The Czech Republic stands in the heart of Central Europe, a gateway between Western and Eastern Europe and a meeting point of ideals and cultures. A glance into this nation reveals tightly fitted, red-roofed houses that rise from cobblestone streets and winding alleyways and hidden passageways leading to unlikely architectural surprises and trendy restaurants and bars. As the Czech Republic has developed into an important location for business, investment, and tourism, the demand for English teachers has grown, especially in the capital city of Prague. Therefore, overtime, more and more opportunities to teach English in the Czech Republic have surfaced.
Since being accepted as a member of the European Union in 2004, the Czech Republic has continued to move away from its communist past and its free market economy continues to grow, even in times of global economic hardship. Unemployment is still down, but tourism continues to rise as more and more people discover the magic of the Czech Republic. Although the demand for English language teachers in the Czech Republic is not overwhelming, it is on the rise, especially in the capital of Prague, where tourists continue to flock in ever increasing numbers.
Prague. There are a number of international schools and private language courses in the city, as well as numerous large local schools, all of which require teachers to be TEFL certified. Competition is high for teaching jobs in Prague however, those who arrive with some research on available positions will overall have no trouble finding work.
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and is listed as a World Heritage Site, it has a vast literary and artistic history, as well as several “must see” sights, such as the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and the Jewish Quarter. The town itself is split into the Old Town, New Town, and the Lesser Town, each section with its own character and points of interest. It’s not even a case of traveling to certain areas to experience the unique architecture, culture, or history, it is literally everywhere.
Teaching Jobs in the Czech Republic
Those learning English or taking English as a Foreign Language classes, are split between adult learners, professionals, and children in full time education, with English now being a required part of all academic curricula.
School Schedule & Getting Hired. The school year runs from September through June, however, it is possible to find teaching jobs in the Czech Republic throughout the year. The main qualification needed to teach English in the Czech Republic is either a Bachelor's degree in English or degree related to communications. Additional qualifications, such as TEFL certification, is necessary for most jobs when applicants are graduates with degrees in non-related subjects and some previous English teaching experience is often preferred.
Public & Private Schools: Most of teaching jobs in the Czech Republic are at public schools in smaller towns, meaning they are quite limited. On the other hand, private schools are slightly more competitive when it comes to ESL teaching jobs in the Czech Republic, but these schools are also more prevalent.
Private Language Academies: There are many opportunities to teach abroad in the Czech Republic at private language schools, and these positions are some of the easiest to land. These language schools generally offer after-hours classes as additional language tutoring for students, hire year round, and offer convenient working hours. Qualifications to teach English abroad at private language schools include TEFL/CELTA/DELTA/TESOL or some form of English teaching certification. Some schools also require EU citizenship or a Czech business license, so verify this requirement before applying to teach English in the Czech Republic.
Private Tutoring: You can also advertise through newspapers and local cafes to find an English teaching job in the Czech Republic as a private tutor for children, adults, or through companies looking to train their workers. For this type of job though, it will be helpful to know some Czech in order to effectively arrange your position and communicate easily with potential clients. It is important to note that private tutoring is illegal if you are not correctly documented to teach English in the Czech Republic. If you are a contracted teacher, also be sure to read your contract thoroughly, some school ban their teachers from tutoring outside of school.
Classroom & Work Culture. The expectations regarding student and teacher relations will vary. It is dependent on the policies of each particular school, with some encouraging more disciplinary actions and others less. Ultimately, there is a clear and definite difference in levels of power and authority between teachers and students.
Salaries & Costs
Pay for teaching English in the Czech Republic varies from $800 to $1300 per month, with teachers working an average of 25 hours a week. Private tutors can make between $12 to $25, depending on the student and the teacher’s qualifications. Teachers with a TEFL certificate, university degree, and previous teaching experience, for example, will receive a starting salary higher than someone who has just finished training.
Although living costs can be comparable to other parts of the E.U., the Czech Republic's refusal to adopt the Euro and use the Czech Koruna helps western travelers enjoy a higher exchange rate. Renting a modest room while teaching in Prague will cost you between $300 (basic studio) and $600 (upscale studio or one bedroom flat). Food and other expenses are relatively cheap: an inexpensive lunch will cost around $5 and you can buy a beer for less than $1. You can expect to live reasonably comfortably on your salary while teaching abroad in the Czech Republic.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodation, which can be hard to find, will likely be arranged for you by the school you’ll be teaching at and should be reasonably priced or even free of charge. Housing options greatly depend on the locale, but your arrangement will usually be quite simple and suitable for one person; for example a small furnished flat, a room with toilet and bath facilities in a dormitory, or accommodation with a Czech host family.
Americans and other citizens from outside the E.U. can easily legally teach in the Czech Republic. You will need to enter on a tourist visa which will last for 90 days. During that time, you will need to apply for a work visa which can be processed in the Czech Republic. You will need to provide some documentation such as proof of health insurance, housing, a savings account, and a background check.
Benefits & Challenges
Dress Code. Men and women usually wear business casual clothing to teach students so attire is not extremely professional
Greetings. Czechs are usually reserved and colleagues meet with a simple handshake.
Simplicity. Teaching English abroad in the Czech Republic and becoming a legal working member of the work force is a relatively easy process, especially when compared to other European countries. It is slightly understated, but those that visit never fail to fall in love.