TEFL In Western Europe

(Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein , Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom)

Also see TEFL In Europe and TEFL in Eastern Europe, and read on for Western-specific details here.

Freelance or part-time/hourly work is very common, and most jobs advertise that they can only hire EU nationals (illustrated well by the flag denoting EU preference on TEFL.com ads). As much as US citizens may dream about working in western Europe, I’d advise holding your tongue before saying EU teachers have it easy. These type of regulations – or more strenuous ones – have long confronted those wishing to work or often even just travel in the US. Countries and “unions” employ “their own” first if possible, and with the establishment of the EU this means EU citizens, i.e. Brits and Irish, before others.

*While countries are EU members, there is no such thing as one universal EU passport or EU work permit; individuals are still citizens of their own countries not “citizens of the EU” and teachers working in an EU country get permission to work in that particular country. However for simplicity’s sake, I will refer to EU / non-EU teachers.

In absolute terms, wages for entry-level jobs are higher than in Eastern Europe, but the cost of living is higher as well. Those who become established on their own (officially self-employed) teaching businesses will probably do better, but this takes time and effort measured in years and not months.