How to apply for the Auxiliares de Conversación program in Spain



Well guys, it’s about that time. The application period for the 2014-2015 Auxiliares de Conversación program will open next month on January 9, and I can practically feel your anxiety and anticipation from here! This program is basically a dream and I understand why any American would want to apply, so I have a few tips to help you go through the application process with ease.

Congrats! You’ve made the decision to move to Spain to teach English, now what? Well now it’s time to actually apply which is always the scariest part. When I applied for this program, I was TERRIFIED that I’d do something wrong and somehow fuck up my application and not actually get to move to Spain. Of course that didn’t happen, but I definitely stressed myself out quardruple checking every single document and stressing over how I was going to get a recommendation letter from a professor I hadn’t spoken to in over three years. No fear. I’m here to help see you through!

First, let’s talk about the quailifications for being an auxiliar. We’ll call it your “Am I even allowed to do this?” checklist.

1) Are you American or Canadian?

2) Have you completed university or are you currently in your last year?

3) Is English or French your first language?

4) Are you in good physical and mental health? Obviously this is subject to opinion but you will need a medical evalution in order to apply for a visa

5) Do you have a clean criminal background check? Also subject to opinion regarding certain charges but it depends on your visa office

If you can give an affirmative answer to all of the above questions then you’re on your way. One important thing that I always like to mention is that there is no age limit for the program, and although the website states that most participants are between 21 and 35, I have found that most people fall between the range of 21 and 26. Still, don’t let that deter you from coming. For all my wiser prospective auxilares, I plan to write a post in the next few weeks about what it’s like being an auxiliar in the 25 and older crowd. The program manual (updated to be from 2017) also states that you should have basic Spanish skills but in my experience, there was no test of your Spanish skills. That said, the entire orientation is held in Spanish, so of course speaking the language would be useful.

Now, onto the shitshow that is the Profex system. Profex is the application system used by the program where you fill out your actual app and upload all of your documents. You also log into the system (obsessively, no doubt) to see when your application status has changed. I call it a shitshow because, on the first day that Profex submission opens, the system crashes. Without fail. Someone always freaks out saying they can’t log in, can’t upload their documents or the whole damn program just won’t open. Take a deep breath and relax. My suggestion is to wait a couple hours after the app window opens before submitting your application. You won’t get frustrated trying to send in your stuff and I can 99.9% guarantee that if you’re still planning to submit on the first day, you will get admitted to the program. I’ll do a longer post about Profex (AND WHY I KIND OF HATE IT) when we get closer to January 9.

Just a photo of Sol to inspire you to apply :)

Just a random photo of Sol to inspire you to apply 🙂

Now, here’s a summary of the documents you will need to submit to apply for the Auxiliares program and how to get them.

1) This checklist

2) A copy of the main page of your passport, preferably in color

3) A copy of your college transcripts or college degree (I sent my diploma…didn’t feel like paying for transcripts)

4) A signed and dated statement of purpose of no less than 250 words – So, so, so vague. I wanted to scream when I read this because there is literally no prompt as to what to write. My honest thought is that no one reads these, but in my essay of approx 300 words I said that I wanted to move to Spain to learn the language, learn about another culture, explore the idea of being a teacher and I mentioned the fact that I never got the chance to study abroad when I was in college. I also wrote my essay in English…didn’t want to make a fool out of myself.

5) Letter of recommendation from either a professor or employer – This part was tough for me. As I was four years out of college when I applied, it felt strange to ask a professor I hadn’t spoken to in at least three years for a rec letter, but I also wanted to follow the rules of the program which state that you should only get a letter from an employer if you’ve been out of school for five years. So here’s what I did. I had a professor in my journalism school that I really liked and always talked to, went to her office hours, etc. I hadn’t spoken to her in about three years, so when I emailed her I told her about the program, sent her a copy of my resume so she could see what I had been up to for the past three years and I gave her a month to get the letter back to me in time for me to submit it. This last part is VERY important. My mom is a college professor and nothing irks her more than when a student requests a recommendation letter and then is like “oh by the way, I need this tomorrow”. Don’t do that. You won’t get your letter and you’ll probably burn a bridge. My professor thought the program was super cool and was more than willing to help. Make sure he or she sends you an electronic copy (so you can upload it to Profex) written on your school’s letterhead. Here are additional letter guidelines from the program that you can share with your professor or employer.

6) New Yorkers need to submit an additional document that is on page 14 of this application guidelines manual. I have no idea why.

