First Time Teacher Abroad in Madrid

Catherine Chapman Start Date: Mar 16, 2021 - End Date: Oct 1, 2021
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Professional Development
  • TEFL/Teach Abroad
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Spain
  • Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain

My Travel Story

by: Catherine Chapman Start Date: Mar 16, 2021 - End Date: Oct 1, 2021
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Professional Development
  • TEFL/Teach Abroad
Hello! My name is Cat, I'm a first time TEFL instructor, and in October 2021, I'll be teaching English in Madrid, Spain.

Starting in the fall semester, I will be teaching in Madrid with a program offered by CIEE. This entails additional teacher training/professional development, as well as a two-week language immersion intensive. I will be there through 2022. 

Although it will be my first time teaching abroad, this is certainly not my first time in the classroom. Time and time again, I've found myself in educational positions, ranging anywhere from camp counselor, to music teacher, private lessons instructor, university teaching assistant, or even just a stagehand in a children's theatre production. Pedagogy wasn't my focus, early on; I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Performance (as a vocalist) in 2019.
It was clear my interest in teaching was piqued, and as I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after my undergraduate studies had concluded, I started evaluating my interests. I was also enamored with language acquisition (I had taken German and French courses in college as well as some Italian and Spanish in high school) and wanted to actually apply the languages I had learned by traveling to the countries that used them. 
So, in 2020, I took classes for TEFL certification with International TEFL Academy, and observed with Tampa Language Center. It's still in progress, as I slowly earn hours tutoring students to fulfill the practicum. I'm ready to take the first steps to teach English in the field, and participating in CIEE's program to teach in Madrid is offering me the resources and support to feel secure in taking those steps.
Cost Breakdown
In the interest of transparency, I wanted to provide a breakdown of my goal, so whoever donates can see how their contribution is spent. (You can also see this information through FundMyTravel)
  • Program fees $3400
  • Travel (airline) ~$1000
  • Visa application fee, materials, & consulate travel ~$300
  • Total = $4700
Currently, I'm employed and have some financial support from my family, but I want to be able to ensure financial security throughout the course of the trip. Luckily, I will have a stipend to cover most living expenses. I estimate that I will be able to cover $1500 of these expenses (taking into account my current cost of living and savings). Therefore, $3200 is my goal.

Donor rewards are available, but if you contribute any amount, you'll have a real book roulette dedicated to you! The Real Book Roulette is a series of videos I have made previously whenever I raised money for my education, and entails a little jazz standard (or song of choice) performed by me! If you have a request, please leave it in the comments below and I'll reply with a link to your video.

I can't wait to take part in this program, meet students, and experience all that Madrid has to offer.
I appreciate your support.
Thank you for reading!
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Spain
  • Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain


  • For The Pen Pals

    For the Pen Pals
    ¡Buenas! Today I found these really cute postcards at a store in Malasaña by Pe and the Cosmic which will be the first installation of pen pal messages :) If I haven't already gotten your address, I'll be reaching out today to get it!
    Thanks again for donating. I am a little over 10% of my goal, but with 17 days left who knows what's in store.
  • He Llegado

    He llegado
    It's been a week, but I am here and well! So far, apartment, SIM, and all manner of things have been completed, but I'm still in the midst of orientation--teaching begins October 1st.
    Thank you so much for donating this far, hopefully the campaign will pick up some steam in its last month.