Teach English in the Netherlands

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 22, 2023

Contents

Why teach in Netherlands
Best places to teach
Basic requirements
Types of teaching jobs
How to get a job
Average salary
Common benefits
Cost of living
Saving opportunities
Life and culture

Have you always dreamed of seeing beautiful fields of colourful tulips? Are you keen to cycle around cities and rural areas for sightseeing? If this, and the idea of iconic windmills, canals, art and cheese excites you, then the Netherlands is the place for you.

The Dutch are known for their excellent ability at speaking English and have been voted first or second in the World’s English Proficiency Test in recent years. Consequently, there is not a high demand for English teachers in the Netherlands. However persistent teachers with good qualifications can still find opportunities.

Let’s look at how you can find a job in the Netherlands even though the demand is not high for English teachers and what it is like living and working there.

Why Teach English In The Netherlands

The Dutch are very good at English. English is compulsory in all Dutch schools and more than 1,500 university degrees in the Netherlands are taught in English. 

Still, if you have the right qualifications – usually a teaching qualification, a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certification and experience  – you’ll be able to find a TEFL job.

But why teach English in the Netherlands?

  • The great outdoors. The Netherlands is an outdoor culture. You can cycle almost everywhere. And a lot of time is spent outdoors, even in winter!
  • Good teaching conditions. Teachers in the Netherlands earn very good salaries, but the cost of living is very high compared to other European cities. The Netherlands is one of the most progressive countries in the world and you can expect benefits like paid vacation time, paid sick leave, health insurance, pension, flight reimbursements and accommodation.
  • It’s the centre of Europe. The Netherlands has vast open landscapes to explore with your bicycle. Travelling through the Netherlands you’ll see that the Dutch have a rich appreciation for art, an open mindset and a growing economy. The Netherlands is also perfectly situated to easily explore the rest of Europe by train or with a quick flight.
  • Interesting cuisine. There is a big misconception that Dutch food is bland. But you’ll quickly experience that this is not the case – you have to try the syrup-covered waffle called a stroop wafel!  And no visit to the Netherlands is complete without trying their famous Edam and Gouda cheese or local craft beer.

Best places to teach English In the Netherlands

The Netherlands provides a very high quality of living and most cities (and even rural areas) will be well-suited for English teachers. But because of the shortage of TEFL jobs in the Netherlands, let’s look at the best places to teach English.

Amsterdam

Best for city slickers

Amsterdam is the biggest city in the Netherlands and if you are craving big-city life then this is the place for you. Not only will you have all the modern conveniences of a European city but you will be spoilt with rich culture and heritage. 

The Dutch capital has stunning 16th-century architecture, romantic canals and delicious food. Here you can visit various museums, stroll through the beautiful parks, and experience the cafe culture. The city has a number of universities that create English teaching opportunities.

Utrecht

A vibey student town

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and many people prefer it above Amsterdam because the city has a very cosy atmosphere. Utrecht has a lot of universities and is a lively student city

The city has beautiful canals and parks, amazing cafes, interesting museums and stunning historical buildings. In Utrecht, you will have everything that is in Amsterdam but without all the tourists. 

Rotterdam

For the nightlife

If you’re looking for a city that boasts stunning architecture, then Rotterdam is the best place to be. The architecture is characterised by interesting designs and high-rise buildings; the skyline changes all the time. The city has wonderful museums and amazing outdoor sculptures, installations and street art. Rotterdam is known for its exciting nightlife, with a range of bars, pubs and clubs.

What are the basic requirements to teach English in the Netherlands

As the Netherlands has a very high standard of education they have certain requirements that TEFL teachers need to meet to teach in the Netherlands.

Let’s look at what you need to qualify to teach English in the Netherlands.

Degree requirements

You need a Bachelor’s degree to teach English in the Netherlands.

