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What to Expect About the Application and Selection Process with Meddeas

Applying for anything is a frightening and daunting process. There are forms to fill out, interviews to do, and a million other things that you might need to complete to be successful. Many of these application processes can be difficult and complicated to do. Indeed, I have stopped filling in applications because it just got too confusing; I couldn’t do it anymore. However, applying to be a Meddeas’ Language Assistant was demanding, but clear, and they guided me through the selection process. I wish there were people who could have talked me through the process and gave me some advice regarding what to say and what to do. So here I am to talk you about what to expect when you are applying to teach with Meddeas here in Spain.

The Selection Process with Meddeas: Requirements, Tips, and Steps

What are the Requirements If You Want to Apply?

meddeas programme host family
I applied for a homestay. Here with my host-siblings (Rebecca M.)

So, what do you need to apply for a placement with Meddeas? Do you need to speak fluent Spanish? Do you need to have an education degree? Do you need to have teaching experience? The answer to all of these questions is… NO! Although there is a specific scheme (Advanced) for people with a teaching background, Meddeas programs are open to anyone with any degree and you do not need to be a Spanish speaker, or have teaching experience. 

The most important skills that you need to have are a can-do attitude and the willingness to learn and adapt to your new tasks and your new country. Oh, and you must be a native-level English, French or German speaker. You don’t even need to have a TEFL or CELTA* certificate, as Meddeas provides you with the fantastic opportunity to study and teach at the same time.

*If you apply for the Advanced scheme you will need a TEFL/CELTA certificate prior to your start date, or a degree/master in Education or English Language.  

I have met people from all different walks of life here in Spain and none of us have the same backstory. Some come from a teaching background and others come from a science one. Some studied English and others studied Translation or Linguistics. The fact that we are all different with different skills and talents is what makes this program so great. At my school, there are four of us and every single one has a different set of talents and skills, meaning that we all have something different to offer.

Some Hints and Tips to Overcome the Selection Process with Meddeas

  1. When applying for Meddeas, do not be afraid to show off your individuality and uniqueness. Being you is what will make you succeed in this process and this placement. Be proud of your achievements and your experiences: They are what make you, you. Anything can enhance your application and make you stand out.
  2. Flexibility is key when applying. If you just want to teach to a certain age group, in a certain city, with a certain number of hours, and with every Friday off, it is not the best way to succeed. Being open to new places, experiences, and opportunities will make the chances of you getting a placement much more realistic. I didn’t know that I necessarily wanted to be teaching in Infantil (0-5 year-olds) in a town outside of Barcelona. However, that’s what I got and I loved every single moment. You should also be flexible about what your role involves in the school. I am involved in around 14 hours of art activities every week, despite not being artistically inclined, but I am learning as I go.

What are the Steps If You Apply?

The application process is not so difficult. Just follow the steps and consider the following things while applying:

Step One: Filling Out the Application Form

This step is an important one, as this is the time where you will tell Meddeas about yourself, your experiences, and your preferences for the program.  Along with sending your professional resume or CV, you will need to fill out an application.

Things to think about when filling the application form:

PROGRAM TYPE AND ACCOMMODATION

There are three programs to choose from Speaker, Graduate, and Advanced.

requirements-to-teach-with-meddeas
Caption of the 3 programs and requirements (2018/19 academic year)

You should think about which program you want and can apply to, and if you would prefer to live with a host family or find your own living arrangements.

All applicants will be teaching between 20 to 24 hours a week, no matter the program.

CITY SIZE

Would you feel more comfortable living in a big city, in a smaller city, or in a town?  This is your chance to express how you want to experience Spain.  There are both benefits and drawbacks to each so choose wisely. Meddeas says in the FAQs: “we try our best to find a well-suited placement – taking into consideration the location only when possible. Remember that our allocation process is, above all, profile-based and not location-based (that’s why specific location requests are never accepted)”.

AGE LEVEL OF THE STUDENTS

Would you prefer to teach preschool, primary, middle school, or high school students?  You will have the opportunity to choose your preferences.  If you have experiences with one or more groups and you liked working with those age groups, list them here.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION

In the application process, they will explain to you that there are 3 kinds of schools in Spain according to their values/religious views. You will be asked whether you feel comfortable in those environments to ensure you are correctly assigned to your placements.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

selection process with meddeas
The Language Assistants from my school on our last day in June 2017. It goes by faster than you think! (Natalie D.)

