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Teach English in Slovenia

With its incredible climate, gorgeous architecture, a history like no other and a growing tourism industry, Slovenia is somehow underrated as a TEFL destination, but that won’t be the case for long.

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Slovenia, a former Yugoslav country, is a little unheralded outside of central Europe. While it’s a small country, with a population of just 2 million citizens, Slovenia more than holds its own in terms of intrigue, culture, natural beauty and quirks.

Declared independent of Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia boasts evidence of life from 250,000 BCE, with its southern central European location providing plenty of fascination for historians and anthropologists alike.

Given its location, it has served as the setting of multiple historic epochs, with Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, Turkish takeovers, Napoleonic colonisation and the expansion of the Yugoslav state, just to name a few. This means visitors can expect to find relics and evidence of any number of ancient and recent dynasties.

However, modern-day Slovenia has a lot to offer, not just to TEFL teachers who are looking to broaden their horizons. While English isn’t among the widest-spoken languages, there’s a demand for English teachers and a small amount of competition.

Slovenia doesn’t feature at all on EF’s English Proficiency Index, but with English being the lingua franca of business, there are plenty of eager school pupils and motivated adults alike who want to improve their proficiency.

So what is there to know about Slovenia? What kind of jobs are available, and what kind of salaries are on offer? Let’s explore one of the most underrated gems on the globe.

Slovenia: an overview

We’ve touched on the history, but what does today’s Slovenia offer to curious visitors?

In short: it’s harder to identify what Slovenia doesn’t offer. For one thing, it’s an entry point to central Europe, with neighbouring nations like Hungary, Italy, Croatia, Greece and more just a shorty journey away.

Stay within Slovenia, though, and you’ll find the most amazing nature, from the incredible mountain ranges around Lake Bled to the caves of Postojna, via the vibrant and buzzing capital city of Ljubljana. 

Animal lovers will have plenty to look for: Lipica is the biggest home of gorgeous Lippizanner horses, and if that’s not enough, there are multiple natural hot springs, with incredible spa resorts never too far away. If it all sounds extremely European and picture-esque, that’s because it is. 

Though Slovenian is the national language - no surprises there - Slovenia’s rising popularity as a tourist destination has seen, much like Croatia, a real uptick in the number of confident English speakers. This is common in Balkan states, which are meeting the needs of intrepid travellers who want to find out everything they can, but don’t have particularly good access to the Slovenian language.

This means, of course, jobs for TEFL teachers.

While Ljubljana is the prime destination - and a city we’ll cover in more detail - don’t discount other metropolitan areas within Slovenia. Maribor - home to NK Maribor, a football club that’ll be known to enthusiasts of UEFA competitions, Koper, Kranj and even Bled, with a population under 9,000, are fine places to find work. 

Requirements

So what does a TEFL teacher need to find work and start teaching English in Slovenia? Let’s find out!

TEFL certificate

You’ll absolutely need a TEFL certificate to find teaching jobs in Slovenia. A TEFL certification with at least 120 hours of study is the industry standard, and it’s vital for securing work as an ESL teacher not just in Slovenia, but in Europe more broadly.

Given the limited space and level of competition in Slovenia, it might be prudent to study an advanced TEFL course. Having qualifications in teaching Business English, for example, can be a real boost when applying for jobs.

Degree/no-degree

Most employers will be looking for an English teacher with a bachelor’s degree - in any subject - while poring through ESL job applications. Degrees don’t have to be in a specific subject, but they’re extremely important to employers in Slovenia. 

What’s more, if you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for a work visa, which we’ll explore shortly. Having a degree is a significant advantage when it comes to applying for a working visa - this is true of teaching English abroad more generally.

Additionally, some institutions might prefer a master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s, and in some cases, will need either degree to be in an education-specific field. Universities and international schools, for example, tend to hire applicants who have multiple qualifications. 

Experience

You don’t need vast - or any! - teaching experience to get started as a TEFL teacher in Slovenia. While most language schools and the like will certainly prefer applicants who have a decent level of teaching experience, it’s not a prerequisite for a working visa, nor for many of Slovenia’s public schools.

Provided you have the right qualifications for the job, and can demonstrate a high level of English proficiency, you’re likely to meet the criteria for any number of roles, even without a lengthy teaching CV.

Visa

If you’re an EU citizen, you’ll be delighted to know that Slovenia is a Schengen country and EU member state. Therefore, no working visa or work permit is required.

If you’re from outside the European Union, you’ll need to apply for a working visa in order to teach English as a foreign language within Slovenia. A good rule is to for applicants to secure English teaching jobs before heading over; this way, an employer can assist in the process, providing administrative support, or in some cases, financial help.

