For teachers considering applying to work in Osuna, here are some comments from some of the teachers who have worked at Alba Inglés over the years. We hope you find them useful.
'Alba Inglés is an excellent school to work for. Mark and Ginny are extremely supportive, both in and out of school, and were always ready to help with any problems that arose. The school as a whole had a relaxed, friendly environment during my time there, and I'll always have fond memories. Although Osuna itself is rather quiet, it is a very friendly town, and it was relatively easy to get to know local people even with my limited Spanish. Overall my experience was very positive and certainly helped me to develop my teaching skills a lot. I would thoroughly recommend Alba Inglés.'
Sent by Adam Pritchard, teacher at Alba Inglés from 2012 to 2013
'If I hadn't decided to come to Osuna, I wouldn't have met my fiancé. If I hadn't met him, then I wouldn't have had my first child – now, a smiley, happy one- year-old. Aside from being fantastic examples of the third conditional, this is also completely true.
When I started at Alba Inglés in 2008, little did I know that Osuna would be my home for the next 4 ½ years. I came to Osuna purely because I thought the school sounded welcoming and professional and I definitely wasn't wrong. Mark and Ginny were so welcoming that they couldn't get rid of me until 2013. I enjoyed some of the happiest moments of my life in Osuna with everyone who worked there during the time I was at the school. From cubatas with Natalie in "Heaven" and chats with Megan on her roof terrace, to baby-talk with Hayley and Ginny and taking my first child home from the hospital. Throughout my time in Osuna, Mark and Ginny really were like a second family and I can't even begin to describe how much they helped and supported me both professionally and personally.
Osuna has everything you would expect a small town to have and if there is anything that you crave from a big city then Seville is only an hour away. A huge plus side to Osuna is that it is very well connected and has a train station which links it to Seville, Malaga and Granada. If you are really interested improving your Spanish and learning about Andalusian culture then Osuna will suit you. It is a welcoming town and you get back what you put in, in terms of integrating. You will soon be a familiar face; you only have to go to the same bar twice.
The school itself is far better equipped than most schools in bigger cities. The classrooms are huge (at least twice the size of other places I've seen), air-conditioned and all have computers and e-beam for the whiteboards. There is a nice atmosphere to work in and if you need any help at all then there is always support from other teachers and from Mark and Ginny. Another thing I'd like to point out is that everything runs incredibly smoothly and professionally - you only ever have to worry about your lessons. There is also a very hands-on approach and your opinions and suggestions to help improve things are always welcomed and considered.
Anyway, I have written an essay but as you can probably tell I loved my time in Osuna and I hope you do too if you choose to go there. To sum up: come to Osuna, it's a fantastic place and a super school (and you might even meet your future spouse!).'
Sent by Rebecca Lawrie, teacher at Alba Inglés from 2008 to 2012
'I spent my first year of teaching at Alba Inglés and can honestly say I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding experience. Firstly Mark and Ginny are supportive and friendly as bosses and they give constant help and guidance both in teaching and in settling into life in Osuna. The school has a real family-like atmosphere and you are always treated as a valued individual.
The school itself has excellent resources and technology that rivals any bigger city school. There are opportunities for progression, and ideas are always shared freely during the breaks. Mark and Ginny make sure your workload is reasonable and that your skills are utilised to the maximum potential without ever being intrusive.
Osuna is a beautiful city full of warm affable people. It is very small if you are used to city life, but both the Costa Del Sol and Seville are only a short train journey away during the weekends; for those who miss the city. Also, it's worth mentioning the Feria (a week long party) in May/June is great fun. Overall, Alba Inglés is a gem of a school and I'm honoured to have had the chance to work there.
Sent by Richard Pitt, teacher at Alba Inglés from 2010 to 2011
'Thank you for giving me such a positive working experience. I truly can't think of much to criticise. Maybe I would have been happier in a city but here I am after two very enriching years of my life. I've learned that I love working with children and that I do it well. I've also learned a lot about myself from living in a smaller community and what I want in life. Time for the next adventure...'
Sent by Megan Isaac, teacher at Alba Inglés from 2008 to 2010
'Osuna is a lovely, friendly town and I have met some fantastic people. There are enough bars and restaurants and if I have wanted to go to a bigger city, Malaga, Seville and even Granada have been close enough by train or bus to visit for a weekend. With regards to the school, the friendly, supportive and even family like atmosphere has been a lovely experience.'
Sent by Natalie Smith, teacher at Alba Inglés from 2007 to 2009
'I have just finished teaching (June 07) at Alba Inglés in Osuna. I came over with my husband and 2 small children and we have spent a most enjoyable year here. Mark and Ginny made us all feel very welcome and provided lots of help in settling in, finding accommodation and basically finding your feet, especially if you don't speak Spanish. The teaching is fine, mainly teaching children, so experience there helps and Mark and Ginny are always available to ask for help. We've really enjoyed liiving in Osuna - my husband has done quite a bit of mountain biking in the local area plus we went to the Sierra Nevada skiing in winter and explored the Med and Atlantic coasts in summer. It's been a great experience for us all and we will definitely be returning.'
