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Want to teach English in Europe? Go East, My Friend!
Written by: International TEFL Academy
Last Updated: April 22, 2021
Have you dreamed of living in a city where you walk to work on cobblestone streets past centuries-old castles and cathedrals?
How about having the ability to access the heart of Europe via an overnight train or a short flight?
Would you like to live in Europe and be able to obtain work permits and work visas, and perhaps line up a job in advance?
If you answered yes to any of these questions and want to teach English in Europe, go east my friend!
When most people think of Europe, romantic images of the canals of Venice or the Eiffel Tower in Paris come to mind. It’s true that Western Europe has long been a destination for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), and countries like Spain and Italy have a large demand for teachers. However, as the world changes and global communication spreads, so does the job market for English teachers.
As the European Union expands, and post-Soviet countries gain economic stability, so does the demand for English teachers in these countries. Central and Eastern Europe extends from the Czech Republic to Romania, and from Poland to Turkey, and encompasses a wide range of cultures, landscapes and teaching opportunities in the some of the most beautiful and history countries on the continent. If you are looking for the experience of living in Europe, here are several specific reasons why you will serve yourself well by considering teaching English in Central or Eastern Europe.
Americans are More Likely to Get Work Visas for Teaching English in Eastern Europe
It is easier and more common for American English teachers to receive work visas or work permits in Central and Eastern Europe nations than in Western Europe, where work visas are difficult to come by for non-EU citizens, and most Americans are teaching English "under the table" on a tourist, rather than a work visa. While this is common and routine, it is technically illegal.
Don’t want to work under the table on a tourist visa? Unlike in Spain and Italy where thousands of Americans teach English primarily on a tourist visa rather than a work visa, in Russia, Czech Republic, and Turkey (and others) the governments enable foreign English teachers to gain work permits or work visas to teach English.
It is Easier to Interview and Land a Teaching Position in Advance from Home for Teaching English in Eastern Europe
Afraid of having to interview face to face and don't want to fly to Europe without having a job lined up in advance? This is common practice in many Western European countries as well as in South America. However, a good number of schools in many Eastern and Central European countries schools will interview and hire you in advance from your home country. This means you can have a job lined up and waiting for you when depart to teach English in Europe.
Two major job markets where it is common for schools to interview and hired English teachers directly from their home country are Russia and Turkey. While very different, both nations offer a fantastic combination of great historical and cultural treasures, dynamic cities and people that love life and appreciate education.
Some other nations where language schools hire English teachers both locally and from their home country include the Ukraine, the Republic of Georgia, and to a lesser degree, countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
If you're looking to teach English amid landscapes dotted with castles and centuries-old villages or to live in a city where you walk to work on cobblestone streets lined with Cathedrals and cafes, all of these destinations fit the bill!
Cost of Living and Start-up Costs are Typically Lower for Teaching English in Eastern Europe
While there will always be exceptions, it is cheaper to live in Central and Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. This means that your start-up costs for supporting yourself until you begin to get paid will be less in nations like Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia than they will be in Spain, Italy or France. For example, in Prague, Czech Republic, you may pay the equivalent of $600 in rent for an apartment that in Munich would cost the equivalent of $1,000.
You Are More Likely to Receive Benefits like Stipends for Housing and Air Travel
While most positions do not include benefits like stipends for housing or airfare, you are for more likely to receive such benefits teaching English in Turkey or in Russia than you are in Spain, Italy or France. Schools are also more likely to provide access to affordable health insurance. Also, in a nation like the Czech Republic, it is quite easy for Americans and other non-citizens to purchase local health insurance for less than the equivalent of $100 a month.
Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy is a world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online. ITA offers accredited TEFL certification courses online & in 21 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards & widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world. ITA provides all students and graduates with lifetime job search guidance. ITA has certified more than 35,000 English teachers and our graduates are currently teaching in 80 countries worldwide.
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