Do you want to teach English in Europe? No wonder: the beaches in Spain. The food in Italy. The nightlife in Germany. The abundance of well-paid English teaching jobs spread across the continent. It’s no surprise thousands of teachers flock across the pond and the Channel each year to teach English in Europe.
With so many incredible countries to choose from, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is picking just one destination to work in. But don’t worry about that too much! Thanks to the proximity of many countries, excellent transport links and a common currency, most TEFL teachers find it cheap and easy to explore large chunks of Europe in their time off.
Whether you want to try your hand at teaching young learners during summer camps, teach business English to adults, or set your own hours and pay as a private tutor, there are year-round positions available in Europe to suit teachers at all stages of their careers.
Most popular countries to teach English in Europe
According to an official list from the UN, there are 44 countries in Europe. In other words… there are a lot of teach English abroad destinations to choose from! While most European countries will offer some sort of teaching English opportunity, there are, of course, a few that are more popular than others.
With the chance to teach English in Europe across 40 different countries, it’s easy to see why the region is such a popular choice for TEFL teachers. Salaries vary greatly between countries but teachers can expect to make anything from €1,200 to over €2,000 per month.
Whether due to their natural beauty, charming culture, exciting nightlife or delicious cuisine, the following five countries are consistently popular with new and experienced TEFL teachers alike.
Want to live in the land of sun, sand and sangria? Who could blame you! Spain is frequently listed as the No.1 destination for teaching English in Europe. From fast-paced Barcelona and Madrid to laid-back living on Spain’s beautiful islands, there are some incredible teach abroad experiences to be had across the country.
You don’t need a bachelor’s degree, previous experience or a teaching qualification to teach in Spain but most schools and employers will look favourably on those who have a TEFL certification as a minimum. Of course, the higher your qualifications, the better chance you have of landing a higher-paid job.
Teaching opportunities range from private language schools and summer camps to private tutoring and government-sponsored programmes, including the popular Meddeas programme. A basic monthly salary for a full-time teaching position is likely to be in the region of €1,200 – €1,500 (£1,053 – £1,317 / $1,300 – $1,623), while hourly teaching rates will be in the range of €15 to €20 (£13.16 – £17.55 / $16.24 – $21.67).
Read more about teaching in Spain
Do you dream of living La Dolce Vita in one of Italy’s beautiful cities? Perhaps strolling around the historic sites of Rome, Naples, Florence or Milan, with a gelato or slice of pizza in hand? Or maybe it’s island life that has you tempted, with the likes of Sardinia’s jaw-dropping beaches calling you to Italy’s stunning shores. Whatever your Italia dream, teaching English can help to make it a reality… just don’t expect it to always be easy!
Italy is an incredibly popular location for TEFL teachers but the country is notoriously difficult for securing full-time English teaching jobs. The majority of TEFL teachers work for several different schools and employers, alongside working as private tutors in their time off. You don’t legally need a degree to teach English in Italy but many schools will give preference to teachers who do have them. A 120-hour TEFL course is a minimum requirement. And, while living costs in the country are low, Italian teaching salaries are likely to be less than those in many other European countries, which makes saving hard.
As a guide, a typical salary for a full-time TEFL position in Italy should be around €1,200 to €1,400 (£1,054 – £1,229 / $1,312 – $1,531) per month. Hourly wages vary greatly between schools and you need to watch out for employers who will try and pay you less than they should! As a starting point, €12 (£10.54 / $13.13) an hour is a common rate, going up to around €25 (£21.95 / $27.34) per hour.
Read more about teaching in Italy
From its effortlessly cool cities to its rolling countryside and rock-top castles, it’s easy to see why so many English teachers choose Germany to teach abroad. International teachers are in high demand, with wide-ranging employment opportunities and high salaries that are amongst the best in Europe. And, with its central location and efficient transport links, living in Germany makes exploring the rest of Europe a breeze.
Germany is known for its high quality of life and excellent education system. English and other foreign languages are taught from a young age, meaning fluency levels are high and English teaching positions are varied and available year-round. Unlike many other countries, lifelong learning is highly encouraged in Germany, with Volkshochschulen (adult education centres) being incredibly popular for adults to improve their language skills.
While a degree isn’t a requirement to teach in Germany, the reality is most schools won’t hire teachers without them. A basic monthly salary for a full-time position is likely to be in the region of €1,200 to €2,000 (£1,1123-£1,872/$1,297-$2,162) but these are rare. Instead, most teachers work on a freelance basis and charge by the hour. In this case, €12-€16 (£11-£15/$13-17) for an inexperienced teacher and €18-€30+ (£17-£28/$19-$32) for an experienced teacher are common rates.
Read more about teaching in Germany
One of the most popular places for international teachers in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is a cheap, cheerful and charming place to teach English abroad. From the cosmopolitan capital of Prague to the natural beauty of the countryside, mountains and ski slopes, the Czech Republic has something for everyone. And, with excellent transport links to most major cities, it’s easy to explore the rest of Europe from the Czech Republic too.
While Prague is the first choice for most ESL teachers, don’t discount TEFL jobs in smaller cities and rural locations where competition is lower and you’ll have the chance to live like a local. You’ll usually need a TEFL certification and a degree – sometimes in English or a related subject – to secure a paid teaching job. The teaching market in the Czech Republic is generally focused on Business English students. However, there is a growing demand for lessons to support young learners studying foreign languages at school.
