How to Find Teaching Jobs in Europe
If you love to travel – and are a teacher – have you considered teaching overseas? It’s a wonderful way to combine doing what you love, and being in a new location. Many teachers are interested in finding teaching jobs in Europe – it’s such a popular place. You’ve got a plethora of cultures, relatively close proximity to many countries (great for travel), languages galore, and (my personal favorite) excellent food.
Blythe Lawrence at the Eiffel Tower. A gymnastics blogger, Blythe is teaching English in France for the second year. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/rickmccharles/
If you’re interested in teaching in Europe, how do you start?
1. Do your research. Do you want to take a sabbatical year, or teach in a location for longer? Where do you want to teach? What are the laws there? Are there jobs available for foreigners?
2. Be qualified. Most international schools require at least a Bachelor’s degree in your teaching area, 2 years of teaching experience, and a current teaching license. You might also need a Master’s degree – it will depend on the school. If you’re looking into higher education, you will probably need a PhD. If you’re looking to teach English, you’ll need a TEFL certificate or a CELTA certificate.
Learning English. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/tifwarmowski/
3. Keep your radar up. Our Academic Travels Editor, Dr. G. Michael Schneider, has written extensively about paying attention to the news, tv shows, radio programs, and professional interactions. By doing this, you can find opportunities and invitations to work overseas.
4. Work with organizations that recruit for international schools. There’s a whole network of organizations that recruit teachers and administrators for international schools – which help with visas, housing, and transportation. These organizations recruit for schools run by the State Department, private companies, and religious institutions. Attend fairs run by these organizations, where you will be able to interview for many schools within a short time period (often over a few days).
The children's choir from the American International School in Vienna. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/ctbto/
5. Pay attention to timing for teaching jobs in Europe. School years run on different schedules, all around the world. Ascertain the school year, and then apply before the school year starts, when they are hiring.
6. Look at Eastern Europe. There are often less-stringent regulations and more opportunities for foreign teachers, as well as more scarcity of educators (circling around to the more opportunities). There are several great programs that assist with teacher placement in Eastern Europe – take advantage of them!
Many languages on the blackboard. Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/26126239@N02/
7. Do your due diligence. Ask around for people who have taught there – what are the challenges, and opportunities? Research programs on websites – and look for user reviews. GoTeachAbroad.com offers many reviews for a plethora of teaching abroad programs, worldwide.
Ready to jump in? It’s exciting! When you do find your teaching job in Europe, please come back and share your experiences with us!