This is the part of the application, which is the most important.  This allows the Meddeas team to know exactly what your experiences are working with children and will help them to place you into the correct school and program.  Talk about ANY kind of experience you have working with children and/or teaching, anywhere from working as your neighbor’s babysitter for 10 years to volunteering as a soccer coach, to studying primary education and completing your student teaching.  Be as detailed as possible, specifically talking about the age groups you worked with and for how long!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION RELEVANT TO THE SELECTION PROCESS

This is the part where you can share about anything else you’d like with Meddeas.  You can mention your experiences living abroad previously, specifically if you have studied abroad or lived in Spain before.  And you can talk about any other job experiences or skills that would be beneficial for this work experience.

Step Two: The Interviews

Congratulations! The Meddeas team has seen your application and profile and wants you as a potential candidate for the program. There are two interviews in the selection process with Meddeas: a Skype interview and an in-person interview (with a delegate in your area).

You should dress business casual for the interviews. The Skype interviews could be early in the morning because it will most likely be done in Spanish working hours and time zone, so be prepared for this. To prepare for the interview, simply review the FAQ’s and Meddeas’ website to make sure you fully understand the program, its requirements, and features.  Be prepared to talk about your experiences with children and/or teaching, and some of the skills you’ve gained along the way.

In the second interview, which is in-person, you will meet face-to-face with a Meddeas member, and be given the opportunity to resolve any doubts you may have; as well as make sure you fully understand the responsibilities of the programs. Also, one thing you may be asked to do is an activity. But don’t sweat it: you don’t need to prepare anything for it.

Step Three: I’ve Been Accepted! What Comes Next?

You passed the selection process with Meddeas, making it through both interviews. Congratulations, and welcome (almost) to Spain!

If your selection process finishes before April, first you’ll receive a pre-agreement acceptance letter from Meddeas, which you will need to return within a few days in order to secure your spot in the program. Depending on the time of acceptance and available schools, you’ll receive your school placement about 2 weeks or so after your initial acceptance (bear in mind this process can get longer). At this point, you’ll make your official decision and place a deposit for the program (which will be returned to you upon successful completion of the program). Once you make the deposit, you will officially be a part of the Meddeas family. What now?

If you aren’t an EU citizen, start getting your paperwork together for your visa. You will be applying for the Student Visa. Each consulate is different, depending on where you currently reside, so make sure to consult your own consulate’s website. Most require a background check, a medical clearance form, a current passport, and passport photos. Some also require you to make an appointment

Some Last Tips Before You Start the School Year

Once you receive your school’s contact information, write the tutor or coordinator an email, introducing yourself. This is a great way to start the school year off and show initiative.

application for teaching programs
Enjoying holidays with other Language Assistants (Rebecca M.)

Start saving money! You will not receive your first paycheck until mid-October or early November depending on your start date. Because of this, you will need to have money for the start-up costs of living in another country: flight to Spain; first and second month’s rent plus deposit; grocery costs; transportation costs; extra money for fun and traveling; etc.

After all of this has been done, you’ll soon be on your way to Spain, excited and ready for the best experience of your life. Once you get to Spain, let the rest happen. Meddeas will be there every step of the way and so will your other school colleagues and friends. Get ready for all of the amazing experiences and memories you are going to have after this yearlong journey, and all of the great people you will meet along the way.

2017/18 Posted by Rebecca M. and Natalie D.

If you enjoyed this post about the selection process with Meddeas, don’t miss out the following video and articles:

  1. Homestay vs Apartment in Spain: a List of Pros and Cons to Help You Decide
  2. Why Applying for Gap Year Jobs was the Best Decision I Have Ever Made
  3. 10 Reasons to Join Meddeas’ Language Assistant Programs
24 August, 2018

45 responses on "What to Expect About the Application and Selection Process with Meddeas"

  1. Thanks Rebecca for the tips! I remember meeting you at the Barcelona meeting!!

    I’m going to send this to my friend who is currently going through the application process with meddeas. I especially like the part about being who you are in the application because that’s also something I feel strongly about when actually teaching as well. Bringing your own strengths and positive qualities to the fore in combination with solid classroom management when teaching really helps you get that good rapport going with your students from the outset and sets you up well for the rest of the year wouldn’t you agree? I feel like the second year I’ve gotten better at that and feeling in a stronger position as a teacher/assistant 🙂

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Hannah! Glad to know it will help your friend with the process!

    • Hi there, I’m thinking of applying for this program and thought I’d ask someone who’s already done it – I was just wondering how you found the selection process? Was it tricky or fairly stress free? Also what would you say the success chances are?
      Thank you so much☺️

      • Hi Georgina, the selection process is based on your prior experiences, but you don’t need to have any experience! There are different programs depending on your experience level, so have no fear! Just make sure you study up about the program before your interview, and list ANY type of experience you’ve had working with kids to coaching a soccer team, to babysitting, to tutoring at school! Anything can help your application process! I didn’t find it stressful at all and Meddeas does a great job of giving you information and their decision quickly and as efficiently as possible. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Being prepared for the interview and the selection process definitely helps make it stress free! Just keep calm and enjoy the ride! Remember to be yourself and relax! They want you to succeed!

