Teach English in Europe

a world of opportunities

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

Kirsten Colquhoun
August 3, 2023

Contents

Why teach in Europe
Popular countries
Visa requirements
Teaching experience
TEFL certification
Teaching with no degree
Non-native English speakers
Startup capital
Types of teaching jobs
How to get a job
Average salary
Cost of living
Saving in Europe
Life and culture

Are you ready to start your English teaching adventure? If you want to be surrounded by history, culture and natural beauty, then teaching in Europe is for you. Europe offers amazing cuisine, interesting locals and a variety of sights and wonders to explore.

In Europe you are spoilt for choice: France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Portugal and Belgium. Want to sip on champagne in France? Dance the flamenco in Spain? Wear lederhosen in Germany? Take your pick – you can teach pretty much anywhere in Europe!

The best part about teaching in Europe is that you can easily combine teaching and travelling. It’s a piece of gâteau to get on a plane or take a train to a neighbouring country. Nowhere else in the world can you experience so many different cultures, stunning landscapes and history all in one small area.

Why teach English In Europe?

If you are excited about teaching and ready for an amazing adventure working in some of the best education systems of the world, teaching English in Europe should be at the top of your to-do list. Here’s why:

It offers a good work life-balance. Depending on which country you choose, you can work between 20 and 35 hours a week. This gives you plenty of time to explore your neighbourhood or hop over a border to another European city.

The attractive salaries and benefits. On average TEFL teachers get paid well to teach in Europe. Plus, some countries include benefits like housing, health insurance and flights. But, don’t forget: European countries with high salaries usually have high living costs as well.

Plenty of travel opportunities. Living in Europe allows you to travel easily. You can be in Paris on a Friday and spend Saturday evening in Berlin. Even further afield, it’s easy to jump on a flight to the UK, Africa or Asia.

The cuisine. Food is the love language of Europe. Belgian beer, French cheese, Italian pizza, German bratwurst or a Dutch stroopwafel, these things are just better when you enjoy them in the country of their origin. In Europe you can find some of the best cafes and restaurants in the world.

Popular countries to teach in Europe

There are TEFL jobs aplenty all around Europe, but a few are the tried and tested favourites with TEFL teachers.

Spain

Best for followers of the sun

From spending time on beautiful beaches to enjoying siestas, few things can be better than teaching English in sun-kissed Spain. In fact, Spain is often listed as the number one destination for TEFL teachers. Jobs are in high demand and teachers can expect salaries between 1,200 – 1,500 ($1,300 – $1,600) a month.

Italy

A culinary heaven

In Italy teachers have the opportunity to explore sites like Rome, Naples, Florence or Milan while enjoying fantastic food and a great work-life balance. Teachers in Italy usually work for more than one school or substitute their income with private tutoring. Living costs are low, so your salary of between 1,200 – 1,400 ($1,300 – $1,500) will allow you a comfortable life.

Czech Republic

For an adventure off the beaten track

Surrounded by historic architecture and beautiful landscapes, the Czech Republic is a country considered an undiscovered gem by many. As the tourism industry expands, English jobs are becoming more and more available. Salaries are not that high, but the cost of living is very reasonable in the Czech Republic.

France

Best for culture vultures

If you want to immerse yourself in culture, mouth-watering food and exquisite wine, then France is the place for you. Finding a teaching job in France might be a bit more challenging, but salaries are higher than in most European countries. It is important to note that salaries in France vary greatly between different cities.

Poland

Best for laid-back living

The market for English teachers in Poland is rapidly growing. TEFL teachers will be able to easily find a teaching job in Poland. Salaries are not that high, but the cost of living is very affordable and the work-life balance is optimal. While still a relatively undiscovered gem, Poland is fast becoming popular with TEFL teachers.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Europe?

Oui!  Sí!  Ja! To work legally in a European country, you must have a work visa or EU citizenship.

EU citizens do not need a visa to work in other EU countries. Non-EU citizens need to carefully check the visa requirements for each country. Even though it is more difficult for non-EU citizens to find jobs in Europe, it is not impossible. 

