Before you even think about teaching abroad, ask yourself this question: do I have the right qualifications? If you’ve never taught abroad before, it makes perfect sense to get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate asap. Before you start moaning that TEFL courses are utterly worthless, you should know that a good course will set you up for a very rewarding career teaching English abroad.
Getting TEFL certified is the best way to check whether you’re ready to jump into the pool. During the four weeks of training, you will discover a lot about yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. For instance, you may realize that you’re an ace at lesson planning but suck at classroom management. You’ll also get to practice teaching real students, a definite plus for anyone who’s never stood in front of a whiteboard before.
When it comes to places to get certified, TEFL courses in Europe are always a winner. It’s usually a stepping stone to an ESL career on the continent so if you want to teach in England, you should consider accredited TEFL courses in London. Other popular TEFL Europe destinations include Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. You can also try Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic for TEFL certification Europe courses.
Let’s keep this party going. We surveyed millions of searches on GoAbroad, and here’s the best of the best in TEFL Europe according to our community of meaningful travelers. These are the 10 places to check out TEFL courses in Europe in 2018!
Which destination is numero uno when it comes to TEFL Europe? España, por supuesto!
With one of the most established ESL industries on the continent, Spain offers several accredited language schools and TEFL courses in Europe to choose from. Study in fan favorites like Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla. Warning: Don’t hit the wine bar too hard every night—no one wants to see a hungover, bleary-eyed teacher the next morning. #notcute
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Spain with International TEFL Academy
Thinking more bratwurst and beer than wine and tapas? Germany is a-calling you! This Western European nation is sometimes considered the heart of the continent and is home to a multitude of peoples from all over the planet. This makes Deutschland the perfect place to get TEFL certified because you may find yourself eventually teaching a Turkish business man or a Syrian refugee. There are lots of TEFL Europe courses here, but popular locations include Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Germany with International House Frankfurt
Let your search take you to the motherland of croquembouche ( ← Google it, we’ll wait), the Eiffel Tower, and haute fashion. There are accredited TEFL Europe courses across France, including Paris, Lyon, and Montpellier. They may be in-class, online, or a combination of both. After completing your course, you may even find a job teaching in France—there’s always a high demand for English teachers in these French cities. Note, however, that the job market is pretty competitive in this part of Europe.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in France with ITTT
Although Italy is world famous as a foodie and culture destination, did you know you can also do TEFL courses in Europe there? Most language schools are located in ESL hotspots like Rome, Milan, and Florence but you can also try smaller locations like Bari and Sardinia. One of the perks of getting TEFL certified in Italy is that schools will usually help you find a job afterward. Note that most schools hire in September with a few recruiting teachers in January; optimize your training course schedule to finish at the peak of hiring season! (Let’s face it, you won’t be ready to leave la dolce vita anyway!).
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Italy with ACT
5. The Netherlands
Which country is one of the most overlooked when it comes to TEFL certification in Europe? Instead of following the ESL crowd to France or Spain, you should seriously consider getting qualified in the Netherlands. It’s easy to fall in love with this Dutch-speaking Western European country for its socially progressive policies, museums, and coffee culture. Maybe afterward you can see yourself working in the Amsterdam or the Hague, biking alongside picturesque canals and teaching students from all corners of the globe. Your resume will literally sparkle with all your new job qualifications!
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in the Netherlands with i-to-i TEFL
Although Greece has recently been in a bit of hot water because of debt to the EU, that doesn’t mean you can’t find excellent TEFL certification courses here. In fact, this Hellenic nation is one of the top TEFL job markets on the continent with frontistiria (private language schools) across the mainland and Greek islands. Popular locations to get trained include Athens, Crete, and Thessaloniki. If you’re feeling more gutsy and are already proudly boasting your “I’m certified!” sticker, teach in locations featured in ancient Greek myths like the Cyclades.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Crete with Via Lingua
Want to get certified in one of the safest countries in the world? Head to the land of Lykke Li and Tove Lo for stunning winter landscapes, an excellent standard of living, and a loveable sing-song Swedish accent. Sign up for month-long courses in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo locations like Stockholm, Uppsala, and Gothenburg. After completing your TEFL course, check out opportunities to teach English at folkuniversitet (public-funded universities) or private language schools.
Recommended program: Get certified in Sweden with i-to-i TEFL
Why do TEFL courses in England when you could travel to the lovely Emerald Isle instead? It’s like England, but with waaaay more craic. What doesn’t Ireland have? There’s enough castles, pubs, and green hills and valleys to keep your eyes and belly happy, and the locals are uber-friendly too! After your TEFL classes, soak up serious atmosphere in literary Dublin, learn some Gaelic in Galway, or do an Irish jig in student-friendly Cork. Although there isn’t a high demand for TEFL teachers here after your course completes, you shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to experience a real homey European while you complete your training!
Recommended program: Get certified in Ireland with Premier TEFL
Forget Western Europe and try Eastern Europe for a change! Poland has been a top TEFL destination since the iron curtain fell in 1991. Why? Firstly, getting TEFL certified in this part of Europe is much cheaper than doing a course in Western European countries like Germany and Ireland. Also, who doesn’t dream of eating delicious pierogies all day? Popular TEFL course destinations in Poland include Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw where it’s easy to find jobs afterward.
Recommended program: Get certified in Poland with Angloville
Another popular destination for TEFL courses in Europe is Denmark. This Viking country is not only proud of its history and culture, it’s also one of the happiest nations on the planet. Get TEFL certified in no time and teach business English and other advanced classes in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Odense. If you go, be sure to check out the Little Mermaid statue, LEGO House, and Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second oldest amusement park that’s still in operation.
Recommended program: Get certified in Denmark with i-to-i TEFL
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.
Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for TEFL courses
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified Worldwide in 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in the Americas for 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in Africa in 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel