Granada. A more historically important and beautiful TEFL destination probably doesn't exist. Granada was the historical capital and last bastion of Al-Andalus, the Moorish Empire in Spain, before the Christian "Reconquista" took over.. The Moors abandoned Granada, but their distinctive architecture remained, simply too beautiful to be torn down. Now the Alhambra, the Generalise and sections of the old town are all classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Built on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the Moorish Caliphates opted for a hill top location for their capital city, easily defensible, and of course with beautiful ski locations for the winter, rather than choosing a beachfront property on the Costas. This decision paid off as beach-front real estate has become far too touristy, while the inland location of Granada retains its green and pleasant tranquility.
Tourists do of course pass through Granada, a large amount of them in fact, although these tend to be the more cultured tourists seeking out history, architecture and amazing views rather than seeking out an All-Day-Breakfast-Café to help them recover from a hangover on their way to the beach. This tourist industry ensures that Granada maintains a large base of workers who need to speak English to better serve the tourist industry and this in turn keeps the demand for English teachers high.
Tourists do of course pass through Granada in large amounts, but this city attracts a more cultured tourists seeking out history, architecture, and amazing views rather than an All-Day-Breakfast-Café to grab a coffee to help cure last night’s hangover as they head to the beach for the day. The upscale tourist industry ensures that Granada maintains a large base of workers who need to speak English, and this in turn keeps the demand for English teachers high.
In addition to tourists visiting the city, there are also the students. Eighty thousand of them in fact, and in a city of 240,000 that's a very high proportion. Granada University is one of the oldest and most prestigious in Spain, and it's five citywide campuses contribute to the distinct vibe you will feel as you travel around. The students drive the demand for English teachers up even higher, as the expectation is that every university graduate in Spain will have mastered a high level of English.
If you're not already a qualified English teacher, Granada has a couple of TEFL Academies where native English speakers can train to become teachers and then make the decision to stay in town and teach locally or head off to travel using their new qualifications to aid them on the way.
Many English speakers come to Granada with the goal of immersing themselves in the Spanish language. Try participating in "inter-cambios," informal language exchanges typically held in a café or a bar where English is spoken for an hour and then Spanish is spoken for an hour. Discipline is needed to avoid straying off to just one language, but even if it turns out to be less linguistically beneficial, an inter-cambio often creates local acquaintances, leads for private English classes, and another dozen or so friends on Facebook.
The lifestyle in Andalusia in the south of Spain is very relaxed and easygoing. Let's face it, with temperatures regularly over 40 degrees in the summer, it's hard to be in a rush and it's easy to understand why some might want to just chill until 'mañana'. Most TEFL students adapt very well to this change of pace, and gain a whole new sense of how to best use their free time in ways that they weren't able in their home countries. Chilling out is the way to go when in Spain, especially if you're down South.
Granada isn't on the coast itself, but it's close enough that residents often drive out or hop on a train to spend the day on the nearest stretch of beach. For those who want fun in the sun without sand in your hair, there are also a few big water parks nearby. If you want to stretch your wings even further, Portugal, Seville, Cordoba and other worthwhile destinations are just a few hours drive away, making Granada a great base for exploring this south westerly tip of Europe.
So book the flight, book the TEFL course, go live the Spanish experience and afterwards get in touch with us and share your experiences to inspire others. Oh, does anyone know a TEFL course in Granada we could speak to to get more useful information about TEFL in Granada? Let us know, we need to collaborate with a local TEFL Academy to get some really good articles for our readers! Hasta luego.....