North American Language & Culture Assistant Emma Campbell

Meet Emma Campbell

Valencia Ancient Wall

Emma Campbell is a North American Language and Culture Assistant living and working in Logroño, Spain. When not teaching she travels to experience new countries outside of her comfort zone. 

Tell us Emma, why did you decide to teach English and why did you choose to teach English in Spain?

I got my degree in secondary education and Spanish, so the next step for me after graduation was to explore the world and improve my Spanish before I settled down in one city with a job, and responsibilities that I wouldn’t be able to leave later on in life. I had no formal education in teaching English, but being a native speaker is enough here in Spain and having a background in teaching aids me in a lot of ways.

Where do you teach in Spain and how did you find your teaching job?

I am a North American Language and Cultural Assistant in the autonomous region of La Rioja. I live in the capital of Logroño. Through the program I was assigned to two different primary schools as a language assistant to the two English teachers.

How many hours a week do you work and what is your monthly salary?

At the schools I work about 12 hours a week and the scholarship money I receive each month is 700 euros. If you add in private lessons, that’s more hours (around 20) and more money. They are essential to me personally to live and travel and keep busy during the week.

Was being able to travel a main factor in deciding to teach English in Spain?

I never had big travel dreams. I was hesitant to study abroad in college because none of my friends went. In the end I did it, and I’ll never regret it. It allowed me to get to know myself and grow up in a different way. For me travel is about learning not only about other countries and cultures, but about knowing myself better and living a full life. I don’t travel so that I can check cities off on a list, but rather to have a nice experience outside of my comfort zone.

What cities and countries have you been able to travel to while teaching in Spain?

One of my favorite countries so far outside of Spain has been Italy. I went to Milan first, and I knew I had to go back to Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice. They were enchanting, and I’d go back to all of those cities again in the future. Another country I visited and enjoyed was Portugal. Typically people hit up Lisbon, but I’d also recommend Porto; especially if you like Port wine. Within Spain, I have travelled to a number of cities mainly in La Rioja, the Basque country, and Navarra. I have a special place in my heart for San Sebastian where I first studied abroad in 2009 and didn’t realize how awesome it was until now.

Wow! You have traveled quite a bit! What countries are next on your list for travel while teaching?

My next destination is Paris, and I think it is so incredible that I can go there (and the aforementioned places) so easily. Additionally, although I don’t know if it will happen this year, my next big travel goal is to get to Prague in the Czech Republic. I have family history there and I would love to say that I have been.

Is teaching in order to travel worth it? Would you recommend it to others?

As a future teacher, I can’t hate on the teaching portion of my time here. Of course there are difficult moments, days, weeks, etc. That is something that I knew, and still know will happen in almost any classroom across the world. The difficult moments could never outweigh how fortunate I am to be here immersed in a culture that I fell so in love with in the pages of my books in college. I would recommend this experience to people that are able to think on their feet, roll with the punches, and don’t sweat the small stuff. You could potentially go insane if you don’t possess at least one or all of those qualities.

For more about Emma Campbell and some pictures of her travels, check out her blog Slow Paseo

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