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The Best Countries For Teaching ESL in Europe

The Best Countries For Teaching ESL in Europe | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) abroad is a great way to gain international experience, learn a new culture, and earn money while traveling. Europe is a particularly popular destination for ESL teachers, offering a wide variety of countries with different cultures and languages. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best countries in Europe for teaching ESL, including factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, and cultural immersion experiences. Whether you're a seasoned teacher or just starting out, these countries are sure to offer something for everyone.

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Teaching English in the Czech Republic

For people who really want to go to Europe we recommend the Czech Republic as a good first option because it's relatively easy to get work compared to other European countries. The most common form of employment for foreign teachers in the Czech Republic is through private language schools.

In many countries you can work in public schools but in the Czech Republic it's mostly private schools and non-EU citizens are definitely recommended to secure a position from within their own home country and then apply for a work visa through the school office on arrival. That's typically how it works for people from non- EU countries so if you're interested in the Czech Republic you would job hunt from your own country. Typical requirements for the Czech Republic are a TEFL or TESOL certificate and at least a bachelor's degree in any subject. In terms of the salary and benefits as a teacher in the Czech Republic you can expect to make between US$700 to US$1200 a month and many teachers supplement their income by taking on private students.

This is a theme throughout all of the European countries because you're going to notice that the salaries aren't the highest and the cost of living is higher quite high, especially compared to Asia. If you have an EU passport you can obviously go and move to the Czech Republic without any problems, then do your job search in person. There are many really good online job boards specifically for the Czech Republic that you can check.

These are some examples;
1. expats Czech Republic is a really good site where you can find jobs there and also general information about what it's like living in the Czech Republic, an expats guide. 2. Also worth looking at, joy for the Czech Republic 3. esl base have a lot of jobs for Czech Republic but also many other countries in Europe 4.Finally guardian jobs which is a UK newspaper and they also have a very big job section or job board on their website where you can find jobs throughout Europe including the Czech Republic.

Teaching English in France

A lot of people are interested in France, which has always been a popular ESL option and it is also a top tourist destination especially Paris. As it is a popular option for teaching English in Europe however, so the demand is strong for English teachers, particularly in the major cities like Paris.

As with many big cities they have quite a lot of summer camp English options so short-term English positions in France it's definitely possible. Teaching business English to employees of private companies is also very common in France. Independent employers in France prefer to do their interviewing and hiring on a face-to-face basis. What we mentioned about the Czech Republic is that you can find jobs from within your own country online and applying and interviewing via Skype, but for France they do prefer to do their interviews in hiring face-to-face so that means you would have to go to France and be there on the ground. The best time to do that would be at the end of summer from late August to early October that's the main hiring season. The requirements for teaching English in France are typically a TEFL or TESOL certificate and then it's just the more qualifications you have the better. They do not specifically state you need to have a bachelor's degree but it's definitely going to be a plus.

Looking at salary and benefits in France you can expect to make between 1,000 and 2,000 Euros a month and again many teachers supplement their income by taking on private students. For job hunting you can either go with a recruiter or you can go with one of the online job boards. Three good examples are The Times Educational Supplement, and again the Guardian newspaper jobs.

A government-funded program that places English teachers into schools in France called TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program In France) is an option for people from non-EU countries coming to France.

Teaching English in Greece

Here we have another really popular destination in Europe which has always been and it continues to be a favorite among English teachers as well as tourists.

Demand due to economic and other problems in recent times has had an effect in the number of teaching jobs on offer across Greece. There are still jobs available however, especially within the national network of language schools known as Frontisteria. This is a Greek term for what they call their language schools (in Korea they're called Hagwons and in Taiwan they're called Buxiban). In Greece they have over 6,000 of these private language schools all over the country.

Typical requirements for working in Greece are a TEFL or TESOL certificate and again the more qualifications you have the better. Salary and benefits for Greece are typically between 800 and 1000 Euros a month and again many teachers supplement their income by taking on private students. The cost of living in Greece is significantly lower compared with the bigger cities of France or Italy or places in Western Europe in general. You can probably have a more comfortable lifestyle with your salary. In terms of job hunting the main hiring season in Greece is September and there is also a secondary season in January. Again you can either go with recruitment companies or online job boards.

If you're interested in teaching in Greece then have a look at linkedin which proves to be quite a good source for teaching jobs in Greece and also other European countries. You can also try esl base and again the Guardian jobs.

Teaching English in Hungary

In recent years Hungary has become very popular in terms of English teaching, there's a strong demand for English language proficiency. Hungary also has a relatively low cost of living compared to other countries in Europe so it's become a very popular tourist destination. There's are opportunities at state-run primary and secondary schools, private language schools even at universities and also individual businesses that hire English teachers for their employees. Typical requirements are a TEFL or TESOL certificate again the more qualifications you have the better. Teachers often do private tutoring to just supplement their income. For job hunting it is also very similar to previous countries, so recruitment companies or online job boards. One thing noteworthy about Hungary is that they also have a teacher placement program which is called the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) and you can find more information about that at

This may be a great doorway into Europe for a lot of people because this program is open to native English speakers from the USA, Canada, UK or any EU country and there's also no official upper age limit. For this particular program you do need to have a bachelor's degree and a minimum of a 40-hour online TEFL course. You can apply with partners or friends and families they can often be placed together so if for example, you and your partner want to go and do this together, you can apply together and then they place you in the same area. Some other online job boards where you can find jobs for Hungary are; Times Educational Supplement, and also the guardian jobs.

