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Czech or Slovakia - University EFL Positions?

 
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Czech or Slovakia - University EFL Positions? Reply with quote

Most of my teaching experience has been at the university level at Thai universities with some teaching in Korea and Japan.

I'd like to get out of Bangkok and I'm considering eastern Europe, possibly Slovakia or Czech.

How do the two compare in terms of social life, salaries, hours, etc.?

Also, a fellow American once told me that as he passed over the border into Czech it was like going into Tansylvania or something, everything got really dark and gloomy and sort of depressing. Mind you, this was in the early 1990s when he was there.

Any info or comments would be apprecaited, also are U.S. citizens able to secure work permits in Czech or Slovakia?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9318
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Between Thai and Central European universities there is basically almost zero similarity in terms of the EFL job market.

State run universities firstly usually hire (qualified) locals; there are relatively few jobs for foreigners.
Pay at universities is generally LOWER than that at private language schools.
Your experience in Thailand, Korea, and Japan will not give you much credibility with employers in this region because the students and learning/teaching context are apples and oranges - what worked for you in Asia is unlikely to translate here. There is a thread on this in the General Europe forum.

US citizens are eligible for legal work permits for CZ/SLO, but it's a hassle and most employers, given the very numerous EU teachers around, won't go through the hassle.

Timing is important - if you really want to come here, plan to arrive at the end of August, giving yourself 90 days in the peak hiring period to land something that will give you legal papers.

Don't bother with the very few and seriously underpaid state university jobs around (not that it would be likely to find one at all). Go for your only real option - private language schools, or maybe if you can demonstrate experience with children, an 'international' kiddie school - but these are highly competitive and usually want paper qualifications related to working with children.

Keep in mind that this job market is very much in favour of employers -there are simply lots of teachers around. They'll often opt for a brand new CELTA or equivalent cert holder over you, because your experience is with very different student types. A newly certified teacher who at least got a cert in the region will have at least a month of practice teaching with European students.

If you haven't got a cert yet, consider getting one locally here to help give you a better start into the country/culture. As 99% of new teachers on the job market here have a CELTA or equivalent, anything less will put you at still more of a disadvantage.

No, the CR is not 'Transylvania' - although Transylvania happens to be extremely beautiful in many ways. Prague is the Paris of Central Europe and hosts literally tens of millions of tourists every year. You've been preceeded Laughing
Keep in mind that simply being from the US is not cool here (this is a common misperception among teachers with experience in other parts of the world) - zero points socially just for being American. Way too many around over the years, from tourists to EFL teachers to many thousands of exchange students, to the upper echelons of the international business crowd....
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Don't bother with the very few and seriously underpaid state university jobs around


In Korea, Japan and Asia in general, only the top applicants get university TEFL positions, which are considered the most lucrative in terms of compensation and long summer and winter breaks - 4 to 5 months per year. Most EFL instructors at universities work 7 or 8 months of the year but are paid for 12 to 17 months salary (if they get bonuses).

I'm disappointed that universities in Czech are considered a lower form of TEFL employment than language schools.
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Kofola



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 146
Location: Slovakia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiral has already summarised the problems with universities in the Czech Republic. Asia cannot be compared with Europe - most people here work much harder for much less (teaching English).

Just to give you an idea of state university salaries in Slovakia. The figures for 2012 were 1198,76 euros for a lecturer rising to 1761,63 for a professor (gross monthly). (The figures are for 2012 as the statistics website is down this morning.) 805 euros was the average salary in Slovakia in 2012 and 824 in 2013, so the university salary will have risen a little. You can earn 1000 euros a month in a private language school here if you have experience and more if you freelance.

The problem is not specific to TEFL but to state funding of universities and the public sector generally, where salaries are low across the board.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kofola,

Iron Rice Bowl is what Asians call university teaching and government jobs. It is essentially retirement on the job.

Thanks for the additional information.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The European tradition of teaching English Philology at university level is light years away from what happens in Asia.
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
The European tradition of teaching English Philology at university level is light years away from what happens in Asia.


Light years better or light years worse?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at the students' relative achievements to answer that question...
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