ESL in Greece
Why choose to teach in Greece in the first place?
ESL and TESOL teachers should choose Greece for several reasons:
Greece is renowned for its hospitality that dates back to Homeric times, its ancient civilization that offers today a lot of sights and cultural events, its sunny weather and sandy beaches, its diverse countryside and the numerous beautiful islands, the famous Mediterranean climate and unique food and the activities that visitors can take up and have fun all the year round. Transportation is relatively easy since there are daily flights to foreign destinations and low cost charter flights during the summer months and holiday seasons.
As regards teaching experience, this is not always mandatory. Most schools do not require previous experience. If training is required, then some institutions like the Hellenic American Union, http://www.hau.gr or Anglo Hellenic, http://anglo-hellenic.com/ can help. In this case you must stay in Athens for some time to complete a course and get the equivalent certificate.
How much do you get paid for Teaching English in Greece?
For a first time teacher, an hourly rate starts at 8.35 euros. Calculate that with the number of hours per month you are expected to work at a school and you get the average amount you get per month. For example, for 25 hours teaching a week, you may get 835 euros per month. They will subtract a small percentage for the IKA insurance (the owner will pay the rest) so it may come down to 800 euros net. If you work more hours you get more. Some schools require 30 hours teaching per week. For those who have got previous experience the hourly rate is higher, but most schools avoid experienced teachers for that reason. However, there are big schools that require experienced teachers and pay well, so you should ask about the hourly rate before you agree to anything.
Other benefits include free housing (not always), 4 weeks’ paid holiday and bonuses during Christmas and Easter seasons.
Necessary ESL Teaching Qualifications
Qualifications range from BA or BSc in any discipline to TESOL Certificates. Some schools require native speakers, preferably British or Irish, American or Australian citizens. However, teachers from other ethnicity groups can find a teaching position in Greece if they have a university degree in English Language.
For example, teachers from Romania work in Corfu Language schools and one of them has set up her own Language school on the island after marrying a Greek citizen.
Also, a certificate of competency in the Greek language is needed. Language schools are obliged to abide by the recent law on this issue, so start learning Greek before accepting a position!
The above apply to those who wish to work in an established private school. If you wish to freelance and teach English at home, then you can do it at your own risk since it is not allowed without a license. However, many teachers teach at home first and then find a position at a school. In this case they form small groups (2-4 students) at home or at a student’s home and their fees start from 10 euros per hour. Bear in mind that this is illegal and it is not recommended. To teach at home legally, you should first talk to someone with the Greek government – try this portal site to find the right department.