TEACH ENGLISH IN BULGARIA

Everything you need to know to get a job teaching English in Bulgaria.

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About Teaching English in Bulgaria

To teach English in Bulgaria, you will need a TEFL certificate and a 4-year college degree. EU citizenship or a work visa and native English proficiency are expected to find a TEFL job. The average salary for an English teacher in Bulgaria is about $650 - $950 USD per month.

Bulgaria’s primary draw for travelers is its beautiful coastline along the Black Sea, but that is just one of Bulgaria’s many striking features.  Since joining the EU and working to develop a stable democracy, Bulgaria has quickly become one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.  Hit the slopes at one of Bulgaria’s many ski resorts, or spend an afternoon dining in the picturesque countryside.  

Following the collapse of the USSR and the adoption of a free-market economy, Bulgaria has seen a dramatic increase in its need for native English instructors. English teachers typically find work towards the beginning of September, and then again in January. Most teaching contracts end in late June. For those looking to teach through the summer, opportunities at summer English language camps are sometimes available in Bulgaria and throughout neighboring countries in Europe. 

Two English teachers in Bulgaria a group of ESL teachers in Bulgaria with the ITA flag

Those looking to teach English in Bulgaria should expect to cover the cost of their airfare as well as housing.  Most teachers live in apartments recently vacated by previous teachers, and many room with their coworkers. 

A solid hourly wage allows English teachers in Bulgaria to cover their expenses and live comfortably (though not lavishly). Schools typically offer around 20-25 hours per week of work, leaving plenty of time for you to travel and explore the country.  

Major cities for English teaching jobs are Varna, Sofia, and Plovdiv.

How to Teach English in Bulgaria: Requirements

TEFL Certification for Bulgaria

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Bulgaria. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview for jobs both in-person in Bulgaria and in advance from their home country. Therefore, it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below.

Native English-Speaking Proficiency

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Bulgaria, however, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs.  

Degree Requirements for Bulgaria

A Bachelor's degree is typically required to teach English in Bulgaria. If you are a US citizen planning on applying for the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program, a Bachelor's or Master's degree is required. Please note, your degree does not need to be in education, it can be in any field. 

How to Find TEFL Jobs in Bulgaria

English Teaching Jobs in Bulgaria

The most common teaching jobs in Bulgaria consist of:

  • Teaching adults in foreign language schools.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Teaching Assistant in public secondary schools as part of the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program.
  • Private one-on-one tutoring.
  • Teaching children at Summer Camps.
  • Teaching English Online.

Teach in Bulgaria: Hiring & Visa

Bulgarian work permits are typically only available for people who are already EU citizens or already have the right to work in the EU.

  • EU CITIZENS
    English teachers in Bulgaria can expect to find jobs during the peak hiring months of September and January with an expected downtime in August and from Christmastime through the second week of January. Some jobs can be lined up in advance, but most English teachers should expect to interview in person once they arrive in Bulgaria.

  • AMERICAN CITIZENS
    At this time International TEFL Academy is not aware of any language schools in Bulgaria that will sponsor a work visa for Americans. Instead, Americans interested in teaching in Bulgaria should apply to the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program for US English Teaching Assistants (ETA).

ESL Jobs Bulgaria: Hours

Language schools in Bulgaria offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

Teaching Bulgarian Students

It is most common that your students will be adults, business professionals, or high school-aged children if part of the Fulbright Program.

TEFL Bulgaria Salary & Cost of Living

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,450 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Bulgaria until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

English Teacher Salary in Bulgaria

How much can I earn teaching English in Bulgaria?

A modest salary and a low cost of living enable teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Bulgaria. English teachers in Bulgaria can expect to make $650 - $950 USD per month.

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.

For those US citizens participating in the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program, a round-trip travel allowance and housing is provided. 

Cost of Living & Savings

The average monthly cost of living ranges from around $650 - $950 USD per month.

English teachers in Bulgaria can expect to break even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you should not expect to save money at the end of the month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

 

What Does Teaching in Bulgaria Look Like?

Check out our blog to read stories from our alumni teaching English all over Europe.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day-in-the-life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as an English teacher in Bulgaria & Europe could look like!

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Teaching English in Bulgaria FAQs

How do I become an English teacher in Bulgaria?

To teach English in Bulgaria, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification.
  • A four-year Bachelor's degree is typically required.
  • Bulgaria represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation. If you are a US citizen and want to teach English in Bulgaria, you can apply to the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program (minimum Bachelor's degree required).
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available.
  • Savings for start-up costs.

Not Required:

  • You do not need to be a native English speaker, but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. 

How much does an English teacher make in Bulgaria?

English teachers in Bulgaria can expect to make $650 - $950 USD per month. You will break even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you should not expect to save money at the end of the month.

Are English teachers in demand in Bulgaria?

Following the collapse of the USSR and the adoption of a free-market economy, Bulgaria has seen a dramatic increase in its need for native English instructors. English teachers in Bulgaria that have EU citizenship can expect to find jobs during the peak hiring months of September and January with an expected downtime in August and from Christmastime through the second week of January. Some jobs can be lined up in advance, but most English teachers should expect to interview in person once they arrive in Bulgaria.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Bulgaria?

Bulgarian work permits are typically only available for people who are already EU citizens or already have the right to work in the EU.

  • AMERICAN CITIZENS
    At this time International TEFL Academy is not aware of any language schools in Bulgaria that will sponsor a work visa for Americans. Instead, Americans interested in teaching in Bulgaria should apply to the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program for US English Teaching Assistants (ETA).

Recommended TEFL Courses for
Teaching English in Bulgaria

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Reviews From ITA Students Who Now Experience TEFL in Bulgaria & Europe

Jenny Polcyn

Taught English in Europe

Jenny Polcyn

I chose ITA because I heard really awesome things about it and many people recommended it. I chose to teach English in Romania in the city of Brasov. I had visited Romania before coming to teach here, and I loved the culture. I knew that this was a place that desperately needed English teachers. I didn't want to teach in a location that was full of only expats, and this was the perfect place to find a good mix of locals and internationals. The cost of living in Romania is very low, so it is easy to have a comfortable lifestyle even though the pay is so low. 

Michelle Hardy

Teaches English in Europe

Michelle Hardy

I chose ITA because of the support they offer alumni with the job search process. I liked the online TEFL course and found it very informative. My instructor was very knowledgeable and also approachable. It helped me to approach my position with confidence. Even though it was my first 'official' teaching position, I felt that I'd already gained enough experience that I wasn't a complete novice. 

Keith Gissubel

Teaches English in Europe

Keith Gissubel

ITA's support staff was the best at answering my questions and keeping me calm throughout the process of deciding to sign up. When I made the decision, I found that they weren't lying about the amount of support they provide throughout the whole process. My ITA advisor was amazing and got back to me very quickly with answers and solutions to any problems I had. I chose to teach English in Portugal in the city of Braga. I'm also a student at the university here! Teaching here pays you so much more than money can ever buy you, and you will forever be changed.