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Teaching in Europe

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by chlosho1, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. chlosho1

    chlosho1 New commenter


    I'm a science teacher currently completing my NQT year in the UK and thinking of teaching abroad next year.

    From what I understand my best bet would be finding a job in an international school. I'd be more than happy to be an EFL teacher but don't have a TEFL qualification and it seems I'd get better pay as a science teacher abroad.

    I'm hoping for somewhere where I can find a bit of a better work life balance (though understand this may not be the case in an international school). But also just to have a bit of an adventure really!

    So far I'm thinking Spain or Netherlands but open to other suggestions. I'm interested in hearing others experiences... please share!
  2. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    You'll no doubt have some comments made about Spain in a bit. Regardless, jobs overseas can be quite competitive and the more flexible you can be the better. The closer to the UK, and the sunnier the location, the more popular and the worse the pay and conditions.
    It's getting a bit late for next year - unless you get your CV and covering letter done pronto. Getting an overseas job is possible at any time of the year, but the height of the recruitment season is getting earlier and earlier these days, and tends to start around October for experienced couples that offer shortage subjects and runs up to the end of January for the rest of us mere mortals.
    As for examples, I've taught in three continents in five different countries. Bar North Korea, I think that it's possible to find an international school in pretty much every country in the world, and as an English native speaking Science teacher you'll have a shot at finding a job somewhere in most of them. Good luck :)
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  3. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Agreed that you're leaving it a little late and need to get everything together quickly for a September 2020 start, but it's not impossible.

    Also, cast your net wider. You state you're looking for adventure but mention two very "safe" locations: I'm sure you have your reasons for preferring those places, but travel from and around central and Eastern Europe is cheap. Spain is notoriously low paid (I know this for a fact from my offers two years ago) and this means you won't be travelling much, while the Netherlands can be expensive.

    Finally, many places like teachers to have at least two years experience in their home country. As a science teacher, you'll be an attractive prospect, so this may balance it out. Maybe just use this year to research and test the waters, who knows, perhaps find something amazing, but also be prepared to hold out for the perfect job in 2021.
    w1185299 likes this.
  4. 24hours

    24hours New commenter

    Schools in Europe generally recruit later than the rest of the world so I disagree that you’ve Left it too late.

    Plenty of **** schools out there that will be scraping around looking for a chemistry or physics teacher.

    Don’t expect too much in the way of savings/CPD though
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Just avoid Spain....if you expect to be paid like a professional, then avoid Spain.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, chloso1, but what about Bulgaria? Lots of schools in western Europe do not give their teachers any sort of accommodation, so you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. That could be very expensive in the Netherlands. Here in Sofia, my wife and I have a large two-bedroomed apartment, about a fifteen minutes' walk from my school. Yes, our apartment is all paid for by my saintly school and we are right opposite a huge park. There is lots of public transport, so you do not need to have a car. The salary is not very good, it must be said, but of course Sofia is a lot cheaper than most capital cities.

    I have sent you on of those TES Conversation things.
  7. chlosho1

    chlosho1 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice!! I've done a bit of research so was expecting the comments about Spain haha.

    In terms of interviews, will I need to be available to interview in person abroad? Just wondering how I'll be able to do so with a full time teaching timetable?!
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    When i left Spain for eastern Europe my contact time halved and my salary (package) more than quadrupled, plus factor in it was a seriously cheaper place to live than Spain. No "lifestyle myth" of Spain could make up for this..... there is a reason its called sPAIN....the pain you will feel is in your bank account
  9. w1185299

    w1185299 New commenter

    Numbeo is a good site to compare living costs. As Hippo says your money will go further in Eastern Europe than western.
  10. chlosho1

    chlosho1 New commenter

    Any standout places in Eastern Europe you guys would recommend?
  11. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Anywhere not in the Euro. Then its down to personal preferences.
  12. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    There are some good eastern european locations that have the euro :)
    kinks likes this.
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    but cost of living is higher
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    To answer chlosho1's question about interviews, I would say that, as a general rule, the best international schools do indeed want to have a face-to-face interview with you. That might be at a jobfair or it could be in London. The "second division" schools are usually happy to talk to you on SKYPE. However, this is a big generalization and there are various possible permutations. Where the school is located and where you currently are may also influence whether or not it is a face-to-face interview or on SKYPE or both!
  15. bedby9

    bedby9 New commenter

    Eastern Europe is a great place to live and work. I am in Bucharest currently. The weather is extreme from boiling hot sunny days to freezing winters.
    It is also extremely cheap, pints are around £1.10 and often less. I know there is a fantastic school in the north of Bucharest currently looking for a science teacher.

    Good luck.
  16. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    The schools in Eastern Europe that are part of the CEESA group of schools tend to have the best packages and salary, but they usually recruit earlier. For example I worked at one such school and we had to sign for the following school year before the Christmas holiday.
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "Eastern Europe is a great place to live"? Hmm. Well, as smelly old hippo has been saying this on a certain TES forum for quite a few years now.
  19. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    A vote for Spain from me. I've been here 14 years now and the weather and lifestyle suits me down to the ground. I'm also loving learning the language and have bought a flat near the beach for a fraction of the price it would have sold for a dozen years ago. Spain doesn't suit everyone, but I'm very happy here.
  20. EarthDecon

    EarthDecon New commenter

    Hey there dumbbells66, I have been perusing this forum and you've been super helpful giving people advice on ME salaries, jobs and your views on working in Africa. It has all been super helpful, thank you so much. I am definitely curious about your experiences working on the African continent.

    Would you mind PMing me? Because of these new rules, and I'm a new member, I can't send you a PM :( I'd really appreciate it!

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