As is the case with other European countries, EU citizens can enter Spain for up to three months without needing a visa or permit. If you intend to stay for longer than this you must apply for a residence card (tarjeta de residencia) in the first 30 days of arriving. The card can be obtained from a police headquarters (comisar�a de Policia) or Foreigner’s Office. You will need proof of having found employment.
The main opportunities for au pair work can be found in cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, where you can expect to earn between �42 and �51 (approx. �29 to �36) per week. Most agencies require that you are aged between 18 and 30 years old, although sometimes the maximum age is even lower.
Au pairs are expected to work for about thirty hours each week, which consists of general childcare: taking the children to and from school and looking after them in the evening, as well as general domestic tasks. As with most au pairing jobs, you will be provided with food and accommodation, but not many families in Spain pay the health insurance of their au pairs, so this is something that you would need to arrange individually. A great number of UK agencies communicate with those in Spain to provide vacancy listings for au pairing. See the websites, listed below, of agencies such as Accord Cultural Exchange, Childcare International Ltd., and The Solihull Au Pair & Nanny Agency.
Tenerife, Lanzarote, the Costa del Sol, and the Costa Blanca are all good places to start looking for casual work. Opportunities range from bar staff, holiday reps, DJs, ticket sellers, and more. Most jobs can be found by personal contact, getting there early in the tourist season to find something that suits you. Wages vary from place to place and from job to job, but you can expect to be kept busy with this type of work, and to meet and deal with a variety of people. English language newspaper The SUR is published on Fridays and may contain vacancies for work in coastal resorts.
Campsites and Adventure Holidays
British and European camping agencies in Spain offer jobs during the peak tourist times in the summer. Eurocamp arranges work for couriers on Spanish campsites. It is preferred that you can speak another European language well because the job involves welcoming and interacting with a range of visiting nationalities. Employees must be over 18, and can anticipate earning approximately �95 per week.
PGL organises adventure holidays for children between February and November; centres can be found across Europe. Working for PGL as a helper or courier can earn you between �50 and �60 per week in Spain. Board and bed is provided, so you won’t have to worry about finding, paying for, and travelling to and from suitable accommodation during your employment.
Spanish restaurants and bars pay workers to attract tourists to their businesses, particularly in competitive tourist areas such as coastal resorts and towns. Wages can vary but you could expect to earn between �15 and �25 per night, depending on the work and your success rate. This type of work involves handing out leaflets, putting up posters, or even chatting to passers-by. Again, it is seasonal work so there wouldn’t be many opportunities for touting in the winter. Furthermore, touting is a late night job, and although it does pay, don’t rely on this employment as your only source of money.
Spain’s agricultural produce includes oranges, olives, grapes, and strawberries. Andalucia is a large region with opportunities for fruit picking. As with most jobs of this kind you are most likely to find vacancies by going from place to place and enquiring to farmers and land owners.
Fruit picking can be difficult work, and there is no guarantee that you will earn a decent wage from it. Some farmers may pay you depending on how much fruit you can collect, how much it is worth at market, or how long it takes you. Expect to earn anything from �10 to �50 per day.
If it is the actual agricultural work that appeals to you more than the money, the Young Farmers’ Clubs International Farm Experience Programme is a voluntary organisation that can place you on farms in agricultural jobs in a range of countries, but two years’ experience in the industry is essential.
There are a whole variety of voluntary organisations and programmes available throughout Spain. EIL is one such organisation that places volunteers in projects, including environmental management and conservation, and working with people with disabilities.
The South American Mission Society (SAMS) is concerned with church-run projects, joining people into communities as mission partners or church helpers. They offer short-term placements, see below for contact details.
For five or more weeks, for 35 hours each week, The Sunseed Trust welcomes people wanting to help in their work to make life and the environment better for those living in desert lands.
Endless opportunities exist for those wanting to make a difference in their time abroad by volunteering. However, it is worthwhile keeping in mind that the essence of volunteer work is that you don’t get paid, and even those organisations providing pocket money will not provide sufficient financial backing for all your travelling needs. Some companies do include accommodation and meals for their volunteers, but it is always essential to check.
National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs
The International Farm Experience Programme YFC Centre National Agricultural Centre Stoneleigh Park Kenilworth Warwickshire CV8 2LG
Au-pairing-world can help you find au pairing services.
Eurocamp are a major seasonal employer.
Children International can help you find au pairing services.
Europa Pages provides a database of au pairing opportunities in Spain.
The Solihull Au Pair & Nanny Agency are two leading European au pair agencies.
PGL offer residential activity courses.
Experiment.org provides an insight into the volunteer work available with EIL.