What do cathedrals, one very old castle and classrooms all have in common?
They’re all waiting for you in Prague.
Praised as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Prague looks like something straight out of a fairytale with its bridges, courtyards and 9th-century architecture.
And as an English teacher, you can have the privilege of experiencing what it’s like to live in this one-of-a-kind city.
If that sounds like something you want to do, continue reading to learn exactly how to teach English in Prague.
Start Your European Adventure! Teach English in Prague
What to Know Before Packing Your Bags
Before embarking on your Czech adventure, you’ll want to devote some time to researching Prague’s job market and financially preparing for the move. The website of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC has information on how to teach English in the Czech Republic and get in contact with schools looking for an English teacher.
While there are jobs that pop up throughout the year, most schools actively look for teachers to start in September and January, during the beginning of the school year and the halfway point.
You also need to make sure that you’ve got the right qualifications before booking a flight to the Czech Republic. First and foremost, you won’t be considered for any teaching positions unless you have a bachelor’s degree. The good news is that you don’t have to have a degree in English or education.
Also, applicants with additional qualifications like education degrees and TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certifications have a greater chance of being hired.
If you’re thinking about teaching English as your long-term career, it’s a good idea to further your education by getting certified.
You can also, of course, help your skills and relevant experience by familiarizing yourself with cutting-edge language teaching resources like FluentU, which makes it easy to turn authentic content into lesson plans, homework or practice. We’ll talk more about FluentU later in this post, so stay tuned!
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The Startup Cost to Teach English in Prague
As with most overseas teaching positions, you want to make sure that you move to Prague with enough money to live comfortably until you find a job and receive your first paycheck.
You should bring anywhere in the range of $2,500 – $4,800 USD (around 51,500 – 99,000 CZK) to help you get settled. The reason why the start-up expenses are so high is that you have to buy your own airplane ticket and pay for your own accommodation.
If you’re moving to Prague as a family, you’ll want to bring an amount closer to $4,800 with you. But if you’re traveling alone and are fine with living in shared accommodation, $2,500 should be enough money to stay comfortable while looking for a job.
The Salary and Cost of Living in Prague
If the reason why you want to teach English in Prague is to save large amounts of money, you might want to consider working somewhere else—like the Middle East or South Korea.
Prague has a relatively high cost of living, and most teachers who live comfortably tend to break even each month.
Teachers in Prague make anywhere in the range of 14,500 – 22,500 CZK a month ($700 – $1,100 USD), whereas living expenses are usually in the range of 17,500 – 32,000 CZK ($850 – $1,550).
Fortunately, choosing the right housing goes a long way towards making Prague an affordable place to live on any teacher’s salary.
Expat website Foreigners.cz is incredibly useful for finding long-term accommodation in Prague and the surrounding areas that works with any budget.
You can also check the accommodation section on PragueNet for apartments for rent, as well as help finding people in search of roommates.
Getting a Work Visa to Teach English in Prague
For EU citizens, teaching English in Prague is as simple as moving to the Czech Republic and finding a job.
Everyone else has to apply for a long stay business visa, known as the Živnostenský List Visa, or Zivno.
Check out the Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to learn more about the Zivno visa, documents you need to submit and fees associated with the visa. Here are the basics:
- It costs 2500 CZK (approx. $120 USD) to apply for the visa.
- You need bank statements proving financial stability. The Consular General in Sydney claims you need to have a minimum of 36,000 CZK (approx. $1750 USD) to be considered for the visa.
- You must submit proof of accommodation, like a rent agreement or a written letter from the owner of your house or apartment.
- You must have travel medical insurance. The Consular General in Sydney recommends the following insurers for foreigners: Maxima, Slavia and AXA.
- Two passport-sized photos must be submitted with your application.
- You need a police clearance certificate from all of the countries you’ve lived in for six months or longer during the past three years.
Most people come to Prague on a tourist visa and switch over to the Zivno after they’ve found a job and accommodation. If you’re coming from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States, you’re issued a 90-day tourist visa on arrival. This gives you plenty of time to get settled and look for openings at nearby schools.
The full list of countries that benefit from visa on arrival can be viewed here.
Because of the complicated process, many people use visa agencies to help them apply for the Zivno visa. Here’s a list of reputable agencies that have helped make the immigration process easy for countless people.
Ready to Find a Job and Teach English in Prague?
Applying to teaching positions in the Czech Republic is similar to applying for jobs in your home country. Instead of applying through a recruiter, most people find openings on job boards and apply there. The benefit of this is that you’re usually placed in direct contact with the school instead of going through a middleman.
Some popular job boards for teaching English in Prague include:
- Jobs.cz: One of the most popular career websites in the country. Limit your search to teaching positions by selecting “Training and Education” in the box that asks “What job are you looking for?”
- Expats.cz: A popular job board for expats living in the Czech Republic. Usually has a lot of posts about teaching positions. Limit jobs to teaching positions only by selecting “Teaching and Education” on the “Industry” menu halfway down the page.
- TESall: TESall is an international ESL job board that posts a number of openings in Prague.
You can also apply to Channel Crossings, one of the biggest language-learning academies and language service providers in the Czech Republic. Because of their large size, Channel Crossings has a lot of vacancies throughout the year—so check frequently!
And Finally, the Interview Process
Once you find a school interested in you, there’s one last hurdle to overcome—the interview.
Overall, the interviewing process in the Czech Republic probably doesn’t differ that much from in your own country. However, there’s a great likelihood that you’ll be expected to do more than just talk about your work experience. In the Czech Republic, most interviewers want you to actually demonstrate your teaching skills.
The best way to ace your interview is to come prepared. Bring lesson plans covering a number of different activities, including grammar, reading and speaking.
Another great strategy is to set yourself up with a FluentU teacher account.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Because of this, you’ll be able to highlight your skills by showing that you can use modern technology and contemporary sources in your lesson plans. Basically, you’ll be able to set yourself apart from other candidates by highlighting the fact that you are willing to use authentic materials and are well prepared generally!
Also, as you prepare for your interview, understand that you’re probably going to be asked to teach a demo lesson. Many schools email interviewees a few days before the actual interview with a topic they want you to make a sample lesson on.
By coming up with an engaging lesson that includes props and a number of activities, you’ve got a greater chance of getting the job.
Your Prague Adventure Awaits!
Teaching in Prague is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that most people only dream of doing.
One of the biggest perks of being an English teacher is having the ability to live in different countries and interact with people from around the world.
With just a college degree and a little teaching experience, you’re ready to embark on one of the most incredible journeys in your life.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to teach English with real-world videos.