A TEFL certification

The Netherlands requires you to have a minimum of a 120-hour TEFL certification to teach English. The Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course from The TEFL Academy is exactly what you need to spice up your CV to help you get a job teaching English in the Netherlands. 

EU Citizenship or a work visa

European citizens and those who already have residency and working privileges can easily find a job in the Netherlands. It’ll be challenging for non-EU citizens to get a teaching job in the Netherlands and you need a residency permit and working visa. Work visas are arranged before you arrive in the Netherlands through your employer, so it’s best to have a job before you travel to the Netherlands.

Save for basic start-up costs

Start-up costs are the basic costs you need to survive from when you arrive in the Netherlands until you receive your first paycheque. We suggest you have about €3,000 ($3,300 USD) available to start off in the Netherlands before you receive your first paycheque.

Here are a few costs you need to consider when starting out in the Netherlands:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and security 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 a  visa is subject to your home country. You can expect to pay between $50 and $100.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about €1,000 ($1,100) to cover your living expenses.

Types of teaching jobs In Netherlands

Schools in the Netherlands prefer to hire EU citizens as they can work without a work permit. But if you’re really persistent, and have good qualifications and experience you will be able to find a job in the Netherlands. You can look at the following type of positions:

Private language schools

A lot of private language schools in the Netherlands are located in Den Haag and Amsterdam. Teaching at a private language school can be a good starting point for a new TEFL teacher as the requirements are not as strict as with other schools. Private language schools are usually aimed at specialised English, like Business English, Legal English or Academic English. The school will expect you to have experience in these fields. In the Netherlands, you’ll most likely be teaching Advanced students at these private language schools.

International schools

At international schools students study the International Baccalaureate program that focuses either on a British or American curriculum. Getting a job at an international school is very competitive. These schools teach from elementary to high school and include a wide range of subjects. To secure a job at an international school you need a Bachelor’s degree, or even a Master’s degree, and lots of teaching experience. It is best to contact schools directly via their website for job vacancies.

Universities

The Netherlands offer over 2,500 degree options in English. Some of the world’s best universities are located in the Netherlands and it could be a great opportunity for you to teach at one of them. Teachers looking at this option should have advanced degrees, sometimes in English, as well as teaching experience and recognised credentials.

How to get a job teaching English In the Netherlands

Jobs are not readily available for TEFL teachers in the Netherlands. On top of that, it’s more difficult for non-EU citizens to find jobs due to difficult visa procedures. Below are some tips to help you make your dream of becoming a teacher in the Netherlands a reality:

  • Know when to look for a job. The best time to look for a job in the Netherlands is at the beginning of the school year in September. Some positions might also become available during the summer months before the start of the school year.
  • Have the correct qualifications. A TEFL teacher in the Netherlands needs to be an EU citizen, have a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification. The more experience you have the easier it will be to find a job.

Average salary for teaching English In the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known to pay teachers well.  Whether you teach in a language school, international school or university will largely influence what salary and benefits you get. Even though you will be getting a healthy salary, the cost of living is high in the Netherlands.

The average salary for a TEFL teacher in the Netherlands is between €2,000 – €3,200 ($2,200 – $3,500) a month. Those wanting to do online teaching or private tutoring can charge between €22 – €27 ($25 and $30) an hour. 

No matter your salary you will have to pay a high percentage of between 30 and 40% to taxes. The Netherlands spends a lot on social services and the cost of living is high.

What are the common benefits for teachers In the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is one of the most progressive countries in the world. You can expect benefits like paid vacation time, paid sick leave, health insurance, pension, flight reimbursements and accommodation.

What is the cost of living in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands you can look forward to beautiful landscapes, really competitive salaries and a high quality of life. If you choose, you can have flexible work hours that will allow you to take time to explore the country. 

Let’s look in more detail at the average monthly cost of living in the Netherlands.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: € 1,200 ($1,300)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: 1,000 ($1,100)

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: €160 ($175)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: €350 ($400)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 15 ($16)

Transport

  • Monthly pass: 96 ($105)
  • One-way ticket: 3.40 ($3.70)
  • Bicycle: €200 ($220) – and FREE to ride!

