Teach English in Turkey

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 23, 2023

Contents

Why teach English
Where to teach
Basic requirements
Jobs and programs
How to get a job
Saving in Turkey
Life and culture

Are you ready for a life-changing adventure in a country where customs and continents collide? How about teaching English in Turkey? Not only will you immerse yourself in a rich and diverse culture, but you can make a real difference in the lives of your students. 

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your teaching materials, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

 From Istanbul to Ankara, in this article you’ll find everything you need from the requirements of teaching English abroad to what to expect living in Turkey.

Why teach English in Turkey?

If you’re looking for a unique and rewarding teaching experience, Turkey might just be the perfect place for you. With a booming economy and growing demand for English language instruction, there are plenty of opportunities for TEFL teachers to find work.

But it’s not just the job prospects that make Turkey an attractive destination for aspiring teachers – the country is also home to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes, delicious food, and friendly people

Visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over (the very-Instagrammable) Cappadocia, enjoy the sleepy seaside villages around Bodrum, and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee at any time of the day. 

So, if you’re ready for a new adventure, why not start teaching English in Turkey? It might just be the experience of a lifetime!

Best places for English teaching jobs in Turkey

Here are some of the best places to find English teacher jobs in Turkey:

Istanbul

Where continents collide

As Turkey’s largest city and economic hub, Istanbul offers a wealth of opportunities for English teachers.

Ankara

Turkey’s vibrant trading capital

The capital of Turkey, Ankara is another great place to look for English teaching jobs. With bustling markets, ancient temples and winding streets, it is a bustling city of contrasts. 

Izmir

Ancient historic beauty

Located on the Aegean coast, Izmir is a beautiful city known for its laid-back lifestyle and stunning beaches. It’s home to several language schools and universities that frequently hire English teachers.

Antalya

Where travellers get the chance to breathe

If you’re looking for a more relaxed pace of life, Antalya might be the perfect destination for you. This Mediterranean city is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also home to a growing number of language schools and universities.

Basic requirements

Have we lured you in with some of Turkey’s best tourist destinations yet? Now you have an idea of where it is you might want to teach English, let’s look at what you need to get yourself there! 

Do you need a visa to teach English in Turkey?

In order to work in Turkey, a work visa is required. A university degree and a full TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours is needed for a work visa. You need to have proof of income, permit fees and a clean background check. Ensure that your passport is up-to-date.

Your employer should assist you with the visa application process. Working solely on a Residence permit or tourist visa is illegal for English teachers abroad. 

Our online 120-hour TEFL course is the perfect qualification for ensuring your Turkish visa application is as smooth as possible! 

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Turkey?

Prior experience is seen as beneficial, but not essential when it comes to English teacher jobs in Turkey. For those without previous classroom experience, we recommend our Combined Level 5 course, which includes a 10-hour teaching practicum to help build your confidence. 

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Turkey?

To begin your TEFL journey in Turkey, most employers will ask for a TEFL certificate with a minimum of 120 hours. Our Level 3 course is done entirely online at your own pace, and gives you exactly those 120 hours you need.

But, to ensure your resume really sticks out for one of the highly sought-after paying positions, consider picking up our Level 5 course

Can I teach English in Turkey with no degree?

At the time of writing, a degree is required to get a visa for Turkey. Some top-level positions will insist on the degrees being specifically in English, or a Master’s in linguistics.

Is there an age limit for teaching English in Turkey?

Currently, the retirement age in Turkey is 60 for men and 58 for women. While there is no official age limit for TEFL jobs in Turkey, some employers may be hesitant hiring anyone over that age bracket. 

Can non-native speakers teach English in Turkey?

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Turkey. Provided your employer offers you a job, you should be able to source a visa and begin teaching! 

Do you need to speak Turkish to teach English in Turkey?

Despite being a hotspot tourist destination and surrounded by countries where TEFL has become increasingly popular, Turkey’s own English proficiency remains low. Roughly 15% – 20% of the population claim to be able to speak English. 

