Teaching English in Belgium

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How to Begin Teaching in Belgium

Officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium (due to its constitutional monarchy), this small country borders France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium (due to its constitutional monarchy), this small country borders France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It also makes this country a perfect place to explore the surrounding European countries. Belgium is divided into two halves: the northern part influenced by the Dutch, speaks Flemish. The southern part predominantly speaks French, and the people in this region are often referred to as Walloons. For the last couple of years, these two factions have been increasingly at odds with each other, with talk of both sides wishing to separate into two different states. Both French and Dutch are official languages of Belgium, along with German which is spoken by a small minority in the country. When deciding on where you want to live and work in Belgium, you will have to choose which culture interests you the most, and which language you would most like to learn.

The capital, Brussels, is home to many international organisations. The European Parliament, the European Union, and other multinational institutions such as NATO are all situated here. Brussels is also home to both the Horta Museum (a World Heritage site), and the Grand Place, which offers examples of ornate and exquisite architecture. Bruges, another World Heritage site, is also a splendid example of Gothic architecture. Apart from architecture, Belgium would be incomplete without mentioning the many varieties of Belgian beer and chocolate, waiting to be savoured by those who come to live here.

If comics are your thing then you will be in the right place in Belgium because they say that there are more comic makers there than in any other country in the world. Renowned comics that have come out of Belgium include The Adventures of Tintin, The Smurfs and Asterix (originally a French creation).

The land of waffles some say. Belgian waffles come in three main varieties, the most common being Liege waffles that are made to eat like a cookie. Brussels waffles are larger and lighter in colour and you can add all your favourite toppings like strawberries or ice cream. The breakfast waffle of choice on the other hand is the galette, served with jam.

 

Teaching Opportunities

The TEFL scene, as in many European countries, is competitive. EFL jobs start mainly in September or October and again in January. Many schools in Belgium prefer that you interview in person for any vacant position. Once again, it is very difficult to find a job if you are a non-EU citizen. This means that teachers who wish to be considered for jobs in this country need to be EU citizens.

The main places to find work in Belgium are Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. There are opportunities in language schools as well as universities. The students are eager to learn, which makes Belgium a comfortable place to teach. To obtain a job, a degree and a 120-hour TEFL certificate are essential. The cost of living is also high, and flights and accommodation are generally not included in your contract. The fact that you also need to come to Brussels to interview, or to find a job, means that you will need on average 4-6 weeks of savings, and flight money to find work here initially. Once you have found work, you will need to budget carefully to enjoy some of the luxuries that Belgium offers without being out of pocket.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    BA/ BS degree required
  • Typical Contract Length
    12 months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    September/October and January
  • Visa Info
    EU citizenship or work visa
  • Typical Students
    Business professionals, children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    1,480-1,822 EUR
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    1500-2000 EUR

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