Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Where in Europe: over 50, quals but no experience?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Europe Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Hazeltree



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Where in Europe: over 50, quals but no experience? Reply with quote

Greetings,

I'm (just) over 50, female, Australian with both an Australian and a UK passport. I have a BA (psychology & social sciences, minor philosophy & literature), an MA (Psychotherapy & Counselling) and a PhD (Literary & Cultural studies). I will complete a 'bricks and mortar' CELTA this year. I have worked with children for many years, one-to-one and with their families as a psychotherapist; I have done one-off sessions in schools when there has been a tragedy, or as part of health promotion projects. I have run writing groups for English speaking teenagers and adults; reading and supervision groups for adults; art groups for children and I have co-ordinated courses at a university for a MA level course, and tutored ('associate lecturer') - but I have no school based or EFL experience.
I have high school German (I read better than I speak) and am willing to learn other languages.
I would like to work in a rural town in Europe (prefer central or eastern) for two years, with any age group, but children would be good. I would also be very good at supporting teachers or proof reading academic papers. I would like to cover the cost of my mortgage (EU600 per month) and my living costs. I don't drink or smoke, so these costs could be low. It would be good if the town has some agriculture, cheese production and preferably, little (or no??) right wing racism.
Is this realistic? If the wages are not possible, I will pay my mortgage in advance, and put forward my date of departure.
Can anyone suggest any locations that may be suitable? As part of my preparations, should I volunteer to teach English in Australia, in order to gain some experience?
Could anyone advise how I should proceed with any options that might be available to me?
Thanks for your time,
H.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would like to cover the cost of my mortgage (EU600 per month) and


You need to earn 600 Euros over and above your monthly salary? Your related qualifications are limited to a CELTA? It's not feasible. 600 Euro is 16,000 CZK (for example) and salaries are around 28,000 CZK net monthly (if you find a pretty good job). With rent at 10,000 and up, there's clearly no way that can work.

If you can pay your mortgage in advance and therefore eliminate the 600 euro, you can earn enough to get by. But you're a newbie...expect newbie salaries!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hazeltree



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Spiral78,
Okay I can do that. What countries can you recommend that I look in? I would have thought that rent would be cheaper in rural towns? Once I have a list of options I will go and visit in the next few months.
Best wishes,
H.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, rents are lower in rural areas, as are salaries. There are also fewer jobs, obviously.

More on living in rural areas in the CEE region:
Your opportunities to proof academic papers will be slim (people go to the big cities where the universities are located).
Cheese production? That's extremely specific; the CEE is not really known for its cheese production in general, though imported cheeses are usually readily available in the supermarkets.
Most children in the CEE are taught English by qualified locals in regular schools; there are some opportunities for after-school supplementary lessons (Poland seems to be bigger in this respect than many other countries in the area).
Social networks; assuming that you currently don't speak any CEE language, in a rural area, this limits your possibilities for forming a social network very considerably. Foreigners aren't automatically interesting for the locals; they've all got lives and families and long-term friends - the days when simply being a native English speaker had cache are long over, even in more rural regions. You'll need to be very comfortable spending most of your free time on your own. It can help if you target regions with good transit systems to cities so that you have some weekend opportunities. Most people's first social network in these regions are other expats; it takes some time (and local language skills) to make friends among the locals.
In small towns, expect to have to do your daily business (shopping, etc.) in the local language. Younger people will usually speak some English, but many of them migrate to larger cities for school and work. Picture taciturn shopladies who have little to no patience with your lack of local language skills. There will of course be people who are NOT like this, but a few soviet-style local shopkeepers working in strategic (necessary) locations can throw a bit of a cloud over your daily existence.
Most job contracts in the region are Sept/Oct through June, so you will want to time your job hunt accordingly. Jobs aren't usually found from abroad, though very rural regions do occasionally hire someone sight-unseen.

'A list of options' is going to be difficult to formulate. If you took a CELTA in the region (Prague, for example, offers quite a few courses) the training centers can hook you up with employers who have openings, but it's fairly rare to find many advertisements for positions. Rural areas are more a word-of-mouth/regional-network kind of thing in most cases.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hazeltree



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks once again Spiral78.

I am thinking of the regional white cheeses from Macedonia, the Parmesan-like sheep cheeses of Bosnia Herzogovina and the amazing seeded curd cheese from Lithuania - sure, it's a specific request. Many countries have their regional farm cheeses, so long as they have goats or sheep. As I have done some basic cheese making and I keep bees, these kind of things would be of interest to me, and they are a way into the community. I am from a rural town and you know what they say ...can't take the country out of the girl...

I was intending to set the proofing up remotely, and not necessarily at the same time - I know I may have limited internet connections. I have a possibility through Greece and will be visiting Thessaloniki just prior to September, so was thinking of visiting a few towns in Hungary that have been mentioned and hopefully some others that people are yet to suggest. Obviously I am looking for a town of a scale that would not support a university for good reason Wink and strangely have yet to experience either boredom or loneliness - but your warning is heeded.

I am sorry to hear about the lack of English teaching work with children in Central and Eastern Europe - one of the attractions of that population is that you are automatically working with the entire family when you work with children and it is another way in to the community.

So what are your thoughts about completing the CELTA and then doing voluntary work teaching English to refugee adults, rather than children then, if, as you say there is little work with children in Central and Eastern Europe? There is a formal program through my university so I could get it documented, and could be doing that while I get ahead with the mortgage. Would it be helpful in terms of acquiring work?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11373
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hazeltree wrote:
So what are your thoughts about completing the CELTA and then doing voluntary work teaching English to refugee adults, rather than children then, if, as you say there is little work with children in Central and Eastern Europe?

