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being an auxiliar / NALCAP series

NALCAP series: Why you should NEVER teach in Valencia!

“What is up with Valencia??” is a frequent sight to see on the auxiliares de conversación Facebook page. Past and current auxes are venting their frustrations with this beautiful region all the time. The problem has gotten so bad that the vast majority of the aux population has vowed to boycott the region. They’ll refuse Valencia as one of their region choices on their applications, decline any Valencia placements, and encourage other current and future participants to do the same. The message is clear: do NOT teach in Valencia as an auxiliar de conversación!

But what is the problem with Valencia? Or more accurately– what are the problems with teaching in the absolutely beautiful region of Valencia?

Anti-aux sentiment

It’s no secret in the aux community that the Valencian bureaucrats hate the auxiliares. In fact, an individual in Valencian parliament publicly voiced his hatred for us auxiliares and how he was holding up payments for the auxes and their work. Auxes all over Valencia report mistreatment by bureaucrats that are hoping to chase all the auxes out of Valencia through passive aggressive behavior, like refusing them help, being condescending when in contact, refusing to pay the auxes, and even assigning auxes to schools that aren’t even in business anymore so auxes show up without a true placement!


Related reading: NALCAP Series: How to teach English in Spain with NALCAP


Payment issues

A gif of Squidward, dirty and clad in a beanie, sitting in a box with bandaged hands. He holds out a cup for money and is saying something to passersby.

Going off of the anti-aux sentiment section, I will reaffirm that it’s the hopes of the regional government that they will starve out the auxes. How? By withholding their pay. If auxes aren’t paid, they can’t pay their rent, buy groceries, or afford any other living costs of living in Valencia.

Many auxes have made announcement posts in the auxiliar FaceBook page claiming they are quitting and heading home because they cannot afford to stay. They can’t afford to feed themselves, transport themselves, and house themselves.

To say it is an absolute mess would be an understatement. In the comments of one post from a curious new participant worried about their placement in Valencia, a seasoned aux commented:

Do not go. Their attitude is ‘It is not our fault for not paying you, it is your fault for not bringing enough savings.’ I am one of the few auxes who have actually talked in person with the conselleria. … Do not expect their government to be the least bit concerned with you or your situation if you find yourself in a tough spot. … I filed the hojas de reclamaciones, emailed all the government offices, we were paid late [as f*ck] – THE CONSELLERIA OF VALENCIA IS CORRUPT AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE AUX PROGRAM. YOU WILL SUFFER. Ask to be switched to a different region.** Even if it is not in as nice of a town, you will likely have a much better experience.

Aaron T, may 2022 in the Aux FaceBook Group

** Note about Aaron T’s comment: You cannot switch to another region after getting your placement. The reason I still included this segment of the quote was so emphasize how important it is to pick a different region!

Another aux reported that her pay did not come until mid January. She claims that during that time, she repeatedly reached out to the Valencian ministry for advice and assistance. They basically told her she was shit out of luck and that she should have brought more money. Some have even been told that they should just borrow money from family instead of whining about ‘a problem that doesn’t exist!’

Another aux claimed that she shared a school with another aux, and when that other aux quit from the lack of payment, the ministry mixed up the two auxes. So, this first aux had another payment delay until April after being paid only one time in January since the start of the program!

We don’t care how much savings you come with or how great the quality of life is there [in Valencia]. The program in Valencia does not give a flying f*ck about you, as has been made clear by the fact that they’ve been screwing assistants over since at LEAST 2017. … So it’s up to you to decide whether you think it’s worth it, but please go in knowing there is a very real possiblity that you’ll run into serious pay issues and all the issues that causes. … There are some really incredible auxes in Valencia who have done so much to fight against it yet nothing changes.

