I just wrapped up my Skype interview with the BEDA program! I talked to a director named Julian, who was very warm and honest. The exchange felt more like a friendly chat than a formal interview, so I’m on a big dopamine rush of relief right now. The entire thing lasted about 18 minutes, most of which were me asking Julian details about the program. I’ll give you a little estimated timeline rundown of how the whole thing went:
- 10:58 am – Skype message from Julian reminding me about our 11 am interview
- 11:00 am – Interview commenced! We say our hellos and compare time zones. I tell him I’m on my lunch break and apologize for being in such a noisy Starbucks. We joke about how rarely he ever sees a Starbucks in Spain and how mediocre I think their coffee is.
- 11:02-11:04 am– He asks me why I want to be in Spain, why I applied to BEDA. I say something about not being able to study abroad in college and how I’ve read great reviews about BEDA on blogs and forums. He confirms and highlights the support and reliability offered with the program is second to none.
- 11:05 -11:17 am – He asks if there are any questions I have for him. I pull out my inquiry arsenal (notepad) and begin!
- How/when is placement determined? He essentially told me they compare candidates and open placements when they become available, and to expect not to hear anything from them about acceptance/placement until May.
- How are hours determined? The school is the independent entity that creates the work schedule, but BEDA requests all hours be as conveniently arranged for the assistant as possible.
- When does the program start? BEDA language assistants must arrive the 1st week of September. This time is similar to an orientation period, the assistants get the chance to meet each other and everyone begins the Comillas courses. September 16th will be the first day everyone enters a classroom as an official language assistant.
- What is the Comillas schedule? In short, he said the schedule varies. The classes are more like workshops than lectures, and there are different topics at each one. He also told me the course officially ends in February, something I didn’t know at all before!
- What courses do language assistants teach? I believe this was the most intricate answer. Basically, it all depends on which school you get placed in. It goes by their own need and language proficiency. Some schools are completely bilingual, some are in the process of assimilating. You could be assisting in an English course with an English speaking teacher just as likely as you could be assisting in a biology course with a Spanish speaking teacher.
- How is performance measured? The school will constantly assess your performance and give feedback as you teach. I believe he said BEDA formally gives performance reviews two times in the school year.
- What about extra-curricular activities? Julian told me there are lots of things language assistants can get involved outside of the classroom, which I was very happy to hear. Apparently there havebeen assistants that teach theater, music, and even yoga! I giggled feverishly as I imagined teaching little Spanish children Def Jam poetry, samba dances, or Adele guitar chords.
- 11:18 am – We wrap up and say our goodbyes. Julian reminds me that I won’t be hearing back from them until May, but I’m free to email them if I have any more questions. I then skip back to work and giddily blog about my experience.
Overall, I’m extremely excited about the possibility of teaching with BEDA. If the way I was treated in the interview is any indication of how I’d be treated in the program, I have nothing but great things to look forward to!