Today I applied to be a Language Assistant with the BEDA (Bilingual English Development & Assessment) Program in Spain! The application officially opened this morning, December 1st and will close on Sunday, January 31st. Here’s a walkthrough of the fairly simple components:
Why do you want to participate in the BEDA program?
Literally, that’s the only prompt – no paragraph or word count requirements, no requests to highlight relevant experience or economic hardships. If you’re anything like me, you prefer rigid instruction and the lack thereof will have you furiously writing and trashing at least three different rough drafts because they just didn’t feel right. I ultimately ended up with a few paragraphs about the joy of overcoming language barriers, worldwide benefits of cultural exchange, and a mini-narrative of my personal growth.
You must upload a .PDF, .JPG, or .DOCX of your curriculum vitae, passport, and photo of yourself (keep it classy, k?). Basic instructions, no room for error; although I wish I would have highlighted my teaching and tutoring experience in lieu of all of all my Psychology research projects on my CV. I actually co-led a Spanish class for high school students a few summers ago; can you believe I didn’t mention that at all? May we shake our heads disapprovingly in unison.
Right to the point. Name, address, undergraduate institution, type of degree, etc. The only possible confusion would be the box for your Skype name. This is non-negotiable, if you were to be considered for an interview, this is how it would take place! (Read about my interview experience here or check out this Dawgs in Valencia post)
You can only select from Low, Medium, or High (sorry, no medium-and-a-halfers) I’m not sure how much your answer affects your chances with the program. The website states that knowing Spanish will definitely make your experience better, but it doesn’t quite say that not knowing Spanish will keep you from being chosen. If you have little to no Spanish skills, perhaps mention in your essay (or interview) how excited you are to learn, and of course, start studying now!
Literally just a list of all available cities throughout Spain. This section clearly states that there are no guarantees, yet, I spent almost two hours searching through countless blogs (most helpful being YoungAdventuress‘s regional guide for the Auxiliary Program) and wiki pages to decipher which city was best for me. I’ve mentioned some surface deciding factors before, but this time I compared in great detail from demographics, weather, unemployment, population, proximity to Morocco/Portugal/France, public transportation, and etc. I can’t remember each city I chose (not that anyone cares), but I will highlight the ones I know for sure amongst the list of all that were available:
Álava, Albacete, Alicante, Almeria, Asturias, Ávila, Badajoz, Barcelona, Burgos, Caceres, Cádiz, Cantabria, Castellón, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Cuenca, Gerona, Granada, Guadalajara, Guipúzcoa, Huelva, Huesca, Islas Baleares, Jaén, La Coruña, La Rioja, Las Palmas, León, Lerida, Lugo, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Navarra, Orense, Palencia, Pontevedra, Salamanca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Segovia, Sevilla, Soria, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Vizcaya, Zamora, and Zaragoza
*Please note that 300 out of 365 placements within the BEDA program are in Madrid
Lastly, you get to select the age groups you’d most enjoy to work with. Again, none of this is guaranteed for actual placement, but are lots of things to take into consideration here. Are you ready to handle possible potty accidents with toddlers? What about staying engaged with perpetually displeased teenagers? TravelingNatural has some great insight on working with primary and infantil ages in the BEDA program.
Press submit and CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve successfully applied to the BEDA program! When Are YOU applying? What cities and age groups do you prefer?
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