 660, 08034 Barcelona |
  • Centro Médico Teknon: Carrer de Vilana, 12, 08022 Barcelona |

How to visit the hospital

Generally, there are four stages to a hospital visit:

  1. Entry. Tell the receptionist you want to see the doctor and show your documents. They’ll enter you into the system and give you a wristband with your name and time of entry into the hospital. You’ll then be directed to see a triage nurse.
  2. Initial Assessment. It’s likely you’ll see the triage nurse very quickly. However, they rarely speak foreign languages so be prepared for some charades while explaining how you’re feeling. They’ll decide how urgently you need medical attention and direct you to a waiting room.
  3. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. Depending on patient numbers, staffing, time of day, and the urgency of your illness, this could be a really long time – perhaps up to five hours or more in some hospitals. There might not be enough chairs for everyone, so be ready to sit on the floor. There is unlikely to be free wifi, so bring a book. Be aware that if you come with a friend and it’s very busy, they might be asked to wait elsewhere. If you need to leave for any reason, let the receptionist know in case your name is called while you are away.
  4. Seeing the doctor. This is usually worth the wait. Your doctor will most likely be the first English-speaking person you interact with in the hospital. At this point you’ll be diagnosed and a course of treatment prescribed. You may get a prescription for medicine, or – if the medicine is available over the counter – they’ll write a note for you to give to the pharmacist. Success!


#3: Go to a CAP (Centre d’atenció primària)

If you want to skip the long wait at the hospital and you’re a resident in Barcelona, you can register with a local clinic (or CAP). Unfortunately, it requires a lot of documentation, so make sure you do it before you get sick. Being able to speak or understand some Spanish or Catalan during this process will make it much, much easier, so consider asking along a friend if you don’t have the language skills yourself.

To register with a doctor you must be:

  • A resident in Spain,
  • Paying social security contributions (ie. you are legally employed or autonomo), or
  • A child, a pensioner, a pregnant woman, or receiving certain state benefits.

How to register with a doctor

First you need a Targeta Sanitaria Individual or TSI (Individual Healthcare Card), which you can get by visiting your nearest security office with:

The social security office will give you a certificate proving you are entitled to free health care, and your health care card will be sent in the post.

You can now take either the certificate or health card to your nearest centre d’atenció primària <> and they will give you the name, timetable, and phone number of the doctor that has been assigned to you, as well as a number for after-hours care.

Visiting the doctor

Once you’ve gone through this process, visiting the doctor is actually very straightforward! Remember, that if you’re taking time off work due to illness, you have to ask your doctor for the “baja” – a doctor’s note to say that you’re legitimately unwell. While you have the “baja”, you are not allowed to work. Once you are feeling better, you have to return to the doctor to get a second note called the “alta” which says you’re well enough to work again. Some doctors will issue you both at the same time (a few days apart) for your convenience. Unfortunately, your employer does not have to pay you for the first 3 days that you miss work with the “baja”, but after that you should get a percentage of your normal salary.

By Christopher Brown


To learn about our TEFL courses please visit


Teaching in Barcelona


I started this journey by taking a break from my studies and having no idea about what I wanted to do. For a few months I wandered around in my home country with no real purpose, except a project here and there, while a dear friend of mine was on an Erasmus scholarship in Barcelona. I wanted to try the Erasmus experience myself.  However, at that time I had two dates to keep track of in my head: my dentist appointment on the 19th of November and the Erasmus deadline, the 16th of November; needless to say that I went to the dentist on the 16th and missed my Erasmus deadline

Meanwhile, the time for my friend to come home was approaching, and I felt that for him, leaving Barcelona would be a cruel blow. So I started thinking: “Ok, there’s no need for him to get back, I’ll go to Barcelona, and I’ll get a job and…” and this is about where I stopped. I had no degree, no work experience and I truly believed I had no skill to sell. So, I continued scrolling down on Facebook as I do when my illusions are shattered, and I saw the only sponsored add that had something to say to me: “Get TEFL certified & teach English‎”. I clicked and there it was: the answer to my concern – a degree that would give me the means to work abroad in a field I was passionate about – languages.