For teachers starting out in the Czech Republic, a basic monthly salary for a full-time teaching job is likely to be in the region of 14,870 -36,000 Krone (£500 – £1,285 / $600 – $1,450) per month or around 200 to 350 Krone (£7 – £12 /$8 – $14) per hour.
Read more about teaching in Czech Republic
How does living and working in Paris, the world’s most romantic city sound? Or maybe spending your time off work mingling with movie stars on the French Riviera? Perhaps it’s the famous French cuisine you fantasise about? Or soaking in the cafe culture of the country’s most quaint towns? No matter what your teach abroad dream looks like, France is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most popular destinations for ESL teachers.
Finding teaching jobs in France can be frustrating, even for experienced English teachers. You will almost always require a TEFL certification, a bachelor’s degree and at least a little previous experience. However, older, more qualified teachers might find themselves being passed over in favour of younger teachers, especially in the most popular teaching locations where schools can afford to be picky. Teaching opportunities in France range from private language schools and kindergartens to summer camps, business English classes, university positions and private tutoring/live-in positions with a host family.
What are salaries like for TEFL teachers in France? Well, they vary greatly between locations but as a rough guide, a monthly salary for a full-time position is likely to be in the region of €1,000 – €2,000 (£926 – £1,852/$1,082 – $2,164) per month, while summer camps pay around €1170 (£1,081/$1,266) per month. Private tutors and live-in English teachers can earn between €10 – €13 (£9.25 – £12/$10.83 – $14) per hour for childcare positions and up to €20 (£18.50/$21.66) per hour for tutoring older students.
Read more about teaching in France
Requirements for teaching English in Europe
The requirements for teaching English in Europe differ between countries, schools and employers, but there are a few things that are asked for time and time again. The first requirement for teaching in Europe is a TEFL certificate, usually a minimum of 120-hours. In some countries like the Czech Republic, this needs to include physical classroom time (rather than only an online course).
While not a necessary factor for visa requirements in every country, the second thing that is commonly asked for by schools and employers in Europe is a bachelor’s degree. For some countries, this will need to be in English or a related degree, while others will accept a degree in any subject. In some places, a degree may be required by law in order to obtain work permits or the correct work visa to legally teach in the country.
Finally, some countries in Europe may only hire native speakers from native English-speaking countries. Although not always the case, many European schools prefer native English speakers, with preference given to those from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. But if you’re not a native English speaker, don’t worry! You can still teach in many European countries – you may just need to work a little harder at finding a job and be able to prove your English fluency.
Most countries don’t require previous teaching experience for entry-level teaching jobs but for more senior positions, teaching qualifications and prior experience will be an advantage.
There’s no doubt that teaching qualifications can help you to land a job in Europe, particularly if you’re hoping to secure a well-paid position at one of the region’s top international schools, private schools or universities. But that doesn’t mean you have to be qualified to find teaching jobs on the continent!
If you don’t have any qualifications, one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of becoming an English teacher is to get TEFL certified. Many language schools won’t consider those without a TEFL qualification and even those hoping to find a teaching placement at a summer camp will find a TEFL certification boosts their chances of securing a position.
No matter where you want to teach abroad, you’ll almost always need some form of work visa or work permit in order to do so legally. This is the case for much of Europe, where most countries will require you (or your school/employer) to apply for a work visa.
But there’s one main difference when it comes to countries within the European Union. EU citizens (that is, citizens of the 27 member states that make up the EU, including Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Ireland) do not need a work visa in order to work in any other EU country. On the other hand, non EU citizens – which now includes British citizens since Britain left the EU in 2020 – need to carefully check visa requirements for each country and apply for the correct visa.
There’s no question that it’s more difficult to find a job teaching English in Europe as non EU citizen but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re from outside the EU but meet certain requirements, you might be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa for certain countries within Europe.
Teaching English jobs in Europe
Hoping to kick off your teaching abroad adventures in Europe? You’re in luck! There are literally thousands of teaching jobs available across Europe. So, whether you’ve just finished your TEFL certification or you’re a qualified English teacher with bags of experience, you’re sure to find a teaching job that’s perfect for you!
Types of teaching jobs
From public schools to private schools, international schools to language schools, summer camps to live-in teaching placements and private tutoring… you name it, Europe has every kind of teaching English abroad job you can think of! Take a look below at some of the most common types of teaching jobs you’ll see in Europe.
Many countries in Europe offer cultural exchange programmes which place English teachers within the public school system. These are usually organised by the local government and are a great option for new TEFL teachers who want to gain some valuable teaching experience.
Some teaching jobs at public schools will come with accommodation and other perks, like free flights and insurance, while others might place teachers within a host family home, offering the unique experience of living like a local.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much money can you make teaching English in Europe?
A teaching English in Europe salary can vary greatly between countries but on average, ESL teachers can expect to make between €1,200 (£1,053 / $1,300) to €2,000 (£1,872 / $2,162) per month.
Q. How do I become an English teacher in Europe?
The requirements for becoming an English teacher in Europe are different for each country. These may include being TEFL certified, holding a bachelor’s degree and having previous teaching experience. You must also make sure you have the correct type of visa, which will allow you to work legally as a teacher, in the country you are planning to move to.
Q. Are English teachers in demand in Europe?
Yes! While some European countries have more English teaching jobs than others, there’s generally a very high demand across Europe for English teachers at the moment.
Q. Which European countries need English teachers?
Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the Czech Republic are a few of the most popular countries in Europe which need English teachers right now. But don’t discount the smaller countries too! Europe has 44 countries in total, with most having some need for ESL teachers.