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CELTA in Poland
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Sikz789



Joined: 17 May 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Budapest, Hungary

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 3:50 am    Post subject: CELTA in Poland Reply with quote

I was told that the Czech and Poland have strong ESL markets. I am planning on starting a CELTA course in February in either of those places. Is it likely that I could attain work shorty after taking the course? Or should I wait for the next hiring season to fly over there and take the course and settle down?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already decided you want to settle down in Eastern Europe, eh? After China, I expect Poland to be a relief, though it probably won't pay as well.

February is when the spring semester starts in Poland. So doing a CELTA then would be just about the worst possible timing. Best to do a CELTA over the summer and job hunt in September when the fall semester starts.

But I like your idea to do a CELTA in the country you want to live in. You'll no doubt make some contacts and you may be able to line up a job for when you finish the course.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 375
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shake's given you some good advice about doing your CELTA here. That's what I did 9 years ago. Finished the course on Friday and got a job offer with the same school on Friday. The course was in Warsaw, the job was in Gdansk where I wanted to live and work. I've been with the same school all this time.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you come to teach in Poland? The money is simply too low to settle down and/or improve financially. You can expect to make $1000 a month for only 9 months a year. Also, is your wife is Asian? if so, she will face lots of racism and ignorance. I, myself, lived there for nearly 2 years. I would suggest doing your CELTA in Poland and then look elsewhere for work. Or maybe you can work in Poland for a year for work experience, and then go elsewhere. Poland offers very little for its people and even less for its foreigners!

CMC
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you live in Poland for more than 2 years and are still making 1000USD a month, you're doing it wrong.

There are better paying teaching opportunities in Poland (I had one), but you'll probably only find them when you're in Poland, experienced, well-qualified and have some business acumen. Living in Warsaw also helps a lot.

Until then, keep in mind that 1000USD a month goes quite a long way in Poland and is above the national average.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11481
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case it's not obvious, Master Shake's advice regarding better wages for longer-term teachers is true for the region.

It's rare to walk into one of the relatively few better-paid gigs in year one and not that likely in year two. However, spending time and energy to build up a local reputation, contacts, and language skills usually leads to better-than-average jobs over time.

I know a number of teachers who've been around for years and who support families and enjoy a very solid middle class existence, but it takes some dedication to get there.
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chuckMC



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling that the OP will never return to this thread. Anyways, I wish him and his wife good luck in Poland. But again, no one in their right mind would build a career in a poor country. There's very little return for your efforts in such countries. There's really no good reason to leave a rich country for the long term unless there is financial potential for them.

At best, he will only make $2,000 a month (for only 9 months a year). Poland is a good place to go for vacation and partying, but not for serious people looking to build a serious career for serious money. I don't know how he will be able to provide a HIGH standard of living for he and his wife. I mean, are they going to rent a room? Because a decent flat will cost $700. Food will be $400 a month, driving a car $250 a month, clothing $200, entertainment $200, etc... He will be living on the edge every month. And, its not easy getting access to credit if you don't have a salary job.

Moreover, the OP will unfortunately be lumped in with the backpackers and "down-on-their luck people" as ESL teacher in Poland. Because very few serious ESL teachers come to Polska to work for only $18,000 a year with no benefits.

Again, I wish them luck!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11481
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
he will only make $2,000 a month (for only 9 months a year).


It's clear that your less-than-2-years in the country didn't clue you in on the pay and benefits that better jobs include. You are basing your assumptions on private language school gigs only, probably. That's not the sum total of possibilities.
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Sikz789



Joined: 17 May 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Budapest, Hungary

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake, that's a great point thank you. We want to be home in the States for a few months before we go back to teaching so its likely we will take the course in December or Jan. and if its scarce around that time, we will go home and come back in six months. scottie 1113 you've been with the same school for 9 years? May I ask the name?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:29 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Much will depend on where he settles financially. There's a lot of work in Warsaw. Competition is fierce in lots of other cities.

I have a house in Poz, paid for with money made in the Middle East. However, before that I rented a flat. It was a 1-bed place with a large balcony and pool. Here's how expenses broke down.

Rent:1,500 a studio in Poz is currently 1,200.
Bills: 500
Groceries: 500/week including my cigarettes
Transport: 200/week but I rarely used trams. Sensible folk buy the monthly tram pass, so you can scratch that expense.
Going out varied but an average night out cost around 200, sometimes more sometimes less dependig on the venue and whether I ate or not. An average dinner with the missus witha bottle of wine cost 250+.