Sent by Vanessa Brierley, teacher at Alba Inglés during the academic year of 2006/07
'Working at Alba Inglés in my first year of teaching has been a really positive experience. Mark and Ginny have always been approachable and helpful and the school has a really warm atmosphere. If you're thinking of working at Alba Inglés, I'd recommend it to you.'
Sent by Kath Webb, teacher at Alba Inglés during the academic year of 2006/07
'I had a great year in Osuna. It was my first teaching job post TEFL and Alba
Ingles was a fantastic place to gain experience and confidence in a friendly
environment. Mark and Ginny did their best to make my life as easy and
pleasant as possible, both in and out of school. I also felt that I was
trusted to ‘get on with’ my classes myself, but they were always there if I
needed help or advice. I was able to teach 5 year olds, adults, and most
ages in between (sometimes in one evening!) which made the job really
interesting and varied. I had a very relaxing, stress-free year in a
beautiful part of Spain, and I think my Spanish really improved. Living in
Osuna isn’t for everyone, and it can be lonely sometimes as its a small
place with nothing available outside the traditional Spanish small-town
life. If you are coming on your own you need to be pretty independent and
prepared for a quiet life to some extent. However, its easy to go on day
trips to Seville, Malaga and Granada, which are fanatasitc cities, and
possible to make some great Spanish friends. Overall my experience was a
very positive one. Good luck!'
Sent by Kate Freeman - teacher at Alba Inglés during the academic year of 2005/06
'I really enjoyed my two years in Osuna and was very sad to leave. Osuna is a small town, which has its advantages and disadvantages: whilst it can be boring and at times claustrophobic, the people are very friendly, as are the students, and there is a strong sense of community. This was my first full-time teaching position and I received a great deal of support from Mark and Ginny, both professionally and personally. The school environment is very welcoming and I loved the fact that we had a staff room as it's a perfect place to bounce around ideas, moan about hectic classes and relax away from the classroom a little between lessons. Also, there are a lot of opportunities for creativity and I felt that I had the freedom to do activities away from the book as although we had targets for each term, the classroom was our domain and originality and variety were welcomed. In all, the school itself is fantastic, although I would recommend that people, for their own sakes and for that of Mark and Ginny, are sure about living the small-town lifestyle.'
Sent by Teresa Bestwick - teacher at Alba Inglés from 2004 - 2006
'My two years in Osuna working at Alba Inglés were extremely enjoyable, and I
would certainly consider living and working there again. Osuna itself is a
small, quite traditional Andaluz town, and offers the chance to really
experience a genuine slice of Spanish culture. Mark and Ginny really helped
us to settle in (we started off with zero Spanish!) and we very quickly
found ourselves enjoying not only the town itself, but also the fantastic
cities of Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada, all close enough to do in a daytrip
or weekend. If you haven't taught kids before, be ready to use up plenty of energy and
patience, but also to get plenty of reward and amusement. There was always a
lot of humour in the office & staff room too, which really helped to make it
a great working environment. Working with such a wide age range taught me
teaching strategies which I think really added to my teaching skills. All in all a teaching and life experience that I would thoroughly recommend.'
Sent by Kes Poupaert - teacher at Alba Inglés from 2003 - 2005
'I spent two years at Alba Inglés in Osuna and can highly recommend both.
Living in small town Spain is certainly different from anything I'd
experienced before which was exactly what I wanted. With no Spanish at first
it was challenging at times but ultimately made feeling at home there even
more rewarding. It is really something to live the Andaluz lifetstyle and
explore the incredible cities nearby. It was my first full time teaching experience and a fast learning curve
which has equiped me with the skills (and games!) I'm still using and
developing in the classroom now. It might have been hard work teaching
children at times but it was also lots of fun. Finally, Mark and Ginny are very special people who went out of their way
many, many times for me and whose friendship is another reason why I'll
never forget those two years.'
Sent by Suzanne Poupaert - teacher at Alba Inglés from 2003 - 2005
'I loved working at Alba Inglés, as it is such a friendly school with a great
deal of emphasis placed on lessons being fun. It was my third year of
teaching TEFL but my first experience of teaching young children. This was
an aspect of the job I really enjoyed, once I got over my initial
inhibitions about singing and dancing! Teaching students of all different
ages makes the job varied and interesting and provides lots of valuable
experience. Most importantly Mark & Ginny are fantastic people to work for,
as they are both extremely supportive (both in school and out) and a lot of
fun. They made me feel very welcome and went above and beyond the call of
duty to ensure I was happy in Osuna. I left Osuna over three years ago and
have since returned twice to visit Mark & Ginny as friends. Osuna is a
beautiful town and also makes a perfect base from which to explore other
great places in Andalusia. (I enjoyed regular trips to the Costa.) In
Osuna I really enjoyed the feria (a kind of week long party in traditional
get up) and watching the Semana Santa processions. Osuna is small, don't
expect to go anywhere without bumping into a student or their family and if
you're thinking of spending the year there with another person make sure
they are someone you can get along with almost 24/7 if your Spanish is
minimal. It's a great place to learn the language because not many people
speak English in the cafes & restaurants, so you get to practise with the
locals who are very warm and understanding. I would recommend the
experience to anyone who would appreciate the opportunity to spend time in a
small and friendly school and traditional Andalucian town.'
Sent by Michelle Whitney - teacher at Alba Inglés during the academic year of 2002/03