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Questions about working in Austria...

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Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Questions about working in Austria... Reply with quote


I'm new to the boards and hope this is the right place to post this.

I'm 24, from the UK and a native English speaker. I'm looking to move to Vienna to teach English. I am a university graduate (in Cinema and Photography) and have a high command of English and a passion for language.

I'm not sure whether to just start applying to schools (as I have been told by a friend who lives there that many jobs are available with no qualifications) or to get a CELTA qualification before even looking.

I was wondering if anyone could offer any help in this area. Is a CELTA, or perhaps even a less well-known ESOL or TEFL qualification, necessary? Will it open a lot of doors?

How easy is it to find work in Vienna, is it stable and what is the pay like?

I apologise for all the questions; I have done my own research but have found a lot of conflicting answers. I just feel quite lost!

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11534
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much directly about private language schools in Vienna (a private language school is about the only possible venue for someone with a CELTA or less in terms of qualifications). My Austrian friends who work in EFL are at the university level (they have qualifications for this) but from what I understand, Vienna is a relatively small market. I think that most/many teachers cobble together work including contracted work with one or more schools plus privates to make ends meet. The hiring season will be end August through September, typical contracts are Sept/Oct through June. There is very little work in July and August - typical for the region overall.

I am not sure what your friend means about a lot of work for unqualified teachers, but I suspect that this means with private students. If this is the case, fine, but keep in mind that it takes time, local connections, and a local rep to build up a group of private students enough to actually live on, and they do tend to come and go.

I'd very strongly suggest getting a CELTA or equivalent. The majority of new teachers on the job market in this region have one, and it not only makes you more competitive in the marketplace, but you are more likely to be successful when you start actually teaching. Consider: what will you actually do with 'your' students if you have no training at all? Language learning is not actually the same as teaching/learning core subjects in one's first language; there are different approaches and methods for this.
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Austria and Vienna Reply with quote

Hello Sediton,
I strongly support the points made by Spiral78. You must get qualified some time so why not do it. The job market is too competitive and that is with the qualified teachers. As you are young you don't have a lot of work experience so you must get qualified.

You have chosen a difficult country in Austria. Language schools rarely can give you 24 hours or more weekly teaching because of the design of their class courses. Weekly each class can be 2 x 2 hours (4 weekly) not 6 hours weekly like in some countries. For example weekday evening courses may end at 7pm and not 9pm or 8.30pm. This means if you do well you could get 16 hours weekly with a school. Working all day and every day sure you could get at least 24 hours weekly teaching but you don't really want split shifts always and then leading you to burnout.

You can get work I feel (if you get a qualification) but you will be freelance and you must be very very proactive in getting students. Freelance teachers usually have big commitments, they come and then go from a school or designated company or office. New EFL teachers gain an awful lot professionally and socially from colleagues in the staffroom (and beyond) in schools whereby teachers are full time contracted to that school. In Austria you won't get the chance so readily to gain support from colleagues because of the minimal contact time with them. I have taught in Austria. Also need it be Vienna, could you start in another Austrian city? I certainly had great experiences in Austria.
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