A quote from auxiliar FaceBook group admin Shaina L

Disorganization

Paired with Valencian bureaucrats trying their hardest to keep you away, the Valencia aux program has always had a notorious reputation for disorganization. Some auxes reported placements in schools that either didn’t exist or no longer existed for several years. Some of these auxes showed up to teach in Valencia only to realize they had nowhere to teach, while others caught it just in time by attempting to get into contact with their school placement before heading over to Spain.

It’s not all parties and rainbows (don’t buy into the TikToks) pals. It can really suck for some of us.

Kat G, a Valencian aux in the FaceBook Group

Maybe it was a true mistake on the bureaucrats part… Or maybe it was intentional to force auxes to leave after realizing they never had a job. We’re not sure!

A woman with curly dark hair stands in the middle of a room with clothes and papers all over the floor and over all the furniture. She says, "A little disorganized".

Some mentioned how they got school placements that had pleaded with the Valencian ministry to not give them an aux. Now stuck with an assistant they wanted nothing to do with, their treatment of the auxes was not all that good.

Another few auxes reported that when they were finally paid in December/January, they accidentally were paid an extra month. Once the program realized their mistake, they threatened them with interest and fees. They also said that the auxes won’t see another cent until they returned the extra money.

Boycotting the region

A majority of the auxes have concluded that a boycott of the region is the best way to go. This means no applying with Valencia as any of your desired regions, and no accepting placements in Valencia. Even if it means you have to forgo the program for the year, you’re better off. Valencia is beautiful, but accepting a placement there not only jeopardizes you, but also future participants in the NALCAP program!

Ian, a seasoned aux, also had something important to say about this:

Nothing will ever happen if there are warm bodies to fill spots. They don’t care because no matter how much people protest or write, non-citizens on student visas simply don’t have (any?/many?) rights. People need to stop applying to the region altogether; which isn’t happening since every year brings a new crowd of bright-eyed 22-year-olds from TikTok who want to be in sunny Valencia. And I don’t blame them for wanting that experience. I don’t even have a solution to propose, I’m just expressing support for the regional boycott which will never happen + sending my support to those affected. It’s unacceptable.

Ian via the Aux FaceBook Group

Admins, seasoned participants, and newbie first-years are all pleading for your support as a future aux. Please don’t teach in Valencia! While the region is gorgeous and very few have good experiences, it is simply not worth it to participate and feed the program. Please help the program, future auxes, and yourself by boycotting Valencia placements. Don’t teach in Valencia!


Related reading: Reasons you should and shouldn’t be an auxiliar de conversación


So where should you go?

Please check out my post all about Spain’s regions in regards to being an auxiliar de conversación! This post has maps, payments and hours, climate, and the basics of living in each region. You should have a much better time planning out your year(s) as an auxiliar de conversación in Spain!


Recommended reading: Guide to Spain’s regions for auxiliares de conversación


What do I do if I already have a placement in Valencia?

If you’re not willing to rescind your acceptance in Valencia, strap in. You’ll need money– a lot of it– to keep yourself afloat in Valencia until you are paid. That could be 3+ months of no payments. Some auxes have said they survived on $3,000 by not traveling and by budgeting really tightly. Others have said they have struggled with $4,000. Regardless, Valencia is one of the more expensive Spanish regions, so be prepared to have a good chunk of your savings account eaten!

Budgeting is also really, really important for any region. But it’s especially important for regions known for delayed payments! I’m working on developing a more involved budget for auxiliares, but until then, check out my Aux Life complete Notion dashboard on Gumroad!

It’s a customizable Notion template featuring a weekly to-do checklist, hyperlinks section, goals section, shopping list, aux budget with auto-calculation, easy recipes section, teaching schedule, social hub, & TIE checklist. You can customize, delete, and duplicate any section, text, images, colors, and other features within this template. Set up your auto-calculating budget, add your favorite recipes, customize your social life, set up a shopping list, organize your goals and links, and prepare your teaching schedule.


Recommended resource:

Auxiliar de Conversación NALCAP Aux Notion Page Hub

Thank you very much for reading! I hope this post helps you.

See you in the next one!

Beka

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