With its wide array of cultures, fabulous food and expansive history, what’s not to love?
If you’ve ever been enchanted by the wonders of Europe, I have a question for you.
Have you ever considered teaching English as a second language there?
It might sound daunting.
If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and move to a country where you barely know the language never fear. You can always get your feet wet teaching Europeans online.
But if you’re itching for that new adventure in your life, then Europe just might be the place you’re looking for.
You’re going to need some essential details, though, before you start packing your bags. Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers to all your burning questions. Before we get to those questions, we have an important one we’d like to get to first.
Why Teach English in Europe?
If you’re like me, you’re one of those people who didn’t think twice when narrowing down the continent you wanted to teach on. Europe is a continent where history and modern innovation meet in the middle.
And it’s incredibly easy and affordable to travel around the continent. One minute you’re sipping wine from the vineyards of France and the next you’re exploring the beautiful castles of the old kings of Eastern Europe.
But if you’re still not sold on Europe, here are a few more reasons why this great continent is worth the extra look. Besides the travel perks mentioned above, when you move to Europe you’re looking at a place with world-renowned sports teams and action-packed adventure around every corner.
Still not convinced? Well, some European languages can be surprisingly manageable for English speakers to learn. What better way than to learn with firsthand experience of living in that country?
Plus, some jobs will offer that sweet, sweet free healthcare. Imagine, you get the opportunity to experience different cultures, meet great people and have an amazing adventure without worrying about bankrupting yourself in case of a medical emergency. It really does make things easier when you know something as important as your health is taken care of.
Here are a selection of other common questions you’ll want to look into before you hop on a plane on your quest to start your teaching career in Europe.
6 Questions to Help You Find That Dream English Teaching Job in Europe
Who will I be working with?
There are many types of different establishments you could for in Europe. So, who’s hiring? Public and private schools will sometimes hire internationally in order to promote different cultures in their classroom.
However, public schools may not have the budget to hire an ESL teacher from outside the EU. In this case, you’ll want to look into which private language academies are hiring.
Language academies are all over Europe, and they can be a great start to your European ESL teaching career with flexible hours and a wide spectrum of students from beginners to advanced speakers.
If your specialty is business English, many businesses will often hire in-house native English speakers to assist their employees. These classes can range from one-on-one lessons to small groups, and will have you working with managers who speak proficiently to employees taking advantage of a training course provided by the company.
What are the qualifications to teach English in Europe?
I started out in the Education Department at my school, and the different tests and certifications you need to be a teacher in the States can be a bit intimidating.
If you’re looking to teach English in Europe, you don’t need to jump through as many hoops in order to be considered a qualified teacher.
To land a job in Europe, all you need is a bachelor’s degree and TEFL or TESOL certification. That bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to be in English, either. Teaching certification is often needed for teaching at an international school, but if you’ve got those two pieces of paper and are a native speaker you can get work quite easily.
And there are a few places that don’t require a bachelor’s degree; however, the TEFL/TESOL certification is a must.
When should I search for a teaching job in Europe?
You most likely remember your school years as long stretches of time with breaks sprinkled throughout, giving you a little relief from the insane amount of work you received on a daily basis. Easter, Christmas and summer were widely anticipated. Surprisingly, students in Europe also eagerly await these lengthy breaks as a chance to relax and have some down time.
Which means hiring times in Europe are fairly similar to those of a teacher stateside. The best time to look for a job is, without a doubt, the summer months.
The influx of jobs usually reach their peak in September and then slowly decrease and peter out in October as schools, language academies and businesses fill their English-teaching positions. January is also a month where you can expect to see a small uptake in the number of jobs available.
How do I get a job in Europe?
So you’ve gotten the necessary qualifications, you’re a native English speaker (or have the fluency of a native speaker) and your bags are practically packed for your European teaching adventure!
But what exactly is the process of getting a job in Europe? It’s not quite as simple as stepping off the plane and getting flooded with job opportunities.
When I was finishing up my TEFL licensing course and looking at Europe, my advisers mentioned that it was a good idea to go door-to-door to different language academies, schools and businesses and inquire about job opportunities.
If you’ve got the courage (and resources) to hit up places like that, then go for it. Most, if not all, places that would want to hire an English teacher prefer face-to-face interviews anyway and this takes care of that step.
However, if you’re a bit more introverted like me, I would suggest combing through some online databases and sending your resume to jobs you feel qualified for.
The ones I used when I started searching were i-to-i TEFL, ESLemployment, GoOverseas and Dave’s ESL Cafe, though TeachAway and TeachingHouse are also great databases I’ve found over the years. If a company takes interest in you, they will then often ask for a Skype interview.
However, the Skype interview may not result in receiving that teaching job. If they think you’re a viable candidate, they may want you to fly over to give a demonstration lesson or have that face-to-face interview I mentioned earlier. In my case, it was both. However, one place I interviewed for in Poland let me give a demonstration lesson via Skype.
If you really wow your future employers, hopefully a job offer will be on the table soon.
How much do I get paid?
One of the possible shortcomings of teaching English in Europe is related to how much you get paid. I’m not going to lie, you won’t save as much in Europe as you would in countries further east, such as China, South Korea, Japan or the Arabian Gulf.
But if you’re not the type who wants to live lavishly, and you’re in it for the adventure, you can make a comfortable living teaching English in Europe.
If you’re looking at Western Europe, your paycheck could be anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 euros. Keep in mind this can be before taxes, and countries such as France, Italy and Spain may have a higher cost of living.
Countries in Eastern Europe like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary will net you between 500 and 1,500 euros per month before taxes and often have a lower cost of living.
To earn a bit more, you can look into private tutoring in your free time. Private tutors usually charge between 10 and 25 euros per hour depending on your qualifications.
Where are the most desirable jobs?
If you want to get the most out of your European adventure, where should you start? While there are benefits to moving practically anywhere in Europe, the countries with the highest demand (that I’ve come across) are Spain and the Czech Republic.
Let’s start with Spain. This country boasts the strongest demand for English speakers on the continent. You can expect to earn about 700-1400 euros teaching in Spain, but the salary is only the beginning. The food, culture and climate make it the go-to place in Europe.
If you want to delve more into Western Europe, then the Czech Republic is where you want to go. One of the budding job markets of Europe for ESL teachers, this country contains a rich history with easy access to Germany, Hungary, Poland and more. Plus the Czech Republic makes it easy on ESL teachers to obtain a valid work permit.
There are plenty of reasons why you should teach English in Europe, but the greatest of all is the adventure ahead of you.
So what are you waiting for? Brush up on those easy-to-learn European languages and get yourself a TEFL certification so you can get started! You’ll be thankful you did.
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