Eastern Europe English Teaching Opportunities
Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, and Warsaw are enticing destinations for adventuresome teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL teachers).
American and international schools in Eastern Europe have many opportunities for motivated, professional teachers. But it is generally experienced teachers who have the best shots at lining up teaching jobs before traveling abroad. Nevertheless, there are opportunities for inexperienced native speakers, as well. In fact, some of the recruitment agencies listed below specialize in placing inexperienced but motivated teachers.
The following sections review a few main types of teaching opportunities available to native English speakers in Eastern Europe.
Schools Affiliated with the Department of State
American schools funded in part by the Department of State hire staff on a school-by-school basis, not through government channels. School curricula are usually patterned after the American model, but the student body may be international. For more information, contact:
Office of Overseas Schools, C/OS
U.S. Department of State
Room 245, SA-29
Washington, DC 20522-2902
Phone: (703) 875-7800
These are state-run schools, much like public schools in the United States. There are opportunities for North Americans to teach at these institutions and requirements vary. Many inexperienced teachers find teaching jobs in the public system.
To find out more, contact one of the teacher recruitment organizations listed below, or search the JobCenter.
Private schools can be affiliated with a company, church, volunteer organization – like the Peace Corps – or just plain private. These schools probably present the greatest opportunity for inexperienced teachers. Private schools tend to pay the most money and provide the best chances for you to cultivate private tutoring sessions on the side. For more information on employment with a private school, contact one of the teacher recruitment organizations listed below, or consult the school listings in the JobCenter.
Teacher Recruitment Organizations
A variety of organizations recruit teachers for employment in overseas schools. They hire for positions in many countries at recruitment fairs held around the United States. Generally, these organizations are looking for qualified, experienced EFL teachers, though not always. Application proceedings do take time, so consult the organization you are interested in well in advance of your planned date of departure. Depending upon the recruiter, the application process could take six months or more. Fees vary, with some as high as US$1,000.
TESOL is the world’s largest organization of ESL instructors, with over 19,000 members worldwide. TESOL membership costs US$71 per year and includes subscriptions to the TESOL Quarterly, a research publication; the TESOL Journal, containing news of interest to ESL teachers; and TESOL Matters, a bimonthly newsletter. TESOL also offers its members a placement service for US$20, which includes a bimonthly bulletin of currently available teaching positions. A master’s degree and ESL teaching experience are required. TESOL provides reduced-rate memberships for students and other reduced-rate membership options, and hosts an annual convention of members at which many overseas English schools recruit new teachers.
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
1600 Cameron Street, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314-2751
Phone: (703) 836-0774
International Recruiting Fair Sponsors
The following organizations sponsor international teacher recruiting fairs. Contact each for verification of dates, registration deadlines and procedures, registration fees and/or placement fees, schools attending, qualifications required or preferred, and additional services.