The only documents that need to be mailed to your regional contact are a signed and dated copy of the pdf that is generated after you submit your documents in Profex, a signed and dated copy of the checklist metioned above, and the special form for New Yorkers. Spearking of regional contacts, you can find a list of all regional contacts for the program on page 9 of the manual. Another note about the program manual, I know it seems like a giant snooze to read but it really has a lot of great, straightforward information in there about the auxiliares program. I highly suggest you read it before applying.


Now for the fun part, selecting your region! After all of your personal information is submitted, you can submit your regional preferences NOT YOUR CITY PREFERENCE. People always get this confused. Spain is broken down into different 18 regions so you can choose your top three preferences, one from each of the following groups:

Group A: Asturias, Cueta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, País Vasco

Group B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias

Group C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia

I suggest you invest in a map of Spain now. So here’s something fun that the program doesn’t tell you. Of all the regions listed to choose from, not all of them actually participate in the program. There is no real way to figure out who participates and who doesn’t unless you do some fishing on your own in the Facebook groups or on different online forums. For example, I listen Madrid as my first choice, followed by Cataluña and Navarra only to find out later that neither Cataluña nor Navarra were participating in the program that year. Well shit. Of course I panicked because if I didn’t get in Madrid, I would have ended up in a random ass region I didn’t select, but luckily Madrid accpets the most auxiliares out of all the regions, so it all worked out.

The regional preferences are followed by the type of city preferences: rural community, medium sized community, an urban community, or no preference. Then, the school preferences consist of primera, secondaria, or no preference. I chose secondaria for a variety of reasons (wanted to work with kids with a higher level of English, babies have germs, I like older students) and I absolutely love my high schoolers. That said, my roommate works at a primary school and loves it and always comes home with the most hilarious stories. To each their own!

After completing the online part in Profex, your application will become Inscrita and you will receive a number, as the program is mainly first come first serve. People FREAK OUT over this number but please calm the hell down. Last year, people who had numbers in the high 3000’s were accepted into the program by July or so, so there really is no need to worry. Last year my number was 1953 and I was accepted around the beginning of June, giving me plenty of time to get all my visa paperwork done before moving.  When the regional coordinator receives all of your hard documents the status is changed to Registrada. When you receive a placement, your status will change to Admitada. Boom.

So, what are your thoughts on the auxiliares program? Are you going to apply? Do you have any specific questions I didn’t cover? Let me know below!

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20 Responses

  1. KC White says:

    OMG, Did I write this!? I went through the exact same thing with Madrid, Navarra, y Cataluña. I didn’t find out that they were no longer participating until AFTER I was placed in Madrid!

    I agree about the placement numbers as well. I was in the 4000s, and I got placed in late September. I just got to Madrid 3 days ago, but you have to get it together quick when you get placed so late! I just hope I don’t have any issues with renewing my placement.

    Thanks for this guide, I’m sending it to a few friends who want to apply!

  2. […] titles, such as “Morena Musings”, to informative guides about how to apply for the Auxiliar de Conversación program through the Spanish […]

  3. Gina says:

    Hi Shayla,

    Thanks so much for this blog post! I am putting together my hard copy version of my application now and it was helpful to see what you had to say about the letter of purpose because I also struggled on the guidelines there!

    As I put together the last step, I was hoping to ask you a silly question about the letter of purpose again. Although I read the application guidelines pdf the government provided, I did not notice till after I generated my application online that the checklist paper asks for the letter of purpose to be dated. I feel silly because I know that should have been a no brainer…but I just didn’t do it on my online form. I did make this adjustment for the hardcopy letter…but I guess what I was hoping to get your opinion on was whether or not you think this would prove to be a penalty against me? If I have questions about this, is it wise to contact the point of contact at the embassy for my assigned state?

    Thanks for your help for this silly bit, it is just a little challenging sifting through all minutia of exactly what I must have included in the app.

    • Shayla says:

      Well, don’t take my word as definite but I think you’re fine. I’m sure they won’t even notice it on the online form, especially since you made the change on the hard copy. I don’t advocate calling because I’ve heard that they can give you the run around and the program always tries to deter people from calling. Try not to worry about it but if you’re really concerned, you could try sending an email to the program about it. Good luck!

      • Gina says:

        Hi Shayla,

        Thanks so much for your reply! I had tried to contact the embassy, but it was of course challenging. I very much appreciate hearing from someone who has gone through this process.

