Teach English in Istanbul

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 22, 2023

Contents

Why teach English
Basic requirements
Jobs and programs
How to get a job
Cost of living
Saving opportunities
Life and culture

Are you ready for an adventure? How about teaching English at the crossroads of the world – Istanbul

Known for its historic architecture, delicious cuisine, and bustling bazaars, Istanbul is where continents meet, and remains a perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in a new culture while gaining valuable teaching experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or just starting out, Istanbul has plenty of opportunities for you to teach English. From English schools to universities, to international schools, there are countless institutions looking for talented teachers just like you. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, brush up on your Turkish, and get ready for an unforgettable experience teaching English in Turkey’s capital city!

Why start teaching English in Istanbul?

Oh, there are so many reasons Istanbul is a great place to start teaching English! For starters, it’s a city full of energy, history, and culture – there’s always something new to explore and discover. From marvelling at the majestic Hagia Sophia to wandering around Topkapi Palace to getting a full body scrub at one of the many hamams around the city, Istanbul has enough to keep everyone entertained.

Plus, the demand for English teachers in Istanbul is high, so there are plenty of opportunities to find a job that suits your skills and interests. And let’s not forget about the people – Turks are known for their hospitality and warmth, so you’ll feel right at home in no time. 

And did we mention the food? Turkish cuisine combines the best of Europe and Asia, and you’ll get to indulge in it every day. 

How do I qualify to teach English in Istanbul?

So, you’re thinking about teaching English in Istanbul? That’s great! But you might be wondering what requirements and qualifications you need to have to make that happen.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you’ll need:

Visa requirements

First off, you’ll need to make sure you have the right visa. Depending on your home country, you might need to apply for a work visa or a residence permit before you can legally work in Istanbul.

TEFL certification

Secondly, having an accredited TEFL certification is often a requirement for English teaching jobs in Istanbul. This certification shows that you have the necessary skills and training to teach English as a foreign language.

Bachelor’s degree

A Bachelor’s degree is typically required for teaching English in Istanbul, although some schools and institutions might be more flexible on this requirement.

Experience

Having previous teaching experience is often preferred by employers in Istanbul, but it’s not always necessary – especially if you have other relevant experiences, such as tutoring or mentoring.

Insurance

It’s important to have health insurance in case of any unexpected medical issues while living and working in Istanbul. Make sure to research your options and find a plan that works for you.

Start-up capital

Finally, having some start-up capital can be helpful as you get settled into your new life in Istanbul. This can include money for rent, transport, and other necessary expenses until you start receiving a regular salary from your job.

Types of English teaching jobs in Istanbul

There are different types of jobs and programs where you can teach English. Let’s explore these options so that you can match them with your needs and experience.  

There are a few different types of English teaching jobs in Istanbul, and each one comes with its own salary and benefits. Let’s take a look:

  • Training institutes: English training centres are a popular option and often pay around 3,500 – 5,000 TRY a month ($460 – $650 USD). They typically offer a contract of around one year, and benefits may include health insurance and housing.
  • International schools: They generally offer higher salaries, ranging from 7,500 – 12,500 TRY a month ($980 – $1,635), as well as additional benefits such as housing and health insurance. However, these positions are often more competitive and require higher qualifications and experience.
  • University or college: Universities and colleges can also be great options, with salaries ranging from 4,500 – 8,000 TRY a month ($590 – $1,045). However, these positions often require a Master’s degree or higher.

In terms of benefits, most schools and institutions in Istanbul offer at least some health insurance coverage, and some may provide housing or a housing allowance. Vacation time varies depending on the employer, but most offer around 2-4 weeks a year.

Of course, these are just general guidelines, and salaries and benefits can vary widely depending on the employer, your qualifications, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to do your research and compare offers before accepting a job offer.