Because of this, we recommend picking up some key phrases in Turkey for your out-of-classroom adventures, especially if you’re away from the major cities. 

Inside the classroom, no Turkish is needed. TEFL teachers teach English through immersion, so only one language is used in the classroom – English!

How much start-up capital do I need to teach in Turkey?

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500 USD, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any fees incurred by apostilling your TEFL certification, visas or passport. 
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on starting location. 
  • Visa application: A Turkish work visa can vary between $140 – $420 depending on the length of your stay. 
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Turkey, the average cost of living is ₺9,275 ($478 USD), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Turkey

There are different types of English teaching jobs in Turkey, each with its own requirements and average salary.

Language schools, public schools, international schools, private tutoring and online teaching, let’s see what Turkey can offer you.

Private language schools

Private language schools are businesses that offer English classes to students of all ages and levels. These schools typically offer full-time and part-time positions for English teachers. The average income for English teachers in private language schools in Turkey ranges from ₺2,500 – ₺4,500 ($128 – $232) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

International schools

International schools in Turkey offer education in English or other foreign languages, and usually follow an international curriculum. English teachers in international schools typically need a teaching certification and experience. The average salary for English teachers in international schools in Turkey is around ₺6,000 – ₺10,000 ($309 – $515) a month.

Public schools

To work in a public school, you’ll need to have a teaching certification and pass a government-administered exam. The average salary for English teachers in public schools in Turkey is around ₺3,500 – ₺5,000 ($180 – $257) a month.

Freelance teaching

Some English teachers in Turkey work as freelancers, offering private lessons to teach English to individuals or small groups. The average hourly rate for freelance English teachers in Turkey is around ₺80 – ₺100 ($4 – $5) an hour.

Online teaching

You can also find online jobs to teach English to people from Turkey. This allows you to make money online whilst having a remote job. The average hourly rate is around ₺80 – ₺100 ($4 – $5) an hour.

How to get a job teaching English in Turkey

Now you know the types of TEFL positions in Turkey – your next question should be: ‘how do you go about getting one?’ 

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Picking up a Level 5 TEFL certificate (for those who don’t have previous experience especially) is first on the list. 
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Make sure to only go for the job you are actually interested in! 
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes apostilling your TEFL certificate, and all other paperwork such as passports. 
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor your CV for each position. Don’t accept the first position you’re offered – with a TEFL qualification, opportunities will always come!
  5. Start your job search. Check our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters will be helpful in ensuring all the benefits offered by your employer are being fulfilled.
  7. Apply for a visa. After completing your interview and securing a job offer, you will be able to apply for a visa. 

Overall, getting a job teaching English in Turkey requires some preparation and effort, but with the right qualifications and approach, you should be able to find a rewarding teaching position. Good luck!

Is it possible to save money in Turkey?

Yes, it is possible to save money as an English teacher in Turkey, although the amount you are able to save will depend on a number of factors, such as your salary, living expenses, and lifestyle. Imported foods at supermarkets come at a premium price, and enjoying the Western-style bars and nightlife will also drain your finances much more than the local cuisines and establishments. 

Salaries are not the best in Turkey, meaning being savvy with the benefits offered by employers is key to saving money. 

Overall, while it may not be possible to save a fortune as an English teacher in Turkey, it is definitely possible to live comfortably and save some money if you are willing to be smart about your spending.

What’s it like to live and teach English in Turkey?

Living and teaching English in Turkey can be an exciting and enriching experience. Day to day, you can expect to encounter a diverse and welcoming culture, bustling cities, and delicious cuisine. 

As a teacher, you may teach in public or private schools, language centres, or even offer private lessons. Turkish students are generally eager to learn and respectful towards their teachers. Outside of work, you can explore historic sites like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, or take a dip in the 

Mediterranean Sea. Just be prepared for the occasional language barrier and the need to adapt to a different way of life. 

