Sunday, June 3, 2012

Getting an ESL (EFL) job in Germany

Sorry for how long this post took!
Partially I am lazy, and I forgot, and today after deciding I wanted to write this post I couldn't find the new button that blogger had to make posts...anyways here we go.

How I got to Germany:
I took German at university and there is a lovely little program put on by the DAAD where Canadian students who have graduate with a German degree can go to Germany and assistant teach at different high schools in Germany. Other nationalities can also apply, but there are different restrictions (for example the English girls I met on this program did not have to have a finished degree to go to Germany. It all has something to do with the Visas). The program lasts for eight months, you get paid a stipend (read no taxes!), and you only HAVE to work 12 hrs a week. It's pretty sweet, and if you like it, and your school likes you, you can always stay a second year (as I did!). After the second year though, you are on your own!

Other places to look for jobs:

I also worked at a company called inlingua  which was good. They have schools all over Germany ( and Europe!), and it's a really easy job. All you really need is to be an English native speaker. Now depending on where you go the school will be more willing to help you get your visa. If you go to a bigger city where there are more English speakers, they could be less inclined to help you, but you never know! There is a German visa for people between 18 and 30 (work and travel), which is pretty easy to get as long as you have a job. A big help at many inlinguas is to have a basic knowledge of German or at least a willingness to learn, a drivers license (they have lessons outside of the school and you get paid more for those!), and some knowledge of business English. Some downsides of inlingua are that you will probably only get hired as a free lancer, and sometimes that can be tricky at the visa office. For some reason if you say you want to work as a free lancer many cities in Germany then want a company that you are working for....which seems strange...Also as a free lancer you won't be guaranteed hours (though this was never a problem I usually had to turn hours down!) and you won't get any health insurance. Health insurance in Germany is pretty pricey, but it depends on how often you feel you will need a doctor... inlingua will also help train you if you have no experience, they have all the books and tests and example lesson plans for every unit you have to teach. So it's definitely good if you have never taught, and no one comes and watches your lessons so if you are more experiences you get a chance to use your own stuff :) Just keep your students happy and no problems will be had!

There is also Berlitz and Wall Street English. Berlitz is supposed to be similar to inlingua.  Wall Street only hires full time contract, so for visas they are waay easier. But Wall Street likes it if you already have a visa...tricky!

If you want to work in a German high school as a teacher you have to have two subjects (I'm pretty sure speak German). But every state is different in Germany in NRW they have this program , which a friend of mine used to get into the system. She had History and German, but taught History and English, she also had to do 2 years of half teaching half university courses before she could become a full teacher. But once there she was a gov't employee and it's a pretty good job then!

So yes that's a bit to consider about living in Germany and teaching, pretty much I would recommend going for an inlingua job and then working through the system into a high school or even university level teaching position it's much easier from within Germany.

Hope that was helpful! And thanks for reading!

Here is another blog post about teaching in Germany, and it gives a clearer picture of what it is like to teach at inlingua.

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