While there isn’t high demand for TEFL teachers in the Netherlands, there certainly is a high demand for teachers with the correct experience. Positions are seeking the very best to accommodate their highly skilled students, and will be particularly interested in TEFL teachers with teaching qualifications other than their TEFL certificate. Having knowledge of Dutch will make your application more desirable.
Living in the Netherlands is a change in lifestyle that many expats adapt to quickly and learn to love. The locals can take some getting used to – the Dutch are straight-talking, but once you get used to it you’ll appreciate knowing where you are with these down-to-earth people. They also have what many consider an odd sense of humour, but at their core they’re a friendly, chilled out nation with a great sense of community.
Your free time in the Netherlands will be a breath of fresh air compared to sunning yourself in Spain or hiking in Italian mountain ranges. The Netherlands might be flat and boast dreary weather, but they have a great outdoor culture, with cycling being the best way to get around and boating a popular way to relax. Flat landscapes don’t equal boring ones – there’s something serene about the open vistas you’ll learn to call home. The Dutch have a rich artistic culture, an open mindset, an economy growing in opportunities and a people who are some of the happiest in the world – what are you waiting for?
- Popular locations for TEFL jobs: The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden
- Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of €2,200 (£1,900/$2,370) per month, with salaries fluctuating from €1,480 (£1,300/$1,600) to €2,600 (£2,270/$2,800). Freelance contracts offer hourly rates of around €22 (£19 – $24) to €27 (£23.50 – $29).
- TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour online TEFL qualification is a minimum requirement, but the Dutch speak English very well, so you’re more likely to get hired if you have further qualifications.
- Prerequisite university degree: You need a degree to teach in public school, but private language schools may not require a degree. With fierce competition for well-paid jobs, the more qualified you are, the better.
- Term times: The school year runs from September to June
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Dutch
- Teaching programmes: Business English, Legal English and Academic English at language schools, Adult Education Centres, Public Schools, Universities, Freelance
- Age restrictions: None
- Previous teaching experience: While positions may not clearly state what experience you need, with tough competition for the best jobs, you won’t get far without some relevant experience under your belt. Your pay might also depend on your experience level.
The Dutch are some of the best second language English speakers in the world. EF’s English Proficiency Index actually ranks them as number one, holding a top 3 position since 2011. What this means for TEFL teachers is that demand is limited – with such a high level of proficiency, there isn’t much call for catch-up classes for those who didn’t learn as kids. English lessons are compulsory in Dutch schools, and English is a popular degree subject, so there is scope for employment in the public sector more so than at private language schools.
Private language schools in the Netherlands are usually geared towards training in specific fields, such as Business English, Legal English or Academic English, and will expect teachers to be experienced in certain topics. With advanced students, you can’t just wing it as you might with teaching to beginners or young learners. If you don’t have knowledge of these specialist subjects you might be able to find work teaching IELTS or other exam preparation classes.
Giving one-to-one classes on a freelance basis isn’t so popular in the Netherlands. Locals will have a good knowledge of English by the time they’re adults, and even university students don’t often seek extra classes because they’re already so well catered for. However, as the Netherlands is a popular place to live, you might find a small market for teaching English to people from other nationalities who are less advanced in English, such as Spanish students studying at local universities.
Being on time is really important to the Dutch, and they consider it very rude to cancel plans at short notice. Learn as much about the culture as you can before you go to make a good impression with your students, and learn to take their brutal honesty on the chin – it’s just the way they are and doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job.
Requirements to teach English in The Netherlands
|Country||Avg. monthly salary||Degree required||Start of term||Teaching experience||Housing & flights included||Suitable for non-native English speakers||Age restrictions|
|Teach in Netherlands||£1,300 - £2,600
($1,600 - $2,800)
Ouch, don’t those prices just make you wince when thinking about cheap European destinations like Spain, Portugal and Italy? Also, be prepared for high taxes – usually around 30 or 40% – but bear in mind that high taxes mean great investment in social services; the Netherlands has a low level of poverty and a high quality of life. The Netherlands are midrange in price when it comes to Western Europe (8th most expensive country out of 19) and the country is more expensive than 83% of countries in the world. Certain aspects of the below list stand out more than others – the price of rent and utilities are painfully high, but there are perks too. Coffee is pricy but not extortionate – make your café visits a treat rather than a daily trip and you can easily afford a cuppa. The cost of visiting the GP is surprisingly low, too, so it’s not all bad.
As you would expect, a country that has a high cost of living also pays high wages. You’ll be earning a good salary as a TEFL teacher in this country and if, like many TEFL teachers, you do a few classes in your own time (either local face-to-face classes or online) you’ll be earning enough to save some of your earnings, too.
Life in the Netherlands is pleasant enough to draw a good number of TEFL teachers, despite the fact that there’s a high cost of living. A small, liberal country, the Netherlands isn’t known for its great weather but there’s plenty to love about living there. Dutch food is far more varied and delicious than you probably realise, and while the Dutch are often considered rude for being so frank, they’re a fun-loving, friendly bunch, too.
- Accommodation: £978 – £1,622 / $1,204 – $1,997
- Utilities: £146 / $180
- Health insurance: Everyone is required to take out their own basic health insurance, called Zorgverzekeringswet. Temporary residents are covered by their EHIC. Cost of typical visit to a GP: £24 / $29
- Monthly transport pass: £83 / $102
- Basic dinner out for two: £37 / $46
- Cappuccino in expat area: £2.77 / $3.40
- A beer in a pub: £4.37 / $5.38
- 1 litre of milk: £1.05 / $1.29
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £2.33 / $2.86
(living costs sourced from Expatistan)