A working visa in Europe requires sponsorship from an employer. This visa will allow you to work for this employer only. If you need sponsorship, you can discuss with your school or employer is they are willing to sponsor a work visa. 

Luckily for some nationalities, there are a few loopholes you can work through: 

  • If you are from the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland or South Korea, you are able to enter Germany on a Schengen visa and apply for a work visa once in the country.
  • Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for the Czech Republic.
  • Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Italy.
  • Americans can teach in France through the TAPIF programme.
  • Spain offers a number of language exchange programs, in which teachers are hosted by a family in exchange for English tuition.

And don’t forget about the digital nomad visa! Working as an online English teacher gives you the opportunity to apply for one of the many different digital nomad visas in and around Europe. Head to our blog to find out which specific countries offer a digital nomad visa and what you need to apply.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Europe?

Having teaching experience will increase your chance of getting a job in Europe. To get an entry-level teaching job in Europe, most countries don’t require previous teaching experience

If you are not yet TEFL-certified, consider doing a Level 5 TEFL course which includes in-class teaching. Or if you already have a TEFL qualification, why not do our Level 5 Observed Teaching Practice Course? Both of these courses give you practical teaching experience you can note on your CV.

Do I need TEFL certification to teach in Europe?

In Europe most public and private schools require you to have a TEFL certificate to teach English. If you are serious about teaching English in Europe then the best thing you can do is get yourself TEFL qualified with a TEFL certificate that is a minimum of 120 hours. 

The TEFL Academy offers a Level 3 120-hour TEFL course, a Level 5 168-hour Online TEFL Course, and a Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course. Depending on the kind of teaching you want to do, our courses are the perfect way to get qualified and take the first step to finding that perfect job in Europe.

Which European countries can I teach in with no degree?

Most European countries require you to have a Bachelor’s degree to teach English. Some countries want your degree to be in English, while in other countries your degree can be in any field.

In a lot of countries a degree is required by law for non-EU citizens to obtain a work visa. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree then you can look at jobs in Spain, Poland, Georgia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Teaching English online is another option available to TEFL teachers who don’t have a degree. Croatia, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway are just a few countries which offer a digital nomad visa. If you’re eligible, you could be teaching English online from the beaches of Malta!

Can non-native speakers teach English in Europe?

Historically, European countries preferred to hire native speakers from native English speaking countries. Many European schools prefer citizens from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. 

But, that mindset is slowly changing. If you are a non-native English speaker there is a chance to be hired in many European countries. You need to prove your English fluency is at Level C1 or Advanced, but if you’re a TEFL-qualified teacher then that shouldn’t be a problem!

How much start-up capital do I need?

Start up costs are the basic costs you need to survive from when you arrive in Europe until you receive your first paycheque. These costs in Europe may include:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  • Visa application: The cost of getting a work visa is subject to your home country and the country you are applying to. You can expect to pay between $50 -$100.
  • Living expenses: It is a good idea to have between 2,000 and 4,000 ($2,100 and $4,300) to start off in Europe. These costs vary greatly between countries so be sure to carefully research the costs of the country you are heading to.

Types of teaching jobs in Europe

The best thing about teaching in Europe is that there are a huge variety of jobs to choose from. Europe offers you any type of English teaching job you can think of. You could teach at a public school or private school, international school or language school, summer camps or do private tutoring.

Spain is well-known for its language centres, while teachers flock to Italy for summer camps. Business English is the name of the game in Germany, and teachers looking for something different teach English for Specific Purposes to adults in workplaces in France.

Interested? Here are the most common types of teaching jobs in Europe.

Public schools

Some governments in Europe run programs where English teachers are placed in public schools as part of a cultural exchange program. These programs are great opportunities for new or young teachers to get some teaching experience. Each country has its own requirements and benefits for teaching in public schools. Some of the benefits may include health insurance and accommodation.

