SCILA BERTINI

Dates employed: September 2017 – June 2018 and continuing

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

The town

Andujar is a charming little town where everything is close and people are extremely friendly. Full of shops, supermarkets, restaurants and tapas bars you can really enjoy the centre and the delicious local products. Celebrations in Andujar are another great aspect. It’s always beautiful to watch how the entire town comes to life every time.

Getting Around

To get around Andujar you only need your feet, but it’s quite easy to get to other cities as well by bus or train.

The School

The school is in the centre, in a quiet building with lots of natural light. The courtyard, which can be seen from almost all the classrooms, helps to create a great atmosphere  with its plants and flowers. Teaching there is a real pleasure.

Materials and Resources

 The school offers an incredible variety of materials and resources for all levels and age groups. Everything is extremely organised and easy to find.

The Staff

“Welcoming”and “supportive” are huge understatements when describing ECI’s staff. Everyone is kind and always ready to help you out with everything; from lesson planning to finding extra resources or just talking about your lessons to come up with better ideas. Each member of staff is competent, committed to teaching and to improving as a teacher. They put their students first and work really hard to help them get the results they want. I believe this to be the perfect environment for someone who wants to work just as hard and enjoys working in a team.

Students/Classes/Levels

Something that I really love about ECI is that you are able to teach different levels and age groups, from very young kids to adults. Students are in general very good, motivated and willing to learn. Parents are constantly kept informed about the progress of their children and you can directly talk to them during weekly meetings to discuss any problems arisen in class or worries you might have.

The classes are generally well organized and fully equipped with interactive whiteboards, computers and wi-fi connection.

Teacher Training

Being a new teacher who had just done her CELTA, when I arrived here I was looking for a school which could offer a valid teacher training programme and I believe I couldn’t have found anything better. Peer observations, meetings, workshops and conferences give you a chance to constantly improve and try new things in your class.

Here you definitely have a chance to grow as a teacher and, more importantly, you are given the freedom to do so while exploring what kind of teacher you want to become.

Finding a Flat

The school is very supportive not only for what concerns the job, it also gives you a great help in finding a flat and taking care of everything you might need in the first few months. At my arrival, Julie already had different flats lined up for me to see and the Spanish speaking staff kindly brought me to see all of them and helped me sort out the internet, my bank account and everything else I needed. Everyone is extremely patient and kind and they do their best so that you get the best deals.

The Cost of Living

The cost of living is lower than what I have experienced in any other country. The rent is very cheap considered the amount of space and type of flat that you can get. Utility bills come every 2 or 3 months and even if the water bills are fairly cheap, electricity can be a bit more expensive, but it all depends on the flat you live in.

For what concerns grocery shopping, prices vary depending on which supermarket you go to, but the central market offers quality and local products for really good prices.

Health Cover

The health care system is very good. You will have a local GP and will be able to refer to a health centre for every problem. When I needed further exams or tests they were always quick in processing my requests and I didn’t have to pay anything for the visits.

 

Emilia Prelipcean

Dates employed: September 2017– June 2018 and continuing

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

1. The Town

Andujar is a small quaint town, with narrow streets and lovely old buildings. What I absolutely love about it, though, is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and the high quality of the farmer’s produce. You will fall in love with the food

2.  Getting Around

Because of the size, everything is within walking distance

3. The School

The school isn’t very big but nicely done and with very modern equipment.

4. Materials and Resources

If you wish to supplement the textbook, there is a wide variety of resources for all levels. There are games, speaking activities, graded readers, DVDs, grammar books, vocabulary builders and so on.

5. The Staff

Everyone is friendly and welcoming and always willing to help.

6. Students/Classes/Levels

You will most probably teach many different classes/levels, from children to adults, plus exam group, and you might often feel under strain. However, the children are lovely and colleagues are very helpful.

7. Teacher Training

There are many teacher training sessions both external and in-house.

8. Finding a Flat

The easiest part! Julie is always so helpful, and she knows many people who are renting out but even if that wasn’t the case it would still be easy to find nice, affordable accommodation.

9. The Cost of Living

Not very high as Andujar is a small town, although services such as Tv, phone and internet are much more expensive than in the UK. Bills come at around 100 euros for electricity / 2 months and 25 euros for water / 3 months

10. Health Cover

You can get registered with a local GP as soon as you arrive.

Emma and Ian

Dates employed: September 2014 until June 2017

LIVING AND WORKING IN ANDÚJAR

  1. The Town

Andujar is a small, friendly town. In the spring and summer there is always something going on. There are many fiestas including the Romeria. The cost of living here is low and the cost of a wine or beer with a tapa is around 2.50 euros. There is a lot of opportunity to practice and learn Spanish, it’s very easy to set up a language exchange with somebody and there’s also an “intercambio” group that meets up on a Thursday night.

2. Getting Around

Public transport is not too bad. You can get to Jaen, Malaga, Cordoba and Madrid quite cheaply and easily. It´s very easy to take advantage of any bank holidays or to just go away for the weekend. The Malaga bus is particularly handy as it leaves early on a Saturday morning and gets back into Andujar late on a Sunday night. The buses to Madrid are also very cheap and there are about 5 each day. If you can afford it, buying a car is a fantastic idea as there is lots to explore. Spain is such a diverse country in terms of scenery and temperature. In February, we went to Ronda and drove through snow covered mountains in the morning and ended up at the beach in the afternoon wearing just a T-shirt!

