We often interview colleagues and graduates of our TESOL program about what life is like abroad. This month for The Inside Scoop we will hear from Simon about living in Poland. He has lived there for about 5 years. If you live abroad and have information you would like to share, feel free to contact me or leave a comment on the blog!
Here is what Simon has to say:
“It is generally easy to find work in Poland, and you don’t need to be an EU citizen, although native English speakers are likely to get a job more easily. Having some knowledge of teaching business English is very helpful because there’s a good chance you’ll end up teaching this for at least some of your lessons. The longer you commit for, the better as it costs the school money to process your work permit application, so schools prefer hiring teachers for longer periods of time (not just 3 or 6 months). Basic requirements include a degree, a TESOL Certificate, and preferably a couple of months to a year of experience.
You need a “work promise”, a residence visa, and a work permit to legally teach in Poland. You can find teaching jobs throughout the country, in both the public and private sectors, in language schools, institutes and inside major corporations. If you have any business, financial, legal or any other professional or vocational degree, qualification or experience you might be able to negotiate a higher salary.
The best time to look for a job is the end of August to the middle of September and in January. Schools may still be looking through to the beginning of October for teachers for exam classes. If the school is in a big town, then you can usually find work year-round in schools that teach in companies. The worst time to look for work is from April to the end of August. April to June is the end of the semester and July and August are vacation months in Poland.
To find schools, go to www.teachinginpoland.com, copy and paste ‘szkola jezyków obcych’ in the search field followed by the town you want to go. This will bring up the google search listings for that area.
You can often also find private students. The two best websites are www.znajdeJezyk.pl (a website where you create a profile for students to find you) and www.gumtree.pl (a Polish language website; the link will take you to the correct section of gumtree. Pasting the link into Google Translate will help you find the links to post an ad or search gumtree for potential students for free).
Many schools in Poland offer teachers free accommodation, Polish language classes, paid holidays and visa and work permit assistance. Salaries are fairly high by local standards and you can live comfortably. A typical TESOL teacher salary is about 2,500 zloty (US$1000)/ month. Contracts are usually for one year unless you apply mid-way during the academic year.
Student ages vary from 6-60. Schools are mostly focused on providing business English, general English, public speaking and conversation classes. On average, teaching hours are between 20-30 hours per week.”
Find more information at www.teachinginpoland.com