Popular programs include:

  • Teaching Assistant Program (TAPIF) in France
  • Central European Teaching Program (CETP) in Hungary
  • North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALACP) in Spain
  • Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) in Georgia

Private and international schools

Private and international schools can be found in most big cities all over Europe. These schools prefer teachers with some teaching experience, a Bachelor’s degree and in some instances a teaching qualification. Teachers are well-paid at private and international schools.

Language schools

Language schools provide afternoon and evening English classes for students or adults who want to improve their English or prepare for exams. At a language school you could  teach from absolute Beginners to adults wanting to learn Business English. Schedules at these schools are very flexible, allowing you plenty of time to savour the sangria in Spain, or catch some rays on a beach in Croatia.

Private tutoring

Tutoring is a great way to earn extra money in Europe. Your hourly rate will depend on the country that you choose to teach in. Be sure to check if there any visa requirements which might prevent teachers from doing freelance work outside of their contracted job.

How to get a job teaching English in Europe

The first step is to update your CV. When you have found a job you want to apply for, write a relevant cover letter, highlighting t your teaching experience and qualifications. 

Here are our top tips for finding teaching jobs in Europe:

  • Do a TEFL course. To give yourself the edge you need to do a TEFL course from a reputable and internationally recognised TEFL provider. The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour course is exactly what you need to get noticed in Europe.
  • Look online. Most teaching jobs in Europe are advertised online. Find hundreds of job postings on The TEFL Academy’s jobs board.
  • Be on the lookout for positions in March or April. Schools might not be very responsive from mid-July to August due to holidays.
  • Look for government teaching programs. Most European countries have programs where they place teachers in public schools.
  • Be money-savvy. You need to be financially prepared to carry your own costs for the first four to six weeks of your stay in Europe. Most schools won’t pay you upfront.
  • Know your visa options. Scroll up to read more about visa requirements in our visa section.
  • Market yourself as a private tutor. Private English lessons are in high demand in countries all across Europe. 

Some European countries prefer to have an in-person interview. That means that you will have to be in the country when applying for jobs.

What is the average salary for teaching English in Europe?

When looking at the average salary of a TEFL teacher in Europe, it is important to look at what is included in your salary package. It’s worth remembering that your work-life balance might be better in a country that offers a lower salary. 

Let’s take a general look at the average salaries in a few European countries:

  • Switzerland

€2,000 – €3,000 ($2,200 – $2,300)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • The Netherlands

€1,400 – €2,500 ($1,500 – $2,700)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Sweden

€1,400 – €2,500 ($1,500 – $2,700)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Spain

€1,200 – €1,500 ($1,300 – $1,600)

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Italy

€1,200 – €1,400 ($1,300 –  $1,500) 

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Czech Republic

€500 – €1,200 ($550 – $1,300)

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

The benefits that you can expect differ from country to country and school to school. As a teacher in Europe, you could expect the following benefits:

  • Contribution to your flight expenses
  • Assistance with your visa costs
  • Accommodation or housing allowance
  • Health insurance
  • End-of-contract bonus
  • Paid holiday

What is the average cost of living in Europe?

As you can imagine, Europe has something to offer all kinds of bank balances. You can decide to work for a high salary in countries like Switzerland, Sweden or Norway and enjoy a high standard of living. Or you can decide to look at East European countries that pay a bit less, but have a more affordable cost of living. Three of the cheapest places to live in Europe are Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain.

Poland – Poland offers you a low cost of living and a high standard of living. Here you will have great infrastructure, high speed internet, good housing and lots of entertainment. You will be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle on a teaching salary. The average cost of living in Poland is about 450 ($500) per month.

The Czech Republic – In the Czech Republic you can enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, restaurants and entertainment at very affordable prices. Housing is cheaper than most European countries. Teachers can have a comfortable lifestyle, but might not be able to save a lot of money. The average cost of living in the Czech Republic is about  1,400 ($1,500) a month.

Spain – Compared to other Western European countries Spain is very affordable. The cost of living is much lower than France and the Norway, for instance. Spain is a very popular destination for English teachers because of the surplus of TEFL jobs and the high quality of life. The average cost of living in Spain is about 1,500 ($1,600) a month.

