BEDA: Program Review

If you follow my blog, you’ll know last year I was in Spain with TtMadrid.  And I would not recommend that company to anyone.  So I applied to BEDA and the ministries.  However, somehow the ministry program lost or just didn’t download my application and I was placed in BEDA.

BEDA has been amazing.  I’ve held off on doing a review because I haven’t had anything to complain about. I’m really lucky.  My school is ideal: it’s in the city, many teachers speak English, I don’t lesson plan and I get to teach a variety of ages.  The class sizes are small and the teachers help me out and let me do activities if I want to. (I will name my school when placements for BEDA go out this year so you can know)

Despite having an amazing school, I am not renewing.  So my space is open!  And if you are interested in applying to BEDA, do it NOW! Applications just opened.

What’s BEDA?

  • It’s an agency that helps schools in Spain (mostly in Madrid) maintain a bilingual and catholic education for students of all ages.
  • Each school has to meet a certain amount of expectations to get a certification.
  • During the program, teaching assistants take classes in teaching strategies, Spanish language and culture. You are required to take these classes if you want the sort of bs certification or to renew.
  • The certification they give you means nothing other than you living and taught in Spain and took a few classes.  It is not accredited for anything at all.
  • BEDA assists with school placement, student visa and is there to guide you through your journey. My advisors have been very prompt with responding to any questions I had.
  • No one expects you to be a professional teacher off the bat, you are an assistant.  I had one teacher even print me ideas for games so I wasn’t totally lost.
  • You don’t have to be Catholic just be respectful of their beliefs.  You will be asked to prepare some presentations and activities for class and they might be around Christian subjects. (I’m Jewish, my English coordinator knows this but I don’t not tell me students)
  • You work anywhere between 16-22 hours a week. I work 21 hours a week and I’m paid ~930 Euros. Yes, that is enough to live on.  I also have private classes on the side with a private company and with children from my school so I make ~1100 a month.
    • Price breakdown of my living expenses in Spain (in Euros):
      • My room in a 7-bedroom apartment near Diego de Leon: 330 (includes utilities and wifi) I got my apartment through SpotAHome.
      • Budget for food and groceries ~80-120 a month. (I don’t eat out often and produce is very cheap)
      • Cell phone 15 a month (1.6 GB of data and 200 minutes of talking) people use WhatsApp and Magic Jack to avoid using texting or minutes.
      • Transportation card 20 (for anyone under the age of 25)
      • Partying depends.  A beer can be 1.2 at a bar or up to 3 euros. A cocktail is 4-6 euros. Clubs can be free but the most you pay is 25 and it often includes a drink.  (I don’t party often)
      • So that makes my living expenses 485 without including partying. So that is plenty of wiggle room for the finer things in life.

There’s a lot of support and community that goes into this program.  It’s unique from other programs because you have to take classes but the classes help you learn more about this job you never prepared for, you can put it on a resume and you meet people in your program.

Getting Hired

BEDA is more selective than other programs. Some programs it is first come first serve or first pay like CIEE or Ministries or TTMadrid.  BEDA has you interview before you are accepted.  The interview just goes over your resume, what you want out of the experience and to clear up any questions.  It’s very easy, don’t sweat it. You will have priority: if you’ve lived in Spain before, speak Spanish, have taught before and have certifications. I had basic Spanish, a TEFL certification and had lived in Spain before, so I was given a higher level school.

  • My budget to move to Spain:
    • Money for visa 120 plus other documents and the trip to your consulate. Give yourself 3 months to get the visa.
    • Plane ticket from Albuquerque to Brussels it was ~550. You have to really hunt. And keep in mind, if you are American, America overcharges for flights so look online before you say, “Oh, flights are too expensive.”  There are tricks and possibilities.
    • Enough for a deposit and two months of rent so ~990
    • Then if you are planning to not use SpotAHome and want to apartment hunt in Spain, have living expenses plus a AirBnb or hostel.
    • It is expensive to move, anywhere.  Is it more expensive than moving from Albuquerque, NM to Los Angeles, CA? No, not really. So don’t discount moving abroad because of money, do the math and see what financial plan you can create.  I moved in with my parents and saved up money for a while plus selling most of my possessions so I could move here.

I’m very grateful for the time I’ve had in Spain but as I’ve said in my New Year post, it is time to move on for me.  I had never wanted to be a full-time teacher.  I only went through BEDA so I could live in Europe and travel. So now I’m looking at doing something else.

 

13 thoughts on “BEDA: Program Review

  1. Oh my god, bless you for posting this! My dream is to move and teach in Spain, or another Spanish speaking country, but I have no idea to start. I’ve tried researching different programs but it’s not as easy as it sounds. This is super helpful, especially with the budget break down and it’s awesome to see that you have more than enough extra money for saving or adventuring!

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      1. Seriously found it so helpful. I know i want to teach abroad but i dont know how to go about it so this was awesome! That’s so cool. I’m defintely going to look into it!!

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  2. Hello! I am loving your blog. I have been hired to work with BEDA this next school year and I’m super excited. But I was wondering if you would tell me the name of your school? Im so curious.

    Thanks!!

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    1. I worked with Colegio Patrocino de Maria near Arturo Soria. It was a great school. I had a really positive experience with them. You’ll have an amazing time and feel free to ask me questions.

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  3. Hi there, I am actually thinking of doing TMadrid. I would like to move to Spain for a year to immerse myself in the culture and learn the language. But I need to be able to sustain myself and thought that teaching would be the way to go. I have taught in the US as a substitute for 3 years so the transition wouldn’t be to difficult for me. I am interested about getting my TEFL but I feel that the TTMadrid is a bit expensive. I see that you recommend BEDA and I would like to know more about it. I tried to go on the site but it was in spanish. Do you have to be in Spain to be placed in a job at BEDA.

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    1. Go to this application. They usually start in January. Things will be in a Spanish and use a translator to get through it but you need to learn to adapt. DO not to Spain without a visa you can get deported and also it’s oversaturated with teachers so not having a legal status will hold you back unless you just want to nanny. The TEFL is a waste of time and money. Apply in January to BEDA or Ministerios or CIEE. look at this link
      http://assistants.ecmadrid.org/language_assistants/enroll/18

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      1. Thank you for response. What I am skeptical about is that most places want you to have a tefl to teach abroad. Also wouldn’t you get payed more with the certification. I saw that by participating BEDA program would allow you to get a student visa. Honestly speaking I have travelled a number of places but I haven’t spent longer than a month somewhere and I feel that the TTMadrd program is more like a safety net/blanket. And don’t you think that because you had the TEFL you were paid more. Also will I be able to start in January or will have to wait for the new school year to start. Sorry I am bombarding you with a lot of questions but I feel like since you did both programs you would have more insight than just google. Thanks so much for your responses.

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  4. You don’t get paid more in Spain with a TEFL. TTMadrid is expensive and when I was with them the jobs were shitty. I had to work for either companies outside of Madrid or several companies within Madrid to make ends meet. I was forced to leave early because I couldn’t pay rent with the jobs TTMadrid threw my way. So I think it is worth it to wait and apply through BEDA or Ministerios OR you could go look at nannying but I have no experience with that. If you aren’t trying to stay for a full year look at workaday.info and do something for a few months.

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    1. Thanks for the replies. I’ll consider taking the money I was going to spend to your through Southeast Asia before assignment starts in September. I need to pick something and start and just go for it. I’ve been talking about living abroad since I graduated college in 2011. I need to seize the moment. Thanks again and good luck on your endeavors.

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