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1st time ESL teacher going to Greece and looking for advice

 
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partylocks



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: 1st time ESL teacher going to Greece and looking for advice Reply with quote

I will be going to Greece in late August or early September, and any advice on the TESL situation there would be greatly appreciated. (I am a 36 year old American with a BS from the University of Michigan, and am about to finish a course at UM on TESL.) Are there any specific teaching methods that are particularly effective there? What are some of the common difficulties for Greeks learning English? Would a placement agency be useful/advisable? If so, any suggestions on which ones to look at? Do they use the NAE or IPA phonics system in Greece? What is the standard dress code for teachers in both public and private learning institutions in Greece, and how should I dress for interviews? One last thing. I have pretty long "dread-locks," but am clean, well-dressed, and fairly attractive. Will this affect my job search in Greece (Athens preferably)? Suggestions and help in any or all of these areas (or other areas) would help me considerably and earn my gratitude. Thanks for everybody's time.

Christian Busch (partylocks)
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9378
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you aware that, as a non-European citizen, you cannot legally work in Greece (or most of Western Europe either)?

It's a pity, as you sound fairly well-qualified and certainly enthusiastic....but you're facing near-impossible odds of getting anything legal.

Here are some things you could usefully research as a part of your planning to find jobs:

You could usefully google Schengen zone (90 days in and then 90 days out for non-EU citizens on tourist status - this started Jan 2009 and has eliminated the ever-popular border run option widely used in the past).

There are also some other threads on this and other European country forums regarding non-EU citizens looking for work. You could do a search for 'Americans,' for example.

Somewhat good news: the 'new' EU countries generally do still offer legal work permits for North Americans. It's a hassle, but do-able. This means Czech Rep, Poland, Slovakia, etc are still legal options.

Keep in mind that all of the Euro region is fairly saturated with teachers. This keeps salaries and benefits very low, and also means that jobs are rarely found from abroad - you really have to incur the start-up costs of travel to the country and arranging for accomodation while you search for a job that will provide you legal papers.

It's a very different job market from most Asian ones, for example - where it's far more common to find a job from abroad, which pays for travel to the country and arranges accomodation, etc. That is extremely rare over here.

good luck - but I doubt you'll find it in Greece - you may need to adjust your vision a bit further East to find legal work.
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partylocks



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure it's illegal for schools in Greece to hire non-EU citizens? I am aware that it is considerably harder for Americans than for EU citizens, but I was under the impression that it was still legal, albeit a lot of red-tape.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9378
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have first-hand knowledge of how this works, being one of the exceptions (not in Greece, but in the Netherlands).

The school has to argue in national court that you bring some qualifications to the job that no EU citizen can match - essentially, that no EU teacher can do what you can do.

It's extremely rare that a school can or will go through this process.


(I actually have specialist quals - but it also took local contacts and reputation for it to happen in my case).

So, no, not entirely illegal - but unlikely in the extreme, I'm afraid.
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kateh



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Athens

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, Spiral78 is right. It would be like a non-US citizen trying to get a job in the US without a green card. Not impossible but very difficult.
Also be aware that you will also need a teaching licence, for which you would need to prove your legal status to work here as well as pass an exam in Greek at C1 level.
You can work here without a licence and without a work permit but it's risky and you are open to exploitation by the school owners.
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