The political situation in Lebanon has been unstable for years, and you should always check your government’s guidelines on whether travel to the country is recommended before applying for jobs. However, many expats in Lebanon say that despite the instability, day-to-day life in the country doesn’t feel too tumultuous, and that you can enjoy a nice quality of life in beautiful surroundings.
Visit ancient sites, mosques, and monasteries to get a feel for traditional life in this stunning country, or spend your free time enjoying outdoor pursuits such as skiing in the winter and swimming at beach resorts in the summer. With comfortable weather, a culture known for its excellent hospitality, and a delicious cuisine, there are many reasons to consider Lebanon for your next teaching adventure if it’s safe enough for you to travel there.
- Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Byblos, and Tyre
- Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 1,356,000 – 2,260,000 LBP (£650 – £1,090 / $900 – $1,500) per month.
- TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
- Prerequisite university degree: Required for most positions
- Term times: August to May
- Currency: LBP – Lebanese Pound
- Language: Arabic (French and English)
- Teaching programmes: Voluntary, University, Private Language Schools, International Schools, Tutoring
- Age restrictions: None
- Previous teaching experience: Required for many positions, but not always for volunteer or ‘au pair’ type positions.
One of the major teaching opportunities in Lebanon is working as a volunteer with refugees from Syria. Accessing Education: Language Integration for Syrian Refugee Children is a programme assisted by the British Council for children aged 8-14, and is one of the best known places to find voluntary work. However, working as a volunteer isn’t without its challenges. While Arabic is the official language of both Lebanon and Syria, Lebanese schools usually operate in English or French, which are languages that most Syrian children have never had contact with. It’s estimated that about 20% of Lebanese people use French on a daily basis, and young people in the country prefer to converse in their second language (usually French, but increasingly English is becoming more popular) rather than speaking in Lebanese Arabic. As such, when integrated into the same overcrowded classroom, there is huge disparity between the local and refugee children, which can led to frustration on both parts, as well as for the teacher.
Syrian children are sometimes placed in classes with much younger Lebanese children in order to help them understand the language, but naturally it can be quite demotivating for Syrian teenagers to have to sit alongside Lebanese children aged five or six. Other pressures (such as male refugee children being sent out to work if there is no father figure in the family to earn a wage, or female refugee children at risk of sexual violence or being married off in order to escape poverty) can make the volunteer classroom a challenging and unstable place to be. You can read more about the challenges facing refugee children and their education in Lebanon here.
Requirements for teaching English in Lebanon
|Country||Avg. monthly salary||Degree required||Start of term||Teaching experience||Housing & flights included||Suitable for non-native English speakers||Age restrictions|
|Teach in Lebanon||£650 - £1,200
($800 - $1,500)
Teaching positions are usually quite poorly paid in Lebanon, though of course a foreign teacher will usually earn far more than their local co-teachers. Even with a better paid job, it can be hard to get by in Lebanon because of the high cost of living. As such, volunteer teachers (who usually receive room and board in exchange for their services) may actually find themselves better off than teachers in low-paid positions. If you find a paid position, ask for details on what benefits are included so that you can work out your outgoings based on your basic salary. Also, finding extra tutoring work to bump your earnings can be tricky in Lebanon and you can get into trouble if your visa doesn’t permit you to do this kind of work, so make sure to do your research before you travel about how you’ll be earning enough money to live on.
- Accommodation: £1,345 – £2,090 / $1,863 – $2,896
- Utilities: £168 / $232
- Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £86 / $119
- Monthly transport pass: £168 / $232
- Basic dinner out for two: £57 / $79
- Cappuccino in expat area: £5.71 / $8
- A beer in a pub: £9 / $12
- 1 litre of milk: £3.49 / $4.83
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £2.72 / $3.76
(living costs sourced from Expatistan)