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Best place to teach in Europe?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by CoconutLatte, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. CoconutLatte

    CoconutLatte New commenter

    I'm considering teaching in Europe after my NQT year (I'm English). I would really appreciate it if anyone could share their experience! I have a BA Hons English, PGCE and QTS (primary) and TEFL. Ideally I would love to teach Early Years/Primary aged children at an International school.

    Which areas of Europe would you say (in your experience or research) are the best places to teach? In terms of salary, teaching package, cost of living, work-life balance...

    Would appreciate some advice!
  2. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    I can't (and won't) comment on other European countries as I haven't worked there, but I came to Spain in 2006, 'British' school, on a two-year contract with my wife, also teaching, (no kids). We're still here for a reason, and it's not the money, we took a pay cut to make the move.
    What's kept us here has been the work-life-balance and the lifestyle. It just suits us down to the ground. We're in a very 'Spanish' part so we've been able to learn the lingo, which was one of our aims. We live a very 'outdoor' life: cafés and bars after school to chew over the day; beach or mountains on weekends; eating out; lots of tennis and cycling 12 months of the year; there's also a lot of free (or v cheap) music provided by the local govt municipal bands, fiestas etc.
    The school has also provided a very 'interesting' job: as I said, it's a 'British' school, but the vast majority of the children are local Spaniards. So, we're teaching a primary curriculum to young Spaniards in English. It's fascinating if you're interested in linguistics and education in the broadest sense. Guess we've been lucky where we landed.
    I know some of the younger (single) staff share accommodation to cut costs, but there aren't many who don't enjoy the lifestyle here. Cities are more expensive than smaller towns.
    It's good that you're doing your homework. Make sure you know what you want then go for it. We never looked (or went) back. Suerte.
  3. funkymonkey

    funkymonkey New commenter

    I doubt anyone here has taught in enough European countries to give a balanced perspective. There are so many factors to take into consideration. Generally speaking though. Work life balance is better everywhere than the UK. Countries in Scandinavia are good if you intend to stay forever. You earn a lot but won't save anything. Popular places like Prague or Budapest pay badly compared to the cost of living, don't listen to nonsense where they say that it is cheaper than London for eating out. Who eats out for every meal?
    France pays well except Paris,but is full of French people. No body likes the French. They don't even like themselves.

    Your gross salary will have an impact on how much you repay in student loans so countries like Romania could mean your repayment are high.

    Spain Portugal, cr#p money.
    Most countries you will have to pay your own accommodation although some do give an allowance. Most include annual flights and medical insurance.
    So look for jobs, apply for everything and do your research country by country.

    Good luck.
    mincekinguk likes this.
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    This question may become moot after December and British passport holders lose their freedom of movement within the EU. Some schools - those in Sweden perhaps - might be bothered to go through the process of getting a work permit for English teachers. However, most will just employ those have an EU passport.... so, you're luck will be in if you have an Irish passort.

    Which then leaves the non-EU countries: Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro.

    Good luck.
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Switzerland prioritises EU. Only if that well is empty will it contemplate the great unwashed.
  6. funkymonkey

    funkymonkey New commenter

    And Norway is an EFTA country which means it has EU rules but no say in deciding anything
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Bulgaria, of course! And you can read about it in my blog bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com

    mincekinguk likes this.
  8. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    It's going to depend on your actual priorities, and also in which school you actually land a job. I'd leave myself open and see what actually comes back. Then you can make a decision.

    Generally the sunnier climes don't pay as well as the north, and the east pays better than the west. And even within that, most cities will have higher paying schools and lower paying ones. Regardless, good luck :)
  9. CoconutLatte

    CoconutLatte New commenter

    I will take a look! ☺️

  10. MayaJones

    MayaJones New commenter

    actually doing very well in Portugal with an accommodation allowance to boot. Saving 1000 UKP a month no problem.
    yasf likes this.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper


    CoconutLatte, the view is rather nice and the house is lovely. Not bad for 81,000 euros. In the UK, that will probably buy you a broom-cupboard or maybe a kennel for the dog.
    yasf likes this.
  12. funkymonkey

    funkymonkey New commenter

    Always exceptions to the rule, I suppose, but my understanding is, from both jobs I have applied for and teachers who have worked there, that the wages are poor. There was even a post on here from someone who said that even with two people working they were having to dip into savings to get by. Of course everyone has different spending habits so that also is a factor.
  13. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    That post about two people working in Portugal might have been from me - I had friends there who couldn't live on two salaries. They left as soon as they could.
  14. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    I always thought that it almost has as much to do with the school as the location. (not to mention an individual's spending habits).

    There are quite a few cities where new teachers in one school will earn more than the SLT in another school in the same city.
  15. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    You're in the tiny minority though. There are people in Spain earning decent salaries too but these things are extremely rare.
  16. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    I assume schools will still want to employ native English speakers and so will probably find a way to employ Brits. I think it'll be tricky though compared to what it used to be.
  17. Rory88

    Rory88 New commenter

    Wow, in Portugal. Can you pm me the name of your school please and I'll apply asap.
  18. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    The patron saint of the famous five, surely ?
  19. Croftyhobbit

    Croftyhobbit New commenter

    Could I please also get this information via PM? Thank you very much for all of the information.
  20. MayaJones

    MayaJones New commenter


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