Teaching English in Slovakia

By | December 12, 2013

Slovakia is a small country in Europe, sometimes classed as Central Europe and sometimes Eastern Europe, depending on who you’re talking to. It is a landlocked country that is bordered by Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine. Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 and it is a very fast growing advanced economy.

Slovakia is one of Europe’s youngest countries, but it is home to some very old and exciting culture, beautiful landscape, historic castles and welcoming and friendly people. You’ll find gothic churches, castles, beautiful mountains and wonderful valleys everywhere in the country!

The country is still quite untouched by tourism and western globalisation and will give you a unique insight into Europe that you won’t find in any other country.

Read more about Slovakia from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Slovakia

Teach English in Slovakia

Bratislava Castle

One of the biggest attractions for teachers wanting to live and work in Slovakia is that is a bit off the beaten track, but not too far away that you don’t get the luxuries of home.

Slovakia is an advanced economy and is growing rapidly, and this is one of the reasons that learning the English language is becoming more important for a number of Slovaks.

There is a high demand for qualified TEFL teachers and very little competition when compared to other countries in the region and you won’t find it too difficult to secure a relatively well paid job, if you have a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate.

The country is easily accessible from other European countries and it is still quite a cheap country to live and work in.

Where to Teach English in Slovakia

The main areas where native English speaking TEFL teachers will find the most opportunities are Kosice, Bystrica, Banksa, Nitra, Presov and the nation’s capital city; Bratislava.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Slovakia

Private language schools are the biggest employers of native English speaking TEFL teachers. They vary in quality and most will require that you have a degree and a teaching certificate like an internationally recognised TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

tatras-slovakia

Tatras – Slovakia

You will often be teaching around 20 or 30 hours per week and sometimes not at the same school! The schools often have contracts to teach on-site in businesses and you’ll be expected to travel around and teach in various places.

State Schools

State schools also employ foreign teachers, but usually the salary isn’t as high as private language schools. When working in a state school, you will become more involved in the local community and you can find opportunities all over the country, not just in the bigger towns and cities.

Private Lessons

A number of teachers take private lessons to supplement their income. You can even make enough money teaching private lessons to make it your first job, however, you will need to build up a good reputation and steadily increase the number of private lessons that you take.

In fact, most teachers will take private lessons to supplement the income that they get from their main teaching job.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

It is possible to find a job teaching English in Slovakia without a degree. Although at least a bachelor’s degree is preferred, it isn’t necessarily required. However, an internationally recognised teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA is required.

For those with a degree and a teaching certificate, it will not only be easier to secure a job, but you will usually earn a higher salary than those without a degree.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

Visa Requirements

Usually, citizens of EU countries are preferred because they don’t need a visa for working in the country. Other native English speakers will need a work visa to work legally in the country.

Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava Old Town

For non-EU citizens, you’ll need proof of a job offer, proof of accommodation, a criminal record check, health certificate and official translations of all documents. In most cases the school won’t pay this for you and you will need to arrange this yourself.

For more information about the working visa requirements, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Slovakia

Rails to the Bratislava castle

Rails to the Bratislava castle

Although schools generally hire TEFL teachers all year round, the best time is in August and January because of the term dates in Slovakia.

Finding a job is fairly easy in Slovakia because of the high demand for English teachers and the relatively low competition for jobs. If you are qualified and experienced, you will have no problem finding a job.

You will find that private language schools often advertise for positions online and will even carry out interviews via the phone, email or Skype. However, you should always be prepared for a face to face interview before getting a solid job offer.

If you are looking for jobs when you are already in the country, look on both international and local jobs boards. Moreover, find websites for schools located in Slovakia and see if they are advertising on their own website.

Finally, you can also get a list of schools and their contact details and contact them directly either by email, on the phone or in person.

Teach English in Slovakia

There is a real demand for native English speaking TEFL teachers in Slovakia and often EU citizens are preferred because they don’t need a visa to work in the country. Due to the low competition for jobs, you’ll find it quite easy to secure a job in just a few weeks of arriving in the country.

Church of St. Elisabeth nicknamed The Blue Church

The Blue Church

If you’re looking for somewhere that is a little bit off the beaten track, but not too far off the track to have good transport links to the rest of Europe and the world, then Slovakia might just be the place for you.

Schools in Slovakia, will often require that you have good qualifications and experience, but it is possible to find jobs without, but expect to earn less than those that do good qualifications.

Disclaimer

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 Slovakia, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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