Teach English in a Homestay in Spain

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  • Overview

    If you’re eager to head to Europe, you can live close to the cosmopolitan European city of Madrid while living with a local family and tutoring English 15 hours per week.

    This program is ideal if: 

    • You’re ready to make meaningful connections with a local family and have a mutual language and cultural exchange
    • You want to experience living abroad but have limited time (1 month minimum stays are perfect for career breaks, summer vacation, or whenever you can head to Spain)
    • The city life is calling your name – most placements are in Madrid
    • You’re ready to speak Spanish like a local – options for language courses!
    • You find yourself constantly googling tapas and churros and imagine yourself sipping cafe con leche in a plaza

    Program details:

    • Volunteer tutoring position with a local host family
    • 15 hours per week teaching experience (the rest of the time is yours!)
    • Accommodation with volunteer Spanish host family
    • 1, 2 or 3 month placements
    • Rolling start dates available throughout the year

    Picture yourself abroad and read our participants’ blog posts on life as an English tutor in Spain!

    I stayed in Spain with an amazing host for two months. We really clicked and I’m so happy to have met her. She was such a positive and happy person who was excited to show me her favorite places. The locals are so friendly and the landscape is beautiful. When I went to Spain, I didn’t know any Spanish and just by living there and being immersed in the culture I was able to pick some up which is such a nice thing to take away from such a special experience.” – Cindy Chan, Greenheart Travel Teach in a Homestay alum

  • Program Dates

    Start Dates

    Start dates are available year round, usually the first and third Wednesday of every month (subject to change). However, we’re flexible, so if you are unable to start on those dates, please contact Greenheart Travel directly to see what we can do.


    In order to secure a host family, you should finish your application 2-3 months prior to when you want to go. For example, if you wish to be in Spain by Feb. 6, you should finish your application no later than Dec. 6.

    Please note: Many Spanish families travel on vacation or holiday during the month of August and placements can be scarce. We recommend applying well ahead of time if you can only participate in August since the placement process could take longer than normal.

    Arrival and Departure from Spain 

    All homestay teachers arrive and depart on their own and book flights after speaking directly with their host families about the best time for them to arrive. Teachers are responsible for arriving directly at their host family’s house upon arrival.

    Teachers are responsible for abiding by the updated Spanish entry requirements for U.S. travelers. Please refer to the U.S. Embassy in Spain’s website for further instructions.

  • Eligibility

    No previous teaching experience or certification is required. We are looking for participants who are open-minded and flexible, as well as meet the following requirements:

    • Be between the ages of 18-30*
    • Be a native English speaker (other languages depend on specific demand)
    • Must be a high school graduate – college students and graduates preferred
    • Must have the ability to prepare a private tutoring lesson plan
    • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
    • Be in good mental** and physical health

    *This is due to international agreements with our in-country partners

    **What does it mean to be in good mental health?  

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful. Sending someone with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges they were previously facing. Additionally, mental health resources are different in every country. The perception of mental health conditions as well as mental health care, support, and understanding are very different in Spain than in the USA. In order to ensure the safety of our travelers, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept those who have struggled with mental disorders within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental disorder. Each person will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Mood disorders
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Eating disorders
    • Cognitive and developmental disorders

    If the traveler reports a mental disorder on their application, we may ask for a doctor’s note as part of the application. While Greenheart will work hard with our partners to place you, due to cultural norms in the host country, there is no guarantee that even with a doctor’s note, you will be placed.

    I don’t have teaching experience. How will I know what to teach my host family?

    The English lessons tend to be informal and conversation based. There is no pre-determined curriculum; however participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide you access to a library of resources to help you develop ideas for the lessons.

    Typically families are looking for you to speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.

