Teach English in Ukraine – the following comments are from English teachers who have taught, or currently teach English in Ukraine.
Ukraine is an excellent option for English teachers looking for new challenges and to develop their skills in one of the fastest growing ELT markets in Europe. Not overly saturated with incoming teachers, a determined and qualified teacher can make decent money compared to western Europe, and fast-track their career by getting valuable experience in other academic and management positions.
Cambridge Exams, IELTS and business certificates are highly sought after in Ukraine, which provides a healthy market for teachers wishing to teach preparation courses or become examiners.
It is important to be sure you have found a good school to work for as with any developing EFL market, there are a lot of ‘cowboy’ schools.
Both The British Council and International House have a strong presence in Ukraine. However, there are some very exceptional private sector schools which are British-owned.
I work for The London School of English and highly recommend this company as they have 15 years experience in Ukraine and have several attractive schools in three different cities (Kiev, Odessa, Donetsk).
Ukraine is an excellent place to teach for those who have a background speaking Russian or who know people here already. For those who don’t have these advantages it can be a difficult experience.
Getting legal employment, a work visa and finding a supportive school to work with are all issues that new teachers to Ukraine face. If you have a TESOL qualification and experience teaching, you will find it much easier to find a supportive school. Even still, you have to be careful about who you work with here, some schools may try to change terms and conditions inexplicably midway through your employment, or pay you less etc…with no explanation.
Few schools offer legal employment and a work visa is also hard to come by, mainly because the process of getting a work visa is time-consuming and they prefer to have as little evidence they are earning income as possible.
My advice is to be firm, the English Schools in Ukraine are business not educational enterprises. Many view their teachers as earners, not educators and often not even as people.
Don’t start working for someone if you have any doubts about their honesty or integrity. Ask to speak with other teachers at the school and make sure you know about your ‘legal’ situation so you are prepared if it becomes an issue.