Teaching Abroad Programs in Europe
Guide to teaching English in Europe
Rich with history and flowing with energy, Europe is an ideal destination for English teachers looking to balance work and travel.
While living in Europe, it will be easy to go on a weekend getaway to other countries, all while soaking in the culture in your local city or town. There are so many countries to choose from! Whether you’re teaching in a bustling big city in Germany, a sunny island off the coast of Greece, or a quaint rural town in Poland, you will find challenge and fulfillment in helping others learn English.
Types of teaching jobs in Europe
Teaching jobs in Europe are varied and give you room to find the best fit for your preferences and schedule.
- Public schools: Some European governments run programs that foster cultural and intellectual exchange through the placement of ESL teachers in public schools. You will usually be the assistant teacher but will be responsible for planning and delivering lessons, especially pertaining to cultural points of your country.
- Private language academies: In almost every city in Europe, you will find several privately-owned language schools. These institutes specialize in after-school and evening classes for English language learners. You will teach English to a wide range of ages and abilities.
- Summer camps: Short-term teaching opportunities exist at summer camps across Europe. Lasting a few weeks to a few months, English teachers at language camps are generally provided room and board and a good salary in exchange for supervising and teaching English to small groups of children.
- TEFL + teaching programs: A combination TEFL + teaching program is a great option for new teachers or those fresh out of college. Teachers can receive their TEFL certification after completing the minimum 120-hour course. Most programs will help by providing job assistance for their TEFL course participants.
- International schools: Private international schools usually require a teaching license and recruitment tends to be very competitive. If you’re an experienced and qualified teacher though, international schools often offer the best salaries and benefits.
Average salary and benefits for teaching English in Europe
Salaries for English teachers in Europe aren’t as high as in other teach abroad destinations but the relatively low cost of living means you will have enough to get by while enjoying the relaxed European lifestyle.
On average, an English teacher's monthly salary in Europe is between $750-$3,000 USD. Countries like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland generally have higher wages for English teachers but experience a higher cost of living, too. Wages in Spain, Portugal, and Poland are lower but things like rent and grocery prices are more affordable than in other European countries.
Common teacher benefits
Unlike teaching in Asia, it’s much less common in Europe to receive things like housing and flight reimbursement in your benefits package. Aside from your salary, you can usually expect to be provided with private health insurance or be eligible for care within the public health system.
Benefits vary by country and employer so be sure to check with your teach abroad program provider or future company to understand what you may receive.
Cost of living in Europe
The cost of living in many European countries is much more affordable when compared with prices in the US. Prices will vary by country and whether you are located in a large city or town but here are some monthly ranges you can expect when teaching English in Europe.
- Food: $150-$300
- Transportation: $30-$200
- Housing: $300-$1,100
If you live frugally (live with roommates, cook at home, etc.), you’ll find that you will have a very comfortable lifestyle in many European cities.
Where to teach English in Europe
As with starting a job in any new place, it's important to do your research before coming to Europe. Start by exploring these major teaching countries in Europe:
A very popular destination within the ESL community, Spain is always looking for native and fluent English speakers to fill positions in their government-sponsored language assistant program and in private English language academies.
Teachers can expect to earn between $760-$1,520 USD (700€-1,400€) per month. It is possible to tutor local students in an effort to earn extra cash. Private lesson prices range from $16-$27 USD (15€-25€) per hour, depending on your credentials and experience.
France is a dream destination for lovers of food, wine, and the language of love. While many prospective English teachers have their sights set on Paris, France’s rich culinary tradition and proud cultural heritage can be experienced in smaller cities and towns across the country.
Monthly wages in France are, on average, in the range of $900-$2,000 USD depending on your position. Language assistants teaching in France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) make around $900 a month for 12 hours of teaching a week while teachers in private international schools can make upward of $3,000 or more.
Italy might be for you if you love history – but the weather and food aren’t bad, either! Italy’s terrain and culture are varied: from the snow-capped mountains in the north to the sun-drenched beaches in the south, you’ll find something beautiful around every corner.
Monthly salaries for English teachers in Italy generally fall between $1,000-$2,000 USD for most positions. A TEFL certificate is usually required and a 4-year degree is preferred. The cost of living in the south of Italy is lower than in the north though the north has better infrastructure.
Poland has a booming TEFL market and English teachers interested in teaching in Poland will have a range of opportunities. Poland is beloved by travelers for its welcoming people, delicious and hearty cuisine, and affordable prices. Why not make it home?
As an English teacher in Poland, you will likely make between $700-$1,500 USD a month. Having advanced qualifications and teaching experience will help you earn a higher salary and open up more positions.
How to get a job teaching English in Europe
While requirements will be different depending on the country, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to teach English in Europe.
- Meet the basic requirements. To teach English in most European countries, you’ll need to have a TEFL certificate and a clean criminal record. For competitive jobs, you may need prior teaching or childcare experience.
- Submit your application. Make sure to have a copy of your resume, university transcripts, references, passport photos, and your TEFL certificate, if needed.
- Prepare for the interview. Practice some questions with a family member or friend to feel more comfortable. Know your reasons for why you chose the country you did!
- Apply for a visa. Contact the country’s local consulate for clarification on any documents you may need.
Classroom culture in Europe
Europe is diverse and the classroom cultures you will encounter vary from country to country. Overall, you can expect your European students to be open, talkative, and inquisitive. Some countries like Spain take a laid-back approach to teaching and learning, while you may find more structure in places like Germany.
Maintaining professionalism, inclusivity, and a sense of humor will be your best bet for success while teaching English in Europe!
View the latest teaching job postings on our job board.