What do You Need to Teach English in Europe?
Opportunities abound for the TEFL teacher in Europe and it is a popular destination for many upon completing their TEFL certification. Teachers with a specialist certificate in teaching business English will do well in countries such as France and Germany, but there are plenty of teaching jobs to be found across the whole region. The requirements for English teachers in Europe vary from country to country and this article aims to highlight the differences and similarities between them.
Can you teach there if you are from outside the EU?
European Union member states prefer teachers who are EU citizens because many schools are unwilling to deal with the extensive paperwork involved in hiring teachers from outside the EU. That said, it is not impossible for teachers from countries outside of the European Union to find work there, just that there are additional hoops to jump through in order to do so. France runs a teaching assistant program which places teachers from the US and other countries in classrooms across France. Non-EU member countries are easier for people without an EU passport to find work in and these include Georgia, Turkey and Russia among others.
What qualifications are needed?
A TEFL qualification is generally a minimum requirement for teaching English in Europe, but a degree is not usually necessary to gain a visa to work as an EFL teacher. Requirements do vary from school to school so what may be true for one employer may not necessarily be so for another. Additional qualifications or experience in business or IT will make you more appealing to schools running business English courses.
Do you need to be a native speaker?
The majority of teaching jobs are open to native and fluent non-native English speakers with Austria being one of the few exceptions. There are few age restrictions for EFL teachers in Europe, but you would usually have to be eighteen years of age or older. Teaching experience is preferred in Germany and France but is not necessary across the wider region and there are plenty of jobs for old and new teachers.
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