A place growing in popularity among tourists and businesses alike, Poland could be a great prospect for English language teachers to make the most of. If the idea of setting up shop in Poland and teaching English to Polish adults is an exciting one for you, then this handy guide will tell you everything you need to know to help you make that dream a reality. Keep reading to discover our top 5 tips to start teaching English in Poland.
Why Teach English in Poland?
Over the last two decades, we have seen Poland’s economy boost dramatically, leaving the previously dull image of this country completely rewritten. In more recent years, Poland has seen an impressive rise among tourists, international business investments and people looking to move abroad, so Polish businesses and other Polish adults now need to cater to an influx of English-native speakers. From locals to business owners and employees, this increase in popularity means that demand for English teachers in Poland is high, so now could definitely be a good time to take the leap! Some of the other benefits of emigrating to Poland include its living affordability as an Eastern-European country and of course all of the richly historical cities the country has to offer.
1. Do Your Research!
Before moving, we suggest making sure you’ve done all your research! Do you know what types of teaching jobs are available in Poland? What sort of teaching job do you want? Some of the most popular types of teaching jobs available in Poland are:
- Private Institutions (Schools)
- State/Government Institutions (Schools)
- Private Tutoring
- Major International Companies
When carrying out your job search, location is obviously an important factor. What kind of area you want to live in will completely depend on your unique wants and needs, but some of the most popular options include:
- Krakow is widely considered Poland’s most beautiful city, Krakow is a hub of culture, history and art. With the buzz of underground jazz clubs and much more located in the Old Town, it’s no wonder it’s a favourite spot among tourists and expats. Note: Demand will be high here, but so will the volume of English teaching applicants, so it might be more difficult to land a job, but so worth it if you do!
- Warsaw is more known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, as the country’s capital. With a high demand for English language teachers driven by Warsaw’s expat and international student communities, Warsaw could be the place for you if you want to aim for a bit more money and luxury.
- Smaller cities could be a viable option for you if you want to gain a more rich experience of Poland and reduce your cost of living. There will likely be fewer native English speakers in the smaller cities, meaning you should consider trying to learn Polish in more depth before you go.
2. Make Sure You’re Qualified!
You can’t get a job without having the relevant qualifications. This applies to teaching languages too, especially abroad. To teach english to Polish adults, the qualifications you will need include:
- A bachelor’s degree in any subject
- A reputed TEFL certificate or CertTESOL/CELTA (for most trustworthy jobs)
- A strong command over both English and Polish
We recommend checking the specifics of the jobs you’re interested in and ensuring you’re properly qualified before applying. Also watch out for job opportunities that require less than the above. If something seems too good to be true, it just might be! Moving abroad is a big step, don’t let an unreliable job ruin your plans!
3. Budget Before You Go!
How much money do you need to live in Poland? That all depends where you choose to live, as cities like Warsaw will likely be much more expensive than smaller cities, but in general Poland is an extremely affordable place to live, ranking cheaper to live in than 70% of countries in the world.
Monthly rent in Poland is currently averaging between around 1000 PLN (about £187) and 2000 PLN (about £374) with average food costs and transportation costs also low. Poland is popular for its value for money, meaning the quality of your lifestyle could be much better than you’d expect for the same money in the UK. Remember this will also likely be reflected in your salary.
Whatever your cost of living, we recommend that you budget before you go. This means ensuring you can afford the travel, rent and cost of living with the salary offered by your teaching job, as well as securing the job before you go. You don’t want to end up stuck!
4. Remember Your Visa!
Non-EU citizens need a work and residence visa or permit to live and work in Poland. To get a work visa you need to receive a job offer. Once you have received your job offer, you can apply for both a work and a residence visa. There are a couple of ways this can be done and options for visas and permits depending on your specific personal circumstances, find out more here.
Receiving your visa could take between 10-12 weeks depending on volume of applications etc, so we definitely recommend trying to secure a job offer and applying for your visa as early as possible to avoid any delays when it comes to moving or starting your new job.
5. Think About The Bigger Picture
Before completely changing up your life and moving abroad to teach English to Polish adults, make sure you think about the bigger picture. Does your salary allow for travel back and forth if you need to regularly see family? What will you do with your spare time while living in Poland? Can you speak Polish well enough to make friends — especially in smaller towns and cities?
There is so much to do in Poland, you just need to know where to look and make sure you have prepared your budget. Known as a welcoming and friendly country with a great transport system and links to let you explore the country with ease, if exploration and culture are interests of yours then teaching English in Poland could definitely be for you!
Ensure You Are Fully Prepared to Teach English in Poland with a Fully-Accredited Polish Language Course From Simon & Simon!