I almost applied to CIEE and even started the application process. However, I decided that CIEE is not really the program for me since it costs quite an amount of money. I can’t really afford a program that costs over $1500. For others, though, this may be a good option. Also, CIEE is very involved in helping you get settled in Spain, so this is definitely a good program for someone who would like to feel like they are going to have their hand held along the way. I should also mention that the majority of the placements in CIEE are in Andalucia, Spain.
BEDA is extremely similar to auxiliares, except that instead of public schools, BEDA works with catholic schools in Spain. The majority of the placements are in Madrid with a few in other locations like Castilla y León. Another aspect to BEDA is that you take a course at a university in Spain to help you with the teaching aspect of your job and to help you learn about Spain and Spanish.
The application process for CIEE and BEDA differ quite a bit. The CIEE application is all online. It’s fairly straightforward and has similar requirements to the auxiliar one (recommendation letters, copy of passport, copy of transcripts, etc.). There is also an application fee (last I checked it was $50 but it could always change so make sure to check when you apply).
For BEDA you send in a cover letter and resume (with a picture) to the coordinator. This past year, the coordinator was Samantha Dwyer. I don’t know if she’ll be the coordinator again next year so I don’t want to put her information down. Just check the link I posted with the BEDA site for all the details you need regarding where to send your application. After you send your application and it is received, you will be contacted about setting up a skype interview. Don’t stress about the interview. Mine was only about 10 minutes or so and Samantha was extremely kind and helpful and was willing to answer all of my questions. I would recommend writing down any questions or concerns you have beforehand so you can ask them during your interview.
Much like auxiliares, BEDA and CIEE also provide health insurance along with the stipend. Both programs also have orientation. CIEE will provide you with accommodation for the first 5 nights at your local school town and they will also arrange for a ride when you arrive at the airport. As I mentioned before, CIEE does provide a LOT of help, but it comes with a price (the cheapest program is around $1200 but it is for people who are well-versed in Spanish and have experience in Spain. The other programs for beginners start at about $2300).
I mentioned earlier that I chose not to apply to CIEE after seeing the cost. I just felt auxiliares and BEDA provide the same opportunity for no price at all so I didn’t see why I should have to pay for CIEE.
Currently, I am waiting to hear from BEDA regarding whether I will be accepted to the program and where I would be placed. I should be hearing in the first week of May…so soon! Auxiliares is likely to send out placements in mid-late May. This is good because if I hear from BEDA first and find that I have been accepted, I will likely agree to make the commitment to BEDA. I just think BEDA is more suitable to me, though if it does not work out, I am definitely accepting wherever auxiliares puts me. Another reason I want to hear from BEDA first is because auxiliares only gives you 7 days to accept or decline your placement, and I would hate to have to accept without knowing anything from BEDA yet. The main reason I would want BEDA is because it gives me the greatest chance of being in Madrid. If I end up being placed elsewhere (unless it’s Castilla y León since that is my other preference region), I may decide to decline and just accept my placement in auxiliares (wherever that may end up being).