But overall, living and teaching in Turkey can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Contents

Are you ready for a life-changing adventure in a country where customs and continents collide? How about teaching English in Turkey? Not only will you immerse yourself in a rich and diverse culture, but you can make a real difference in the lives of your students. 

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your teaching materials, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

 From Istanbul to Ankara, in this article you’ll find everything you need from the requirements of teaching English abroad to what to expect living in Turkey.

Why teach English in Turkey?

If you’re looking for a unique and rewarding teaching experience, Turkey might just be the perfect place for you. With a booming economy and growing demand for English language instruction, there are plenty of opportunities for TEFL teachers to find work.

But it’s not just the job prospects that make Turkey an attractive destination for aspiring teachers – the country is also home to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes, delicious food, and friendly people

Visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over (the very-Instagrammable) Cappadocia, enjoy the sleepy seaside villages around Bodrum, and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee at any time of the day. 

So, if you’re ready for a new adventure, why not start teaching English in Turkey? It might just be the experience of a lifetime!

Best places for English teaching jobs in Turkey

Here are some of the best places to find English teacher jobs in Turkey:

Istanbul

Where continents collide

As Turkey’s largest city and economic hub, Istanbul offers a wealth of opportunities for English teachers.

Ankara

Turkey’s vibrant trading capital

The capital of Turkey, Ankara is another great place to look for English teaching jobs. With bustling markets, ancient temples and winding streets, it is a bustling city of contrasts. 

Izmir

Ancient historic beauty

Located on the Aegean coast, Izmir is a beautiful city known for its laid-back lifestyle and stunning beaches. It’s home to several language schools and universities that frequently hire English teachers.

Antalya

Where travellers get the chance to breathe

If you’re looking for a more relaxed pace of life, Antalya might be the perfect destination for you. This Mediterranean city is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also home to a growing number of language schools and universities.

Basic requirements

Have we lured you in with some of Turkey’s best tourist destinations yet? Now you have an idea of where it is you might want to teach English, let’s look at what you need to get yourself there! 

Do you need a visa to teach English in Turkey?

In order to work in Turkey, a work visa is required. A university degree and a full TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours is needed for a work visa. You need to have proof of income, permit fees and a clean background check. Ensure that your passport is up-to-date.

Your employer should assist you with the visa application process. Working solely on a Residence permit or tourist visa is illegal for English teachers abroad. 

Our online 120-hour TEFL course is the perfect qualification for ensuring your Turkish visa application is as smooth as possible! 

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Turkey?

Prior experience is seen as beneficial, but not essential when it comes to English teacher jobs in Turkey. For those without previous classroom experience, we recommend our Combined Level 5 course, which includes a 10-hour teaching practicum to help build your confidence. 

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Turkey?

To begin your TEFL journey in Turkey, most employers will ask for a TEFL certificate with a minimum of 120 hours. Our Level 3 course is done entirely online at your own pace, and gives you exactly those 120 hours you need.

But, to ensure your resume really sticks out for one of the highly sought-after paying positions, consider picking up our Level 5 course

Can I teach English in Turkey with no degree?

At the time of writing, a degree is required to get a visa for Turkey. Some top-level positions will insist on the degrees being specifically in English, or a Master’s in linguistics.

Is there an age limit for teaching English in Turkey?

Currently, the retirement age in Turkey is 60 for men and 58 for women. While there is no official age limit for TEFL jobs in Turkey, some employers may be hesitant hiring anyone over that age bracket. 

Can non-native speakers teach English in Turkey?

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Turkey. Provided your employer offers you a job, you should be able to source a visa and begin teaching! 

Do you need to speak Turkish to teach English in Turkey?

Despite being a hotspot tourist destination and surrounded by countries where TEFL has become increasingly popular, Turkey’s own English proficiency remains low. Roughly 15% – 20% of the population claim to be able to speak English. 