Is it possible to save as a TEFL teacher in Europe?

Compared to Asian countries where TEFL salaries are higher, TEFL teachers are not able to save as much while teaching in Europe. Western European countries might pay well, but the cost of living is high. 

Lots of English teachers take on private tutoring to supplement their income in Europe and this allows you to save money. If you choose to live and work in an Eastern European country, then you will be able to put away some money each month. 

Most TEFL teachers in Europe break even each month, but with clever planning you can likely save between 200 – 300 ($220 – $330) a month.

What's it like to live and work in Europe?

Europe is probably the ultimate destination to live out your English teaching dream. In European countries you have flexible work hours that give you the opportunity to explore the beauty that Europe has to offer – whether that means taking a tram in Lisbon, visiting a goulash festival in Budapest, or enjoying a cappuccino in Paris. Europe is a great place to explore a new culture and learn a new language.

While the cost of living depends on which country you choose to call home, what remains the same in all European countries is the ease with which you can move from country to country. Simply hop on a train and before you blink you can be in another country!

Here are some things to keep in mind when living and teaching in Europe:

  • Culture shock is a thing. Most of us think that travelling to Europe because we consider it to be similar to our own countries. But integrating into a culture, no matter how similar it may seem to yours, can be uncomfortable. Being aware of culture shock is important. 
  • Learning the local language will get you far. You will be able to get around Europe by speaking English, but if you plan to live or travel to rural areas it is best to learn some phrases of the local language. It will greatly enrich your experience and allow you to experience the culture more if you learn the local language. Nothing beats being able to order a coffee in French or buying bread from your local baker in German.
  • The teaching environment is traditional. In Europe students tend to learn through memorising material and they are not used to using conversations or discussions as a teaching tool. TEFL teachers need to introduce their students to their unique teaching style for optimal results.
  • Eating is an experience. In Europe meals are not to be hurried. Embrace this! You will quickly feel like a local if you understand the importance of certain food or meals in the community you work in. 

Tempted by tortellini in Tuscany? Itching to see Istanbul? Sold on a surf in San Sebastian? Sign up for a TEFL course with The TEFL Academy and get going!

Contents

Are you ready to start your English teaching adventure? If you want to be surrounded by history, culture and natural beauty, then teaching in Europe is for you. Europe offers amazing cuisine, interesting locals and a variety of sights and wonders to explore.

In Europe you are spoilt for choice: France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Portugal and Belgium. Want to sip on champagne in France? Dance the flamenco in Spain? Wear lederhosen in Germany? Take your pick – you can teach pretty much anywhere in Europe!

The best part about teaching in Europe is that you can easily combine teaching and travelling. It’s a piece of gâteau to get on a plane or take a train to a neighbouring country. Nowhere else in the world can you experience so many different cultures, stunning landscapes and history all in one small area.

Why teach English In Europe?

If you are excited about teaching and ready for an amazing adventure working in some of the best education systems of the world, teaching English in Europe should be at the top of your to-do list. Here’s why:

It offers a good work life-balance. Depending on which country you choose, you can work between 20 and 35 hours a week. This gives you plenty of time to explore your neighbourhood or hop over a border to another European city.

The attractive salaries and benefits. On average TEFL teachers get paid well to teach in Europe. Plus, some countries include benefits like housing, health insurance and flights. But, don’t forget: European countries with high salaries usually have high living costs as well.

Plenty of travel opportunities. Living in Europe allows you to travel easily. You can be in Paris on a Friday and spend Saturday evening in Berlin. Even further afield, it’s easy to jump on a flight to the UK, Africa or Asia.

The cuisine. Food is the love language of Europe. Belgian beer, French cheese, Italian pizza, German bratwurst or a Dutch stroopwafel, these things are just better when you enjoy them in the country of their origin. In Europe you can find some of the best cafes and restaurants in the world.

Popular countries to teach in Europe

There are TEFL jobs aplenty all around Europe, but a few are the tried and tested favourites with TEFL teachers.