How to get a job teaching English in Istanbul

Here’s a quick overview of the process you might follow to get a job teaching English in Istanbul:

  1. Research and apply for job opportunities: Start by researching job opportunities online, looking for job postings on jobs boards and websites. You can also reach out to language schools and universities directly.
  2. Interview: If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to an interview. This will be conducted over the phone, via Skype, or in-person if you’re already in Istanbul.
  3. Visa and work permit: Once you’ve been offered a job, you’ll need to apply for a work visa and residence permit in order to legally work in Istanbul.
  4. Get settled in Istanbul: Once you’ve signed your contract and obtained your visa, it’s time to move to Istanbul! You’ll need to find housing, set up a bank account, and take care of other logistics before starting your new job.

The process can take several weeks or even months, so it’s important to start early and be patient. And remember, every employer might have slightly different requirements and processes, so be sure to do your research and ask questions along the way.

What is the cost of living in Istanbul?

If you’re considering teaching English in Istanbul, you might be wondering about the cost of living and what it’s like to experience the local culture.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment:14,567 TRY ($750) a month

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: 1,486 TRY ($76) a month 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: 6,000 TRY ($300)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 127.50 TRY ($6.50)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass:777 TRY ($40) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: 10 TRY ($0.52)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Istanbul?

As an English teacher in Istanbul, it is possible to save money, although it depends on a variety of factors, including your salary, living expenses, and lifestyle choices.

The cost of living in Istanbul is relatively affordable, particularly when compared to other major cities in Europe. However, it’s expensive compared to other Turkish cities. If you’re careful with your budget and willing to live modestly, it’s possible to save money. Ultimately, it comes down to finding a balance between enjoying all that Istanbul has to offer and being mindful of your spending habits.

What is it like to live and work in Istanbul?

Living and teaching English in Istanbul is an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. 

 If you wonder where to visit, you can go to the Hagia Sophia, which is a stunning architectural marvel that has been around for over a thousand years. For the best view, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Galata Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city. And of course, you can’t miss the old city, where you’ll find the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar

While living and teaching in Istanbul can certainly have its challenges, such as navigating the language barrier or adjusting to a new culture, the rewards of this experience are well worth it. English teaching jobs remain in high demand, and the possibility of saving some extra pennies for your next trip makes this one of TEFL’s best-kept secrets!

Contents

Are you ready for an adventure? How about teaching English at the crossroads of the world – Istanbul

Known for its historic architecture, delicious cuisine, and bustling bazaars, Istanbul is where continents meet, and remains a perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in a new culture while gaining valuable teaching experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or just starting out, Istanbul has plenty of opportunities for you to teach English. From English schools to universities, to international schools, there are countless institutions looking for talented teachers just like you. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, brush up on your Turkish, and get ready for an unforgettable experience teaching English in Turkey’s capital city!

Why start teaching English in Istanbul?

Oh, there are so many reasons Istanbul is a great place to start teaching English! For starters, it’s a city full of energy, history, and culture – there’s always something new to explore and discover. From marvelling at the majestic Hagia Sophia to wandering around Topkapi Palace to getting a full body scrub at one of the many hamams around the city, Istanbul has enough to keep everyone entertained.

Plus, the demand for English teachers in Istanbul is high, so there are plenty of opportunities to find a job that suits your skills and interests. And let’s not forget about the people – Turks are known for their hospitality and warmth, so you’ll feel right at home in no time. 

And did we mention the food? Turkish cuisine combines the best of Europe and Asia, and you’ll get to indulge in it every day. 

How do I qualify to teach English in Istanbul?

So, you’re thinking about teaching English in Istanbul? That’s great! But you might be wondering what requirements and qualifications you need to have to make that happen.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you’ll need:

Visa requirements

First off, you’ll need to make sure you have the right visa. Depending on your home country, you might need to apply for a work visa or a residence permit before you can legally work in Istanbul.

TEFL certification

Secondly, having an accredited TEFL certification is often a requirement for English teaching jobs in Istanbul. This certification shows that you have the necessary skills and training to teach English as a foreign language.

Bachelor’s degree

A Bachelor’s degree is typically required for teaching English in Istanbul, although some schools and institutions might be more flexible on this requirement.

