Cobbled streets, cute villages, cosmopolitan cities – idyllic imagery, conjured up when you think of Europe.
Teaching English in Europe has, for a while now, been a popular career choice for travellers and tutors alike and when you look at what it has to offer, that’s easy to see why. From the Eternal City to the City of Love, the Baltic to the Balkans, the Alps to the Urals, there’s a teaching destination perfect for you.
And that’s all well and good, except it doesn’t exactly make the task of choosing a country any easier. That’s why Tefl.org.uk have compiled a small list of the best places to teach English abroad, taking into account aspects such as pay and job demand.
– Post written by TEFL
Note from me!
When I was 25 I won the opportunity to complete my 3-month TEFL qualification – one of the best you can do. From the time spent doing this part time for three months, I went on to teach English in Madrid and near Barcelona. It was a great opportunity and, if I hadn’t have become a travel blogger, one I’m sure I would’ve done more.
– Me teaching English as a foreign language in a monastery in Madrid
Gaining a TEFL qualification is a great way to travel the world and get paid for it, and to understand the complexities of a language you’ve known forever. Also, it can help you learn another language too as you’d be able to take part in language exchanges.
1. Teaching English in Spain
Probably the most popular place to teach in Europe, Spain offers prospective teachers an abundance of opportunities in its cosmopolitan cities and sleepy villages.
Jobs can best be found at the many language schools across the country, particularly in the largest cities, with pay and requirements differing between employers. Work can also be found at state and private schools, language schools, and summer camps – the whole shebang!
The demand here is truly unparalleled anywhere else in Europe.
Minimum requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Degrees are not necessary, although that can depend on the employer.
Pay: €1,200 – €1,500 per month.
Visa for non-EU citizens: Can either apply for a 90-day tourist visa and reset it every 3 months OR find work through the government-run Auxiliar de Conversacion Program.
2. Teaching English in Italy
Home to arguably the world’s most beloved cuisine – think how all forms of pizza, pasta, and gelato have permeated western culture – and so much more, Italy should always be a top consideration for any aspiring EFL teacher.
The summer is rife with positions at camps teaching children and teens at varying levels of English. On top of that, jobs can be found at language schools as well as state/private schools – although this is a little trickier due to competitiveness.
Minimum requirements: Similar to Spain. A 120-hour TEFL certificate and some experience will get you far.
Pay: Approx. €1,100 per month.
Visa for non-EU citizens: Can apply for a working visa, student visa, or working holiday visa. Each has its own process and requirements so do your research if Italy interests you!
3. Teaching English in Poland
The golden age of Poland’s TEFL industry is behind us according to some experts, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s dead – far from it.
Plenty of jobs can be found at private schools in the country’s major hubs: Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw, and Poznan.
However, a decent buck can be made in smaller towns and villages, especially as a private tutor – you may be the only teacher around!
Minimum requirements: a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Experience generally preferred. Degrees rarely needed.
Pay: Usually around 3,000 Polish zloty or €650 per month. It can vary between cities and employers, though.
Visa for non-EU citizens: Work visas are obtainable for American and other non-EU citizens.
4. Teaching English in the Czech Republic
Expats have long been attracted to this small Central European nation, with its charming medieval church towers, gloriously green countryside, and growing modern industries. Prague is the more obvious choice for teachers, but there’s more than just the tourist-clogged capital to seek out work in – Brno, Czechia’s second city, is definitely worth a look before heading out.
Private language and state schools are the main options here, with state schools offering better job security and benefits, on average.
Minimum requirements: 100-hour TEFL certificate. Bachelor’s degree would be helpful.
Pay: 20,000 – 35,000 korunas per month. Equivalent to €700 to €1,200.
Visa for non-EU citizens: Non-EU citizens can apply for a trade license called a ‘živnostenský list’ (‘Zivno’ for short). Working holiday visas are also available for some nationalities.
Your TEFL certification
You may have noticed a lot of talk on certificates and you may be wondering what on earth that means. Well, most teaching jobs nowadays require applicants to hold at least a TEFL certificate – a qualification proving that you are in fact a trained and competent individual and able to teach others.
To obtain a certificate, you must complete a course with an accredited provider. There are a lot of providers out there so make sure the company you choose to enrol on a course with are internationally recognised.
A good example is The TEFL Org, the UK’s most accredited course provider. Their courses are known by employers worldwide so you can be sure of the quality of the training involved. They offer a range of different courses to suit different needs – the course most recommended is the 120-hour option because it is most commonly sought after by employers, but there are plenty of other options if you prefer!
Are you thinking about teaching English abroad but don’t know where to start?
Find out more on our website at TEFl.org.