Guide to teaching English in Poland
Looking for a hot spot to teach in Central Europe? Look no further than Poland! Poland is a bustling country ready for English teachers. This country is home to a variety of beautiful landscapes in the countryside as well as classic architecture and charm in the more urban areas. English teaching jobs in Poland generally pay between $700-$1,500 USD a month.
Ever since joining the European Union in 2004, the demand to speak and understand English has only increased and with that the demand for those who teach English. In fact, students who are interested in a business career must pass a government-mandated English test. If the Polish charm interests you, look no further and go teach!
Interested in teaching English in Poland? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about the types of teaching jobs, average salaries and benefits, and how to get a teaching job in Poland!
Types of teaching jobs in Poland
Because English is now becoming the norm, there are a variety of places where you will be able to teach. Unless you work in a summer camp, you will typically work for the entire school year, for 20-35 hours/week. You may work more hours if you teach private lessons. There are a variety of teaching options available in Poland for enthusiastic teachers.
Most business deals are done in English these days so companies will hire people to teach “business” and general English to those dealing with the international market. Many companies offer classes after the regular workday is finished which means work in the late afternoon/evening. Pay is generally not as good as a normal teacher's and work is more difficult to find.
Private language schools
Teaching jobs in private schools are generally less structured than those found in the public sector, both in their lessons and the benefits they provide. Classes at private schools are usually forty-five or fifty minutes long, and students range from young kids to middle-aged adults.
State primary and secondary schools
Though they rarely pay as well as private schools, the benefits that public schools provide more than make up for the difference in salary. As a teacher in a public school, you will be better exposed to a broader segment of the community than you would in private sector schools. For many expats, part of the experience of living abroad, especially if you pick a smaller city or rural area, is getting involved in the local community.
Language holiday camps
Instruction at holiday camps will address all areas of understanding English; it is important for these lessons to be engaging and interactive, not one-directional lectures. There is a very short time commitment. Most camps run for two to four weeks. The longest time is usually 12 weeks, the period that school is out for the summer. Field trips to local points of interest are paid for by the camp. There is no cost for food or accommodations.
Average salary and benefits for teaching English in Poland
On average, an English teacher's monthly salary in Poland is between $700-$1,500 USD. Your salary will depend on where you end up working and for how many hours. Bigger cities tend to pay more but also have a higher cost of living.
Common benefits for teachers
Some employers may provide accommodation although this isn’t typical. They will most likely help you find housing, however, which will be helpful if you don’t speak Polish. International schools will have better benefits and tend to include healthcare coverage, housing and transportation allowances, and paid visa costs.
Read more: How Much Money Can You Save Teaching Abroad?
Cost of living in Poland
Poland is an affordable European country, especially if you’re frugal about spending. Because housing and paid utilities are not a typical benefit, you can expect the following costs:
- Food: $100-$200 USD per month
- Transportation: $20-$35 USD per month
- Entertainment: $100-$150 USD per month
- Housing: $200-$450 USD for a room in shared accommodation depending on city
- Utilities: $40-$100 USD per month
Where and how to find housing
Generally, most contracts range from six months to one year. Monthly rent is usually paid by bank transfer before the 10th of the month.
Where to teach English in Poland
As with starting a job in any new country, it's important to do your research before coming to Poland. Start by exploring these major teaching cities in Poland:
Located in southern Poland, Krakow is known for its beautiful architecture. The Old Town part of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. As the second largest city, English teachers will have good access to job opportunities.
Warsaw, the capital, is a great destination for English teaching jobs in Poland. A mix of old and new, you can embrace the history and culture while enjoying modern amenities and an up-and-coming arts scene. Also notable, despite being a landlocked city, you can even enjoy a beach right there in the city!
Considered the street art capital of Poland, centrally located Lodz is great for art lovers. With old factories converted into artist spaces and hip cafes, you’ll be sure to enjoy a bohemian vibe while living and teaching in Poland. It’s also the third-largest city so both job opportunities and an international community await you.
How to get a job teaching English in Poland
Whether you secure a position through a teaching program (check them out on GO!), the GO job board or hit the streets with your resume upon arrival, there are many opportunities to teach a range of ages in Poland.
Where to find jobs
It is quite difficult to find work online or over the phone so it is recommended that you visit schools upon arrival to discover available positions. When looking to teach private lessons, it is recommended that you travel to Poland, establish yourself, and then reach out to find opportunities.
Teaching programs like those listed below will help you arrange a position before you arrive in Poland. This can be priceless peace of mind for those apprehensive of moving to Poland without a job secured.
When to apply
Recruitment for teaching jobs in Poland usually takes place during the months leading up to the start of school, especially in August, however, some schools start looking as early as May and June.
Academies may hire on a rolling basis but visa processing can take between 6 weeks to 3 months so applicants are encouraged to apply early and plan ahead.
At a minimum, Poland requires a CELTA or Trinity certification to teach English in a formal setting. TEFL is not as highly recommended as it does not guarantee practical, observed teaching experience. Also recognized are DELTA, MA TESOL, qualified teacher status in your home country (licensure), and/or any course that requires 100-120 of classroom theory plus 6-8 hours of observed teaching practice.
It is also recommended, but not required, that you take the CELTA class in Poland if at all possible to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and connect you to local job opportunities.
Non-EU teachers will need to apply for a D-type visa before coming to Poland. However, it is possible to arrive in Poland as a tourist and apply for a Temporary Residence Permit. D-type visas are valid for up to a year while the residence permit is valid for 3 years.
Teachers from the EU or those with working permissions do not need a visa or work permit to pursue teaching jobs in Poland.
What’s it like to live & teach English in Poland
As an ESL teacher abroad, it’s essential that you take the time to research the country’s etiquette and classroom culture, as it can be vastly different from what you’re used to at home! ESL teachers should be respectful and understanding while adapting to a new classroom environment.
Classroom & work culture
In Poland, you can expect a teacher to wear something similar to that of a teacher in the US. You are expected to look put together and well-groomed in any sort of classroom setting. Private lessons have a bit more flexibility, but don’t look like you just rolled out of bed!
Polish students tend to be demanding and can tell if you are prepared or not, especially because English is so widely spoken now. It is best to always be on your game in any teaching instance, so Poland is really no different.
Culture & etiquette tips
Greetings tend to be reserved and courteous, with a good handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile. When doing business, wait to be invited to use someone’s first name, even if you have known them for a long time. Poles tend to judge on personal qualities and build their relationships upon honesty and direct communication.
Ready to find your dream teaching program in Poland?
Start researching and comparing teaching programs here at Go Overseas, in the Teaching Programs in Poland section below.
Want to read more? Get started with these articles:
Teaching Programs in Poland
Volunteer Teaching in Poland
Volunteer your time as a teacher in Poland
TEFL Courses in Poland
A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in Poland
View the latest teaching job postings on our job board.