The Republic of Lithuania is in Northern Europe and it’s larger than the other two Baltic States (Estonia and Latvia). Located to the east of Sweden and Denmark, Lithuania shares borders with Latvia, Belarus, and Poland.
Once the largest country in Europe in the 14th century, the size of Lithuania steadily declined and it was ultimately annexed into the Russian Empire in the 18th century. Towards the end of World War 1, Lithuania became an independent state but it was subsequently occupied by the Soviet Union and then Nazi Germany. As the Nazis retreated towards the end of World War 2, it was again occupied by Soviet Russia and it wasn’t until 1990 that it became an independent state.
Now a member of the EU and NATO, Lithuania has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Read more about Lithuania from Wikipedia.
Why Teach English in Lithuania
Many Lithuanian people see English as an important language in the business and tourism sectors and as a result there is a growing need for English teachers in the country. However, there are a high number of English teachers already living and working in the country, so sometimes competition for jobs can be quite high. However, those with the relevant qualifications (see below) and experience should have no problems finding work in the country.
When you’re not in a classroom teaching, there is a lot to see and do. Home to one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, stunning countryside, national parks, UNESCO Heritage sites, museums, parks, lakes, rivers and more, you shouldn’t be stuck for things to do.
Where to Teach English in Lithuania
Most teachers live and work in Vilnius because that is where you will find the most schools and therefore the most teaching opportunities. You might find some jobs in the smaller towns and cities such as Kaunas and Klaipeda.
Types of Teaching Jobs in Lithuania
You will find the most opportunities in private language schools as there are a large number of these schools around the country and as demand grows more schools are opening up. These types of schools are of varying quality, have different requirements for teachers and offer a range of different salaries. Therefore, it’s always good advice to carry out research about any school that makes you an offer.
There are also a number of international schools in Lithuania too and these schools also employ native English speaking teachers. However, the standards are much higher than in other institutions and you will need to be well qualified to be offered a job. Usually you will need at least a postgraduate certificate in education and some recent and relevant experience teaching. These schools also employ native teachers to teach subjects other than English, but you will need to be a qualified teacher in your home country.
After you have been in the country for a little while, you will probably find many opportunities for taking a few private lessons to supplement your income. You will usually need to make a few contacts, meet a few people and advertise your services, but you will find that a number of Lithuanians are willing to learn privately.
You can actually earn a good amount of extra income from taking private lessons but at the same time it can be quite an unreliable source of income because students have the habit of cancelling or rearranging lessons at very short notice!
Teaching Requirements and Qualifications
There aren’t any minimum requirements for finding a job as an English teacher in Lithuania, however, due to the competition for jobs you will find that having both a degree and a teaching certificate such as a CELTA, TESOL or TEFL will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Expected Salary and Living Costs
[sociallocker id=”1749″]Compared with other European countries, especially those in Western Europe, expected salaries are generally quite low at around $700 – $1000 per month. Those with relevant experience and qualifications will earn towards the higher end of this scale and in some cases they will even earn a little more. Due to the relatively low pay, a lot of teachers take private lessons to supplement their income.
If you’re working in an international school, you can expect to earn a minimum of around $2500 per month.
When you sign a contract, you want to ensure that it includes SODRA which is the Lithuanian equivalent of social security. If your contract doesn’t include this then you will need to arrange the payment of your own taxes and you won’t be able to get any sick pay or holiday pay.
The cost of living has drastically increased in the last 5 years or so as the country has rapidly developed over the years. Unfortunately, TEFL salaries haven’t followed suit.
If you live in the city centre, a small 1 bedroom apartment will cost anywhere between $400 and $600 per month, but the prices go down considerably if you live outside of the city centre. Your other biggest expense will be your monthly utility bills and heating bills alone can cost a fortune especially in the very long and very cold winters.
For more detailed information about the cost of living, click here.[/sociallocker]
Teachers that come from the EU won’t need a visa to work legally and as a result they are often preferred applicants for most jobs. That isn’t to say that non-EU citizens won’t be offered a job, but it will be much harder than those that carry an EU passport.
Non-EU citizens must obtain a work permit and they can be quite difficult to obtain. The employer must have registered a vacancy one month before the application, you’ll need proof of your qualifications (which will be assessed upon applying for the permit), and you’ll need proof of professional work experience prior to making the application.
For more information about getting a working permit, take a look at the Lithuanian Labour Exchange website, which is a part of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.
How to Find a Job Teaching English in Lithuania
The jury is open as to whether it’s better to apply for jobs before you arrive or after you have arrived in the country and probably the best way forward is to do a mixture of the two.
Before you arrive in the country, you can find contact details for schools and institutions and contact them directly. Moreover, you can also take a look at online jobs boards to see what schools are currently advertising for new teachers.
After you have arrived in the country, you can try visiting employers. Get a list of their names and addresses and go and see them in person. Make sure that you have enough copies of your CV, qualifications, and passport photos because you will be asked for them.
Ask to speak to the principal or the person responsible for employing teachers. If this person isn’t available, get their contact details or try to arrange a meeting at a later date. Remember to dress your best and follow up any visits with a phone call.
Teach English in Lithuania
If you can handle the long and cold (sometimes as much as -25 degrees!) winters, you will find that your stay in the country is very rewarding. This modern country is growing quickly and as the economy continues to grow, so is the demand for English teachers.
You won’t get rich teaching English in Lithuania and you will find that competition for jobs is quite high. Therefore, to give yourself the best opportunities for finding a job, you will want to have at least a bachelor’s degree and some kind of teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.
Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Lithuania, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.