(North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain “Cultural Ambassadors”)

National deadline: April 7, 2015. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis so in order to be considered for a teaching position your application should be in before March 1.



Eligibility requirements:

  • Candidates must hold a U.S. or Canadian passport.
  • The candidate must be a native or bilingual English or French speaker.
  • The candidate shall:
    • hold a minimum of a BA or BS by the end of the academic year preceding the start of the program
    • or be an upcoming junior or senior student at their university
    • or be a university graduate. (Average age of a participant is 21-35)
    • Candidates must be in good physical and mental health.
    • Candidates MUST have an intermediate level knowledge of the Spanish language at minimum.
    • Candidates should be open-minded and have a flexible attitude as the participants are language ASSISTANTS in the classroom regardless of their years of work experience in the field.

Award summary and conditions: The program is an academic “continuing education” grant provided by the Ministry of Education of Spain. The program sends over 2000 American and Canadian participants to Spain each year to serve as teaching assistants, sharing their native knowledge of the English or French language and North American culture in Spanish public K-12 schools. Occasionally public language schools also request an assistant for their classrooms. The assistant will work 12-16 hours weekly in their assigned school. The schedule will be determined by the program coordinator in the assigned school. You may be the only assistant in your school or there may be multiple participants assigned to the same school depending on demand. You will have plenty of free time to take advantage of your stay abroad!

You will receive a minimum monthly stipend of 700 net euros. You will be provided general health insurance by your region covering basic needs, emergencies and repatriation. You will be responsible for paying for any prescriptions. However, the prescriptions in Spain cost approximately 80% less than those found in the States and you will end up paying about the same price out of pocket as you would pay with insurance for a US prescription. You partake in a unique and enriching experience in Spain! The program generally lasts 8 months from October 1 through May 31.  Many people opt to renew the grant for a second year. However, this repeat year is only possible if the candidate is issued a positive evaluation from their school representative. Those wanting to participate for a third year will not be given any type of priority.

You will receive initial and continuing professional training. At the end of the program you will receive a certificate of completion for your services rendered that may count as credit as a “continuing education unit/credit.” Upon your return to your home country you will have gained experience that will put you ahead of the competition should you want to apply for a job that is related to the Ministry of Education such as a teacher in an ISA (International Spanish Academy). This is a great way to gain experience, travel, make new friends, improve your knowledge of Spanish language and culture, and positively represent your home country.

Application process:  hardcopy and electronic

Application materials:

  • A copy of the photo and information page of your valid passport.
  • The PDF printout (signed and dated) available after you submit your application online. See Annex A. 
  • An official college transcript or a copy of your college diploma. 
  • A one page letter of recommendation, in English or Spanish, from any current or former professor or, if you have been out of school for over five years, from your supervisor at work. This is the only document that can be mailed separately from the rest of the hard copies, should your professor wish to send it to us personally. It must be signed and sent by mail.
  • A one page statement of purpose for participation in the program in either English or Spanish, addressed to the person responsible for the office you will be sending your required documents to. See Hard Copy Documentation: Where to send required paperwork section of this Manual.
  • A medical certificate of good mental and physical health issued by your doctor. This should be on the doctor’s letterhead on standard sized paper. Notes sent on prescription pad paper will not be accepted. Please send A COPY. KEEP THE ORIGINAL FOR FUTURE VISA PROCESSING.
  • For U.S. citizens: A copy of the FBI background check application form.  Due to the lengthy processing time of the FBI background check (see below) please send just a hard copy of your application. Please don’t wait to get your original FBI background check in order to send the rest of the hard copies. Send all the hard copies together with the FBI copy of having applied for it; that will be enough to consider you an eligible candidate. On receiving your original FBI background check, make a copy and mail it to the same education office you sent the rest of the hard copies. Keep the original FBI document. You will need it later to apply for your student visa.


The Education Office at the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC advises that the FBI background check is a requirement for long-term student visas. Please be aware that the FBI background check takes approximately 12 weeks.  The Auxiliares de Conversación program lasts for one academic year, thus requiring a long-term student visa. It is suggested that students considering long-term (more than six (6) months) programs such as Auxiliares de Conversación in Spain request this document as soon as they decide to apply for the program to allow for the lengthy processing time.

The terminology applied to this background check is the FBI Identification Record Request/Criminal Background Check. The Criminal Background Check can be requested, among other reasons, to satisfy a requirement to live, work, or travel in a foreign country (i.e., police certificate, letter of good conduct, criminal history background, etc.).

Faculty Representative:  Keith Raether

Contact information: norteamericanos@mecd.es