Ireland, a country known for its exceptional hospitality, welcomes all those who are yearning to learn English. With many language schools peppered throughout Dublin and the countryside, there are plenty of places to teach English.
As a destination, Ireland is exceptional. With its friendly people as well as gorgeous countryside, it is easy to feel at home here. Dublin, the capital city, has the feel of a major metropolitan city but on a smaller scale. For a more quaint, typical Irish city, head west to Galway. Be sure to explore the country’s natural wonders from the Cliffs of Moher to Giant’s Causeway and to check out historical sites such as Kilmainham Gaol and Blarney Castle.
While an island, it’s quite easy to travel to mainland Europe. Airports are located in Dublin and Shannon (one hour from Galway) and provide relatively inexpensive access to the mainland. For a quick daytrip to the UK, Belfast is easy to reach by car or take the ferry from Dublin to Cardiff, Whales.
In order to teach English in Ireland, most teachers will require a bachelor’s degree in addition to TEFL certification. The average salary for teaching in Ireland is $1,500 - $4,000 per month.
Private Language Schools:
Most of the English teaching in Ireland takes places in private language schools based around Dublin. Schools tend to cover general English lessons as well as Business English. Expect to teach about 25 hours a week. Additionally, the summer months are usually catered to children and teens.
You can also advertise your services to teach private lessons on websites such as Gumtree, which is similar to Craigslist.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
As Ireland is a relatively small country, the majority of the work will be focused in Dublin. However, there are a few schools scattered about Galway and Cork if you prefer to be out west in smaller cities. Marketing English in Ireland is a good place to start researching language schools to apply to. This is a collection of about 40 schools that cater to teaching English and is organized by location. Additionally, International House has school locations both in Dublin and in Cork.
You will be required to have a Bachelor’s degree in addition to a TEFL or CELTA certificate. It is possible to receive these certifications online before you leave. However, it is probably in your best interest to take a life classroom course as practice teaching is incorporated into your coursework. It is possible to find those courses in your home country or in Ireland. Some schools, such as International House, will also require a year of teaching experience. Consider tutoring English at home before you leave.
Members of the European Union are not required to receive visas. However, non-EU members must be in possession of a work visa before applying for a job. It is the responsibility of the teacher to procure a visa as the schools will not sponsor non-EU visas.
For Americans, it might be worthwhile to apply for a visa through an organization such as USIT. This organization will help with the visa application as well as provide support and social gatherings while in Ireland.
Salary & Cost of Living:
As a member of the EU, and like most developed countries, there is a high cost of living. Prices for rent will naturally be higher in a big city like Dublin ($370-$530) and will be less in the smaller cities of Galway and Cork. You will be required to find your own housing. A great resource to search on is Daft.
If you are only working the 25 contract hours your school allows at $20/hour, you’ll end up making just enough. Therefore, it’s best to supplement your hours with private lessons. Additionally, you might want to consider a homestay or a situation in which you exchange housework for a room. Check out HelpX to find a home, guest house, or hostel in which you can exchange a few hours of work a week for room and board.
Depending on how much you want to work and how frugal you are with your money, you can travel and save during your time in Ireland.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Be prepared to teach English to a whole slew of cultures, particularly those from Asia. As with any profession, it’s important that you remain professional and confident while in the classroom. However, make sure to have fun! This will ensure that your students, as well as you, enjoy their time with the English language.