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Advice on Spain please

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by biolgirl, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. biolgirl

    biolgirl New commenter

    I am applying for teaching jobs in Spain, but just have so many questions. Can anyone out there answer any for me or point me to someone who can.
    1. Teaching jobs in Spain have lower salaries than UK but schools say the cost of living being less out there makes up for this. Is this really true?
    2. Do Spanish schools offer pensions, or do you need a private one?
    3. We pay water rates and council tax etc here in UK. What do you pay for in Spain?
    4. What are the pros and cons of Spanish vs British mortagages? Would it be better to remortgae my property in England to pay for Spanish property out-right, or take out Spanish mortgage?
    5. I assume in Spain you need private health insurance - how much would this cost?
    6. How do deductions from wages compare to UK regards tax and national insurance?
    7. If you buy a property in Spain do you still have suveys done? Also are there any other costs involved, beside solicitors fees? How do solicitors fees compare to UK?
    8. If I work in Spain for a couple of years then wish to come back, will it affect my postion on the national pay scales? Will my two years in Spain count?
    9. Can anyone give me any top tips to consider or pitfalls to avoid who have experience of working in Spain?
    Please Help!!!!!
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I'll answer the ones I'm clear about:
    1. No. The CoL is lower but not so low as to make up the difference.
    2. No and Yes
    3. Local taxes cover such things as water, garbage collection, etc. We pay about 200 Euros a year in our rural community. It's more expensive in cities/ on the coast.
    5. No, if you are a Spanish resident worker health care is free (and very good).
    6. I'm out of date on this one, but no doubt someone will comment.
    7. Survey essential. So is an excellent well-recommended lawyer. Illegally built properties are demolished without compensation Debts on properties may be passed on to the new owner.
    8. Quite likely.
    9. I suggest a forum search, as a lot has already been posted.

  3. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    I just had a quick look at some of my old payslips.
    My gross monthly pay was 1800€ of which I saw about 1500€. It varied depending on the number of days I worked each month.
    Answer to number 4
    It depends if you are going to return to the UK or not. I think you would be better to rent out your house in the UK and rent something here until you decide where you want to live for the next few years. I can't reall y comment on this as I haven't taken out a mortgage in either country.
  4. lunarita

    lunarita Senior commenter

    You mention in point 8 you're thinking of a couple of years only. In that case I wouldn't even consider buying property in Spain. The taxes and fees you'd pay to buy a home would be difficult to recoup in a couple of years.
  5. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    1. The captain is completely correct here.
    2. Depends on how old you are and how long you figure on staying. To qualify for the maximum state pension, you have to work here for 35 years! 15 years qualifies you for the minumum, but you're allowed to "borrow" years from England to bring you up to the minimum. If you qualify for the maxiumum pension, it's good -- about 2400 euros a month gross. If you do decide to take out a private pension, you can't touch the money until you're 65, but it is very tax deductible.
    3. They're low and the services are excellent. We have DAILY rubbish colletions!
    4. I would recommend a Spanish mortgage. Interest and capital repayments are tax deductible.
    5. You don't need it. If you DO decide to go private, the costs are generally much lower than in England.
    6. This really depends on your deductions. After I deduct my morgage and pension plan, I pay about 25%.
    7. I'm ashamed to say I didn't have surveys on any of the four properties I've bought over the years, but I've been really lucky. I also didn't have a lawyer for any of these transactions. I would recommend this, but I got away with it...
    8. Who knows? We've been here for 30 years and never plan on going back...
    9. As you can see from (9) above, we're really happy here. It's a great country. The biggest "pitfall" would be getting a job in a **** school, of which there are a number...

  6. biolgirl

    biolgirl New commenter

    Thanks for the useful responses. I do intend to rent first whilst I consider the best palce to buy, but I do plan to hopefully make it a permanent move. The mention of two years is just incase things dont work out for me and I want a fall back plan.
  7. biolgirl

    biolgirl New commenter

    Another question.
    Do TV's and other electrical goods work OK in Spain?
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    All your UK stuff works OK here. Electrical goods, e.g. TVs, are more expensive here than in UK.
  9. 1. Definitely not true. the cost of living here is not low, and your teaching salary will not provide you with a very high standard of living. Many teachers supplement their income with extra private classes.

    4. Spanish mortgages are okay, but just like a UK mortgage, you need to have it based on muliples of income, and your income will be low, if you are buying alone. Always remember to add about 15% to the cost of any property to cover Notary fees etc.

    8. Generally, those who have returned have found that their time abroad does not count.

    9. I would recommend a forum search here: there's some really useful information. Generally, despite the moans, i have to agree with miketribe-not going back!
  10. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    What an odd question!
    If you mean would UK electrical goods work from Spanish mains supply, then the answer is yes, as far as I am aware the voltage is the same around 220-240 Volts.
    You will need to adapt any plugs from the 3 pin UK type to the 2 pin European ones, or do as my Husband does and just poke the 2 bare wires into the socket! I bought lots of adaptors at a local market as they were only 1€ each.
    Mainwaring is correct that electrical items are more expensive here, about 100€ for a small TV or VHS player. The TV signal is changing from analogue to digital soon so you will need another set top box, these don't cost much, from about 30€. The good thing about TDT is you can watch quite a few programmes in English.
  11. Hi Biolgirl,
    Are you applying for jobs at private schools which offer the UK National Curriculum?
    Which area of Spain are you interested in working, Costa Blanca, Costa de Sol or possibly inland?
    Have you actually applied? if so have you had any invites for interviews.
    I have applied for an English curriculum school and awaiting an interview date.
    Whatever you do, if you are offered a job <u>READ THE CONTRACT THROUGH</u>.
    Good Luck

