Leaving Early from Spain Through the North American and Language and Cultural Programme

I’ve been wanting to write a post about my experience leaving Ministry of Education Programme early. During March, I made the choice to go home early. For most of the summer, I was worried about jeopardising my chances of being able to participate in the Ministry of Education Programme for the 20115-2016 school year. Why was I worried? I didn’t find enough information about leaving early and how it would effect me in the Ministry of Education Programme.  I think anyone would be nervous about making a choice like this and not fully knowing what the end results would be. Especially, if you are living and working overseas.

I have been very lucky with the school I was assigned to work as an auxiliary. My school was fine with me leaving. This may not be fine in other communities in Spain. I have been in Community of Madrid for nearly two school years now, so double check with the community you work in. It depends on the school  and community you work for and if they are willing to let you leave early. As long as you follow the exiting process with the Ministry of Education, you are fine to come back for another school year. Before I left Spain for the summer, I had to write a letter stating that I was leaving early for a summer job and that I didn’t expect pay for the month of June. After the letter was submitted to my boss, I was free to go and it didn’t jeopardise me coming back. I still had some doubt in the back of my mind that I was going to have trouble.

When I got back to United States, I had to apply for a new visa to come back to Spain. It was a pain, but worth going through all the pain to come home early. Plus, I had to request a Spanish background check from the U.S. I got my background check without any issue. It took two weeks to get the background check. I was surprised about that because Spain is notorious for taking forever to accomplish anything.

When I returned to Spain, I made an appointment to get a new NIE card. I got back to Spain and had no issues with getting a new NIE card or going back to school. Also, when applying for new NIE card you act as if you are getting a NIE card for the first time. My visa is about to expire at the end of December, but I can now come and go as I want without any problems.  Again this is a reminder that everything works out in the end.


2016: Making the Impossible Happen

There are about 18 days left of 2015 and it’s time for me to start thinking about what I want accomplish and do in the coming new year. In the new year, I want to apply to some doctoral programmes back in the U.S. I want to specialise in international education. Also,  I need to take the GRE this coming year. Most applications are due in early December of 2016.  Applying to doctoral programmes is the biggest item on the docket for 2016. As long as I apply myself, I can accomplish this goal without any issue.

In 2016, I want finish my travel list for Europe. I am applying to some different auxiliary programmes, so I can continue to stay in Madrid for another year or two.  This year I will be turning 30rd years old and I really don’t have anything special planned for this milestone birthday. I believe if I get into a doctoral programme, travel and live in Europe, and just live a happy life. I think I am doing well for someone being 30rd years old.

My travel list for 2016:

  • Scandinavia: Copenhagen Denmark, Stockholm Sweden, and Oslo Norway,
  • Morocco
  • Italy: Milan and Venice
  • Spain: Canary Islands
  • Multi Country: Istanbul Turkey and Athens Greece
  • Multi Country: Amsterdam Netherlands  and Brussels Belgium


What I’ve Been Doing Lately

I’ve been off the last 5 days from work. It’s been a long holiday weekend and I am ready to return to work. Over started to try  to get into the Christmas mood. I went walking this past weekend around Madrid checking out the Christmas lights. I have about two weeks of work left and then it’s time for winter break.


I am hoping to go to Munich and Vienna for Christmas for a week. Plus, a possible trip to Rome for a week after New Year’s. At the moment, I’ve been come very worried that my school is not going to pay me in advance for the month of January. This will put me in pickle. Other than worrying about getting money, I am trying to start applying to different teaching programs in Madrid and getting my stuff together of the GRE.


My time in the Ministry of Education’s Programme is coming to an end. After  January ends, I only have five more months left in my contract. The last few months will fly by too fast. It’s time to figure out my next move in life. I am looking at 3 possible teaching programmes: BEDA, UCETAM, and Teach and Learn. I am getting stuff together for submitting applications in January. All three programmes last a school year (September-June). BEDA is a privately funded programme by the Catholic schools in Madrid. UCETAM is a very competitive programme that pays the most out of these three programs, but I would have to work more hours than the other programmes. Last, there’s Teach and Learn. In this programme, I would be in a master’s programme and teaching at the same time. This programme pays less then the two other programmes. I don’t want to leave Madrid, so I am trying to figure out my next game plan.


On top of trying to figuring out my plans for keeping me in Madrid, I am trying to get ready to take the GRE back home during the summer. There’s a lot of work going into getting ready for this exam. I have to review for the exam. I am finding the maths sections to be the most difficult for me. Plus, I need to submit paperwork, so I can have time and a half on my exam. That’s proving to be a lot of fun. I am so grateful for my dad. He’s been helping me a lot. I know I will run into a lot of issues with the math section. I have a lot going on.

Rant: The Main Reason Why Ministry Program Sucks

This blog post will not focus on me bashing the school where I work. Instead, this post will focus on how the Spanish Ministry of Education is one of the worst employers when it comes to paying near 5,000 teachers throughout Spain.  I have been working in Madrid, Spain, for over a year now and I am very pleased with the school I work at and the teachers I co-teach with; however, there is a dark side to this program. The biggest problem is that the Ministry of Education cannot seem to figure out how to pay 5,000 plus auxiliaries on time each month. There are some regions where auxiliaries have to wait three months to see their 1st pay check or wait monthly for 2-3 weeks into a new month to receive that month’s check. This is very unacceptable.

Over the last year, my school paid me 5 times on time, but didn’t pay me on time 2 times during the school year of 2014-2015. This is a problem because at the first of the month rent is due, bills, and other things need to be paid. The ministry needs to hire people who know what they are doing running a program with auxiliaries from different countries like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Many people come from these countries with nearly $3,000- $5,00o USD (US Dollars) to help them adjust to their new life in Spain sometimes this is not enough because some auxiliaries work at schools that can’t afford to dip into their bank account to pay them at the start of each month. In the end, auxiliaries are being screwed without lube and it can really hurt the pocket when you are depending on money to pay bills and rent. As an auxiliary, I go to work to do my job and I am dependable on being in the classroom. It is sad to see that my employer can’t be the same too.

This year my school has been late paying me the last 2  months already. I am so worried about getting paid in time for the holidays and getting both November’s and December’s checks before we go on break. I am beginning to think that I will have to cancel my holiday plans because the Ministry of Education can’t pay me. I am worried about paying rent next month. I am trying my hardest to save save save and budget. It never seems to be enough. I feel that my school doesn’t care about the auxiliaries being paid, so I have to contact my father for aid to hold me over until the Ministry pays the schools. This is my soul reason why I wouldn’t suggest this program to anyone. It is important for an employer to pay employees on time, so employees can have money to pay rent, bills, medicine, and food. Next year, I plan to stay in Spain for one more year, but plan to change to a different program where I know I will be paid on time each month and not deal with craziness of the Spanish  Ministry of Education.