I started the course in March and finished it in April. On the 7th of April I got hired as a tour guide for English speaking clients. (Starting with the second half of the course I was also applying for English teaching jobs and other positions related to English just to see what would happen. I also made an appointment to get my NIE – I was being proactive). I set up profiles on and and requests started coming in – I am now therefore, an English teacher as well. Guiding means I only meet foreigners; teaching private classes, however, is all about meeting locals who often become guides themselves for me. This was the starting point for me to learn Spanish, my fourth language.

Aside from all the working, there is, of course, the city. A city that I believe will soon turn into a legend. By talking to all the expats who are teaching, learning or just travelling, I found that there is virtually no one who would even think about leaving Barcelona for good. At first, I couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t love at first sight, I wasn’t impressed at first glance; it seemed like it didn’t have an identity or that it was several cities put together accidentally, although I did learn about its coherence in school (I’m an architecture student). Weeks passed by and I started walking the streets (this is another perk of being a private tutor, you get to go everywhere around town) being more and more aware – and I started noticing people’s habits, people’s pace, their way of relating to their home town. Nobody’s in a hurry but they get things done, nobody skips lunch but they do work hard, nobody misses a good party but they wake up early – all this and more makes a next to ideal city.


There is room and things to do for everybody. At MACBA, for example, you can skate your soul out, in Laberint d’Horta (Gaudi had a strong disapproving reaction to it but it’s exquisite) you can escape the city’s noise and heat, the museums help you satisfy your thirst for culture and if you want to travel around, you’re close to everything: hiking in Montserrat, taking a walk, snorkel or kayak on Costa Brava, the medieval city of Girona or closer Sitges.

There is more. Life as an English teacher works like this: you wake up at 9 a.m., brush your teeth, put street clothes on, and off you go to a café to plan your lessons. I usually have a Carajillo (I’ll leave the pleasure to discover what it is to you) and read La Vanguardia because I am desperate to be fluent in Spanish soon. You go to your private or academy classes and meet wonderful people, mostly locals and share your knowledge (this is my favourite part). I won’t lie, it’s not easy, and it’s not like taking candy from a baby. It’s hard work but it is very, very rewarding. After teaching, you go off to an early dinner at about 8 p.m. and then to have a vermouth with friends. The fun thing is that this is not a typical teacher’s day! Nobody could describe that because there is no such thing. You’re going to do it your own way, and this is amazing!

Well, that being said, I’m off to have a drink with some friends.

By Catalina Francu,



To learn more about our TEFL courses please visit

5 Reasons to Teach English in Barcelona

Yes, I know – you sometimes think exciting things and dream job offers only happen to other people. I used to think so too. But then I decided to make these exciting things happen! It went like this:

A friend was telling me about her experiences while teaching English in China and I suddenly realized what I wanted: A fulfilling job in a beautiful foreign city! To teach English abroad and enjoy life fully! Sounds like a dream, right?


Well, a lot of people are making this dream a reality. They all dared to take the first step – to become masters of their lives. And that’s what I did too.

After that, I just followed a few necessary steps with determination.

I chose a city I had always dreamed of – Barcelona. I put some effort into training. And I got the experience I had always wanted! Here are some more details about these steps.

Now, let me tell you the reasons why I’d suggest Barcelona to anyone following this path:


  1. Exquisite architecture

Walking through Barcelona is like wandering through a dream. This largely has to do with the famous architect Antoni Gaudί. He left his enchanting, playful mark all over the city.

His most famous work though is La Sagrada Famίlia, his unfinished symphony. It just takes your breath away. As do most of his creations.


Come to think of it, Barcelona has it all; from the grand medieval towers to the wonders of modern architecture.

Let’s not forget its amazing parks and boulevards. You could walk for days there and never get bored!    


