Should I study or teach on my year abroad?

I'm trying to make 'that' decision at the moment about what to do in Spain next year. I can't decide between being a teaching assistant or an Erasmus student at university. Anyone who's got ideas or has been, please give advice! I want to make the most of my year abroad, so want to make sure I make the right choice!

This question was asked on 11th August 2014 and has been read 2974 times.

  • King's College London Study Abroad Office · 8 years ago

    Good morning,

    Both are great, having spent the last four and half years working at King's with outgoing students. It's worth noting, too, that there are some opportunities to do both, splitting the year between a short language assistant role in a school and then spending a term at a university. Check to see whether your university allows this.

    A pros/cons list is probably worth considering, which should include:

    * Teaching should give you a salary whereas studying won't

    * Studying is likely to surround you with a large number of other UK students  (for all over the country) as well as US students and other English speakers

    * With teaching, you might be in a rural community with few English-speakers around (this is both a pro and a con!)

    Consider too how your university assesses the year abroad: if there's a difference between study and work, that should be in your thoughts too, especially if you're focused on attaining a particular degree classification at the end

    Third Year Abroad has both a study abroad and a work abroad section, the latter which includes an ELA-specific sub-section, so take a look at what others have said there.

    Best of luck with your tricky, but exciting, decision!


  • Prof. Mike Kelly · 8 years ago

    Don't rush the decision. There is no right answer, except that it has to be right for you. Start with list of pros and cons or likes and dislikes. Do your research on what the assistantship scheme offers and what opportunities your university offers for study in Spain. And when you get back to your university in the autumn talk it through with tutors and advisers and focus on getting the best possible 'fit' for your interests, abilities and future plans.

    Good luck with whichever way you decide.

  • Lauren Stevens · 8 years ago

    I worked as an English Language Assistant in Melilla and I personally didn't enjoy it, but I had some friends who loved it. I think it really depends on the school. I only worked 12 hours over 3 days per week. It was a refreshing break from studying and now I feel prepared to go back to university for my final year.

    I was in a rural area with a very few English-speakers, but at school I was mostly speaking and teaching in English. Sometimes I regret choosing to work at the school because I didn't enjoy the job and it didn't improve my Spanish as much as I'd hoped, but earning money as well as having my university bursary, Erasmus grant, student loan and the money I saved up from working two jobs last summer have enabled me travel during the year and over the summer and I still have some savings left over!

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