        If I may ask one last question, you did send in all the documents you uploaded on PROFEX to the embassy in hard copy as well? I had been planning on doing this…but when I looked at the checklist, it seems liked the only two hard copy documents required are the checklist and the PROFEX generated pdf. I am thinking I may just send in everything (especially since the hard copy will show the date it was written, etc), but I do not want to appear non-compliant with what they are asking.

        Again, thanks so much for your replies to my somewhat tedious questions!

  4. Jeri says:


    I just applied about two weeks ago and you seem to understand the process so well, I also 100% freaked out at my application number (which is 2181) and this makes me feel a lot better. I was really considering applying to the same job through the CIEE because I was worried I might not get placed through the Profex application.

    I was just wondering how long it takes your status to go from “inscrita” to “registrada”? According to fedex, my signed checklist arrived on February 7th….and it still hasn’t changed?

    Also, while the program does seem largely first-come-first-serve, nobody has mentioned at all how competitive it is? It just seems like if you’re qualified you get a position!!

    Thank you so much. My first choice is Madrid as well! I’m happy to hear that they accept the most candidates.

    • Shayla says:

      Don’t do CIEE! Your number is fiiiiine, especially since you want to be in Madrid. I just don’t think it’s worth the money for CIEE even though they do offer extra support once you’re on the ground. I felt fine though, I just used blogs (like you’re using this one!) to figure things out. I don’t remember how long it took my status to change, maybe two weeks? The program is not competitive at all. If you fit the checklist I listed above and apply within the deadline, you have a good chance of getting in. Good luck!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this!!! I was looking all over the internet for info about the “letter of intent” since it was SO Vague, I have no idea where to even begin.
    I’m fluent in Spanish, so I’m thinking of writing it in Spanish. My “inscrita” number is REALLY good, 249, and my #1 choice is Madrid, I was dumb and picked Navarra and Islas Canarias (I know right), but I’m hoping with a good inscrita number I won’t have a problem.
    Thanks so much for posting the steps, this has been super helpful 🙂

    • Shayla says:

      That is a great inscrita number! Madrid has the most amount of positions available so you should be completely fine, especially since Navarra isn’t available for Americans (of course they don’t tell you that). Good luck!

  6. Shayla says:

    I don’t think you should be worried. I’d give it at least two weeks since you had to send your papers to another country. Also, one thing to get used to if you’re planning to move to Spain, things move slooooooowly. I know it’s super annoying to wait but if you haven’t seen any movement after 3 weeks, I’d shoot them an email. Good luck!

  7. Lela says:

    Hi Shayla, I am wondering if you ever wrote that entry about be an auxiliar in the 25 and over crowd. I am seriously considering doing the program next year and I will be turning 28 in September. I have lived abroad many times before and am really looking for a visa to spend some time in Spain. I am just wondering if there are many auxiliars in this age range and if people ever feel silly or out of place in a program full of fresh graduates. Thank you for your time!

    • Shayla says:

      Hi Lela! As you can see I haven’t written that post about 25 and over because I’ve been a bit terrible (totally terrible) about blogging lately but I’m going to get back on it asap. I was 27 when I did the program and turned 28 while I was there so I have much to say about it! Stay tuned!

  8. Sara says:

    Wait! Were we supposed to send the hard copies through something like Fedex? I just put it in regular mail! Does it matter? I am still waiting to hear back on registrada after a week and a half.


  9. Cosette says:


    Thanks for your blog (:

    My inscrita number is 2351 and my first choice was Andalucia. How likely do you think it is that I will get put in my first choice? I then applied to Extremadura and Cantabria.

    With this inscrita number how quickly do you think I will get notified if I make it or not? I already received an email saying I am “admitida”. The suspense is killing me!!!

    • Shayla says:

      Hey Cosette! Congrats on admitida! My inscrita number was 1953 and I did’t hear back about my placement until early to mid June. The wait was terrible for sure but you’ll get placed, I promise! Also I think you should get your first choice because Anda is a huge region but of course I can’t say for sure. If not, your other two choices are gorgeous! Extremadura is so close to Portugal and Cantabria is so green and lovely, even though it gets quite rainy. Thanks so much for reading!

  10. Sara says:

    Hahahah! Yes! I heard back, I am admitada and now just doing the long wait until placement….I put Aragon as my first choice and I am inscrita 318. Fingers crossed for Zaragosa now! (although given the number of spot available it is more likely that I will be “stuck” in Madrid, right?)

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