Teaching English is one of the best ways to earn money while living in a different country and meeting new people. The good news is that there are many opportunities for teaching English all over the world and in Europe.
Of course you can head to China, Korea and Japan where English teachers are in high demand, but I would say, why go there when Europe is in fact the perfect playground for adventurous travellers, food lovers and history geeks?
But first things first. There’s a lot to take into account when you’re thinking about teaching English abroad so here's are some of the most important things to consider and read below to check our favourite countries to do so.
Why Teach English Abroad?
Teaching English abroad can be one of the best ways to make money while travelling around or during a year abroad in Europe. It can also be a great way to fully immerse yourself in and experience a new culture. Just like studying abroad, working as an English teacher gives you the chance to experience another country for an extended period of time, only this time you’re getting paid instead of paying for it!
More Opportunities to Travel
If you move to Europe to teach English, you will soon realise how rich the continent is and how close all the countries really are. It will become a habit to fly to Madrid or Rome at weekends or bank holidays, because...why not? Everything is just on your doorstep when you live in Europe.
Questions and Qualifications
When people think about the idea of teaching English in a foreign country, two quetions immediately come up:
- I didn’t go to school for education. Can I be a teacher?
Unless you want to work in an international school or you really want a high-paying gig in Saudi Arabia, you can still teach English without an education degree. In most places, a Bachelor’s degree is all you need and it’s even possible to land teaching jobs without a degree at all depending on where you are.
- What are the skills and qualifications I need to be able to teach English abroad?
- Be a native speaker (as evidenced by your passport)
- Hold at least a Bachelor’s degree (in any field)
- Have a TEFL/TESOL certificate
- Have 2-5 years experience working after graduation
The rules are changing all the time and they are different for different countries, so just make sure to check if you fit in the requirements before booking your flights and accomodation!
Where To Teach in Europe?
Obviously this is another important question when considering moving to Europe to work as an English teacher. Even though you're going to have a great experience teaching abroad just about anywhere you go, some European countries are more attractive to English teachers. Based on Spotahome's deep and insightful knowledge about cost of living, benefits, weather of most European countries, here's a list of the top countries in Europe to teach English.
The Best Countries in Europe for Teaching English
Spain is one of the most popular destinations for those looking to teach English in Europe, thanks to the government's sponsored teaching program for North Americans. Given that one of the hardest things to do when moving to Europe is to get a visa, this program allows you to bypass this issue right from the start.
Spain is a beautiful holiday destination, but it is even better to move there and fully immerse yourself in the bustling capital city of Madrid, enjoy the breeze in Barcelona, walk along the beaches in Valencia or immerse in the wonderful Spanish vibe of Seville.
Who hasn't dreamt of living in Italy at least once in their life?
Let's be honest, Italy is (one of) the most beautiful countries in the world and for centuries it has attracted people from all over the world who moved here for short periods or permanently. George Clooney included.
Embrace La Dolce Vita in Rome, mix with fashionistas in Milan, explore up and coming Turin or embrace the uni-vibes in Bologna. The choice is yours, wherever you go, the Italian experience will stick to you for the rest of your life. What else?
If La Dolce Vita isn't for you, maybe La Vie en Rose is what you need while teaching English in France.
France is surely full of beauty and interesting sights, but it is also one of the easier countries in Europe to find a job teaching English. Like the Spanish government, the French government launched their own sponsored program which offers teaching placements to college graduates throughout the country.
And remember that while Paris is surely stunning, there are many interesting alternatives to the capital like Lyon and Lille.
As Europe’s largest and growing economy, Germany has a high demand for English teachers who are in charge of bringing kids to fluency from their early years.
If you don't speak German, Berlin is the perfect choice for you since most people speak fluent English in the capital, however, you can also consider moving to more rural communities if you prefer to be closer to nature and wilderness.
Often overlooked by its western neighbouring countries, Poland offers loads of teaching opportunities as its economy is quickly growing and expanding internationally.
Polish people are known for being extremely hard workers but they also love living life and having fun. Warsaw has world-class museums, charming sights, and beautiful streets; while Krakow features an intact medieval center and Jewish quarter, choose Gdansk if you are looking for cute, colorful facades and shopping stops on Long Market. Poland is also quite strategically located, making it a great base to explore the rest of the Eastern European countries as well as the Nordics.
Where in Europe Will You Teach?
This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other countries in Europe that you can choose from. For example, lots of interesting teaching opportunities can be found in other cities of Eastern Europe like in Prague, Budapest, Vilnius and Riga.
Are you teaching English in Europe? Where are you going to teach English? Let us know in the comments below.
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