“I have turned my life around and it was the best decision I have ever made,” enthuses James, a Metro Manila native, who’s now in his second year in Madrid.
James has always dreamed of moving to Europe, especially Spain, largely because of the Spanish influence on the Philippines.
“But I would never have thought I could make that dream real until a friend told me about the TtMadrid visa program,” he shares.
TtMadrid or Teacher Training Madrid academy offers a one-year visa program, also known as the Spanish and Teaching Abroad Program. The academy offers a four-week accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language or TEFL course, which allows those who finish the course to live and teach in Madrid with a one-year student visa.
It provides native English speakers and bilinguals from all corners of the world a solid and comprehensive training. It also provides them with a place they can call home.
“The philosophy of TtMadrid,” says the academy’s founder and director Natasha Mason Kennedy, “is that we support the students in every aspect of their lives.” The said support goes from the academy’s invaluable assistance while going through the process of obtaining a student’s visa to finding an accommodation in Madrid, setting up a bank account, buying a phone, and finding the best tapas in town.
The TEFL program itself, a four-week intensive course, provides students with all the necessary tools to be successful while teaching English in Spain.
“There is no doubt that it is a very demanding course,” admits James. “But at the end of the four weeks, I was feeling fully prepared to give high-quality classes.”
According to James, it didn’t take him a long time to find out whether it was true since, like all of TtMadrid graduates, he lined up several teaching jobs almost immediately after the end of the program—as the school provides daily job alerts and assistance in finding work with companies and agencies offering legal contractual agreements.
Much like everyone who went through the course, James has the opportunity to teach general English or business English in academies and companies—helping prepare language certificates or just giving conversation classes. He can also work with either children or adults.
Kate, a graduate from the US, points out how much she appreciates being able to get an insider’s look (not to mention useful connections) into typically Spanish work environments.
“I currently teach in-company classes in big companies, as well as private classes with doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, and accountants. I love the constant change and challenge of teaching English to this array of professionals,” she shares.
But the experience is not only about work, but it is also about enjoying the chance to get completely immersed in a different culture and learn a new language. Intensive Spanish classes, delivered by TtMadrid’s Spanish counterpart—La Aventura Española Madrid—are a crucial part of the program.
“Our teachers at LAEMadrid share TtMadrid’s approach to teaching, which is both fun and dynamic, but with a real academic backbone,” says Kennedy.
Mastering the language makes it easier for graduates to dive into the vibrant life of the city, its rich food culture, and its colorful party scene. Madrid’s central position is ideal for traveling around Spain, and also Europe, and discovering the huge diversity and fascinating history of the old continent.
Suffice it to say, it offers the perfect opportunity for a full immersion in one of Europe’s most exciting city while imparting knowledge to and getting to know other people.
“I can’t even begin to list all the benefits I have been deriving from this experience,” beams James.
“I have traveled to my bucket-list destinations, I have gained valuable work experience, I have made friends from all around the world, and I have shared my passion for teaching the English language.”
His plans for the future? “I want to stay here at least one more year and work on my Spanish fluency. There’s so much to learn in Spain, especially the many connections this country has with Filipino culture—food, religion, fiestas, among many other customs. It feels like home.”
Agency collective Nomads Global Studios, through its travel media and community The Nomads, has recently partnered with TtMadrid in providing the best career and lifestyle advice for interested enrollees from the Philippines and other non-European countries.
Filipinos and non-Europeans can inquire about the Spanish and Teaching Abroad Program by contacting [email protected] By using the enrollment code “NOMADS” when they inquire and sign up at TtMadrid, new students can enjoy free airport pick-up upon their arrival as well as a special city tour of Madrid. For more information, log on to www.nomadstreet.com.
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