    • I hope the article helps your friend! I’m glad you agree with me that being yourself is important! I think the kids like to see a bit of who you are!

  2. I wish I could comment something more useful to add onto the application process but honestly Rebecca your blog is perfect and covers all the bases of applying for Meddeas. You have written a highly informative piece.

  3. if you have any questions with the process, don’t hesitate to ask me! rebecca and I both contributed to this blog so I would be more than happy to further explain any questions or solve any doubts! 🙂

  4. This sums up everything perfectly! Thanks so much for sharing this information. I think this article will be invaluable to prospective language assistants!

  5. Can’t be said any better! I love this post. Thank you. Indeed before coming to Spain you must save up because the cost of living is quite high here in Spain well I’d say especially compared to that in South Africa. Save, save, save!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Ahd! Spain is surprisingly cheap compared to other parts of Europe! It’s the traveling that will cost you some extra money 😉

  6. This blog covers everything about the selection process in a clear, concise manner and is really helpful for anyone going through the process or considering it. I definitely agree that showing your unique qualities/experiences and your personal preferences is really important as they take all of that into consideration when finding a placement.

    Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!

  7. This is really informative and well-written, great job! If I were going through the Meddeas selection process again this would be so helpful. The blog post covers all the bases of the process and I think that those who are applying are going to be really grateful for your work!

  8. Thanks for putting this together! I had a friend who’s interested in the program take a look at your article to get an idea of what to expect. 🙂

  9. Everything in the article hits the nail on the head; flexibility is really key. if you go into the program with an open mind you will have a great time! I am glad you highlighted all of the factors to consider and how to prepare for the move abroad.

  10. Hi Natalie,

    I am from Jamaica and I am interested in the Meddeas grant program. How is face – to-face interviews facilitated for interested Caribbean residents? Do we have to travel to one of the listed countries (UK, USA, Germany Ireland or Spain) just for the interview? Or are there are representatives in Jamaica, per say, as well?

    • Hi Tav. I would encourage you to apply, as exceptional situation are treated differently. Although we have delegates in the UK, the US, Ireland, Germany, Australia, and Spain, applications coming from non-listed countries will also be considered.

  11. When is the Application Deadline?

    • I’m not sure if there is exactly an application deadline, but Meddeas is accepting applications now for the 2018-2019 school year! The earlier, the better, and the more probability you will have getting your preferences! I would apply ASAP! Let me know if you have any questions!

    • Hi Natalie 🙂

      Thank you so much for creating this! It was extremely helpful with the skype interview. I do have one question in regards to the 450 euro deposit. Do you know how much time you have to commit and make this down-payment? I’m currently in my last year of university and am looking at another program though I am hoping I am accepted in to this one. In addition, I will not have the money until around mid-May and I know that we typically recieve our placements in April.

  12. Hello Natalie and Rebecca

    This is a fantastic article I have re-read it so many times. It was great for getting me through my skype interview but I have just found out I have my in person interview this week, which I am really nervous about. If anyone has any additional advice I would be truly greatful. Especially on what the activity component includes? Thanks ever so much!

  13. Yeah honesty is key! True of life though really, isn’t it?

  14. Hello, I have a question regarding graduation dates and references. I graduated in 2013 and majored in Education. Is it still ok to apply? Also, since I graduated in 2013, I feel that my references would best be from my colleagues and supervisors. Would it be possible to offer three work references instead of 1 academic. Thank you!

  15. Hi there!

    Would they accept my application if I am a Spanish-native speaker but have fluency in the Eng. language and have a TEFL degree.

    Or they just want English native speakers?

    Thanks!

  16. Hi there!
    This is a very helpful post. My concern is if I get accepted in November 2018 for the January 2019 program, will I have enough time to apply for the Student Visa?

    Thank you for your help!

  17. Greetings,

    I have a question regarding the graduation dates. I was scheduled to graduate in 2013, but I officially graduated in 2014, due to government related issues. My degree has the year 2013 and I majored in Education English Language. Can I still apply for the program?

    • Hello Precious, and thank you for your interest. However, this is a grant program and, unfortunately, due to legal restrictions, we can only offer placements to recent graduates (as of 2015). You can send your CV either way and they will inform you of other options in our spin-off COnversaSpain, in which there is no graduation date limit

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