I’m looking for a TEFL job in Europe in the next couple years. It looks like most people recommend a CELTA or Trinity for those jobs. Those are a bit out of my price range, so I was looking online (I was thinking I to I or TEFL Academy, both of which offer Level 5, 160 hour courses).
If I have teacher certification in the US, and 6 years of classroom experience (5 years ELA, 1 year ESL) and several years of ESL volunteer experience, what are my chances of getting hired in Europe with those qualifications and an online TEFL certificate?
8 April, 2020 at 5:03
Total posts: 590
An online certificate will limit you with some employers but not all. Some ask for a CELTA, Trinity or equivalent, and won’t consider anything else, regardless of your other qualifications and experience. For these employers there’s no way around it.
But there are still plenty who will accept an online qualification, especially considering your previous experience. Having said that, it’s still worth applying to those that specify CELTA or Trinity, as some of these may say this on their job ad but be open to alternatives.
In some countries they are more likely to consider you if you are in front of them with your CV, rather than applying from a distance, so this is something to consider if this is an option for you.
The bigger hurdle you will probably face is not being an EU citizen. For many employers, the administration involved in employing a non EU citizen closes the door to you if you’re from the US. This will probably end up limiting you more than the type of TEFL certificate you have. Having said that though, there are many Americans teaching English in Europe, so it is very possible. Again, being on the ground, able to go into language schools with your CV will put you at an advantage over applying from a distance.
Hope that helps?
8 April, 2020 at 12:36
Total posts: 2
That is very helpful – thanks!
A follow up question, if I may: if I were there in person, would it be appropriate for me to stop by with my CV even if they hadn’t posted an opening on their website? (or email and ask to stop by, or something).
9 April, 2020 at 4:53
Total posts: 590
Yes, absolutely fine to do that.
Be prepared for a lot of walking from school to school, and as I said, because you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need to be patient and ready for some rejections because of this.
Once you’re at a school you can judge each opportunity when you’re there. If you can get to speak with the person responsible for recruiting, so much the better, so you may need to insist (in a polite, respectful way of course) with the person who welcomes you at reception.
If you succeed in speaking with the person responsible for recruiting, they have a face to put with your CV. You may get an interview there and then, or you could suggest making an appointment to come back later or the next day.
If you don’t get past reception, try to get the name of the person who would be looking at your CV, and make follow up calls or send an email. You have to make your CV stand out from the pile by putting yourself forward. If a recruiter has 20 CVs in front of them and they get a follow-up call from you, they might just put your CV to the top of the pile because you took the initiative to follow up. (I know – I have done this when recruiting teachers in language schools!)