Formerly one of the largest empires in Europe, Lithuania’s influence may be scaled back somewhat today, but the country has lost none of the cultural integrity which makes it such an enriching destination where to teach abroad. The small Baltic state was the first country to declare independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, and has since blossomed into one of the most highly developed countries on the continent. Travelling to teach abroad in Lithuania will place you in a fascinating Eastern European country, where you will take just as much away from your students as they from you.
Lithuania is a small country of nearly 3 million citizens settled on the southeastern coastline of the Baltic Sea. It shares borders with Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and Russia, and today there are a large diversity of ethnicities and languages which maintain a presence in the country. The landscape largely consists of flat highlands and lowlands on the edge of the Northern European Plain, and while the climate varies across the country, teachers should be prepared for a frigid winter.
With a population of over 500,000 citizens, the capital city of Vilnius is generally the most popular destination where to teach abroad in Lithuania. Vilnius has been Lithuania’s most important city spanning as far back as the 14th century, and continues to be a major cultural and economic node of Eastern Europe to this day. An architecturally charming city as well, Vilnius’s Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other potential destinations where you might look to teach abroad in Lithuania include Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Siauliai. All of these cities are significantly smaller than Vilnius, so can offer international educators a more intimate immersive experience away from the bustle of the capital.
Teaching Jobs in Lithuania
Teaching English as a second language is far and away the most popular type of placement for international educators in Lithuania. As the country continues to globalize in the wake of the Soviet era, English is becoming an invaluable skill for the upcoming generation of Lithuanians. At the same time, many of the older generations of Lithuanians are not familiar with the language, making English teachers from abroad all the more important.
Generally you will be expected to have either TEFL or TESOL certification in order to be considered for an ESL teaching job in Lithuania, and having some prior experience in front of a classroom certainly can’t hurt your chances either. Language academies, public schools, and private schools are all possible places where you might be hired to teach abroad in Lithuania as a native English speaker.
If you want to teach a subject other than English, such as science or math, then your opportunities will generally become limited by how well you know the local language. If you are fluent in Lithuanian then this opens up a world of opportunity within the country’s education system; if not, then usually you’ll be instructing students in how to speak English.
Salaries & Costs
Although Lithuania is a developed country, prices are still fairly low relative to Western Europe, which can make it an even more enticing destination where to teach abroad. You will be compensated fairly while you teach abroad in Lithuania, but don’t expect to make away with a king’s ransom; entry-level educators are generally paid up to $1,000 per month, which will be enough to get by.
Accommodation & Visas
The most common forms of accommodation while you teach abroad in Lithuania are generally living in a homestay or in your own apartment (which options are available will depend on the program you teach through and the location where you end up). While some teach abroad programs in Lithuania will compensate international educators with housing, it is more common that you will be expected to secure your own accommodations.
As part of the European Union, teachers traveling from anywhere else within the EU will not have to apply for a visa in order to teach abroad in Lithuania. If you are coming from outside of Europe, then generally your host school or teach abroad program will have to endorse you for work permission; for more information regarding your individual circumstances, check out our Lithuanian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Balkan Immersion. One of the Baltic states, Lithuania is a prototypical Eastern European country that has been an influential force in the region for a long time. Teaching abroad is the chance to immerse yourself deeply in this fascinating cultural context.
Language Opportunity. Many citizens of Lithuania are multilingual, speaking any combination of Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, and Lithuanian. As an English speaker you can impart knowledge of your own language, while also learning another in return.
Hospitality. Lastly, teachers are treated very respectfully in Lithuania, so prepare yourself to be showered with attention and gifts as an international educator. It is an opportunity to learn a ton from your students, whatever age.