Monday, February 25, 2013

The Path to Spain: BEDA

Now the second program BEDA has been by far more difficult to find information about.  I have not been able to find as much about it as Auxiliares or as many blogs from people who have selected this option.

BEDA (Bilingual English Development & Assessment):
BEDA is a very similar program to Auxiliares.  Under a student visa you work in schools in Spain as an English assistant.  However, BEDA is run by Catholic schools in Madrid, therefore you will work in a Catholic school with most of the placements being in Madrid (as of this year they do say they also have placements in Andalucía, Canary Islands,  Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia and Murcia).  Their website says there are 365 schools that participate and 300 of those are in Madrid.  It also mentions that there are over 300 teaching assistants in the program for this current year from multiple countries (way less than Auxiliares' 1800.)

Additionally, you are paid by the hours you work per week, regardless of what region you are placed in: for working 18 hours a week you make €900, 20 hours €1000, 22 hours €1100, and for 24 hours a week €1200.  So while you can earn more with BEDA you are working considerably more hours to do so (in Auxiliares you make €1000 in Madrid for working only 16 hours).  If you are selected and choose to enroll in the BEDA program there is also a €175-€200 fee.  Still not too bad considering...

The application period opened the beginning of November 2012 and closed February 14th.  It was a quite simple application compared to Auxiliares.

  1. You go to the website and fill out a PDF form which asks for basic information, level of Spanish, education history, and employment record.  
  2. With the completed PDF form you can either mail it to the address given or e-mail it to the coordinator along with your resume, cover letter, and attached photo.  
  3. If they ask you for an interview you have a time set up for an interview via skype. 
  4. You have your skype interview and wait to hear back about placements.  (The interview itself was no big deal, about 15 minutes and all in English.  They ask a few questions about why you are interested in the program, how many hours you want to work, where do you want to be placed, etc. then you can ask questions)
For a time frame for my application was I applied January 12th, e-mailing my application.  On the 15th I got an e-mail back from the coordinator confirming it was received  and on the 17th received another e-mail saying I was selected for a skype interview and given my interview time.  Overall, I heard back very quickly and the coordinator was very pleasant and helpful with any questions I had later.  According to my interview they plan on giving out placements starting around Easter.  Unlike Auxiliares (where they are given first come first serve if you have all documents), placements are determined by your application/background then according to when you applied.

Now while the requirements for BEDA are similar to Auxiliares, they put more emphasis on experience working with children/teaching.  I believe this is why it is not so well known as not many people looking into these programs have teaching experience or a desire to teach.  From what I have heard there is a lot more expected from the people in this program in the classroom.  I have heard people say that they are very much involved in planning lessons/activities or leading the class.  Another interesting thing about the BEDA program is that you take a weekly teacher training course at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid on how to teach English as a second language.  That may not being interesting to most, but with teaching as my background I think it's fascinating!

What I hear most about BEDA, also just from what I have heard, is how organized and helpful the program is.  They do not have a history of payment problems and apparently help you with your residence card once in Spain as well as with your Spanish bank account, etc.  Furthermore, BEDA has no limit to the number of years you can renew.  I asked during my interview and was told that they have some who have been in the same school for five years (one of my main reasons why I may choose BEDA...)  The most helpful blog I have found of someone doing BEDA is Lady In Spain, about a girl doing the BEDA program in Madrid and living with a family as an Au Pair.

Auxiliares vs. Beda:
In both programs you have a student visado get healthcare, neither compensate you for your flight, and neither set you up with an apartment upon your initial arrival to Spain, and both programs last an academic year.

  • You make more money per hour in Auxiliares but this program has a history of disorganization and payment issues.  
  • With BEDA they don't have this history but you have to work more hours to make the same amount.  
  • BEDA is mainly focused in the Madrid region.
  • Auxiliares has positions throughout most of Spain.  
  • Beda only has around 300+ positions.
  • Auxiliares has a couple thousand positions.
  • With Beda you get a course on how to teach English as a second language, but have to pay an enrollment fee of €175-€200 upon accepting your placement.
  • With Auxiliares you can renew only as a second year with preference.
  • BEDA has no restrictions on the times you can renew with preference. 
Overall, BEDA seems more geared towards those who have a history living abroad and wish to gain more experience teaching.  Auxiliares, at least in my opinion, seems more for those who would like the experience of working and living abroad.  But it does come down to personal preference on what they want out of the experience.

BEDA UPDATE (April 26th 2013):
Many placements have been given out and many more have been wait-listed.  BEDA should contact you by the end of May if you have been placed, or taken off the wait-list.  Suerte!

Once I find out more about the UCETAM program I will post...


  1. Thank you so much for this information! I am now researching both programs in more detail since i had applied to both. This is very clear and is helping :) thank you, thank you, thank you. It appears the BEDA program is more geared in helping you develop as a teacher.

    This is such a plus for my priorities!


    1. I'm so sorry I didn't reply before, I'm glad it helped you and I hope you hear back from the programs soon!