  12. We have been here four years now and love it. The salary seems ok until you try to live on it and realise that it really does only cover the basics, but the lifestyle is so much better. Pension payments are not made by my school and I don't currently pay into an independent one but will need to do so in the near future.
    We own a house here and in the UK. The UK one is rented long term and we rent the Spanish one out as a holiday let, we also rent a small apartment near the school to live in during term time. The winter is difficult as we don't have much rental income from our holiday let but the winter is short and more than made up for by the summer.
    I teach English one night a week to make ends meet but think that we made the right lifestyle choice. Inflation and unemployment are high here but in general we are happier than in the UK. we have used the Spanish health service fairly comprehensively and have found then to be very good. I have had a knee replacement whilst here that I had waited 3 years for in the UK. My OH had a heart scare and spent time in the local hospital. They were very good to him and he recovered well. He receives regular check ups and is happy with the service. I think the frustration is that some areas are excellent, but some are not.
    Check your contract carefully before coming here as many schools only pay for 10 months, leaving you to claim unemployment during the summer ( not a considerable amount). I have hear of some teachers being badly treated or downright mislead about standards and expectations so find out as much as you can before the interview.
    Good luck with finding a good school. I hope it turns out to be everything that you want.

  13. lunarita

    lunarita Senior commenter

    As for checking the contract before you accept - you'll be lucky to see an actual contract before you arrive. .However your T&C are covered by a national agreement which the school may or may not abide by (legally they have to, but some still try it on).
    Unemployment benefit - what you get depends on how much you've been contributing, which means that if you've had a reasonably paid job it'll work out fairly generous. BUT there's a minimum qualifying period so afaik you won't qualify after 10 months and you'll be penniless your first summer if you're on a dodgy 10 month contract.
  14. I arrived in spain about a month ago.
    1. The cost of living is lower, but only about 5 to 10 percent lower and then it depends on what your buying. My salary here is comparable after tax to my salary in other eu countries.
    2. You will need a private one from what I can see.
    3. After rent I pay water and electricity. This is wokred out for you by the rental agency. Last month I was 34 euro in total for both. Dont pay Tv as thats included in rent.
    4. Nothing wrong about getting a mortgage in spain. They will base what you can afford by outgoings and income into account and give you a figure.
    5. Heath care here is said to be good. Only had a brief encounter and better than NHS imo. Health care is free.
    6. Tax is only about 16 per cent. Consequently, my net is on a par with Germany because of the higher tax there. Most schools I believe tell you youre net salary.
    7. Get a survey and be VERY careful about where you buy. There are issues with illegal building and its not just if the building is legal but the number of floors.
    8. If its only two years then not alot will be affected though how much value a school puts on your overseas experience will vary.
    9. There are some quite frustrating bits of red tape to get through and I

  15. saw it as a rite of passage I [​IMG] alot and just got on with it. Getting the NIE number is quite a challenge as many banks wont let you pay for it. Unicaja does though with a passport.
    Social security is easy to sort out and getting a bank acocunt...take all papers including rental agreement, contract, residence certificate etc they may ask for any of it.
    Speaking spanish helps with officialdom and trying tends to get you further if your papers arent quite right than having to be spoken to in english. In some places Spanish was a must as no one spoke english.
    As for working pitfalls, I havent found any. Im enjoying myself a great deal in my school here and am glad I made the move.

  16. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    If you are/ were an Ofsted inspector then I apologise for failing to appreciate that "non-excellence" is in fact a (heavily) disguised form of praise.

    If on the other hand you have never been involved with that degenerate organisation, your highlighted remarks do I think require clarification.
  17. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    Two related observations:

    How does the linguistic-competence-quotient currently work out in
    Hampstead Gardens Suburb?
    East &acute;am?

    Secondly, how many of them could write in the language of Dickens?
  18. biolgirl

    biolgirl New commenter

    Hi Veggiegirl
    I was offered an interview at printing press school, but turned it down due to poor pay compared to others and after reading other threads.
    Also offered interview in Seville and invited to Spain expenses paid. But then I asked a couple of questions about salary and relocation and the school have not replied to me since. I tried emailing again to say I was concerned by the lack of reply, but still no response.
    Their advert metioned a good relocation package so naturally I wanted to know what it was and what the salary would be before travelling out to Spain. Was I so wrong to want this information? Has this happened to other people?
  19. biolgirl

    biolgirl New commenter

    Also forgot to say that poor pay at printing press school apparently included increment for head of department! I applied for science teacher as advertised - so why was HOD suddenly offered??? Although this extra detail was in smaller print. Sounded a bit dodgy all round.
  20. At lot depends on where you live. I have travelled in the mainland and taught in the Canary Islands... I found:
    1) Cost of living a lot cheaper than UK but it depends on what you buy and where you buy, eat, drink etc...
    2) You need a private pension.
    3) Water was very cheap... I never paid any kind of council tax sometimes an aprtment block pays a community tax to keep hallways and gardens in good condition.
    4) I rented. Only the very rich have mortages. My friend was trying to buy and despite his g/f working in a bank they were told to find 20% of any property as a deposit!
    5) No... Health care is free and excellent.
    6) I had less deductions and one year got a tax rebate
    7) No idea!
    8) I doubt your 2 years will count... Why would you want to go back!
    9) Ask and ask again about your contract and payments....Will you paid a monthly salary x12... What will happen to your contract and salary in summer??? At best you will be paid but sacked and reinstated in Sept.
    BEWARE: Spanish children, although well behaved, are LOUD... and generally rule the roost (especially the rich kids you will be teaching). Parents can be a pain. It helps to speak Spanish then they seem to like you!
    And on a day-to-day level... Learn Spanish! Without it your life will be day-to-day life will be difficult and your social life fairly boring!
    And consider what you want... a life in the sun, but with everything like the UK? Or a truly different experience in a foreign country?

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