Dreaming of Teaching English in Europe? Read This!

Less than 24 hours after my flight had arrived at Pearson international airport last fall, I was already scouring the Internet trying to find opportunities for work abroad. There is a huge demand in the ESL/EFL field and almost every non-English speaking country has opportunities to teach English. I prefer to stick to public/government run programs because I feel that they are a safer bet but that limits my choices. However, if you are willing to take the risk, there are plenty of private sector ESL/EFL jobs available all over Europe.

You probably won't be making a lot of money, but you can live in Europe! Souce: Images Money @ flickr

You probably won’t be making a lot of money, but you can live in Europe!
Source: Images Money @ flickr

Here is a list of the programs I found online. Benefits and pay of each program varies; I’ve included links for more information. I didn’t look in depth at all programs, but if you’re interested I suggest trying to find a blog by someone already in the program and ask them questions (or just read their blog for more information). Some programs also have their own forums which can contain answers to any other questions you might have.

Half of these programs do not require language proficiency in any language other than English. That being said, it would make sense to at least be interested in the culture and language of the country you want to apply to.

Austria – US Teaching Assistantships at Austrian Secondary Schools

  • Institutions: Public High Schools
  • Contract: 8 months (October 1st – May 31st)
  • Requirements: Open to American citizens who have a BA. Have intermediate level German language skills. Applicants should be 29 years old or younger.
  • Applications open in November and start the following fall.

France – Teaching Assistantship in France

  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract – 7 months (October 1st – April 30th)
  • Requirements: Open to citizens of Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Must have completed all your schooling in one of these countries. Must have intermediate level French language skills. Must have completed at least 2 years of university by the time the program starts. Must be between the ages of 20 – 30 when program starts.

Germany – Teaching Assistantships at German Schools

  • Institutions: Public High Schools
  • Contract – 7 months
  • Requirements: Open to US Citizens with a B.A in German or German Studies. Good Germany proficiency required. Applications open in the spring and placements start in the fall.

Italy – ACLE Summer Camp Program

  • Institutions: Private (but “endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Education”)
  • Contract duration: Varies, but generally 4-5 weeks during the summer.
  • Requirements: Hold a valid passport. Must speak English without “speech impediments or strong regional accents.” Prefers applicants between the ages of 20 – 30.
  • Applications open in February. Camps can start anytime between May and August (it’s up to you).

Spain – North American Language and Cultural Assistants Program

  • * Due to the economic crisis, the program has cut back on placements for the 2012-2013 year. As of April 2014, these cut backs are still taking place. I suggest you apply as early as possible to increase the likelihood of getting a placement! *
  • Read this post for more details.
Spain – BEDA
  • Institutions: Catholic Schools (mostly in Madrid)
  • Contract duration: 9 months (September – June)
  • Requirements: Citizen of USA, Canada, Australia or the UK. Have a working knowledge of Spanish. Possess a BA or be in their 2nd year of university. Applicants should be at least 20 years old. Applications start in the late fall.
Spain – CIEE
  • * Due to the economic crisis, the program was cancelled for the 2012-2013 year. They re-opened for the 2013-2014 school year and now include placements in Madrid. Check the site for updates. *
  • Institution: Public schools in Andalusia and Madrid (as of October 2013)
  • Contract: 9 months (late September – May)
  • Requirements: American or Canadian citizenship. Holding a BA in any field. Must have intermediate level Spanish language skills.
  • NB: I would not personal recommend this program, only because you have to pay at least $2000 for them to do the work for you. You can do it all on your own for free by applying directly through NALCAP.

Switzerland – LAP

  • Institutions: Public High Schools
  • Contract Duration: 10 months (except in German speaking Switzerland where it is usually a year)
  • Requirements: Be a student or graduate of a university or teacher training college in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada or the USA. Must be 21 – 30 years old.

Switzerland – Camp Montana

  • Institutions: Private Summer Camp
  • Contract Duration: 3 – 9 weeks
  • Requirements: Must be at least 20 years old.

None of these programs require any formal training in teaching, although a TESOL/TEFL certificate or experience teaching will increase your chances of being hired. There are other programs for people who have a Bachelor’s of Education, but I don’t have one so I didn’t bother looking at those programs.

If you know of any other programs, feel free to message me so that I can add to the list!

10 Comments
  1. 26 April, 2012
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