Spain

Best for followers of the sun

From spending time on beautiful beaches to enjoying siestas, few things can be better than teaching English in sun-kissed Spain. In fact, Spain is often listed as the number one destination for TEFL teachers. Jobs are in high demand and teachers can expect salaries between 1,200 – 1,500 ($1,300 – $1,600) a month.

Italy

A culinary heaven

In Italy teachers have the opportunity to explore sites like Rome, Naples, Florence or Milan while enjoying fantastic food and a great work-life balance. Teachers in Italy usually work for more than one school or substitute their income with private tutoring. Living costs are low, so your salary of between 1,200 – 1,400 ($1,300 – $1,500) will allow you a comfortable life.

Czech Republic

For an adventure off the beaten track

Surrounded by historic architecture and beautiful landscapes, the Czech Republic is a country considered an undiscovered gem by many. As the tourism industry expands, English jobs are becoming more and more available. Salaries are not that high, but the cost of living is very reasonable in the Czech Republic.

France

Best for culture vultures

If you want to immerse yourself in culture, mouth-watering food and exquisite wine, then France is the place for you. Finding a teaching job in France might be a bit more challenging, but salaries are higher than in most European countries. It is important to note that salaries in France vary greatly between different cities.

Poland

Best for laid-back living

The market for English teachers in Poland is rapidly growing. TEFL teachers will be able to easily find a teaching job in Poland. Salaries are not that high, but the cost of living is very affordable and the work-life balance is optimal. While still a relatively undiscovered gem, Poland is fast becoming popular with TEFL teachers.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Europe?

Oui!  Sí!  Ja! To work legally in a European country, you must have a work visa or EU citizenship.

EU citizens do not need a visa to work in other EU countries. Non-EU citizens need to carefully check the visa requirements for each country. Even though it is more difficult for non-EU citizens to find jobs in Europe, it is not impossible. 

A working visa in Europe requires sponsorship from an employer. This visa will allow you to work for this employer only. If you need sponsorship, you can discuss with your school or employer is they are willing to sponsor a work visa. 

Luckily for some nationalities, there are a few loopholes you can work through: 

  • If you are from the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland or South Korea, you are able to enter Germany on a Schengen visa and apply for a work visa once in the country.
  • Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for the Czech Republic.
  • Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Italy.
  • Americans can teach in France through the TAPIF programme.
  • Spain offers a number of language exchange programs, in which teachers are hosted by a family in exchange for English tuition.

And don’t forget about the digital nomad visa! Working as an online English teacher gives you the opportunity to apply for one of the many different digital nomad visas in and around Europe. Head to our blog to find out which specific countries offer a digital nomad visa and what you need to apply.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Europe?

Having teaching experience will increase your chance of getting a job in Europe. To get an entry-level teaching job in Europe, most countries don’t require previous teaching experience

If you are not yet TEFL-certified, consider doing a Level 5 TEFL course which includes in-class teaching. Or if you already have a TEFL qualification, why not do our Level 5 Observed Teaching Practice Course? Both of these courses give you practical teaching experience you can note on your CV.

Do I need TEFL certification to teach in Europe?

In Europe most public and private schools require you to have a TEFL certificate to teach English. If you are serious about teaching English in Europe then the best thing you can do is get yourself TEFL qualified with a TEFL certificate that is a minimum of 120 hours. 

The TEFL Academy offers a Level 3 120-hour TEFL course, a Level 5 168-hour Online TEFL Course, and a Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course. Depending on the kind of teaching you want to do, our courses are the perfect way to get qualified and take the first step to finding that perfect job in Europe.

Which European countries can I teach in with no degree?

Most European countries require you to have a Bachelor’s degree to teach English. Some countries want your degree to be in English, while in other countries your degree can be in any field.

In a lot of countries a degree is required by law for non-EU citizens to obtain a work visa. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree then you can look at jobs in Spain, Poland, Georgia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Teaching English online is another option available to TEFL teachers who don’t have a degree. Croatia, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway are just a few countries which offer a digital nomad visa. If you’re eligible, you could be teaching English online from the beaches of Malta!

