With long summers and mild winters, countless sandy beaches, a laid-back lifestyle, great food, and hundreds of islands to explore, Greece has been a popular teaching destination for many years. Unfortunately, the countryâs recent economic woes have had a negative impact on the number of available jobs and it may be sometime before it fully recovers. However, there are still plenty of teaching positions on offer if you are willing to seek them out and you fit the necessary criteria.
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Due to the economic problems in recent times there has been a reduction in the number of teaching jobs on offer across Greece. This reduction means that employers are now more picky about who they choose to fill vacant positions. Also, it has become increasingly difficult for non-EU citizens to obtain the necessary work visa after recent changes to immigration laws. The combination of these factors means that most employers will only employ teachers with an EU passport or any other legal right to work in the country. Most teaching jobs will also require a university degree and a TEFL/TESOL qualification.
The big employer of foreign English teachers in Greece is the national network of language schools known as frontistiria. There are over 6,000 private language schools all over the country that belong to the network, so there are always vacant positions on offer. The majority of the classes provided by these schools are aimed at business professionals, although many also have classes for school children of various ages looking to brush up their skills for external exams etc. It is common for teachers in language schools to top up their income by taking on private tutoring work outside of their normal working hours.
The majority of teaching jobs are taken by citizens of EU countries (particularly the UK and Ireland) as they do not need a visa to live and work long-term in Greece. Other passport holders will be issued with a 90-day tourist visa on arrival which does not allow you to work legally (although a small number of employers will take on teachers with only a tourist visa). In order to convert your tourist visa to a work visa you will need to find a school that is willing to sponsor you. This is not easy in the current economic climate, but it also not impossible if they like what you have to offer.
It is very difficult to arrange teaching jobs in Greece from outside the country. Employers overwhelmingly prefer to hire their teachers following face-to-face interviews that might also involve teaching an example lesson. To have the best chance of finding the right job for you it is important that you are in the country at the peak hiring times of the year. The main hiring window is at the start of the school year in September, while there is also a secondary window in January.
The best approach is to research all the language schools in the area where you want to live and work and send them a copy of your CV/resume in advance. Once you are in the country you should follow up by visiting each school to introduce yourself and to make a good impression. Most contracts run for 10 to 12 months, although some schools may offer shorter terms if necessary.
You will find language schools in most parts of the country, although the largest numbers are unsurprisingly located in the capital city, Athens. Other cities that also have a strong demand for teachers include Larissa, Patras, and Thessaloniki. Popular tourist destinations are another good place to look as English language skills are highly important for people looking to work in the tourism sector. Islands such as Corfu and Crete are both popular locations.