In deciding how to come to Madrid you have some options. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the ways to get a Visa to go to Madrid, these are just some of the more “common” ways. It is difficult to get a work Visa because there are not many jobs available in Madrid and the jobs that are available, the government wants them to go to the citizens of Madrid first. It’s not impossible to receive this visa, just more difficult in my experience. Keep in mind that even if you gain acceptance to any of these programs, you will still need to take care of your visa process. See our “So You Want to Come to Madrid Post?” for you’re the consulate in your jurisdiction.
Option 1: Currently in College:
If you are currently enrolled in a university many universities offer study abroad programs to Spain or will at least approve of credits if you study abroad through another entity. Many schools already are partnered with third party study abroad programs so please check with your study abroad department first. This is a great opportunity because many employers in the United States are looking more and more for bilingual applicants. Immersing yourself in a Spanish speaking culture is one of the best ways to learn or improve your fluency in a foreign language. If cost is an issue, many of these programs provide opportunities for scholarships and grants.
See Harrison Fowler guest post on “studying abroad through the eyes of a disciple” for more on this.
Here are a list of some of the top private organization who sponsor study abroad programs:
Option 2: Study abroad (out of college, not for credit Spanish classes)
This option would be for people who are not looking for college credit. These programs you pay for and the entity will send you the information you need to take to your visa appointment. Keep in mind that if you decide to study abroad under this option you will need to be taking at least 20 hours per week of classes and the school you chose will need to be registered with the “ministerio de educacion de Espana”.
Another great option is taking classes at Compultense University, for instructions on how to do this click here
Option 3: Teach abroad
Teaching abroad is an awesome experience and not all the teach abroad programs require a high level of Spanish coming in. Spain has a high demand for English speakers who are interested in helping their students learn the language. Please see the visa requirements for your corresponding consulate for student visa or language/ cultural assistant visa as this visa is not considered a work visa. Through programs like these you can also receive a monthly scholarship of up to 1,000 Euro’s for your living expenses. With many of these programs, you will also be responsible for finding your own housing (see “finding housing post”).
Some teach abroad programs:
- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED- https://www.ciee.org/teach/spain/
- Please use my referral link if you decide on this one. http://start.ciee.org/teach-referral.html?refcode=Patrick-Genovaemail@example.com -this is the program i did and they were very organized. If your interested in teaching abroad and making some money, i highly recommend this one.
- You can go directly through the Spanish government for FREE at: http://www.mecd.gob.es/eeuu/en_US/convocatorias-programas/convocatorias-eeuu/auxiliares-conversacion-eeuu
- Similar program as above, but with Catholic private schools http://www.ecmadrid.org/
- http://start.ciee.org/teach-referral.html?refcode=Patrick-Genovafirstname.lastname@example.org -this is the program i did and they were very organized. If your interested in teaching abroad and making some money, i highly recommend this one.
Option 4: E.U Dual citizenship
Don’t count this out so easy, I was able to apply for dual citizenship from Italy through my great grandfather on my mothers side. However, even if you are eligible the process of obtaining dual citizenship it is by far the most labor intensive process of all of these options and the most secure and permanent. If you would like to come and go from Spain as you please without the need to obtain a visa, you will need to have a passport from one of the countries that are a part of the European Union. The European Union presently consists of 28 countries click here for a complete list. For more see our “Dual Citizenship” post.
With all of these options remember that time is NOT on your side and the longer you wait, the more money you will have to spend to get documents expedited. If you are serious about traveling to Madrid, please be sure to get started gathering your documents and applying for your programs ASAP.