Land-locked Austria is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Think rolling hills, snowy Alps, and picturesque wooden houses with flower boxes at every window. And hearty Austrian cuisine -- Wiener schnitzel, apple strudel, and sacher torte -- are the perfect energy foods to fuel a mountain climb (or an English lesson).
There aren’t a lot TEFL courses in Austria, but those available are high quality and intensive, meaning you’ll get a good start to your teaching career. The benefit of taking a teaching course in Austria, should you want to teach there, is that you will learn the language idiosyncrasies that make certain parts of English easier or more difficult for Austrians.
Plus, if you want to stay on in Austria long-term, you’ll get a head start on picking up some German language skills. Viel Glück!
The TEFL-YL course is designed for teaching to young leaners (YL) and covers three components: practical, theoretical, and research. Teachers gain real teaching experience in placements in different locations around Austria. This course combines instruction specifically for young learners, a CertTESOL from Trinity College, and a first aid course.
The Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, created by Cambridge University, is more commonly known as the CELTA. It is one of most well-known ESL teaching qualifications around the world. The CELTA is a 120 hour intensive course that provides the skills for effective English teaching, and includes practical teaching experience.
The CELTA is only available at approved centers. The course can be completed full time over four weeks or part time over four months.
TESOL / TFL
You can also choose to take a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) teacher training course. Alternatively, your institution may offer TFL courses, which are for teaching a language other than English. The courses are high-quality and intensive, combining theory, practical experience, and observation.
Best Time to Go
Austrian language schools have two peak-hiring times for English teachers: in September and in January. Therefore, if you want to find a teaching job in Austria once your TEFL course ends, finishing before these peak-hiring times is key.
Training institutions offer courses at set times throughout the year, but keep in mind that courses are offered infrequently. The fulltime CELTA is offered in June, while the two 4-month CELTAs begin in February and September.
Where to Go
Vienna, Austria’s capital city, was once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now, amongst the Imperial palaces and architecture, Vienna is the location of the CELTA and TESOL courses in Austria.
What to Look for in a Course
Look for a TEFL course that offers at least 120 hours. Depending on your current situation, a fulltime or part-time course may be a better fit, as may one offered online rather than onsite. Opportunities for practical experience are hugely important for new teachers, especially ones who don’t yet have any actual teaching experience.
Most courses will include a section with advice on finding teaching jobs. However, different training institutions will offer different levels of support in finding work. Reading feedback and reviews from previous trainee teachers will help you establish which course most closely meets your needs.
Citizens from within the Schengen area (the area within Europe where countries have abolished passport and border control) do not need a visa for Austria.
Non-EU citizens will need to apply for a student visa for programs of 90+ days.
Most course providers do not arrange student housing, but they may be able to arrange homestay accommodation on your behalf. A select few programs provide single or shared dorm room accommodation.
If you’re looking for private accommodation, don’t rent an apartment before you arrive in Austria, and don’t pay any money for an apartment that you haven’t seen to someone you haven’t met. Online scams do exist, particularly targeting apartment-hunters from overseas.
The standard of living is high, which means that the cost of living in Austria is high, too.
Health & Safety
Austria is a safe destination. Most Austrians enjoy a high standard of living, and crime levels are generally low. That said, always take care with your possessions and valuables around train stations, tourist attractions, and in busy city centers.
If you are staying short term while completing a TEFL course, book travel insurance to cover the length of your stay.
Finding a job as an English teacher can be challenging for non-EU citizens. Most English teaching jobs in Austria are for teaching English to children or business English to company employees. Many teachers are self-employed and work at multiple language schools.
American college graduates can be placed as teaching assistants through the Fulbright Austria program. Or take a look at the Go Overseas Teach English in Austria page or the Teaching Job Board for other opportunities.