Now, if you work for a language school, you'll earn 50/hour minus tax. If you go freelance, you'll make 80-100/hour average. However, after 2 years self-employed you have to pay insurance of around 1,500/month, 12 months of the year whether you work or not. Ask Delph for the exact figure as I can't remember.

Your competition is easy to find. Just look at Nativespeaker.pl to see how cheap some teachers are.

The key to long-term success is building up privates and having a wife who works too. Bringing up a family on a single salary is hard in most professions (ahem) but particularly so in ELT.

$1,000/month in Europe in 2016 is peanuts. Food is cheap but not much else. You can expect to pay more for clothes, toiletries and electronics than you do in the US. Flats are cheapish but not when related to income. Transport via tram and rail are cheap. Hotels, if you want to travel are not. I've heard Airbnb and Couchsurfers find a way to holiday on the bones.

It's a lovely country, has beautiful mountains and a smashing coast. The history and architecture are all around you. Poles are a good bunch once you get to know them. Many positives. The students are the best I've ever taught in 20 odd years of being in the game. However and this is the clincher, it's a very hard place to make a living, even for Poles. The economy will falter in the next few years as EU funding stops and the high cost low salary thing will get worse. EFL earnings have not gone up since I got there in 1995. Hourly rates for privates are the same.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 375
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Siks: Sure. I work for the school everyone loves to hate. It used to be called Bell, but the name changed two years ago to BELT-Business Edecation and Language Training.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scottie has a lot of experience under his BELT. Wink

Dragonpiwo's monthly expenses list is 2x-4x what I paid in Warsaw. Except for rent, that was about the same. I was lucky.

It's not true that you have to pay 1,500zl/mo. insurance (ZUS) 12 months a year. You can suspend your company activity over the summer months when there's not as much teaching work. You pay no health or social insurance if you suspend. In fact, your company only needs to be active when you invoice clients.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:50 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

You can't suspend it indefinitely and guess what? if you ain't invoicing, you ain't earning, so how are you going to survive?

Regarding the prices. If you go to the very cheapest bar in Poznan, which is Piwo Pijalnia, you can get a small beer for 4PLN and eat lard and bread for the same. You can buy a kebab for 10 and have bowl of soup with the leppers for 4.50. You can buy the bones of a chicken to make rosol. Yes, indeed you can live cheaply. However, the missus may leave you.

If you live a normal life and eat out, go to the cinema, buy clothes, have the odd filling, run a car and here's the clincher, have a kid, it will be extremely hard for you to start out in Poland NOW. The rates I posted earlier are up-to-date. How much will a ticket home cost? How many months will you work or be able to find work a year? If you shop in Biedronka, it's quite cheap put pop into Piotr I Pawel and it's a different story. Many things cost more than in the US.

If you are going to come to Poland, at least know it'll be very hard.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
If you are going to come to Poland, at least know it'll be very hard.
Nah.

I know dozens of teachers who do just fine for themselves in Poland, without having to scrimp and save. They take a month or so off every summer to go back home. They go on skiing trips every winter with their families. Most of them have partners who work at least part time, but is that really uncommon or unreasonable this day in age?

Your posts consistently fail to mention that there is a happy medium between lard and bread and 250+ dinners for two, between 4zl beers at Piwo Pijalnia and drinking top shelf. I lived in Poland over 4.5 years and never once paid 250zl for a dinner for two in Poland. They charge those prices in the tourist ripoff places, mate.

And let's not forget that even your lowly 'average' TEFL teacher in Poland earns well more than your average Pole. So this notion that your Polish missus will leave you due to your crummy salary is just absurd, unless she's a gold digger or a very wealthy anti-TEFList

Some of the best dates I went on were a couple of 25zl burgers followed by a few 4zl Ciechan beers on the bank of the Vistula. Note how I didn't feed her smalec and bread yet somehow managed to avoid spending over 250zl. Amazing.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:10 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

You must be some sort of backpacker.

Siting on rivers with burgers and store bought beer is fine for 3 months of the year.

And yes, there are cheap places where you can eat kotlet till your heart's content.

Remind me where you worked Shake.

Because in most towns the situation is not as you describe and native speakers are poor. It wasn't like that before. Poles generally don't rate them much and that's why the ads are in Polish 90% of the time.
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