The peninsular city of Cadiz, in Andalusia, is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Spain, it's history gives it plenty of reasons to be on a list of places to visit in Spain and a worthwhile TEFL destination.
Cadiz is on a peninsular, a pan-handle, think Florida but much smaller, surrounded by the sea, making it a fantastic place to pull up in a boat. That fact was realised 3000 years ago by the Phoenicians who created the first permanent settlements there, some say by Hercules himself, later becoming a base for Hannibal and his elephants, the Romans, the Visigoths and then the Moors. All of Cadiz's previous tenants wanted it to park up their boats and even to this day is the home of the Spanish Armada and a large merchant shipping port. As with aviation, international seafarers need a good grasp of English, as do their supply chains on land and their offices and customs houses. In short, where there are boats there's a demand for English speaking skills.
English speaking visitors have found their way to Cadiz for many centuries, ensuring the need to speak English was always relevant. In the times of Sir Walter Raleigh the British navy would often turn up, sink a few Spanish galleons, burn down parts of the town and make it home in time for tea. When Wellington was around the British turned up, broke up a fight between the French and Spanish and fought the French all the way back to France. It sounds like modern day British tourists on a Club 18-30 holiday I know, but it's real history!
Modern tourists do of course pass through Cadiz in large numbers, but this city attracts a more cultured tourists seeking out history, architecture, and naval museums 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 Cadiz 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. Cadiz University (known as UCA)is one of the oldest in Spain with it's roots in the 15th century, and it's 17,000 Marine Science and Medicine students contribute to the 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, Cadiz 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 Cadiz 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.
Without having to leave town, Cadiz has it's packed old town, colonial era quarters, the ports, the churches, the towers, it's city beach and far too many tapas bars. And if you're around in February, Cadiz hosts one of the biggest Carnivals in Spain. For those who want to go a bit further afield, there are a few big water parks nearby and bullfighting rings in the adjacent towns of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Algeciras. If you want to stretch your wings even further, Portugal, Seville, Cordoba, Gibraltar and other worthwhile destinations are just a few hours drive away, making Cadiz 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 Cadiz we could speak to to get more useful information about TEFL in Andalusia? Let us know, we need to collaborate with a local TEFL Academy to get some really good articles for our readers! Hasta luego.....