This time last year I was job hunting. I really wanted to work in Spain but it seemed that all the adverts I found required a minimum of 2 years’ experience. I had only completed my 140-hour Online TEFL course with i-to-i a few weeks before so it seemed that I would have to rethink. I decided to apply for other jobs in Europe and revisit the Spain dream in a couple of years.

I started applying for jobs elsewhere when I received 2 different emails from schools I had applied for telling me about Spainwise, It sounded ideal. All those language schools under one roof. Surely it was exactly where I wanted to be. However, I was sceptical. Some of the schools on the short list were ones I had applied to already and they had turned me down due to lack of experience but I couldn’t help thinking things might be different if I could speak to them face to face.

After a couple of days of mulling it over I decided it was better to speculate to accumulate. If I didn’t go I would regret it and think about what might have been. Plus, even if I didn’t get a job, I could maybe make some contacts and the seminars looked interesting so I decided to book my tickets.

I am so glad I did. The fair was absolutely fantastic. It was great meeting so many different teachers from different backgrounds and having the chance to hear about schools and teaching first hand from directors and teachers alike. Some schools did tell me right away to go away, get experience and reapply in a couple of years but others I spoke to were more positive. I had interviews and exchanged details with a handful of schools. I left not knowing if I had secured a job but was confident my time hadn’t been wasted as I had learned a lot about the industry, and Spain in particular, for the future.

The week that followed was crazy. I returned home and was offered work at a summer camp in Finland which I had applied for before attending Spainwise. Then, while I was preparing to set off there, I was contacted for a second interview at IC Bilbao located in Bilbao – a school that I felt I had really made a connection with at Spainwise. I was shortly offered a contract starting in September, right after my summer camp work finished. I had gone from not knowing where I was going next to having 2 jobs lined up and hence work for the next year. I was ecstatic.

IC Bilbao kept in contact with me the whole summer, keeping me informed about what was ahead and organised accommodation for me in walking distance from the school with other English teachers. Everything was organised including assistance with paperwork and a useful induction in the first weeks. They really did everything they could to make the transition to Spanish life and language teaching as easy as possible.

IC Bilbao have a huge focus on teacher training which is perfect if you are a new teacher finding your feet. The team is really supportive and everybody is open to sharing teaching ideas and methods. We prepare students for Trinity College London and Cambridge English exams so the experience I have gained in a short time in relation to this is invaluable. I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I have just signed up for a further 2 years working there and couldn’t be more excited.

If you are a new teacher thinking of going to Spainwise I would encourage you to go for it. You never know you might be lucky like me.

Find out more about this year’s jobs fair here