Internet

  • Unlimited: €40 ($45)

Entertainment

Gym, cinema, clubbing: €230 ($250)

Is It possible to save as a TEFL teacher In the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has a very high standard of living. Taxes are high and a lot is spent on social services. With a basic teaching salary in the Netherlands, you will live a comfortable life but not be able to save much. Schools in the Netherlands provide great benefits, so you may be able to save on accommodation. 

As the Dutch have great English skills, you won’t find a lot of opportunities to supplement your salary with private tutoring or online classes. In big cities where there are a lot of foreigners, it might be an option to supplement your salary with private classes.

What's like to live and work in the Netherlands?

  • The Dutch are straight shooters. The Dutch are known to be very direct and it might take some time for you to get used to this. They won’t hold back from giving you their honest opinion. 
  • The Netherlands is very liberal. The Dutch are more liberal than most Europeans. Coffee shops are not just coffee shops, as marijuana is freely sold at many establishments in the Netherlands. 
  • Embrace the bicycle culture. In the Netherlands, you’ll find more bicycles than cars. There are well-constructed pathways for bicycles and people on their bikes have priority on the road. In fact, if you are on your bicycle you are more important than cars on the road. Why not ride your bike to work?!
  • Follow the rules. Being on time is really important in the Netherlands. Your students and fellow teachers will see it as very rude if you cancel plans at short notice. 
  • Students can be brutally honest. You will have to learn that this is just the way they are and does not mean that you are doing a bad job.

In the Netherlands, education is really important and taken very seriously by students and their parents. As students have great English skills, you’ll have a great time engaging with competent students who will enrich your life. 

Start your teaching journey with The TEFL Academy. 

Sign up for one of our TEFL courses and you can complete the course in your own time, at your own pace – with six months’ access to the course materials. Our TEFL courses teach you everything you need to know about teaching English as a foreign language. It’s exactly what you need to teach English in the Netherlands.

Contents

Have you always dreamed of seeing beautiful fields of colourful tulips? Are you keen to cycle around cities and rural areas for sightseeing? If this, and the idea of iconic windmills, canals, art and cheese excites you, then the Netherlands is the place for you.

The Dutch are known for their excellent ability at speaking English and have been voted first or second in the World’s English Proficiency Test in recent years. Consequently, there is not a high demand for English teachers in the Netherlands. However persistent teachers with good qualifications can still find opportunities.

Let’s look at how you can find a job in the Netherlands even though the demand is not high for English teachers and what it is like living and working there.

Why Teach English In The Netherlands

The Dutch are very good at English. English is compulsory in all Dutch schools and more than 1,500 university degrees in the Netherlands are taught in English. 

Still, if you have the right qualifications – usually a teaching qualification, a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certification and experience  – you’ll be able to find a TEFL job.

But why teach English in the Netherlands?

  • The great outdoors. The Netherlands is an outdoor culture. You can cycle almost everywhere. And a lot of time is spent outdoors, even in winter!
  • Good teaching conditions. Teachers in the Netherlands earn very good salaries, but the cost of living is very high compared to other European cities. The Netherlands is one of the most progressive countries in the world and you can expect benefits like paid vacation time, paid sick leave, health insurance, pension, flight reimbursements and accommodation.
  • It’s the centre of Europe. The Netherlands has vast open landscapes to explore with your bicycle. Travelling through the Netherlands you’ll see that the Dutch have a rich appreciation for art, an open mindset and a growing economy. The Netherlands is also perfectly situated to easily explore the rest of Europe by train or with a quick flight.
  • Interesting cuisine. There is a big misconception that Dutch food is bland. But you’ll quickly experience that this is not the case – you have to try the syrup-covered waffle called a stroop wafel!  And no visit to the Netherlands is complete without trying their famous Edam and Gouda cheese or local craft beer.

