A charming place with Finnic, Slavic, Baltic, and Germanic influences, Estonia remains a relatively tourist free country located in the Eastern part of Europe. The country is filled with medieval towns, deserted beaches, folklore, and forests. And if you are looking to teach here, the demand for English teachers is as high as ever! Don’t miss one of their famed Estonian singing festivals which is one of the largest musical events in the world.
There are a variety of schools in which you will be able to teach in Estonia. Expect to spend about 25 to 35 hours in the class per week The following outline different teaching positions:
If you are qualified, you may be hired to teach English in a university setting. Estonia is home to world renowned universities with students who are excited and willing to learn English. Salary and time commitment will probably be different than in primary and secondary schools.
Primary and Secondary Schools:
These schools are set up and funded by the Estonian government and are therefore also regulated by the government. The school atmosphere will vary depending on where you are placed. English will be taught as one of the lessons during the day.
Teaching private lessons comes when you are looking to supplement your already stable teaching salary. Get comfortable in your new area before looking for clients. This is a very flexible option, as you can set the hours and rate.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
There is a high demand for English teachers, so the best time to start looking for teaching jobs is now! If you are not an EU citizen, it is best to begin the search from home (on the Internet) in order to secure a job and obtain a work visa. You will probably be interviewed over the phone, and then in-person once you arrive in the country. The best place to look for jobs in Estonia is in and around the capital city of Tallinn as this is where a majority of the schools are located.
The more qualifications you have, the more likely you are to be hired, so it is advantageous to become TEFL certified. If you have a degree or previous teaching experience, this will also make you more marketable, and perhaps secure you a higher wage.
Salary & Cost of Living:
Your salary will be enough for you to live off of, but in comparison with the cost of living you will more or less break even. Expect to be paid around $500 USD, plus either help with or supplied accommodations. The cost of living is relatively low, with a pint of beer coming in around $3 USD. Estonia is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the rest of Europe, so if you should choose to also teach private lessons, that is more income for you. Airfare and healthcare may or may not be accounted for, depending on your employer.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Depending on where you work, expect to be in the classroom anywhere from 25 to 35 hours a week, with occasional weekend work. English is considered an important language to learn, especially for those who wish to work in this ever-globalizing world; more and more students are interested in entering the global marketplace.
You will not hear any loud and vibrant conversations in the workplace. Estonians tend to be reserved upon introduction, but will open up with time. The proper greeting is a handshake, and there is an unspoken rule to keep a general physical distance.