  1.       The possibility of learning another language.

Always wanted to learn Spanish? Or maybe you are interested in learning Catalan, the co-official language of Cataluña. Well, what better way than communicating with the locals daily… If you immerse yourself in the language, try to use it in everyday situations, without fear of embarrassment – you will get the hang of basics easily and then move on to more complex things.

Your students can be your teachers if you let them. It also makes the classes more fun! Anyone you meet around the town can teach you something. Just be open and go easy on yourself!

Spanish is the world’s second most spoken language. Also, it’s the language of the exciting rolled R, colorful idioms and pleasing melody. Just listen and drink it in!


  1. Art

Spain is home to an unrivaled artistic heritage and Barcelona a heaven of museums.


Among these, best known are Picasso Museum, with around 3800 pieces by this controversial genius, Casa Batlló, one of the most iconic structures in the city, MNAC, with works from 1000 years of Catalan culture, and MACBA, the perfect place for modern art admirers.

Of course, there are many more museums in Barcelona for the art lover in you. All you have to do is choose!

  1. Food and holidays

Eating in Spain is not just a routine, it’s a celebration of life!

There’s a huge variety of regional dishes for you. Whether it’s paella from Valencia, gazpacho from Andalusia, or casseroles of Cataluña – you are guaranteed an amazing treat!


It doesn’t matter if you eat at a neighbourhood tapas bar or in an ultra-modern restaurant – the food is fantastic!

Although you can find these dishes in Barcelona, why not try them in their original regions?

Sure, your job will be somewhat demanding, but you’ll also have time to travel! And, oh my, the things you can see…

Beautiful coastlines, the enchanting palace of Alhambra, ancient cities where different cultures merge, magnificent mountains…

Beauty awaits!


  1. Job security


There is an ample supply of students in Barcelona. The vast majority of Spaniards speak only a bit of English.

However, since English is more and more recognized as the language of future for tourism and business, many people are keen to learn it.

That’s where you come in. You can choose to work in a language school, give private lessons or teach in companies. Find what suits you best. That being said, you will need to get your NIE.

All in all, you won’t make a fortune, but you will live comfortably, enjoy your free time and save enough for trips!

Teaching English in a foreign country can be a transformational experience.

You will learn more about yourself. You will learn to adapt to various situations that happen in class and outside class. You will learn a lot about different cultures, make long-lasting friendships and gain unforgettable experiences.

Working abroad does wonders for your self-confidence. And also for your CV!

So take the first step!

By Dimitris Vlachos

To learn more about our TEFL courses please visit

Teaching in Myanmar


Gold peaks of the tops of pagodas reach up toward the sky every couple of blocks here in Mandalay. Sometimes in the afternoons the sounds of monks’ chants ride the back of the breezes. Migrating birds glide by overhead. I experience all of this from the roof of our school.

After teaching English in South Korea and China, I had a change of pace in Turkey. By the end of my two years there, I ached to return to Asia. I missed incense and Buddha’s kind eyes smiling down at me when I visited temples. I missed the rice paddies that roll on for miles. I also really missed the sweet faces of the gentle children I’d taught. Once I started to look for jobs back in Asia, I found a position with a Montessori kindergarten in Mandalay, which sounded perfect so I snapped it up.

KG graduation with some of our class, all dressed up in traditional Myanmar longyi
KG graduation with some of our class, all dressed up in traditional Myanmar longyi

Teaching experience

Our school boasts the best English program in the city, with children learning every subject in English from primarily native-English speakers. The young students even speak to each other in English at recess. Our school recently became WASC-accredited which means children are learning an American style curriculum and could possibly transfer directly to an American school.

I work in the kindergarten, which is intended to be Montessori, but lacks some of the philosophy in the actual day-to-day practice. The children are divided into 3 age groups, nursery, pre-KG, and KG (kindergarten). Our classroom has 4 teachers, one Montessori-trained local co-lead, two Assistant Teachers and me.

In the morning, we have line time, where students sit together in a circle and learn about a weekly topic. Teachers guide them through songs and chants or read them stories. Sometimes we use Powerpoint presentations or photos to help them understand new concepts. These topics include things like water animals, transportation, nutrition, and community helpers.