Refugees will want/need to learn the language of the new country as a requirement for employment and services. Unless they're in the UK, English won't be that language.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not clear if the OP is thinking of teaching refugee adults in Australia to gain experience, or in teaching refugees in Europe as an alternative to teaching children.

Statistically, there are relatively few refugees in the CEE region, and as nomadsoul points out, they need the local language far more urgently than English.

Teaching refugees in Australia doesn't translate directly to teaching adults in the CEE region, so not worth spending a great deal of time/energy on if you are focused on teaching in this region.

The bulk of entry teaching here is to adult businesspeople, so if you can boost your quals in terms of teaching business, that can help. I suggest that a CELTA here will serve you better than a CELTA earned in Australia in terms of practical experience teaching European students and connections to regional schools.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11373
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hazeltree wrote:
It would be good if the town has some agriculture, cheese production.
....

I am thinking of the regional white cheeses from Macedonia, the Parmesan-like sheep cheeses of Bosnia Herzogovina and the amazing seeded curd cheese from Lithuania - sure, it's a specific request. Many countries have their regional farm cheeses, so long as they have goats or sheep. As I have done some basic cheese making and I keep bees, these kind of things would be of interest to me, and they are a way into the community. I am from a rural town and you know what they say ...can't take the country out of the girl...

The heck with teaching. Since you're a cheese lover, why not look into the cheese-making business in your target regions? See if there's a niche for you there. Check out English teacher turns cheese maker. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
penguin2004



Joined: 31 Jul 2015
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can (just about) survive on a newbie teacher's wage in Central EU but it really is just enough to live on, very little to save or for a mortgage. I think you need to look at job ads and make sure you realise how very little you will have to live on!

If you check out International House (just as an example) current vacancies, they currently have a few EU positions teaching a mix of kids/adults. Pretty much survival wages, you may be working split shifts/multiple locations (and I think even their basic roles may require a year's experience).

Sorry to be a downer but TEFLing as a newbie in the EU was a struggle for me in my 20s. People make it work but it takes time and can be pretty tiring!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hazeltree



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant feedback, thanks so much everyone for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it. Nomad Soul, that is a very interesting idea!
H.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're entirely welcome, and please do keep us posted on developments.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NilSatis82



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak for the whole of central Europe but I can speak for Poland as I worked there for a few years.

Although it wasn't my forte, there are lots of opportunities to teach kids. You may have to combine this with teaching adults too but if you want to teach kids in Poland, there are plenty of schools that offer this. For schools in smaller towns, their primarily focus is likely to be on the YL market, so it actually makes sense from a job-hunting point of view to focus on smaller towns.

IH have a few schools in Poland and they will all likely have a significant proportion of YLs in their schools. They are a good choice for newbies as they usually offer a lot of support and you can get a job fixed-up from abroad with them. On the negative side, the pay is usually quite low, so forget about saving much money whilst working there.

Generally though, I'd probably recommend you avoid the chain schools like SpeakUp, Inlingua, Berlitz, etc. as a lot of them don't really have a great reputation and only care about getting bums on seats.

There are lots of small independent schools in Poland though and most of these schools are likely to be in the smaller towns in more provincial areas. You'd definitely want to be on the ground looking for these kinds of schools though as you're taking your chances a bit more compared to working for somewhere like IH, where you know what you're getting.

There is an organisation called PASE that accredits language schools in Poland. It's not very big but it gives you an ideas about some of the schools in Poland.
http://jezykowo.pase.pl/szkoly-jezykowe.html

Otherwise, just google 'szkoła języka angielskiego + name of town/city' and you will find a list of language schools in a particular town or region.

I don't know a lot about cheese-making but I know that there are a few places in the mountains in Southern Poland that do cheese-making. I'd be surprised if the kind of people involved in cheese making in Poland speak much English though.

In terms of right-wing racism, there is unfortunately quite a lot of it about in Poland compared to western Europe. However, if you're caucasian, then there is no reason why it should affect you too much. If you're not caucasian, be prepared for a few stares!

In general, Poland is still quite a conservative society, especially in rural regions. The catholic church still has a strong hold over public opinion although this is changing a bit with the younger generation. Within the last six months, Poland has elected a particularly nasty bunch of right wing zealots, but I won't dwell too much on Polish politics or this post will go on far too long....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hazeltree



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello NilSatis82,
Thanks so much for a really clear, hopeful and comprehensive reply. I'll check those links now.
H.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marcas



Joined: 20 Oct 2015
Posts: 5
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An old thread, but giving this a bump in case anyone has thoughts.

I'm also older (will turn 50 next year) and am curious as to which European countries have the best/worst attitudes toward over-50 teachers, particularly those over 50 who are not lifelong teachers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11505
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your passport will matter more than your age. US citizens aren't eligible for work visas in most of Western Europe, regardless of qualifications. Write off Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, and Scandinavia, essentially.

A related MA degree is actually quite common here; the last position I advertised garnered over 30 applications from relevant MA holders.


You could apply in Central/Eastern European countries. Generally contracts are September thru June and it's unusual to be hired from abroad, so expect up-front costs to travel to a city in some country where you can get a work permit and to apply in person. Further, the 'better' job openings are rare, so expect to start out at a private language school teaching business English (unless you have qualifications for kiddies; different markets are open in that case), while you build a local reputation, contacts, and local language skills.


US citizens are eligible to apply for German work permits, but work is scarce and costs are high (insurance, etc.). You can find more about this on the Germany forum.

I've taught in Europe since 1998; it is possible, but takes quite a lot of commitment and some luck. And be sure you are not trying to break into a market where you can't get a visa; it's not about trying hard or not getting discouraged - it's simply that there aren't legal options short of marrying a local or attending a school full-time on full tuition and then teaching part time on a student visa. Europe isn't in such great need of native-speaker English teachers that we can pick and choose much, even with the MA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Europe Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China