Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland or Croatia?

Discussion about TEFL jobs in Europe

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Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland or Croatia?

Unread post by sunny91 »

I'm looking for some advise on which of these countries would be best to teach EFL. I am currently working as an English teacher in Taiwan and will have three years experience by the time I wish to leave. I would like to move back to Europe for a year (I'm British) and was wondering if any of you have experience in any of these countries.
The real issue is that I will be bringing my Taiwanese boyfriend along with me. He can get a 1 year working holiday visa for these countries, so living there won't be a problem, but finances might if he actually can't find work. We were thinking that he could teach Mandarin Chinese, work as an industrial engineer (his current sector) or in graphic design/illustration (something which he would like to get into more)
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland or Croatia?

Unread post by Susan »

If your boyfriend currently has clients in his field of work, can he continue working for them on a consultancy basis?
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Re: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland or Croatia?

Unread post by Briona »

Hi there,

I understand why you've chosen those countries, but unfortunately the ones which would work for you are not the ones that would work for your boyfriend. Belgium is a no-go on both counts. The TEFL market is small, and I'm not aware that there's much demand for Chinese either. I would also discount Croatia for similar reasons. That then leaves Poland, Ireland and Germany.

As an EFL teacher, your best bet is Poland. Demand is still quite high and your (presumed) experience with YLs will stand you in good stead. The chances of your boyfriend finding work are slim to none (Chinese isn't in demand, and without knowing Polish he couldn't work in design or engineering). Unfortunately, a TEFL salary barely supports one person, never mind two.

Ireland may be able to offer your boyfriend some opportunities in either graphic design or engineering (it really depends on his qualifications). However, the TEFL market is small and mostly seasonal. The few year-round jobs there are tend to go to highly-qualified and experienced Irish teachers. The cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years, and as with Poland, you wouldn't be able to survive on one salary.

Germany probably offers your boyfriend the most opportunities, particularly in regards to engineering. I believe he should also be able to find work teaching Chinese, but he would probably need some kind of qualification to do this. The TEFL market in Germany is tough, especially for teachers who don't speak German. There are very few full-time jobs. Instead, teachers go freelance. You can expect to teach mainly in-company, and you will need to cobble together enough hours to make up a full timetable. And it gets worse. Compulsory deductions see you losing almost 60% of your salary and that's before you've paid any rent!

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but forewarned is forearmed.

Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar
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