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Work in Europe with just TEFL certificate?

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  • pdxJordana
    Participant
    23 July, 2013 at 10:50
    • Total posts: 2

    TEFL certification- is Teaching English in Europe a dream come true? or far fetched reality?

    Hello TEFL friends in Europe, thank you for taking the time to read my post and carefully respond. My name is Jordana. I live in Portland, Oregon USA. I am reaching out in hopes to find some facts about teaching English in Europe, primarily in Italy or Spain. My dream and desire is to live in Italy. I have never been there and recently my urge to experience it has grown increasingly hard to contain. I started looking into airline tickets with the intention of roaming the country with nothing but my passion and my backpack. That is when I started entertaining the idea of teaching English abroad (TEFL program). I am not a teacher, in fact I am a bartender. I do not have a college degree. Nor do I have any experience in the ESL field. When speaking to various TEFL certification programs they tell me that a Bachelors degree is helpful, but not necessary. I am feeling skeptical about their promises of procuring employment abroad. I would be spending quite a deal of money to get out there, go through their program and afford to survive. I am ready to jump on it if there truly is opportunity for me out there, but I don’t want to spend $4000 to go through a program and end up a street kid 6 weeks later. The "hiring season" is dawning and I have to make a decision very quickly weather to partake in one of the various, imminent certification programs. I just need to know, what is the reality of being an American looking for work in a foreign country in the month of October? Especially without a degree, prior teaching experience and no Visa. Any advice or suggestions for me I greatly appreciate! Look forward to hearing your stories.

    ps- I would be happy to teach abroad in several other European countries such as Spain, Poland, Croatia or Bulgaria as long as I could travel to Italy from time to time :)

    dan
    Moderator
    26 July, 2013 at 8:29
    • Total posts: 770

    Reply To: Is there work in Europe w just a TEFL & NO COLLEGE DEGREE!??

    Hi Jordana

    Welcome to the forum and to TEFL.

    I am ready to jump on it if there truly is opportunity for me out there, but I don’t want to spend $4000 to go through a program and end up a street kid 6 weeks later.

    Could you tell me which programs you’re considering? $4000 seems quite high. Are these programs in the US? Another option that might be worth considering is taking a certification program in Italy (or Spain, Poland, etc). The advantage of this is that you’re already in the country and can benefit from the contacts of the training centre to help you find a job.

    As an American citizen you will find it more difficult to find work than EU citizens – a lot of employers don’t want the hassle of the extra paperwork for visas, etc. So as a newly qualified teacher and American citizen, applying for jobs in the EU from the USA will probably not work all that well.

    If you’re in the country, however, it’s a different story. Firstly, as I said, you have the help and contacts of the training centre. Secondly, you can go door to door to language schools with your CV – a large number of employers in Spain and Italy rely almost exclusively on teachers "walking in off the street" for their recruitment needs and as such don’t advertise positions online. Your American citizenship will still be a limiting factor, but less so than applying from the US – if an employer sees you face to face and likes you, he/she will be more willing to overcome visa issues.

    Of course there is a risk factor with this strategy – if you don’t end up finding a job then you have paid money for the TEFL course, for travel and for accommodation during the course… But I’ve worked in both Italy and Spain and knew many Americans teaching there who went down this route.

    You’ re right that hiring season is imminent and will be largely over by the end of September / beginning of October. But this is also a positive thing – there are a lot of jobs going at this time.

    Hope that helps?

    Dan

    pdxJordana
    Participant
    26 July, 2013 at 9:43
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Is there work in Europe w just a TEFL & NO COLLEGE DEGREE!??

    Thank you Dan, yes your response is helpful. By $4000 I was referring to total costs of airfare, certification program and accommodations. I would much prefer take the course in Europe so that i could be applying for jobs while doing the training. Where did you do you TEFL training? did you have a bachelors degree yourself? thanks – Jordana

    dan
    Moderator
    26 July, 2013 at 11:27
    • Total posts: 770

    Reply To: Is there work in Europe w just a TEFL & NO COLLEGE DEGREE!??

    Hi Jordana

    I originally took a CELTA in the UK as I wasn’t sure at that time where I wanted to teach. I did have a degree, yes.

    Dan

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