Experience

Having previous teaching experience is often preferred by employers in Istanbul, but it’s not always necessary – especially if you have other relevant experiences, such as tutoring or mentoring.

Insurance

It’s important to have health insurance in case of any unexpected medical issues while living and working in Istanbul. Make sure to research your options and find a plan that works for you.

Start-up capital

Finally, having some start-up capital can be helpful as you get settled into your new life in Istanbul. This can include money for rent, transport, and other necessary expenses until you start receiving a regular salary from your job.

Types of English teaching jobs in Istanbul

There are different types of jobs and programs where you can teach English. Let’s explore these options so that you can match them with your needs and experience.  

There are a few different types of English teaching jobs in Istanbul, and each one comes with its own salary and benefits. Let’s take a look:

  • Training institutes: English training centres are a popular option and often pay around 3,500 – 5,000 TRY a month ($460 – $650 USD). They typically offer a contract of around one year, and benefits may include health insurance and housing.
  • International schools: They generally offer higher salaries, ranging from 7,500 – 12,500 TRY a month ($980 – $1,635), as well as additional benefits such as housing and health insurance. However, these positions are often more competitive and require higher qualifications and experience.
  • University or college: Universities and colleges can also be great options, with salaries ranging from 4,500 – 8,000 TRY a month ($590 – $1,045). However, these positions often require a Master’s degree or higher.

In terms of benefits, most schools and institutions in Istanbul offer at least some health insurance coverage, and some may provide housing or a housing allowance. Vacation time varies depending on the employer, but most offer around 2-4 weeks a year.

Of course, these are just general guidelines, and salaries and benefits can vary widely depending on the employer, your qualifications, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to do your research and compare offers before accepting a job offer.

How to get a job teaching English in Istanbul

Here’s a quick overview of the process you might follow to get a job teaching English in Istanbul:

  1. Research and apply for job opportunities: Start by researching job opportunities online, looking for job postings on jobs boards and websites. You can also reach out to language schools and universities directly.
  2. Interview: If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to an interview. This will be conducted over the phone, via Skype, or in-person if you’re already in Istanbul.
  3. Visa and work permit: Once you’ve been offered a job, you’ll need to apply for a work visa and residence permit in order to legally work in Istanbul.
  4. Get settled in Istanbul: Once you’ve signed your contract and obtained your visa, it’s time to move to Istanbul! You’ll need to find housing, set up a bank account, and take care of other logistics before starting your new job.

The process can take several weeks or even months, so it’s important to start early and be patient. And remember, every employer might have slightly different requirements and processes, so be sure to do your research and ask questions along the way.

What is the cost of living in Istanbul?

If you’re considering teaching English in Istanbul, you might be wondering about the cost of living and what it’s like to experience the local culture.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment:14,567 TRY ($750) a month

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: 1,486 TRY ($76) a month 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: 6,000 TRY ($300)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 127.50 TRY ($6.50)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass:777 TRY ($40) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: 10 TRY ($0.52)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Istanbul?

As an English teacher in Istanbul, it is possible to save money, although it depends on a variety of factors, including your salary, living expenses, and lifestyle choices.

The cost of living in Istanbul is relatively affordable, particularly when compared to other major cities in Europe. However, it’s expensive compared to other Turkish cities. If you’re careful with your budget and willing to live modestly, it’s possible to save money. Ultimately, it comes down to finding a balance between enjoying all that Istanbul has to offer and being mindful of your spending habits.

What is it like to live and work in Istanbul?

Living and teaching English in Istanbul is an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. 

 If you wonder where to visit, you can go to the Hagia Sophia, which is a stunning architectural marvel that has been around for over a thousand years. For the best view, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Galata Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city. And of course, you can’t miss the old city, where you’ll find the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar

While living and teaching in Istanbul can certainly have its challenges, such as navigating the language barrier or adjusting to a new culture, the rewards of this experience are well worth it. English teaching jobs remain in high demand, and the possibility of saving some extra pennies for your next trip makes this one of TEFL’s best-kept secrets!

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