Can non-native speakers teach English in Europe?

Historically, European countries preferred to hire native speakers from native English speaking countries. Many European schools prefer citizens from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. 

But, that mindset is slowly changing. If you are a non-native English speaker there is a chance to be hired in many European countries. You need to prove your English fluency is at Level C1 or Advanced, but if you’re a TEFL-qualified teacher then that shouldn’t be a problem!

How much start-up capital do I need?

Start up costs are the basic costs you need to survive from when you arrive in Europe until you receive your first paycheque. These costs in Europe may include:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  • Visa application: The cost of getting a work visa is subject to your home country and the country you are applying to. You can expect to pay between $50 -$100.
  • Living expenses: It is a good idea to have between 2,000 and 4,000 ($2,100 and $4,300) to start off in Europe. These costs vary greatly between countries so be sure to carefully research the costs of the country you are heading to.

Types of teaching jobs in Europe

The best thing about teaching in Europe is that there are a huge variety of jobs to choose from. Europe offers you any type of English teaching job you can think of. You could teach at a public school or private school, international school or language school, summer camps or do private tutoring.

Spain is well-known for its language centres, while teachers flock to Italy for summer camps. Business English is the name of the game in Germany, and teachers looking for something different teach English for Specific Purposes to adults in workplaces in France.

Interested? Here are the most common types of teaching jobs in Europe.

Public schools

Some governments in Europe run programs where English teachers are placed in public schools as part of a cultural exchange program. These programs are great opportunities for new or young teachers to get some teaching experience. Each country has its own requirements and benefits for teaching in public schools. Some of the benefits may include health insurance and accommodation.

Popular programs include:

  • Teaching Assistant Program (TAPIF) in France
  • Central European Teaching Program (CETP) in Hungary
  • North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALACP) in Spain
  • Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) in Georgia

Private and international schools

Private and international schools can be found in most big cities all over Europe. These schools prefer teachers with some teaching experience, a Bachelor’s degree and in some instances a teaching qualification. Teachers are well-paid at private and international schools.

Language schools

Language schools provide afternoon and evening English classes for students or adults who want to improve their English or prepare for exams. At a language school you could  teach from absolute Beginners to adults wanting to learn Business English. Schedules at these schools are very flexible, allowing you plenty of time to savour the sangria in Spain, or catch some rays on a beach in Croatia.

Private tutoring

Tutoring is a great way to earn extra money in Europe. Your hourly rate will depend on the country that you choose to teach in. Be sure to check if there any visa requirements which might prevent teachers from doing freelance work outside of their contracted job.

How to get a job teaching English in Europe

The first step is to update your CV. When you have found a job you want to apply for, write a relevant cover letter, highlighting t your teaching experience and qualifications. 

Here are our top tips for finding teaching jobs in Europe:

  • Do a TEFL course. To give yourself the edge you need to do a TEFL course from a reputable and internationally recognised TEFL provider. The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour course is exactly what you need to get noticed in Europe.
  • Look online. Most teaching jobs in Europe are advertised online. Find hundreds of job postings on The TEFL Academy’s jobs board.
  • Be on the lookout for positions in March or April. Schools might not be very responsive from mid-July to August due to holidays.
  • Look for government teaching programs. Most European countries have programs where they place teachers in public schools.
  • Be money-savvy. You need to be financially prepared to carry your own costs for the first four to six weeks of your stay in Europe. Most schools won’t pay you upfront.
  • Know your visa options. Scroll up to read more about visa requirements in our visa section.
  • Market yourself as a private tutor. Private English lessons are in high demand in countries all across Europe. 

Some European countries prefer to have an in-person interview. That means that you will have to be in the country when applying for jobs.

What is the average salary for teaching English in Europe?

When looking at the average salary of a TEFL teacher in Europe, it is important to look at what is included in your salary package. It’s worth remembering that your work-life balance might be better in a country that offers a lower salary. 

