Teaching English in Europe

Teaching English in EuropeFor many people who start in the profession, teaching English in Europe is their aim.

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Others would rather teach in South America, Asia, or Africa, but the variety of jobs in Europe, and the variety of cultures, definitely draws many.

Qualifications needed

For most teaching jobs in Europe you will need a Cambridge CELTA or Trinity TESOL Certificate, as well as a degree.

If you want to work in a European Union country, you will also need either EU citizenship or a work permit allowing you to work there. Countries outside the EU have their own visa and work permit requirements.

You do not always need teaching experience to teach English in Europe, but it will certainly help you find a job.

European students

If you work in Europe you will be likely to be working in a private language school.

These usually operate mostly in the afternoons and evenings, and there are often classes on Saturdays.

You will probably teach a mixture of young learners, teenagers and adults, as well as some business English lessons.

You may be hired as a general teacher, or as a specialist teacher if you have more experience.

Some opportunities for teaching English in Europe are at universities or public schools, but these are much less common.

You may also find opportunities for short-term work teaching teenagers in summer camps.

Where to work

The biggest EFL market in Europe is in Spain.

English lessons are becoming more popular among young people there as youth and graduate unemployment is so high and people are trying to get as many skills as they can in order to improve their job prospects.

Other European countries with high numbers of language schools are Italy, Turkey, and many of the Eastern European countries such as Poland.

When you are choosing a country in Europe to work in, there are a number of things you need to take into account.

Schools in some countries, most notably Spain, require some knowledge of the local language. This may limit your choices.

Remember that the climate in one part of Europe is very different from that in another.

Cultures, religion, food and other traditions are also very different and some countries may suit you more than others. So make sure you research your potential destinations thoroughly.

How to find a job teaching English in Europe

The internet is a great resource for finding EFL jobs.

Sites such as www.tefl.com have jobs from all over Europe and you can search by job type as well as country.

If you are already resident in a European country then you may find a job by contacting language schools directly.

In fact, most available jobs are never actually advertised because they are filled by people who are friends of someone who works in the school, or by people who have already contacted them.

How to make teaching English in Europe easier

Here are a few last pieces of advice to help you during your time teaching in Europe:
  • Be adaptable

  • Try to learn a little of the local language

  • Make friends with local people as well as colleagues

  • Keep your sense of humor
If you follow this advice then your time teaching in English in Europe should be fun and fruitful.

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