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Barcelona is a top gap year pit stop

Thursday 5th May 2011

If you’re thinking about taking off for a few months on a gap year, why not stop by Barcelona on your way. Barcelona has recently been hailed as one of the top destinations to visit for a holiday.  Barcelona has always been a popular choice for city breaks, but it also attracts holidaymakers because of its wonderful beach resorts too. The history and culture, music and dance festivals that Barcelona hosts help to encourage thousands of visitors every year. The city is as well-known for its striking architecture and arts, as it is for stag weekends and football team. The city is within  just a few hours reach of the UK, especially London-based airports and so is an easy option for a long weekend, however if you’re just heading out (or returning home) with your backpack, Barcelona will tick all the boxes for a terrific pit stop on your way.

If you’re lucky enough to arrive in Barcelona when there’s a special event of festival on you’ll find the city’s street crammed and busy. Be careful of pickpockets and stay safe by booking your accommodation before you arrive as festival goers will have taken up available rooms and hostels for their visit too. The Festes de la Mercè which is held in September is an eclectic mix of huge papier-mache and fibre glass giants dressed as fishermen, sultans, princesses and even chorus girls. The celebrations are held in venues all over the city, with parades, music and dance carrying on late into the night. The Catalonians use the festivals as an opportunity to practise their traditions and folk customs and is a fantastic experience for any traveller.

There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, and the choice of restaurants and delightful Spanish food will never disappoint. There’s a huge range of accommodation too, varying from cheap hostels to luxurious beach apartments. If you’re thinking about spending a significant length of time in the city renting out an apartment on a longer lease may be more financially viable, rather than a pricey holiday let. If you want to find a job in Barcelona for your gap year trip, then you can either decide to take a chance and find temporary work in pubs, bars or restaurants once you’re arrived, or organise a paid job in the tourist industry first, for example in a campsite, resort or in hospitality. If you’re looking to learn or improve your Spanish language skills there are courses in Barcelona that offer intensive study as well as TEFL too.

There are many language schools in Barcelona. Some offer TEFL courses for all, some have Spanish courses for people from overseas, and others offer English courses for Spanish people, but most of them employ English teachers.

Below are the requirements for the position of a teacher at the Wall Street Institute of Languages. The Wall Street Institute is one of the biggest language schools, with branches all over the world. Notice that while they do not require you to have a TEFL qualification to teach English, they do require you to have a degree. Other schools will take on younger teachers.

• Native English speaker.
• Ability to work within a framework of a well-defined method.
• Professional in appearance and demeanour.
• Energetic and enthusiastic.
• Computer literate.
• Previous EFL teaching experience is advantageous but not essential.
• University degree.

Find a gap year job in Barcelona, or search for a TEFL course in our Gap work jobs section.