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Teaching English in Kazakhstan 101

Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country by area in the world, but few can probably find it on a map. It is located in both Europe and Asia with the Ural River cutting through Kazakhstan in the west, forming the traditional boundary between the two continents. Fueled by a massive oil boom, Kazakhstan is quickly modernizing its economy and infrastructure, and learning English has become more important than ever in this former Soviet republic.

English teachers in Kazakhstan can find teaching jobs all year round and interviews are usually conducted in advance over the phone or Skype. It is not uncommon, however, for some schools to request in-person interviews in Kazakhstan. Teachers are typically responsible for their airfare and housing although there are some instances where free housing and return airfares will be provided. Most teachers live in apartments recently vacated by previous teachers, and many share an apartment with other English teachers.

The salary earned in comparison to the monthly cost of living in most cases is break-even, and if you budget correctly, English teachers are still able to live a comfortable lifestyle. Schools offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to explore. While a BA is preferred, it is not required to teach English in Kazakhstan, however, a TEFL certification is absolutely necessary. Please also note that while a Bachelor’s degree is not required to secure a job in this country, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search. Most of those teaching English in Kazakhstan will find jobs in the major cities of Almaty and Astana.

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