Prospects Country by Country Guide - Estern Europe

Eastern Europe

The transition to a market economy in many parts of Central and Eastern Europe has resulted in a huge demand for English language teachers, particularly in the business sector. There is plenty of scope for working in almost every country and employment possibilities are numerous and equally open to every native speaker of English (though this may change when some of the nations in this region become full members of the EU). Finding work in some of the ex-USSR republics can be more problematic for political and economic reasons. The one drawback is the level of salary. These are mainly developing countries and salaries are very low in international terms. However, the cost of living is also very low and most teachers are able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle but saving money is not very likely. The countries in which the majority of EFL opportunities exist are detailed below:

Capital City Sofia
Language Bulgarian
Currency Lev
Typical TEFL teacher salary 900 euros per month
Major TEFL locations Sofia
Bulgaria TEFL job prospects

Political change in Bulgaria has perhaps been less dramatic than elsewhere in the region and as such the private sector is still relatively undeveloped. This means that the vast majority of teaching positions are in state schools and native speaking teachers are employed through the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science.

Salaries, as elsewhere in the region, are low as is the cost of living.

Czech Republic  
Capital City Prague
Language Czech
Currency Koruna
Typical TEFL teacher salary 20,000 crowns per month
Major TEFL locations Prague, Brno

Czech Republic TEFL job prospects

The Czech Republic is probably the most popular country in the region for qualified EFL teachers. Work is quite easy to obtain and salaries, while not being of a high level in international terms, offer a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. Any teacher with a TEFL certificate should have little problem in finding work. The beautiful city of Prague is particularly popular.

Capital City Budapest
Language Hungarian
Currency Forint
Typical TEFL teacher salary 250,000 forints per month
Major TEFL locations Budapest

Hungary TEFL job prospects

Like other countries in the region there is a strong demand for qualified TEFL teachers in Hungary, particularly in the capital city. It is estimated that there are over 100 private language schools in Budapest and over 300 in the whole country. Anybody with a TEFL certificate should be able to find employment quite easily.

Capital City Warsaw
Language Polish
Currency Zloty
Typical TEFL teacher salary 2,5000 Zloty per month
major TEFL location Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow

Poland TEFL job prospects

Prospects for English teachers in Poland remain probably more promising than anywhere else in the world. There are numerous possibilities in both state and private sectors. There is also a high demand for business English in the major cities. The salaries usually allow for a relatively comfortable standard of living but if you are aiming to save money this (or anywhere else in the region) is probably not the place for you.

Capital City Bucharest
Language Romanian
Currency Leu
Typical TEFL teacher salary $10 per hour
major TEFL location Bucharest, Timisoara

Romania TEFL job prospects

Due to the weak state of the economy, many Romanian schools are unable to afford the wages of a native speaker teacher. As a result most English language teaching is done by Romanians or native speakers on voluntary work placements. A number of private language institutions have started to appear and they would most likely be willing to hire native speaker teachers for local salaries.

Baltic States  
Countries Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
Language Various
Currency Various
Typical TEFL teacher salary Various
Major TEFL locations Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn

Baltic States TEFL job prospects

These states were the most westernized part of the old Russian Empire and are presently looking towards EU membership. This has created a strong demand for native speaker teachers, particularly in Lithuania and Estonia (probably the most progressive of the three). There are numerous openings in both the state and private sectors. Salaries again are low by international standards but high in regard to the cost of living. Qualified teachers who are prepared to travel to the region and look for work should have little difficulty.

Capital City Kiev
Language Ukhranian
Currency Kryvnya
Typical TEFL teacher salary $1000 per month
major TEFL location Kiev, Odessa

Ukraine TEFL job prospects

The huge republic of the Ukraine has a chronic shortage of English teachers. Many placement organizations are able to send voluntary teachers on a local salary and a few private language schools have now opened. The EFL market is still very much in its infancy so prospects for motivated teachers are high.

Capital City Bratislava
Language Slovak
Currency Crown
Typical TEFL teacher salary 600 euros per month
major TEFL location Bratislava, Kosice, Banska, Bystrica

Slovakia TEFL job prospects

The Slovak Republic has often been overlooked as a teaching destination in favor of the neighboring Czech Republic. However, Slovakia is in its own right a promising destination for EFL teachers. Opportunities exist predominantly in private language schools, of which there are many in the larger cities.

Capital City Moscow
Language Russian
Currency Roubles
Typical TEFL teacher salary $1500 per month
major TEFL location Moscow, St. Petersburg

Russia TEFL job prospects

The demand for the English language is still increasing in Russia and qualified EFL teachers should have few problems in finding work. Salaries have decreased a little due to economic problems but still allow the teacher a comfortable standard of living in most cases.