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Going to Czech Republic

 
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slave_screams



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Going to Czech Republic Reply with quote

Hi guys, this is my first post, having read the forums over the past few weeks. I have just completed my Celta course in International House in Dublin and I am toying with the idea of trying to pick up some work before Christmas. I know it's only 6 weeks away, so I wanted to see if this was realistic. I taught a number of students from Prague during the course and they recommended checking it out. One disadvantage I have is I only have 2 higher Diploma's; Journalism and Graphic Design. By not having a degree, does this put me at a serious disadvantage? Is it worth going over at this time of year? I am flexible about where I want to go. Thanks in advance!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't specify whether you hope to attract private students or to pick up a contact at a private language school, but I think either would be a long-shot at this time of year.

The economy has impacted the availability of work to some degree (though its impact is less here than in some other regions of the world) and many teachers had a difficult time to fill their calendars as much as usual.

There is a post from some TEFL grads from October, many of whom were unsuccessful at finding work a few weeks ago.

Ultimately, there will probably be some jobs going in January, but it's thin on the ground until then.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lack of degree wouldn't likely be a huge problem, assuming you appear, and are, professional and responsible in your approach to the job.
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slave_screams



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the swift response; I was presuming at this time of year that private students would be the more likely option, as it is so close to Christmas, a lot of the language schools have a full quota of teachers - Work does appear to be thin on the ground in most places around Europe as you mentioned, The Czech Republic is one place I have always wanted to go, even simply as a tourist. As it is so close to Xmas, I would be quite prepared to spend a month there with or without work - Coming from Ireland (living in Dublin), the cost of living is very high, how are the day to day costs in Prague/surrounding areas? Regarding professionalism, I am 33, and just finished working as a media consultant.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes a while to build up private students. There are tons of teachers around, and many supplement their incomes with private students, so it's rare that the market for privates favors teachers.

You're unlikely to scrape up anyone who wants English for one month over the winter holidays, from a teacher without any local rep, in other words.

Cost of living is OK in terms of food/drink/entertainment/travel (local). It's housing that will get you! You might do well to check out some of the flats that are rented out on weekly basis - in the holiday season someone might be happy enough to have a committed renter to let you have a place for some relatively reasonable rate.

There are better links, but you could start with www.praguepost.com
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slave_screams



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be better to look outside of Prague? Or is the majority of the work confined there? I think, from your advice, it may be a better idea to plan to go after Christmas. I might go over for a week to check it out first. Thanks for your help, much appreciated
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think it's your proposed timing that is problematic, not the location. You're not more likely to pick up work over the holiday period outside of Prague.

January is certainly the better option for work!

If you're up for other (smaller) cities, you might check out Plzen, Brno, and Ceske Budejovice. They all have small expat communities (usually a new teacher's first point of building contacts in the local area) and some teaching work (usually - I don't know about this year; work is harder to come by all 'round).
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slave_screams



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does seem to be the case, I have friends in a few other places in Europe and it is very quiet. I may have been naive in thinking I could pick up some work pre-xmas. Might be better to do some volunteer work in Dublin between now and the new year! Regarding the new year, would you suggest applying to schools now or to just arrive over?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd send out CVs now, and say in your cover letter that you will be there early in January and will be hoping for interviews.

You may well get zero response just now, but at least then when you walk into the offices in January, you'll have already demonstrated your interest in work.

I think volunteering is right in the spirit of the season Very Happy and more realistic than picking up paid work on short notice over the holidays.
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slave_screams



Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a sensible idea Smile Thanks for your help!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck!
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ITTP



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 343
Location: Prague/Worldwide

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Lack of degree wouldn't likely be a huge problem, assuming you appear, and are, professional and responsible in your approach to the job.


A degree isn't necessary for the visa and work permit application for the Czech Republic and your TEFL certificate will work as the documentation required for this process of getting legal.
Having a degree is of course an advantage but ultimately a school will want to see you teach a demo class and are interested more in how you perform as a teacher.

For areas of the world such as most of S.E. Asia though you will need a degree and this is required for the visa application process.

There was definitely a slow down here in Prague in September of this year but things did pick up again from October.

Hope it helps!

Neville Smile

ITTP TEFL Prague
Narodni 21, Prague 1 - bang in the center of the city!
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