    Usually you will teach the children in the home but occasionally an adult will request lessons as well. The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    • month – $1,710  
    • 2 months – $1,890 
    • 3 months – $2,130

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD

    Included in the Program:

    • Host family search, screening and placement process
    • Single room accommodation with carefully screened host family
    • Three home-cooked meals a day for the duration of the program
    • Comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of your program
    • English as a new language teaching resources
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your experienced Program Manager
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support  for the duration of the program
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad

    Additional Expenses You’ll Need to Cover (Estimates):

    • Criminal background required on our application (~10 USD)
    • Flight to Spain (~$500-$1,000 depending on time of year)
    • Meals eaten outside of the host family home (~$50 per month)
    • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities
    • Optional intensive Spanish class

    Wondering why you have to pay for a volunteer teaching program?

    Greenheart Travel is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and the program fee for this volunteer teaching project covers the cost of placing you in the program. These fees also aid in vetting host families, issuing insurance,  and providing pre-departure and in-country support to homestay tutors.

  • Host Families

    Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. Host families apply in a similar way to participants and Greenheart Travel will match you based on living preferences and personal interests. Host families are not compensated for hosting and host only in exchange for the English lessons.

    Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    Participants will have their own private room but may share a bathroom and living areas with the host family. Host families also provide three meals per day except when going out to restaurants. As an English teacher in a homestay, you will be warmly welcomed into a host family’s home, while having the opportunity to explore the region on your own.

    A Greenheart Traveler spending time with her Spanish host family!

  • Placements

    Participants live with a local host family during the program. You will receive your host family contact information prior to departure. We cannot guarantee placement in a specific region or city and it is important to be flexible in your placement location, as there are families throughout the country.

    While a majority of our placements are located in the Madrid metropolitan area, host families are also located in other regions of Spain. You can submit placement location requests, but it’s important you be open-minded and flexible with the community you’ll soon call your home. There are advantages to every location!

    Placement FAQs:

    Can I choose where I will be placed?

    No. You can submit requests, but you must be flexible about where you will be placed within Spain. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region and we match based on compatibility with the host family.

    Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?

    No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $300 commitment deposit.

    What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

    No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If concerns arise once you are in country, we handle them on a case-by-case basis and do our best to resolve issues amicably.

    Can I be placed with my friend/spouse/significant other?

    No. We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.

  • Optional Spanish Classes

    For Teach English in a Homestay Spain teachers placed in Madrid, there is an optional 2- or 4-week Spanish intensive course at a language school located in central Madrid.

    There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are subdivided up into two sub-levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given a placement test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.


    1 week: $860
    2 weeks: $1,120
    3 weeks: $1,380
    4 weeks: $1,630

    Spanish course details:

    • 20 hours of classes per week, either in the morning or the afternoons
    • Classes are taught by native Spanish teachers who specialize in teaching Spanish as a foreign language
    • Spanish lessons involve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in lively and informal small classes with no more than 9 students
    • You should take a Spanish/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
    • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course
    • Option for adding on private tutoring to supplement group class (additional cost)

    Please inquire with us here if you’re curious about start dates or want to request a customized Spanish course. 

  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for the Teach English in a Homestay program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in these tutoring positions.

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our Homestay teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands on experience of tutoring their host families. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your homestay program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your full-time schedule

    Teach English in a Homestay travelers can sign up for the TEFL course in their homestay application at a discounted fee of $1,045. Just check the “Add TEFL Certification” box when you apply!

    Read more about the course here!

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your application fee: A $300 fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund this fee in full.

    4. Complete online application & provide documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in the remainder of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a Zoom video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. We cannot start the host family matching process until we have this deposit. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    7. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Spain! Your remaining balance is due in full 8 weeks before your start date.

    Required Documents

    • A letter of recommendation (personal or professional)
    • “dear host family” letter introducing yourself
    • A photo album with 5-7 recent photos of you (used for your host family to get to know you)
    • A 1-minute self-intro video
    • Copy of your passport
    • Completed background check

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will get access on our portal to your Greenheart Travel program handbook as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.

    Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $300 commitment payment (which goes toward your program fee also) is due. 

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to us about the program? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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