Best places to teach English In the Netherlands

The Netherlands provides a very high quality of living and most cities (and even rural areas) will be well-suited for English teachers. But because of the shortage of TEFL jobs in the Netherlands, let’s look at the best places to teach English.

Amsterdam

Best for city slickers

Amsterdam is the biggest city in the Netherlands and if you are craving big-city life then this is the place for you. Not only will you have all the modern conveniences of a European city but you will be spoilt with rich culture and heritage. 

The Dutch capital has stunning 16th-century architecture, romantic canals and delicious food. Here you can visit various museums, stroll through the beautiful parks, and experience the cafe culture. The city has a number of universities that create English teaching opportunities.

Utrecht

A vibey student town

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and many people prefer it above Amsterdam because the city has a very cosy atmosphere. Utrecht has a lot of universities and is a lively student city

The city has beautiful canals and parks, amazing cafes, interesting museums and stunning historical buildings. In Utrecht, you will have everything that is in Amsterdam but without all the tourists. 

Rotterdam

For the nightlife

If you’re looking for a city that boasts stunning architecture, then Rotterdam is the best place to be. The architecture is characterised by interesting designs and high-rise buildings; the skyline changes all the time. The city has wonderful museums and amazing outdoor sculptures, installations and street art. Rotterdam is known for its exciting nightlife, with a range of bars, pubs and clubs.

What are the basic requirements to teach English in the Netherlands

As the Netherlands has a very high standard of education they have certain requirements that TEFL teachers need to meet to teach in the Netherlands.

Let’s look at what you need to qualify to teach English in the Netherlands.

Degree requirements

You need a Bachelor’s degree to teach English in the Netherlands.

A TEFL certification

The Netherlands requires you to have a minimum of a 120-hour TEFL certification to teach English. The Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course from The TEFL Academy is exactly what you need to spice up your CV to help you get a job teaching English in the Netherlands. 

EU Citizenship or a work visa

European citizens and those who already have residency and working privileges can easily find a job in the Netherlands. It’ll be challenging for non-EU citizens to get a teaching job in the Netherlands and you need a residency permit and working visa. Work visas are arranged before you arrive in the Netherlands through your employer, so it’s best to have a job before you travel to the Netherlands.

Save for basic start-up costs

Start-up costs are the basic costs you need to survive from when you arrive in the Netherlands until you receive your first paycheque. We suggest you have about €3,000 ($3,300 USD) available to start off in the Netherlands before you receive your first paycheque.

Here are a few costs you need to consider when starting out in the Netherlands:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and security 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 a  visa is subject to your home country. You can expect to pay between $50 and $100.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about €1,000 ($1,100) to cover your living expenses.

Types of teaching jobs In Netherlands

Schools in the Netherlands prefer to hire EU citizens as they can work without a work permit. But if you’re really persistent, and have good qualifications and experience you will be able to find a job in the Netherlands. You can look at the following type of positions:

Private language schools

A lot of private language schools in the Netherlands are located in Den Haag and Amsterdam. Teaching at a private language school can be a good starting point for a new TEFL teacher as the requirements are not as strict as with other schools. Private language schools are usually aimed at specialised English, like Business English, Legal English or Academic English. The school will expect you to have experience in these fields. In the Netherlands, you’ll most likely be teaching Advanced students at these private language schools.

International schools

At international schools students study the International Baccalaureate program that focuses either on a British or American curriculum. Getting a job at an international school is very competitive. These schools teach from elementary to high school and include a wide range of subjects. To secure a job at an international school you need a Bachelor’s degree, or even a Master’s degree, and lots of teaching experience. It is best to contact schools directly via their website for job vacancies.

Universities

The Netherlands offer over 2,500 degree options in English. Some of the world’s best universities are located in the Netherlands and it could be a great opportunity for you to teach at one of them. Teachers looking at this option should have advanced degrees, sometimes in English, as well as teaching experience and recognised credentials.

