Though many overlook this smaller Eastern European country, hidden away between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova deserves more attention. With a fascinating history and a people that are quick with their friendliness towards foreigners, Moldova provides a perfect place to teach abroad – not too overwhelmingly different, but not too easy, either. The ethnic divisions that have wreaked havoc in the past are a part of this country’s reality, but they don’t need to be a focus of your experience – for this interesting nation offers all sorts of unusual distractions. Home to some of the world’s best wine, sunflower fields, rural cave monasteries, and a bumping capital nightlife…boredom will not be a problem.Photo credit: www.Michie.ru.
There are a variety of teaching jobs available for those looking in Moldova. Though most positions are available through volunteer programs, there is still a chance to find a paying job in a school.
These are the government run schools all over the country. Since resources are somewhat tight, funding is low and teachers scrape what they can together. However, it is common to pool together resources and share. This job will not pay a ton of money, but one can supplement their salary by giving private lessons. Typically, class sizes are around 30 kids.
Centers are built specifically to teach and learn languages, English being the main one. These classes are filled with a range of learners, some with more English comprehension than others. Wages at these centers are higher than at a traditional school, and often attract more teachers. Working here will also give you the ability to pool resources and be creative with lessons.
Like any other country, private lessons are a great way to supplement your income. However, it is a good idea to establish yourself in the area before you go out and find clients. Moldova is not a wealthy country in general, so do not expect a ton of money either. Your students may also teach you more about their own culture, a definite plus of teaching privately.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
The best time to look for jobs in Moldova is during the summertime, between the school years. If you are looking for a more cultural experience, then look for various programs that will place you in a school. For those looking to teach, send your resume to recruiters who can get in contact with schools. The big cities, such as Chisinau (the capital), Tiraspol, Beltsy, and Bendery, are home to numerous jobs opportunities.
Though no formal qualifications are required for teaching in Moldova, a commanding knowledge of the English language is the most important attribute to have. If you choose to volunteer teach, a TEFL is not required. If you go with a program, as opposed to looking by yourself, they will give you support along the way. If you are interested in a paid job, be sure to have a TEFL and/or degree in teaching.
Salary & Cost of Living:
The cost of living is comparable to surrounding European countries, with an inexpensive restaurant meal coming in just under $5 USD. Goods tend to be more expensive than living costs (i.e. rent, utilities, etc.). If you are working, do not expect a high salary, but one that will allow you to live with your means, so expect to break even. If you go with a volunteer program, your living situation and some meals will most likely be taken care of through the provider.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Moldavians are aware of the increasing importance of the English language and are eager to learn. Most students begin to learn English when they are 10 years old, and depending on what type of school you end up in, there will be a wide range of language skill in the class. The students will question you on your American lifestyle, as most Moldavians do not come into contact with many Americans. Depending on your role in the classroom, you will work anywhere from 15-30 hours a week. You may even have the opportunity to help outside the class with fun activities like sports.