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A Country with a Long History
Poland is a country with a long history. Not only has it been witness to some major world events, such as World War II and the Cold War, it has also produced some leading cultural and scientific figures. Poland was the birth place of both Copernicus and Chopin, as well as one of the most popular Popes in modern times, John Paul II. The natural beauty of this country is also something to savour. The peaks of the Tatras Mountains in the south, the Baltic coast in the north, the lake-side retreats and losing yourself in the national parks, all endear themselves to the explorer of this country. Poland also borders seven neighbouring countries, including Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Ukraine, Germany, Belarus and Lithuania.
The people are hospitable, fiercely intelligent and fast to learn, particularly when it comes to English. This might be because Polish is one of the most difficult languages in the world, and has an impressive use of consonants that is not found in many other languages. Even Poles play word games on the radio to test their own language skills. The climate in Poland is quite cold in winter, so you need to be aware and equipped for this when living here. However, the excellent vodka in this region will warm you on a cold night.
The origin of the name Poland is thought to have derived from the tribes of the Polans, who were around during the 8th and 9th centuries. At this time, the country was separated into a number of parts. The dominant landscape of “field or plain” across the country is where the word originates.
One of Warsaw’s most iconic daughters is none other than Marie Curie or Manya Sklodowska. Born on the 7th of November 1867, Marie moved to Paris in 1880 and it was there she married Frenchman Pierre Curie. Alongside Piere, she discovered polonium and shortly after also discovered radium. Marie is the person who came up with the theory of “radioactivity” and won the first Nobel Prize in Physics for her troubles. She was also awarded a second Nobel Prize in 1911 for her work on the isolation of pure radium.
A large percentage, 91% of people in fact, are catholic in Europe. For this reason religion is very important to the people of Poland. One of the most iconic and best loved popes of all time as Polish, John Paul II.
As tourism is now on the rise in Poland, there is a large EFL market, particularly in Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan and Warsaw. This has also been accelerated by a government policy that requires all those who are entering business-related careers to pass a state proficiency examination. This means that business English is an in-demand sector, but young learners, teens and adults are also on the rise for language classes. In order to find a job, you need to start looking in August for October recruitment, and in November and December for January opportunities.
Unusually for Europe, some of the best jobs in Poland, with excellent benefit packages, can be found in online forums as well as newspapers, such as the Guardian TEFL section. Benefits can include 9-12 month contracts with airfare paid in full or subsidised, and free shared accommodation. Teachers generally give 25 hours of classes a week, and some teachers also supplement their salary by giving private lessons outside of work hours. The cost of living is low, and if your accommodation cost has been taken care of by the school you are working for, then you will have a comfortable life in Poland. The competition, however, for the good contracts means that you need to have a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Salaries are also linked to qualifications and experience.
|Degree Requirement||Typical Contract Length||Peak Hiring Seasons||Visa Info||Typical Students||Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency||Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency|
|Not required||9 - 12 Months||October and January||EU citizenship or working visa||Business professionals||700 – 1,400 EUR (586 - 1,170 GBP)||700 – 1,400 EUR (586 - 1,170 GBP)|