Let’s take a general look at the average salaries in a few European countries:

  • Switzerland

€2,000 – €3,000 ($2,200 – $2,300)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • The Netherlands

€1,400 – €2,500 ($1,500 – $2,700)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Sweden

€1,400 – €2,500 ($1,500 – $2,700)

Higher cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Spain

€1,200 – €1,500 ($1,300 – $1,600)

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Italy

€1,200 – €1,400 ($1,300 –  $1,500) 

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

  • Czech Republic

€500 – €1,200 ($550 – $1,300)

Lower cost of living compared to most European countries

The benefits that you can expect differ from country to country and school to school. As a teacher in Europe, you could expect the following benefits:

  • Contribution to your flight expenses
  • Assistance with your visa costs
  • Accommodation or housing allowance
  • Health insurance
  • End-of-contract bonus
  • Paid holiday

What is the average cost of living in Europe?

As you can imagine, Europe has something to offer all kinds of bank balances. You can decide to work for a high salary in countries like Switzerland, Sweden or Norway and enjoy a high standard of living. Or you can decide to look at East European countries that pay a bit less, but have a more affordable cost of living. Three of the cheapest places to live in Europe are Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain.

Poland – Poland offers you a low cost of living and a high standard of living. Here you will have great infrastructure, high speed internet, good housing and lots of entertainment. You will be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle on a teaching salary. The average cost of living in Poland is about 450 ($500) per month.

The Czech Republic – In the Czech Republic you can enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, restaurants and entertainment at very affordable prices. Housing is cheaper than most European countries. Teachers can have a comfortable lifestyle, but might not be able to save a lot of money. The average cost of living in the Czech Republic is about  1,400 ($1,500) a month.

Spain – Compared to other Western European countries Spain is very affordable. The cost of living is much lower than France and the Norway, for instance. Spain is a very popular destination for English teachers because of the surplus of TEFL jobs and the high quality of life. The average cost of living in Spain is about 1,500 ($1,600) a month.

Is it possible to save as a TEFL teacher in Europe?

Compared to Asian countries where TEFL salaries are higher, TEFL teachers are not able to save as much while teaching in Europe. Western European countries might pay well, but the cost of living is high. 

Lots of English teachers take on private tutoring to supplement their income in Europe and this allows you to save money. If you choose to live and work in an Eastern European country, then you will be able to put away some money each month. 

Most TEFL teachers in Europe break even each month, but with clever planning you can likely save between 200 – 300 ($220 – $330) a month.

What's it like to live and work in Europe?

Europe is probably the ultimate destination to live out your English teaching dream. In European countries you have flexible work hours that give you the opportunity to explore the beauty that Europe has to offer – whether that means taking a tram in Lisbon, visiting a goulash festival in Budapest, or enjoying a cappuccino in Paris. Europe is a great place to explore a new culture and learn a new language.

While the cost of living depends on which country you choose to call home, what remains the same in all European countries is the ease with which you can move from country to country. Simply hop on a train and before you blink you can be in another country!

Here are some things to keep in mind when living and teaching in Europe:

  • Culture shock is a thing. Most of us think that travelling to Europe because we consider it to be similar to our own countries. But integrating into a culture, no matter how similar it may seem to yours, can be uncomfortable. Being aware of culture shock is important. 
  • Learning the local language will get you far. You will be able to get around Europe by speaking English, but if you plan to live or travel to rural areas it is best to learn some phrases of the local language. It will greatly enrich your experience and allow you to experience the culture more if you learn the local language. Nothing beats being able to order a coffee in French or buying bread from your local baker in German.
  • The teaching environment is traditional. In Europe students tend to learn through memorising material and they are not used to using conversations or discussions as a teaching tool. TEFL teachers need to introduce their students to their unique teaching style for optimal results.
  • Eating is an experience. In Europe meals are not to be hurried. Embrace this! You will quickly feel like a local if you understand the importance of certain food or meals in the community you work in. 

Tempted by tortellini in Tuscany? Itching to see Istanbul? Sold on a surf in San Sebastian? Sign up for a TEFL course with The TEFL Academy and get going!

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