Teach English in Portugal

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How to Begin Teaching in Portugal

Cliff Top Castles and Medieval Cobblestone Fishing Villages

Teaching English in Portugal is a good option for those who have recently qualified

Portugal is often overlooked as a TEFL destination, due to the draw of its neighbour Spain. This does not mean that it does not have attractions to offer. In fact, Portuguese culture is quite distinct from other countries in the region. Cliff top castles and medieval cobblestone fishing villages remind the visitor of the long history of this country. Visigoths and Romans are just a few who have left their mark on its history. World Heritage sites Tomar and Batalha, along with numerous others, all wait for the visitor to discover them. The Portuguese also left their influence on other countries during their illustrious sailing past. Apart from its historical attractions, the beaches of Lagos and Cascais, and the Serra Da Estrela mountain range, stand out for their stunning beauty. Lisbon,the capital city, is also a laid back but interesting place, with white and black cobblestones, museums, gothic architecture, bright yellow trams and cafe-lined streets in which you can while away your time. Getting lost in Lisbon’s backstreets also allows the visitor to discover secret delights hidden in the city.

The haunting musical tradition of Fado, in its raw evocative lyrics, reminds you that this is a country that is close to its roots and feels life with passion. The Portuguese also enjoy relaxing with each other over their unique cuisine. There are many culinary delights to explore. Plates of grilled fish, excellent wine, bread, olives, cheese and pastel de nata (custard tart) with a bica (espresso) all help you to adapt to the Portuguese way of life. The Portuguese are proud of their country and heritage. Anyone who embraces this culture and makes an effort to learn the Portuguese language will endear themselves to the locals.

With its location on mainland Europe, the most westerly point of the country is Cabo da Roca, a cape in the town of Sintra. Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe but it is technically not the most westerly part of the European Union, this is an overseas territory of France to be found in the Caribbean.

One of the oldest universities in Europe can be found in Portugal, the University of Coimbra and was founded in 1920, making it one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in Europe. Over 21,000 students study there and of this figure 10% are from overseas and give it its mantle of the country's most cosmopolitan cities. Up until the 20th century, it was the only Portuguese-speaking university in the world.

Portuguese is spoken all around the world. Around 240 million people around the world are native speakers of the language. This makes it the 6th most spoken language on earth and it is the official language of 9 countries, spoken around 5 continents! The longest bridge in Europe can be found in Lisbon in the shape of Vasco da Gama Bridge. The 17 kilometer bridge isn't the only much sought after world record that Portugal holds, they also have the largest dining table.

Teaching Opportunities

Teaching English in Portugal is a good option for those who have recently qualified. The increase in tourism has created a demand for EFL teachers, particularly in places such as Braga, Coimbra, Leiria, Lisbon and Porto. Business English and young learners seem to be the most in-demand sectors in the EFL market. Companies generally employ teachers who have a degree and a 120-hour TEFL certificate. The majority of teachers work on a part-time or freelance basis, which means that they work for several companies. Due to early morning or evening classes, teachers often have free time in the day to also privately tutor individual students. The cost of living is low, which means that you will financially have a comfortable life in Portugal. The best way to find work in Portugal is to look onsite in the country. The Portugal News advertises EFL jobs. The British Council in Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon can also help you to locate reputable language schools in these locations. 

Teaching Requirements

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
BA/BS required9 - 12 Months September - June EU citizenship or working visa Business professionals, children 700 – 1,400 EUR (586 - 1,170 GBP) 700 – 1,400 EUR (586 - 1,170 GBP)
BA/BS required
September - June
EU citizenship or working visa
Business professionals, children
700 – 1,400 EUR (586 - 1,170 GBP)

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