Germany is situated in the heart of Europe and is the perfect place to teach abroad if you’re looking for a high quality of life. As one of the most prosperous nations in Europe, you’ll feel comfortable and well taken care of while teaching in Germany. Teaching opportunities in Germany focus on teaching English, and placements range from large businesses to small private language schools. With majestic castles, ancient basilicas, and many more world heritage sites, you won’t lack exciting weekend plans, and you won’t have trouble getting around either, as the railway system is efficient and easy to navigate.
Most international teachers can expect to teach English in Germany’s big cities, like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. However, larger urban areas can be competitive places to find teaching jobs in Germany if you’re going at it on your own.
Berlin is one of the most popular sites for teachers, and is well known for teaching opportunities in Kindergarten classrooms, but more informal teaching jobs as a tutor or conversation coachare available as well. It’s also known for its historical significance and large number of museums.
Munich is the artistic and cultural hub of Germany, while Hamburg provides a more small town feel and college atmosphere for international teachers. Well established organizations offer teaching jobs in many other cities, from large metropolitan areas to smaller towns across Germany.
If interacting with your students outside of class, or getting to know a community better is appealing to you, selecting a more rural location, like teaching placements near Düsseldorf could be an excellent fit. Germans can come off a bit stone faced and private compared with the typically animated and open personalities of Americans; putting yourself in a more intimate community setting through your teaching position can help break down walls.
Teaching English in Germany is the primary job that foreign teachers obtain. Placements range from teaching classes as major language schools to introducing business English lessons at businesses with a strong international presence to opportunities to work with homestay families or children. Culturally, you are likely to find your students (young or old) to be incredibly hard-working and diligent with their studies.
You don’t need to have competency in German to get a teaching job in Germany, or get around, but many language schools do prefer it. Do yourself a favor and take an intro class in German before embarking on a teach abroad program in Germany, to make the transition abroad even more comfortable. If that’s not in the budget or time doesn’t allow, there are plenty of places for you to learn German while in Germany. Some schools will even offer classes for English teachers to get them up to speed on the language.
Those who decide to teach english abroad in Germany can expect a similar academic year to the United States, in that the year is split into semesters with a summer vacation in between.
Salaries & Costs
A typical teacher’s salary in Germany ranges from about $1,500 to $3,500 USD a month. However, this can vary greatly based upon placement and experience. Yearly teacher salary in Germany sits much higher than many other European countries, at an average of $42,000 USD. If you secure a full contract position or have a lot of one-on-one lessons outside the classroom, you can expect to make more.
Teachers in Germany earn a comfortable wage when compared to the cost of living. On average, $1,000 to $1,500 USD a month will be enough to cover housing, food, and a few other miscellaneous living costs. In larger cities you can expect accommodation to be pricier. Luckily, food and other supplementary living costs are reasonable.
Accommodation & Visas
Not all teaching jobs in Germany provide housing, but many private language schools will help you find housing arrangements if needed. Homestays are available with certain programs, and others offer room and board in exchange for conversational English lessons!
When planning a trip to teach in Germany, it’s preferred that you have a valid teaching license and previous experience as many international schools are looking for these credentials. If you don’t have this on your resume, consider a TEFL certification program in Germany to supplement your Bachelor’s degree.
You will need a work visa to teach in Germany. If you’re planning a short teaching stint, a three month tourist visa might do the trick. However, if you plan to stay longer you’ll want to make sure to connect with the nearest German consulate to you (find one in GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory) to get that work visa process started. EU citizens have greater opportunities for teaching in Germany even without a visa.
Benefits & Challenges
- High Standards. Germans tend to be organized and structured when planning meetings. This also means they are punctual, so make sure you’re not the one who is late!
- See Europe. Germany is a centrally located country in Western Europe, which provides access to excellent public transportation.
- Good Salary. English teaching salaries in Germany will not enable you to save a huge amount, but they will cover basic expenses and some additional spending cash.
- Extra Earning Opportunities. There’s a high demand for private lessons, so you can earn even more outside of the classrooms in the evenings or on the weekends if you are motivated.