Because of this, we recommend picking up some key phrases in Turkey for your out-of-classroom adventures, especially if you’re away from the major cities. 

Inside the classroom, no Turkish is needed. TEFL teachers teach English through immersion, so only one language is used in the classroom – English!

How much start-up capital do I need to teach in Turkey?

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500 USD, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any fees incurred by apostilling your TEFL certification, visas or passport. 
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on starting location. 
  • Visa application: A Turkish work visa can vary between $140 – $420 depending on the length of your stay. 
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Turkey, the average cost of living is ₺9,275 ($478 USD), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Turkey

There are different types of English teaching jobs in Turkey, each with its own requirements and average salary.

Language schools, public schools, international schools, private tutoring and online teaching, let’s see what Turkey can offer you.

Private language schools

Private language schools are businesses that offer English classes to students of all ages and levels. These schools typically offer full-time and part-time positions for English teachers. The average income for English teachers in private language schools in Turkey ranges from ₺2,500 – ₺4,500 ($128 – $232) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

International schools

International schools in Turkey offer education in English or other foreign languages, and usually follow an international curriculum. English teachers in international schools typically need a teaching certification and experience. The average salary for English teachers in international schools in Turkey is around ₺6,000 – ₺10,000 ($309 – $515) a month.

Public schools

To work in a public school, you’ll need to have a teaching certification and pass a government-administered exam. The average salary for English teachers in public schools in Turkey is around ₺3,500 – ₺5,000 ($180 – $257) a month.

Freelance teaching

Some English teachers in Turkey work as freelancers, offering private lessons to teach English to individuals or small groups. The average hourly rate for freelance English teachers in Turkey is around ₺80 – ₺100 ($4 – $5) an hour.

Online teaching

You can also find online jobs to teach English to people from Turkey. This allows you to make money online whilst having a remote job. The average hourly rate is around ₺80 – ₺100 ($4 – $5) an hour.

How to get a job teaching English in Turkey

Now you know the types of TEFL positions in Turkey – your next question should be: ‘how do you go about getting one?’ 

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Picking up a Level 5 TEFL certificate (for those who don’t have previous experience especially) is first on the list. 
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Make sure to only go for the job you are actually interested in! 
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes apostilling your TEFL certificate, and all other paperwork such as passports. 
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor your CV for each position. Don’t accept the first position you’re offered – with a TEFL qualification, opportunities will always come!
  5. Start your job search. Check our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters will be helpful in ensuring all the benefits offered by your employer are being fulfilled.
  7. Apply for a visa. After completing your interview and securing a job offer, you will be able to apply for a visa. 

Overall, getting a job teaching English in Turkey requires some preparation and effort, but with the right qualifications and approach, you should be able to find a rewarding teaching position. Good luck!

Is it possible to save money in Turkey?

Yes, it is possible to save money as an English teacher in Turkey, although the amount you are able to save will depend on a number of factors, such as your salary, living expenses, and lifestyle. Imported foods at supermarkets come at a premium price, and enjoying the Western-style bars and nightlife will also drain your finances much more than the local cuisines and establishments. 

Salaries are not the best in Turkey, meaning being savvy with the benefits offered by employers is key to saving money. 

Overall, while it may not be possible to save a fortune as an English teacher in Turkey, it is definitely possible to live comfortably and save some money if you are willing to be smart about your spending.

What’s it like to live and teach English in Turkey?

Living and teaching English in Turkey can be an exciting and enriching experience. Day to day, you can expect to encounter a diverse and welcoming culture, bustling cities, and delicious cuisine. 

As a teacher, you may teach in public or private schools, language centres, or even offer private lessons. Turkish students are generally eager to learn and respectful towards their teachers. Outside of work, you can explore historic sites like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, or take a dip in the 

Mediterranean Sea. Just be prepared for the occasional language barrier and the need to adapt to a different way of life. 

But overall, living and teaching in Turkey can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

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