American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Discussion about courses, qualifications and teacher training. Please do not advertise TEFL courses here.

Moderator: Susan

American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Unread postby jpeterson » 10 Feb 2010, 00:11

Ok I need lots of advice---I am a U.S. citizen and I am interested in teaching English in Europe. My husband will be working in Europe next fall (either in Western or Eastern Europe, but he is not sure which country yet) so getting a visa will not be a problem for me. I have been looking at several online TEFL programs, but most forums are saying that Europe generally has much stricter policies about hiring teachers without practical experience. With my current schedule it may not be possible for me to take a rigorous on-site course at this time. I do, however, want to be able to gain experience teaching before I jump into this (since I have no experience) and most online programs do not provide that. I have looked into taking a weekend course combined with an online program, which may not be the absolute best option but it does give me at least 20 hrs of in-class experience. That being said these are my questions:

1)What certification programs will best help me be able to score a teaching job in Europe considering my situation at this time?

2) If I can't take an on-site certification program at this time, is it likely that I will be able to find a job in Europe with an online or weekend/combo certification program?

3) I have also heard that British English is preferred in Europe over American English. Is this true? And if so, could the fact that I am American hurt my chances of getting a teaching job?

Also any recommendations for programs are greatly appreciated!
jpeterson
Registered Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Feb 2010, 22:16
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Unread postby systematic » 10 Feb 2010, 10:32

I'm not sure about this, but getting a spouse visa to accompany your partner to Europe may not automatically authorise you to take up employment. On the European mainland, it probably won't make much different whether you are American or British as long a you meet the educational requirements.

For information regarding TEFL training programmes, please do not hesitate to search this discussion board - it's mainly what it's all about. Do note however, that recently there is a spate of postings from course providers recommending themselves ;)
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Unread postby Renee » 16 Feb 2010, 12:58

I am an American girl who has been teaching in Europe for the past year so I thought I'd offer my advice/experiences.

1)What certification programs will best help me be able to score a teaching job in Europe considering my situation at this time?

In general, any TEFL qualification will do as long as it is at least 120 hours and included 8-10 hours of supervised teaching experience. I took mine a year ago through http://www.teflworldwideprague.com and loved the entire experience. The main things schools look for in teachers is a degree and a TEFL certificate.

2) If I can't take an on-site certification program at this time, is it likely that I will be able to find a job in Europe with an online or weekend/combo certification program?

The thing I found most helpful about taking it onsite is the extensive job guidance offered by my school, and being present to turn in my cv in person. Most schools in Europe will want you to be in the country already, so it is definitely best to take a course in the country you want to live in. That also increases the chance that your school will have contacts they can hook you up with. Connections are essential for obtaining legal work in countries that are starting to prefer already legal, EU citizens. I'm not saying it would be impossible to get a job if you take a course online or in the US, but it would certainly make it much harder and might limit you to Eastern Europe.

3) I have also heard that British English is preferred in Europe over American English. Is this true? And if so, could the fact that I am American hurt my chances of getting a teaching job?

That is sometimes the case but no common. It is really being an American citizen that hurts your chances because you are not EU, not because of your accent. That is why I recommend taking the course in the country you want to live in. I have no idea how I would've survived in Prague and found a job without the help of my language school.

That said, teaching and living in Prague has been an absolutely amazing, life changing experience! I've enjoyed every minute of it and wouldn't change it for anything. My school offers lifetime job guidance and I'm currently taking advantage of that as I'm considering moving to South America...I can't wait to begin my next adventure:)
Renee
Registered Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 16 Feb 2010, 12:50
Status: Teacher

Re: American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Unread postby Renee » 16 Feb 2010, 17:50

I missed the part about getting a visa not being a problem for you...if you have a visa then it shouldn't be hard for you to get a job in Europe. Will the visa allow you to work? The main reason it's so hard for Americans is because employers don't want to deal with securing a working visa.

Depending on where you want to work, experience really isn't that important. It might be to your benefit to wait and see where your husband will be working, and then look into taking a TEFL course there. Or at least, you would have a better idea of the requirements for that country. It's far easier to get hired in Eastern Europe than Western. Also, taking a TEFL course won't qualify you for much in the US, as most places require a degree in ESL.
It's pretty difficult to use a TEFL degree in the US.

Hope that helps!
Renee
Registered Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 16 Feb 2010, 12:50
Status: Teacher

Re: American wanting Teach in Europe! Need advice please!

Unread postby systematic » 17 Feb 2010, 01:11

I'll just repeat from my ealier statement above:
Getting a spouse visa to accompany your partner to Europe may not automatically authorise you to take up employment.

When I had my EFL schools in France (an EU country), for example, we were neither able to legally employ the non EU wives (e.g. Swiss) of French citizens who had been married and resident in France for less than two years,nor were able obtain to French work permits for the non EU wives of non EU executives, professors, and engineers woking in France. I do not know if that regulation wa specifically a French requirement or whether it was a general EU requirement.
I do not know if those regulations were specifically a French requirements or whether it was a general EU requirement, or if anything has changed in more recent years. It's certainly worth checking on for the country your husband will be posted too - many Americans seem to think that Europe is one country. It is not. Some of the EU countries will allow entry on a visa for one other of them (Schenigen visa agreement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area), but the UK is a notable exception, and not all of them may have the same local rules for work permits for non EU citizens.

A secondary morsel of information is that some territories of the EU are in fact as far away as Asia.

Up to date information from any Americans working as teachers in countries of the European Union wold be most welcome.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other


Return to Teacher Training Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot] and 18 guests