How to get a job teaching English In the Netherlands

Jobs are not readily available for TEFL teachers in the Netherlands. On top of that, it’s more difficult for non-EU citizens to find jobs due to difficult visa procedures. Below are some tips to help you make your dream of becoming a teacher in the Netherlands a reality:

  • Know when to look for a job. The best time to look for a job in the Netherlands is at the beginning of the school year in September. Some positions might also become available during the summer months before the start of the school year.
  • Have the correct qualifications. A TEFL teacher in the Netherlands needs to be an EU citizen, have a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification. The more experience you have the easier it will be to find a job.

Average salary for teaching English In the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known to pay teachers well.  Whether you teach in a language school, international school or university will largely influence what salary and benefits you get. Even though you will be getting a healthy salary, the cost of living is high in the Netherlands.

The average salary for a TEFL teacher in the Netherlands is between €2,000 – €3,200 ($2,200 – $3,500) a month. Those wanting to do online teaching or private tutoring can charge between €22 – €27 ($25 and $30) an hour. 

No matter your salary you will have to pay a high percentage of between 30 and 40% to taxes. The Netherlands spends a lot on social services and the cost of living is high.

What are the common benefits for teachers In the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is one of the most progressive countries in the world. You can expect benefits like paid vacation time, paid sick leave, health insurance, pension, flight reimbursements and accommodation.

What is the cost of living in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands you can look forward to beautiful landscapes, really competitive salaries and a high quality of life. If you choose, you can have flexible work hours that will allow you to take time to explore the country. 

Let’s look in more detail at the average monthly cost of living in the Netherlands.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: € 1,200 ($1,300)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: 1,000 ($1,100)

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: €160 ($175)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: €350 ($400)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 15 ($16)

Transport

  • Monthly pass: 96 ($105)
  • One-way ticket: 3.40 ($3.70)
  • Bicycle: €200 ($220) – and FREE to ride!

Internet

  • Unlimited: €40 ($45)

Entertainment

Gym, cinema, clubbing: €230 ($250)

Is It possible to save as a TEFL teacher In the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has a very high standard of living. Taxes are high and a lot is spent on social services. With a basic teaching salary in the Netherlands, you will live a comfortable life but not be able to save much. Schools in the Netherlands provide great benefits, so you may be able to save on accommodation. 

As the Dutch have great English skills, you won’t find a lot of opportunities to supplement your salary with private tutoring or online classes. In big cities where there are a lot of foreigners, it might be an option to supplement your salary with private classes.

What's like to live and work in the Netherlands?

  • The Dutch are straight shooters. The Dutch are known to be very direct and it might take some time for you to get used to this. They won’t hold back from giving you their honest opinion. 
  • The Netherlands is very liberal. The Dutch are more liberal than most Europeans. Coffee shops are not just coffee shops, as marijuana is freely sold at many establishments in the Netherlands. 
  • Embrace the bicycle culture. In the Netherlands, you’ll find more bicycles than cars. There are well-constructed pathways for bicycles and people on their bikes have priority on the road. In fact, if you are on your bicycle you are more important than cars on the road. Why not ride your bike to work?!
  • Follow the rules. Being on time is really important in the Netherlands. Your students and fellow teachers will see it as very rude if you cancel plans at short notice. 
  • Students can be brutally honest. You will have to learn that this is just the way they are and does not mean that you are doing a bad job.

In the Netherlands, education is really important and taken very seriously by students and their parents. As students have great English skills, you’ll have a great time engaging with competent students who will enrich your life. 

Start your teaching journey with The TEFL Academy. 

Sign up for one of our TEFL courses and you can complete the course in your own time, at your own pace – with six months’ access to the course materials. Our TEFL courses teach you everything you need to know about teaching English as a foreign language. It’s exactly what you need to teach English in the Netherlands.

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