Teaching English in Slovakia
When talking about teaching English in Eastern Europe, it’s generally Poland that’s mentioned, and Czechia (formally the Czech Republic), specifically Prague. Few people talk about teaching English in Slovakia, but there are many jobs for English speakers in Bratislava and around the country.
This is why I was so interested when I chatted to someone on Facebook who was an English teacher in Slovakia. I asked Kerri to answer some questions to give you all more information on TEFL jobs in Slovakia.
Why you should teach English in Slovakia
Teaching English in Slovakia is a fantastic opportunity for first-time teachers and teachers who would like to travel around Europe. It is a beautiful place, and there is a good cost of living if you are teaching English in Bratislava– especially considering it is the capital city.
The country has a lot of history and the people are very open to talking about it. Slovakia has a great climate and beautiful scenery around with lots to visit, from mountains and lakes to old castles.
The cheap and easy to use public transport goes all over. Buying a Slovaklines card for a month or 3 months saves a lot of money and this can be purchased from the bus station.
Slovakia’s location in central Europe means it’s easy to travel to other countries and cities in the region. Prague is just four hours away, while you can get to Vienna in an hour.
What kinds of jobs are there for English teachers in Slovakia?
In Slovakia, there are lots of opportunities to teach in a range of positions with a range of ages. English teachers are employed in bilingual schools and kindergartens. There are many language schools catering to after school and after work lessons who need English speakers to work with their students. In addition, there are jobs in Slovakia in companies, teaching English to employees who need to use English for their work.
How do you usually find jobs there?
It’s possible to find jobs teaching English in Slovakia from abroad, or by flying to a city like Bratislava and looking for work.
I easily found jobs in schools, kindergartens and language schools. I found my first job there using TEFL.com – this gave me the opportunity to make a profile that contained all of my information and qualifications and allowed me to check the job postings and positions available in Slovakia/Bratislava easily from different countries..
On TEFL.com I found a position for a summer camp that led to a position in a language school during term time. However, once in the country and as I had joined an Expats in Bratislava Facebook group and posted about being an English teacher this is when I was contacted by other companies. There were always many language schools that got in touch with me wanting an interview.
What are the best schools to work for (for a relatively newbie)?
I found English by English a great language school to work with, and also I enjoyed my time with Wonderland and Wonderschool Bilingual kindergarten and school these jobs were perfect for me starting out my teaching English as a foreign language career.
International House employs teachers on freelance contracts for the academic year. You will need a CELTA, certTESOL or the equivalent and to be an EU citizen.
Another option if you are from the EU and hold a CELTA or certTESOL, and also have two years’ experience, is the British Council. Their teaching centre in Bratislava employs teachers on full-time contracts, with salaries starting at 1600 Euros plus benefits.
The Bridge School regularly advertises on Facebook for English teachers for their school in Bratislava.
If you are an experienced English teacher with a BA in teaching English, you can also look at Kazakhstan. See our post on teaching English in Kazakhstan.
How much can you earn as an English teacher in Slovakia?
The average salary for teachers in Slovakia is not very high in comparison to what I was being paid in my home country; however, as a native speaker with a TEFL certificate, you can expect to be paid between 900-1200 euro a month for a full-time position.
Some language schools will pay you on a freelance position, therefore you can earn 13-20 Euros per 45-60 minute lesson. Privately it is good to be fair with your price and there are a lot of families looking for that perfect friendly native English teacher that is good with their children. In these situations, you can charge between 15-20 euros for an hour.
What are the requirements to teach English in Slovakia?
As I am an EU citizen and a qualified with a BA degree in a teaching-related field, and also qualified with my Trinity CertTESOL and TEFL-YL certificates I had no problems with any restrictions or visa requirements.
In general, schools ask for a TEFL certificate to teach English in Slovakia. Some schools, like International House and the British Council, require a CELTA or Trinity certTESOL certificate, because these include 6 hours of assessed teaching practice of real students with feedback from MA or Diploma qualified tutors.
Other schools will happily accept other TEFL certificates. Courses with teaching practice are more likely to get you work, but an online certificate might be accepted.
You can read more about what TEFL certificates we recommend.
You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree to teach English in Slovakia. It isn’t a requirement for EU or non-EU citizens.
What kind of paperwork do you need to complete to live in Slovakia?
As an EU citizen, you do not need a work permit to teach English in Slovakia. However, you do need to get a resident’s permit. This is not a formal requirement for EU citizens living in Slovakia, but it is strongly recommended as you need to use your residence card for all kinds of formal procedures, including small things like to register for a mobile phone.
I had to register with the Foreign police for my resident’s permit. This also ensured that the company I worked for could pay my health insurance and contributions. Applying for the resident’s permit can be complex, although some employers may help you with it. A very good guide to applying for a residency permit as an English teacher in Slovakia can be found on the Curious Dutchman’s blog.
Can I teach English in Slovakia as a non-EU citizen?
Slovakia is in the EU, and if you have an EU passport, you won’t need a work permit. To teach English in Slovakia as a non-EU citizen, you need to get one. It’s easier to get a work permit to teach English in Slovakia as a non-EU citizen than in some of the western European countries.
That’s not to say it’s easy though. There is no doubt that it will be harder to get a job teaching English in Slovakia as a non-EU citizen, because the process of getting a work permit is long, complex and pricey. If you are well-qualified and have experience, however, some schools will be prepared to help you with the paperwork.
Another place you can teach English as a non-EU citizen is Ukraine. Check out our guide to teaching English in Ukraine.
Can I be an English teacher in Slovakia as a non-native speaker?
It is possible to get a job as an English teacher in Slovakia if you are a non-native speaker, or, basically, not from one of the typically named native speaking countries of the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As we all know, there are many other countries where English is a person’s mother tongue. In Slovakia, it is possible to get a job if you are from one of those.
As I’ve already said, it’s much easier if you hold an EU passport. As a native-level English speaker from Poland, Spain etc. you’ll find work. Without an EU passport, you’ll need to find a school who will sponsor you, but I know people from countries like Malaysia teaching English here.
Poland is another European country that accepts non-EU citizens and non-native speakers. Read our post on teaching English in Poland.
Of course, for a school to go through the expense and procedures of getting you a work permit to teach English in Slovakia, you will need to have a very high level of English. Holding Cambridge CPE or IELTS 8.0+ is going to be very helpful.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent teaching in Bratislava and would recommend it to anyone that wants to broaden their experiences and experience a beautiful country and meet some very interesting and kind people.
Find out more about how to start teaching English as a foreign language in our posts.