If your auxiliar de conversación experience is anything like mine…

You may have applied the day applications opened on November 7th 2011 and gotten inscrita number 109. That means that after the renewals are placed, you are number 109 in line for your first choice region! Yuju!

You may have chosen Catalunya as your first choice region expecting to live here:


Around December your dreams of beach bumming it in Barça may have begun to crumble. Nobody was getting paid!


After months of waiting and reading facebook fights on the auxiliars page, in May you may have found out that the program was cut in Catalunya (along with Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Canary Islands, & Navarra).

You, along with thousands of other hopefuls, may have begun questioning the future of the program.

From another auxiliar:

I know someone is probably going to reply saying “calm down, the program’s not canceled!” but hearing about Catalunya, plus all the other regions, is making me pretty nervous. In the remote, but not totally impossible, chance that the program is cut, does anyone have a solid back up plan? Also, how do we even know that a placement means they won’t just cancel it later? I know I’m being paranoid, but I feel like there’s so little information!

Like ·  · Follow Post · May 9 at 7:45pm near College Station, TX

On May 21st 2012 you may have received your placement…..




You then may have realized that you will have the modern conveniences of a big city, the airport close by, 1,500 potential guiri friends and  €300 extra per month!


On June 29th you may have received your school placement within the comunidad de Madrid. You then may have googled your school and realized that it was an hour commute from the city center.

another day, another huelga
another day, another huelga

After wikipedia, the second search result reveals this gem:

El pueblo más alejado del mar, en todas direcciones. Y situado en el curso de la cañada real Galiana. Debido a su lejanía con la costa, los mequeros pueden comer carne en Semana Santa. Están amparados por una Bula Papal.

If you can’t read Spanish, to sum things up, this is the furthest from the sea you can possibly get in all of Spain. So far that during Easter the people of Meco are allowed to eat meat instead of seafood….wtf


Remember the  € € €, Brittany!! Remember the travel opportunities!!

winter travel plans
winter travel plans 🙂

After almost a year of waiting you may have finally moved to Spain on September 18th 2012. You may have met auxiliars at the airport that you recognized from facebook. This may have seemed weird at the time, but it will become very, very normal.

intercambio with mostly american friends ftw
intercambio with mostly american friends ftw
día de acción de gracias 😉

You may have moved in, gotten a feel for the city and begun to enjoy life abroad again.

disco ball in la disco!!
disco ball in la disco!!
because that's what living abroad is all about! drinking wine in public places!!
because that’s what living abroad is all about! drinking wine in public places!! 😛

imageYou may have gone to work and instantly fallen in love with the kids and gotten your first “Te quiero!” on day two.

They may have no idea what the F your name is, but dats coo

image (4)

image (3)

because you querer them and they do too 🙂

image (2)

You may have a coworker that is a returner and self proclaimed control freak. This may not bother you at all because really who gives a shit….until…

she comes up with a Scooby Doo theme for Halloween naming herself, of course, as Daphne, the girl with glasses as Velma, and the two boys as Fred and Shaggy. What does that leave you with?


You guessed it!

You may have put your foot down this time, refused to degrade yourself by wearing a collar and calling yourself a bitch.

a cat, on the other hand, is a perfectly admirable costume choice
a cat, on the other hand, is a perfectly admirable costume choice

As an alternative they suggest you be a monster that the mystery gang tries to catch.



They may even make a picture on paint that you have to recreate and your coworker may even tell you to “try to look scary” before taking the picture. You may say okay, turn and give your biggest pageant smile.


Kind of


But whatever. You go to your private class and you’re back to singing about being able to sing a rainbow. And life is good.

You may have read a post from a girl who says she hates the auxiliar program.


All in all you agree with her points about it being a huge, disorganized clusterfuck that could be made soooo much better with a lot more communication.

After reading through the cat fights comments on her post you may be so tempted to do this:


But instead you may just close your facebook, walk out your front door, go for a run in retiro,


or for some tapas


and you realize that you are exactly where you want to be. And that makes you happy.


6 thoughts on “If your auxiliar de conversación experience is anything like mine…

  1. There are pros and cons to being an auxiliar de conversacion, just like with everything else in life. I did it for a year (not through the Ministerio so I actually got paid on time and the program only placed people in the Madrid area) and decided one year was enough. Some people really enjoy teaching, others do it simply for the fact they are living abroad and get to travel. The bureaucracy that surrounds the auxiliar de conversacion program is the same way everywhere in Spain. You’re not in the USA, you can’t expect things to be run the same way. Seems you are enjoying Madrid. I do miss it still. 🙂

    1. Even considering the small negatives, I consider my auxiliar experience a great one so far. 🙂 An open mind and laid back attitude (and a huge chunk of cash) are all you really need to be happy here in Spain. I do, however, think that the program can make a few changes to be more esteemed. It doesn’t have to be the joke for which it’s becoming known. I think it’s still recommendable for those who wish to earn some teaching experience or travel around Europe…or both, like in my case! 😀

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