Four Things to Get You Ready to Teach English in Europe

What you need to know before you go

So, you want to learn how you can teach English in Europe? It's actually a pretty simple process which utilizes things you already have (or should have!) such as a passport and a bachelor degree. However, there are a few other things that you should be aware of - here are four things you need to know to get you ready to teach English in Europe.

TEFL certification

Specifically in Europe, a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification is actually required to teach in most countries. However, bear in mind that you wouldn't need a certificate if you wanted to go to China or other parts of Asia to teaching, though of course it couldn't hurt.

You can obtain this certification through many sources that offer various 100 hour courses or similar processes. You can even obtain a certificate within four weeks with certain courses. Regardless, almost all countries in the European area will require this certification unfortunately, so it is best to get it done before you start even bothering to look for a job in European countries.

American Vs European English

It may seem bizarre but knowing the right kind of English is crucial with European English teaching. This is because the majority of organisations in Europe that are hiring for teaching English are looking for people who will teach European English, not American. It may not seem like a big difference but there are significant variations, especially in relation to slang and spelling. If you don't know European English, then give yourself a crash course before your interview so you can express your capabilities in it.

Four Things to Get You Ready to Teach English in Europe

Research the country

Depending on where you go, knowing the types of teaching methods that are used, or what major language is normally spoken in that European country, can be incredibly useful. Even if you learn a little of the teaching methods the kids are used to then it will help you out in the long run. Also, while you are researching the country, you can determine whether you will need a work visa, which some of the European countries do require (and can be quite difficult to obtain!) This research is especially important with determining what kind of country you want to teach in, even just within Europe.


There is a perfect option for obtaining experience ahead of time with teaching English abroad by teaching English as a second language within your current country. You can find programmes and tutors always looking for volunteers willing to contribute some time, and although this can be good for a resume, it is the experience of being able to do such a thing ahead of time that is more valuable. Doing some volunteer work can help you determine if teaching abroad is something you even want to do before committing to the contract and everything else you would have to.

Of course there are more options and things you can come across that will help get your ready to teach abroad in Europe. Making sure your taxes are taken care of can be just as important, as many European countries will require you to pay work taxes to them, but then you will still have to pay certain federal taxes back in America (if that's where you live). These are simply things to help you develop a proper checklist so you can manage all the work you have to get through before being able to teach.

But don't forget above all else, enjoy your travels!

Further Information

If you're interested in teaching English as a foreign language then make sure you go to our teaching and TEFL section for all the advice and information you need.

Also, make sure you jump on the TEFL message boards and so who else is thinking of doing it.

About the Author: Christina Chandler

Christina is an enthusiastic poet and writer with a degree in English Education. She has spent a year in India and two years in Japan teaching English as a second language. She is now studying for her postgraduate degree in Higher Education.