Then we have Montessori work time where children direct themselves to lessons they know in areas of the classroom, including practical life, sensorial, math, language, cosmic, and art areas. We teachers show the students new lessons in each area when we feel they have mastered the ones they are working on.

Later the students go to the playground or PE, the cafeteria for lunch and Myanmar language lessons. Then the younger two levels go for nap time and the oldest kids stay with me for KG time.

In KG time, we learn in a more “traditional” way so they will be ready for first grade. We work on reading, writing, more detailed topics like phonics, grammar, stories, sequencing, friendship, scissor and craft skills, a bit of science, and anything and everything else the teacher can think of that might help for first grade. We have a curriculum, but it is a loose list of topics. There are also expectations for a high level of reading. After KG time/nap time, we have more lesson time and then another short line time where we review the morning’s topic before the students go home.

We are contracted from 8:30 to 3:30 with a weekly meeting (or two) before or after school. We also have extensive, detailed report cards that we must fill out along with parent meetings each quarter to discuss the report cards. We are also responsible for choreographing some kind of show for the students twice a year. We choose the song or play, teach it to them, and make or buy any costumes or props they need.


At our school, the teachers live on-campus. Each teacher is given a minimal studio apartment with a small kitchen and bathroom. Most teachers have decorated and furnished the apartment further to their liking. I bought vivid patterned textiles at the market and made pillows and other items to brighten up the room. Other schools’ teachers live off-campus in housing provided by their school.

The view from our rooftop
The view from our rooftop


The Myanmar language is a tough one. From what I understand, the grammar is quite difficult and the sounds are too, because of the tonality of the language. I haven’t learned nearly as much as I hoped I would. Many people around town also speak English, which makes it easy to choose not to learn. Myanmar was once ruled by the British and their legacy brought their language.

My students are learning a lot of new English vocabulary and grammar, but there are some things they have trouble adjusting to. They often phrase questions out of order, like “Teacher is doing what?” or “They go where?” Also, they like to use the word “do” in place of many verbs and they don’t yet understand tenses. They also say, “he no call me” if their friend didn’t ask them to come play. They confuse a and e and struggle with a few other sounds like “th.” Many of their mistakes have been corrected enough that and if reminded they can fix them on their own.

Expat life

In Mandalay, there is a small community of expats. We hold regular quiz nights and sporting events. There are some places around town to hike. Largely, though Mandalay is a small enough place that you have to make your own fun.

The pace of life in Myanmar is a bit slower and things don’t get done quickly. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down and join in, but other times it can be frustrating.

Mohinga, a traditional Myanmar breakfast
Mohinga, a traditional Myanmar breakfast


There are a couple of large grocery stores in Mandalay. Also, there are many of small local markets and women selling produce out of baskets on the side of the road.

Myanmar food includes curries, rice, and rice noodles. There are also some bready snacks and fried treats.

Around town, there are also Thai, Indian, Nepalese, Japanese, Chinese and Western restaurants.


Most expats in Mandalay have a motorbike. In Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, motorbikes are not allowed. It’s essential to independence in Mandalay, we motorbikers would argue. There aren’t many options for public transportation, though our school has a twice-weekly bus to the grocery store. Otherwise, to get around you must call a taxi in advance to come to the school to pick you up. Our school is not centrally located in town so taxis and motorbike taxis aren’t exactly waiting outside like they do in other areas.

Temple Offerings
Temple Offerings

Travel within Myanmar

There are many interesting sights to see in Myanmar. Bagan with its thousands of pagodas is probably the most famous. Inle lake with its floating villages is also a big destination. Up the road from Inle, Taunggyi is popular for its balloon festival. Yangon has many famous pagodas and more expats and more Western conveniences. Also, the beaches in the south of Myanmar are quite nice. There are many day trips and over-night trips that you can take from Mandalay. My favorite is the old British hill station, Pyin Oo Lwin.

By Katia Davis

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