Teaching English in Italy

Italy is one of the most popular places or countries in Europe for tourists and teaching jobs. Teaching jobs in state schools are very popular because they tend to pay well and they also have fewer working hours compared to private schools, but those jobs are hard to get. A more realistic option for many teachers is either working for a private English academy or teaching in summer camps (very similar to France).

A lot of English summer camp positions are a month or two long, so these are good for people who are just looking for something short term. Most English contracts are for a year and sometimes even two years. Typical requirements for teaching English in Italy are a TEFL or TESOL certificate and again the more qualifications you have the better. Salary ranges between 800 and 1000 Euro per month. Many people do take on private students for tutoring. The main hiring seasons for Italy are in September and there's also a secondary season in January so you can see this is very similar with other European countries because the schools start around the same time. You can search for jobs with recruitment companies and also online job boards such as,, LinkedIn, Eslbase and The guardian jobs.

Many people sign up for an Italian language course and then get a student visa and this student visa allows you to work a certain amount of hours. They then start teaching on this student visa, so that's one way of getting started if you can’t immediately find a long-term position.

It may not be your dream school or your dream position, but it's a foot in the door and then from there you can build towards your ideal position in the ideal location.

Teaching English in Portugal

In recent years Portugal has become a booming tourist destination and that's also one of the main reasons why there is a strong demand for English language teachers. However Portugal’s economy is currently quite weak, so teacher salaries are not particularly high. You can still find opportunities for teaching in Portugal especially at state-run schools and also private language institutes. The requirements are typically a TEFL or TESOL certificate and or a degree and native English speakers are preferred in Portugal. Although Europe is becoming more liberal in terms of hiring people from non-EU countries, with Portugal’s economic situation not too many schools are going to take on a visa sponsorship, because it costs a lot of money and it takes time.

Hence due to the current situation in Portugal most schools just hire people with the right passport. Salaries typically range between 700 and 1000 Euros a month and again many teachers do tutoring on the side to supplement their income. The job hunting process it's typically done in person, so you would have to be in Portugal and the main hiring season is between June and July, but there's also second season in January. If you want to work in Portugal you should be on the ground in June, July. In terms of where to look for jobs, again you can go with recruitment companies for example, Wall Street English, which is actually a big English language school chain and they have a lot of schools in Portugal and also other European countries. Other companies to check include, LinkedIn, Eslbase and, The Guardian jobs.

Teaching English in Spain

The demand for English teachers is strong particularly in the major cities. Spain is a great place to do summer English camp positions, so if you're looking for something not too long term, a summer camp would be a great way to a gain experience and to also check out if the country fits you. Spain is also great for teaching business English to employees of private companies, but the majorities of teaching jobs are filled locally by interviewing face-to-face. If you want to work in Spain you need to be in Spain by mid-September and look for job interviews in person.

The requirements are typically a TEFL or TESOL certificate, a bachelor's degree and having Spanish language skills are a plus but not a requirement. Also previous teaching experience is a plus that goes with all the countries obviously. Typical salary and benefits in Spain are between 700 and 1,800 Euros a month, so that that's a huge range. It always depends on the kind of school you work for and your qualifications and experience. Many teachers supplement their income by taking on private students in Spain. The recruitment process you can make use of a recruiter or use online job boards such as, Eslbase and The guardian jobs.

Spain also has the Cultural Ambassadors program for teaching English in Spain. You can check out this link to this government program here:

Teaching English in Turkey

Turkey is obviously a unique place, being at the crossroads between Europe and Asia.

Only a small part of the country is actually in Europe and the bigger part of the country is in Asia. Turkey is such a booming market for foreign English language teachers because of this unique position and the demand is very high. This is especially true in the big cities and the tourist resort areas because the people who work at the tourist resorts need to be able to speak English.

Typical requirements for teaching English in Turkey are a TEFL or TESOL certification and some schools or employers may also ask for a degree and or previous experience. The more experience and more qualifications you have the better obviously.

Salary and benefits, you can make between 800 and 1,200 US$ a month working as an English teacher in Turkey and again many teachers take on private students to supplement their income. As for the job hunt, you should start your job search during the summer months also it's both in person and also online. You can find a lot of jobs online and set up the interview before you go. Recruitment companies and also online job boards for Turkey, include,, Linkedin and Eslbase. One interesting organization is “Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı” (SEV).

SEV is particularly for Turkey and they share a lot of English teaching jobs there and their website is; They share a lot of jobs and information in general about living in Turkey.

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