The process of applying for a visa in Slovenia is reportedly streamlined and hassle-free. Foreign workers only need one permit, known as the Single Work and Residence Permit, or Single Permit for short. Employers can handle most of the work here, provided you’ve been given a firm offer of employment from a business or public school located in Slovenia.

Download our teaching English in Europe guide

Salary and cost of living

Now we know a little more about the requirements for Slovenia teaching jobs, what about salaries and cost of living?

Salaries

Like anywhere, teaching salaries in Slovenia vary greatly depending on your level of experience, your qualifications and the kind of teaching job you have. Averages for the country as a whole range between €​​850 and €​​1,200 per month (£740-£1,040/$910-$1,290) for full-time teaching jobs in public schools, though wages can rise to around €​​2,500 (£2,170/$2,680) per month in universities and international schools. 

For private tutoring, you can expect to earn €​​25-€​​50 per hour (£21-£43/$26-53).

Cost of living

What about Slovenia’s cost of living? Can you live comfortably on a teaching wage?

TEFL teachers, rejoice: the everyday costs in Slovenia are much, much lower than in countries like the USA, UK or Canada. According to Numbeo, Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana is 30% cheaper in general than London, and rents are a whopping 67.5% lower. 

What about monthly costs and everyday expenditures? Let’s get into more specifics.

Rent, in a city-centre apartment with one bedroom, costs €703 (£610/$754) per month. If you need more space, a three-bedroom apartment costs around €1,330 (£1,115/$1,426) per month, which falls to €1,039 per month (£902/$1,114) if you’re willing to live outside the main hub of the city.

In terms of monthly utilities (electricity, water, heating etc), you’re looking at a spend of €274 (£238/$294), while internet access typically costs €33 (£28/$35).

What about the price of beer or a three-course meal for two in a restaurant? Glad you asked: it’s around €3 (£2.60/$3.22) and €50 (£43/$53) respectively.

Jobs 

So how do you find TEFL jobs in Slovenia? What kind of teaching opportunities are available?

First off, it’s important to consider geography: the bigger cities, like Ljubljana and Maribor, will have loads more opportunities than smaller regions of the country. While other tourist destinations like the much smaller town of Bled have a booming tourism industry, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a glut of ESL jobs.

As covered, you’ll need a job before heading over, so as to meet visa requirements. With that in mind, where can TEFL teachers find work in Slovenia? 

Types of Teaching Jobs  

The kinds of teaching opportunities available to ESL teachers in Slovenia aren’t anything out of the ordinary. The country has a robust public education system, as well as several dedicated language schools, international schools and universities. 

Requirements - especially in regard to qualifications - differ for each type of institution, while employers will have their own criteria in mind for applicants. 

Public schools 

TEFL teachers can definitely find work within state schools in Slovenia, but it’s not to say that every public school teaches English.

Education is mandatory for children aged 6-15, and in the state school system, a range of languages are taught from an early age, including Slovenian, Italian and Hungarian. The best practice for finding work in the Slovenian public school system is to seek out specific opportunities with schools that teach English, as opposed to blanket applications.

Teach English in Ljubljana

If you’re looking for the perfect distillation of Slovenia’s charm within one easy-to-navigate cityscape, Ljubljana is your best bet. 

The city, with a population of nearly 300,000, is the cultural hub of Slovenia. Since the 1500s, Ljubljana has been known for its art, which included early paintings and sculptures, and the modern art scene continues to thrive. The architecture is also stunning, with much of the old town remaining in the city centre, mixed in with more modern buildings to accommodate Slovenia’s rapidly growing economy.

Ljubljana was named World Book Capital in 2010 by UNESCO, and is home to over 10,000 different cultural events per year. Despite how busy it is, the city’s riverbanks and coffee shops are perfect places to get lost in a book, with the city’s local folklore and middle-ages architecture lending itself to an overall feeling of mystery and wonder.

In terms of TEFL jobs, Ljubljana is comfortably Slovenia’s most cosmopolitan city and this is reflected in the opportunities that exist there. International schools and universities are commonplace, and English is spoken widely. 

While the cost of living is higher in Ljubljana than in other parts of Slovenia - it’s the capital, after all - the availability of jobs and accommodation, as well as everything it offers to visitors, makes it a fantastic location for highly-valued TEFL teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Can I teach English in Slovenia?

    Yes, you can teach English in Slovenia! While not all public schools teach English, international schools, language schools and universities require English teachers en masse, and private tutoring is popular.

  • Q. How much do you get paid teaching English in Slovenia?

    A typical full-time TEFL salary in Slovenia is €​​850 and €​​1,200 per month (£740-£1,040/$910-$1,290) in public schools, though universities and international schools tend to pay more.

  • Q. Are English teachers in demand in Slovenia?

    Yes, English teachers are in demand for both children and adult learners in Slovenia!