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Europe - Best Chance?
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the_otter



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject: Europe - Best Chance? Reply with quote

I am a UK citizen. I have a CELTA (pass). I have spent the year at a public university in China - teaching mainly writing courses to English majors. I have a bachelor's degree in English (2:1) from a good university. I can read German to an intermediate standard, and I speak elementary-level German and French.

Next year (next academic year, that is), if I am still TEFLing, I would like it to be in Europe, largely because I want to be closer to my parents, who aren't getting any younger. Unfortunately, a whole load of other better qualified people would also like to work in Europe.

Last month, I ignored all the advice about applying for European jobs online and tried to get work with a private language school in central/eastern Europe. They showed interest at first, but now appear to have dropped me like a hot potato; consequently, I'm rather demoralized and worried that I won't even be able to find work in potentially dodgy language mills.

What countries/cities/schools should I focus on?
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concentrate on the countries you're interested in. You will probably need to go there and search on the spot. Applying from abroad never works as well. Especially when there are so many available teachers.

I've switched between East Asia and Western Europe many times, but each time I've had to look hard once I arrived.
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the_otter



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

I know one has to go in person, but I'm perturbed at the thought of forking out for the airfare then finding there's no job at t'other end. Is there a realistic chance that someone like me could get a living wage in Europe?
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course I can't say for sure, but I think that if you arrive at the right time of year, and are prepared to apply to lots of schools, then you stand a good chance.

When I first moved from Asia to Europe I called about 100 schools before I found work. But I arrived in Madrid in January, which isn't the best time. That was a long time ago. Last year I arrived in Lisbon and had to contact about 40 schools before I found work. Again I arrived at the wrong time of year.

I was earning about 1,200 a month working about 3.5 days a week. No one can promise anything, the situation changes all the time. I think you have a fairly good chance, but only go if you have some savings - enough to last 3 months or so.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best timing for job search (varies a bit by region, usually later in the south and earlier in the north) end August - mid/late September.

Best chances: big and mid-sized cities (more bang for your shoe leather on the sidewalks!).

'Living wage' is pretty subjective and individual.

Expect to make enough to make ends meet, but to need to be frugal. Budget in advance for a new pair of jeans. Save for a couple of months for a bike or a trip. You might find something that pays a bit more than the norm, but in case not, it's helpful to have

modest


expectations Cool
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 235
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:


modest


expectations Cool


Modest expectations of salary. That's most of the TEFL world Neutral
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's much of the world today, period - regardless of profession.
Maybe our expectations of what we're worth are generally a bit high.....

though I guess I'd advocate that those of us who pay dues and get more quals deserve at least a living wage, enough to save up for the future.

At the newbie level, well, the good ol' days are probably gone, unfortunately.

Modest.......................Wages.........................Expect
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Spiral78)
Quote:
modest expectations (of salary)

Quote:
I think it's much of the world today, period - regardless of profession.
Maybe our expectations of what we're worth are generally a bit high...

Never were truer words spoken (written). I'm sometimes surprised at the number of comments I've read in these forums that suggest just about anything other than TEFL offers salaries & conditions that will have you in pearls and diamonds. It's almost as though the rest of the working world were somehow exempt from current economic conditions & a generational change of attitude in terms of what work should offer. Of course, it is also true that having quals and experience recognised is more than fair enough.

The Otter: As you'll no doubt know, often starting off somewhere new does mean taking whatever's going until you're set up and have made the contacts you need and worked out the best way to do that. After that you can become more discerning and take the best offers. In terms of your language skills, maybe France or Germany would be good to aim for. In Germany, be prepared for the fact that working as a freelancer means paying your own taxes and possibly having to pay into their pension fund. I don't know how it works for France or other countries on the continent. If Spain or Italy is really where you want to be then go for that because you may as well suffer a bit (at the beginning!) in a place you want to be. Of course, it may all fall into place very fast without much suffering required. Cool

Going with sufficient money for at least 3 months is really a must and perferably an open-ended return ticket to... (or money you put aside for that and that you don't touch). I'd also have a 'quit by ...." date. I'd decide where I wanted to be and then target language schools in that area initially. Although you need to be there in person, contacting some places in advance (possibly following up with calls) might be helpful. You might be able to set up some 'call in and visit us' times but formal interviews would be highly unlikely. Certainly, arriving with lists of names, addresses, phone numbers & email addresses of schools will be a big help. You could also get google maps of schools' whereabouts in relation to the city/ town centre. Best not to have to do all this after you arrive, though getting maps might be easier on the spot.

Other than that, I'd try and learn basic survival phrases before going. Google is also helpful for that if you can't get one of those basic booklets. This might all be obvious to you but I've noticed plenty of posts where people clearly haven't done any real preparation and just turn up.
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the_otter



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aurgh, my post just got eaten. Evil or Very Mad

Anyway, in summary, thanks guys. And thank you artemisia for all your practical advice. It will be heeded.

I think I may start with Frankfurt.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP: have a look at some of the BESIG (Business English Special Interest Group) posts - or join up to get email updates. There are a lot of people working in Germany contributing to the group and they occasionally post job offers. Do follow teachers based in Germany on twitter too - you'll get lots of info about opps, working conditions etc.

If it's Italy you're interested in (tho' doesn't sound it) Spiral is right. Late Aug to mid Sept is the time when institutions are looking for most teachers. You could also try Jan (after the Epiphany holiday).

Good luck!
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the_otter



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher in Rome wrote:
To the OP: have a look at some of the BESIG (Business English Special Interest Group) posts - or join up to get email updates. There are a lot of people working in Germany contributing to the group and they occasionally post job offers. Do follow teachers based in Germany on twitter too - you'll get lots of info about opps, working conditions etc.

If it's Italy you're interested in (tho' doesn't sound it) Spiral is right. Late Aug to mid Sept is the time when institutions are looking for most teachers. You could also try Jan (after the Epiphany holiday).

Good luck!


I'll need that luck, I think. Thank you for the tips. I'd love to live in Italy someday, but I'd also like to work on my German instead of starting another language almost from scratch.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The economic news from Germany is also FAR better than anything currently going on in the south - I think you'd be maximising your chances by targeting a stronger economic region.

Frankfurt's a place I'd quite like to be - I've spent a bit of time there over the years and a week this month. It's not relevant...but I was actually there just 12 hours ago. Air travel still kinda amazes me!
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della



Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're not put off by the program fee, there's always the Central European Teaching Program which places teachers in Hungary - http://www.cetp.info/

The old website and fee make it seem a bit fishy but I've pretty thoroughly checked it out and it's definitely legitimate. I spoke to the program director today and she mentioned they still had about 10 openings left at various schools.

You'll be making a modest wage indeed (in Hungarian forints, no less) but it will be enough to live on.
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the_otter



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

della wrote:
If you're not put off by the program fee, there's always the Central European Teaching Program which places teachers in Hungary - http://www.cetp.info/

The old website and fee make it seem a bit fishy but I've pretty thoroughly checked it out and it's definitely legitimate. I spoke to the program director today and she mentioned they still had about 10 openings left at various schools.

You'll be making a modest wage indeed (in Hungarian forints, no less) but it will be enough to live on.


Thank you for the suggestion - I'll check it out tonight. It sounds like a strong possibility.
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
The economic news from Germany is also FAR better than anything currently going on in the south - I think you'd be maximising your chances by targeting a stronger economic region.

Frankfurt's a place I'd quite like to be - I've spent a bit of time there over the years and a week this month. It's not relevant...but I was actually there just 12 hours ago. Air travel still kinda amazes me!



Of all the beautiful cities in Germany, you chose Frankfurt! Razz
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