3. The School

Our experience in the school has been nothing but positive. We were both fresh from our CELTA when we applied and had heard horror stories about some academies in Spain. As we were newly qualified we were almost expecting that we wouldn’t be able to find a decent school that would take a chance on us. The support we had was phenomenal! We were helped with finding an apartment, guided through the paperwork we needed to complete and helped with settling in to the job and life in Andujar.

4. Materials and Resources

There are so many resources available it´s almost daunting to a new teacher. From folders to containing ideas for those first classes in September, exam preparation books and plenty of extra materials to use in class such as plastic food, telephone, and toy animals with the smaller children. There´s anything and everything a teacher could need and more.

5. The Staff

The support has been fantastic. If you are ever stuck for an idea, there is always someone who has a solution for you. Everyone helps each other and you really feel part of a team in ECI.

6. Students/Classes/Levels

Most of the students are motivated and willing to learn. If you do have a problem, you are encouraged to speak to the parents in order to resolve it. The classes are very comfortable and all have interactive white boards and internet connections. The levels that you teach are varied. Every teacher has a preference to what ages and levels you prefer and ECI will try to accommodate you, however, the majority of classes are usually children.

7. Teacher Training

If you want to improve and develop there is ample opportunity. If you have any specific area you want to improve in, just speak to someone. We had the opportunity of watching some classes when we started and something small like this helped so much with our confidence. We also had the chance to go to the FECEI conferences in Madrid and the ACEIA conferences in Seville, these were invaluable! We also had numerous other workshops both in house and in Jaen.

8. Finding a Flat

When we arrived, our Spanish was almost non-existent. Having to deal with the language barrier when looking for a flat would have been immensely stressful. We expected that this was something that we would have to do for ourselves. However, Julie helped us find a flat and checked everything was legitimate with the contracts. Then, after we bought a car we started looking for a new place with a garage, this time Lorraine (director of studies) helped us. Everyone in ECI is willing to help you out if you need it.

9. The Cost of Living

Cost of living as we’ve said above is much lower than the UK. To be honest, our wages in Spain are less than what we earned in the UK but our disposable income is so much higher! We’ve been able to go away for the weekend at least once a month, buy a car, return to the UK every Christmas and have decent holiday in the summer whilst working here. Obviously, there are two of us in our household and this helps a lot.

10. Health Cover

Health care from what we’ve seen is great. Booking a doctor’s appointment is very easy and can be done online. Medication has to be paid for and isn’t free like in some parts of the UK but it is very cheap.

Other relevant comments:

As we’ve said above I feel very lucky to have had the support we’ve had these past three years. We will be very sad to be leaving the school and Andujar. We’ve made friends here that we are sure we will keep in contact with in the future. Thankyou ECI for your support and helping us develop as teachers.

Emma and Ian Reynols

Sue

I came to teach in ECI Andujar in April 2016 for three months to cover a maternity leave.

Everyone at the school has been very friendly and welcoming. The support from management and colleagues is total and the atmosphere is friendly. The teaching resources are extensive and the classrooms are well-equipped with interactive whiteboards. It’s a really nice place to work.

Andujar is a small town with a lovely historic centre and all amenities. There are lots of shops and supermarkets and a riverside walk. It’s easy to get into the hills on the edge of the Sierra Andujar if you like walking.

There are bus and train connections to Sevilla, Córdoba, Malaga and Madrid as well as local towns.

In the few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve joined a gym, found a wonderful Spanish teacher close to the school and been invited out for drinks and excursions. There is also an English conversation group in the town where you can meet local people to chat in English and Spanish.

Sue Kullai

Amy

Dates employed: Nov 2015-June 2016.

Amy is moving back to Britain to do a PGCE

-Andujar is a typical small Spanish town with plenty of bars and shops. People here are very welcoming and patient with my Spanish.

– Though there’s not much to do in Andujar it’s easy to make weekend trips to other cities in Andalucia such as Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Jaen, Cadiz etc. Bus and train tickets are reasonable and easy to buy online.

-The School is in the centre of town with bright classrooms and a whole library of resources.

-The staff are incredibly supportive and friendly, if you have a problem they’re quick to help and offer advice. We usually go out for a drink together after work on a Friday and often do things at the weekend which is a lovely way to relax.

– I teach a variety of ages and levels which keeps things interesting. They all follow a course book but I supplement with resources from the staff room. The students are lovely, they are very sweet and eager to please.

-I’ve really enjoyed the training on offer with ECI, I have been to three ELT conferences this year. It’s a great way of learning new things and getting ideas for the classroom. There are also internal sessions which are great and particularly helpful for exam groups.

-Julie found several flats for me to view when I arrived in Spain which was a great help. I live in a flat above a Spanish family who are wonderful and always inviting me to do things with them and making food for me!

-The cost of living is much lower than back home and I manage to save each month as well as go on regular weekend trips.

I’ve loved teaching here, working with a variety of levels has broadened my experience and there are plenty of opportunities for professional development. Everyone is super friendly and it’s great working in such a collaborative and supportive environment.

 

AMY SCRIMGEOUR

Amy Scrimgeour