North American Cultural Ambassadors

If you’re craving the Spanish sun, sangria and laissez-faire lifestyle, but are having trouble cutting through immigration’s red tape (which has tightened it’s reins over the years), the Spanish government might have a solution…

Posted by Sammie

Tagged: united states, canada, grants, americans, cultural ambassadors, north american cultural ambassadors, ministry of education, international spanish academy

Information about teaching and securing a temporary visa in Spain

If you’re craving the Spanish sun, sangria and laissez-faire lifestyle, but are having trouble cutting through immigration’s red tape (which has tightened it’s reins over the years) in order to secure your visa, the Spanish government might have a solution.

Currently in its seventh year running, the Continuing Education grant, provided by the Ministry of Education of Spain, is now handing out more than 2000 scholarships for North American Cultural Ambassadors. Supported by Spain, as well as several Departments of Education and School Districts in both the United States and Canada, this collaborative program is an excellent opportunity for Canadians and Americans to work as teaching assistants in K-12 public schools across the country. You’ll not only be helping teach English or French to Spaniards, but you’ll be imparting your distinct North American cultural practices onto your Spanish counterparts and vice-versa.

Since inception in 2005 when the program began with only 50 participants, it has gained rapid momentum and is expected to award approximately 2700 grants for the upcoming, 2011-2012 school year.

What does one get out of the program?

  • Successful applicants will be required to work 12-16 hours a week
  • You’ll receive a monthly stipend of between 700-1000 Euros
  • Participants will also receive medical insurance

What does one need in order to get into the program?

  • Grants are awarded on a first come first serve basis
  • U.S. or Canadian passport
  • Must be a native or bilingual English or French speaker
  • Have a minimum of a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BS (Bachelor of Science) by the end of the academic year before the start of the program Or be an upcoming Junior or Senior student at university Or be a university graduate
  • Must be in good physical and mental health
  • Must (very important!) be able to speak Spanish at an intermediate level
  • The average age of participants is 21-35
  • Candidates older than 35 are subject to regional evaluation depending on the region’s needs at that time
  • Program usually lasts eight months and runs from October 1st through May 31st

 

If you have the time, the ‘ganas’ (desire) and if you tick all the right boxes, then this is a fairly easy way of securing a Spanish visa (at least for a short while) and exposing yourself to an unforgettable eye opening experience in Spain.

Required Documents:

  • A copy of the photo and information page of valid passport
  • The PDF printout (signed and dated) available after candidate submits application online
  • An official college transcript or a copy of college diploma
  • A one page letter of recommendation in English or Spanish, from any current or former professor (if candidate has been out of school for more than five years then a letter from supervisor at work)
  • A one-page statement of purpose for participation in the program in either English or Spanish, addressed to the person responsible for the office candidate will be sending documents to A medical certificate of good mental and physical health issued by candidate’s doctor
  • For U.S. citizens: A copy of the FBI background check application form (U.S. citizens with an additional European Union citizenship are not required to have a student visa and therefore do not need the FBI check. They do however, still have to provide a standard local or State police background check).
  • For Canadian citizens: a standard local police or RCMP background check is fine and no fingerprints are required. (Canadian citizens with an additional European Union citizenship are not required to have a student visa but they still have to provide a standard local police or RCMP background check).

At the end of the program participants will receive a certificate of completion that may count as a “continuing education unit/credit.” This experience is especially beneficial for those looking to apply for jobs within the Ministry of Education such as a teacher in an ISA (International Spanish Academy).

For full application details as well as more details about the program check out:
http://www.educacion.gob.es/exterior/usa/en/File/aux_us/manual_20110525.pdf

For online application check out: (note that the application process for the 2011-2012 season is now closed)
https://www.educacion.gob.es/profex/jsp/login/login.do?identificadoEnLaAplicacion=no

Whether you’re basking in the sun on Spain’s beaches, eating authentic Spanish tapas or learning the difference between Español and Castellano, this program is definitely worth looking into. If you have the time, the ‘ganas’ (desire) and if you tick all the right boxes, then this is a fairly easy way of securing a Spanish visa (at least for a short while) and exposing yourself to an unforgettable eye opening experience in Spain.

 

Last updated 31 01 2012

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