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A Guide to Teaching Abroad in Lisbon

Imagine yourself lounging on a sunny beach after a day of singing the ABC’s while nibbling on a custard tart and making plans to explore a new neighborhood later that night. If you enjoy listening to waves crash along the coast of a colorful city, then you need to be teaching English in Lisbon. The bright orange rooftops contrast the deep blue sea, giving you the energy needed to teach abroad. As the westernmost capital of Europe, you can step into a sea of history off of the Atlantic coast. Teaching abroad in Lisbon is ideal for any ESL teacher who loves history, amazing food, and having a class that’s ready to work.

What you need to know about teaching abroad in Lisbon, Portugal

Teaching English in Lisbon will boost your resume while you generate income to stay abroad long-term. Not only that, but you will get to make an impact on students who are working hard to learn a new language. As an expat English teacher, Lisbon is the place to go. 

Popular ESL jobs in Lisbon. Having a TEFL or CELTA certificate along with a bachelor's degree in any subject is crucial to get a job teaching English. Lisbon has many English language academies, kindergartens, international schools, and private tutoring opportunities. Teaching at a private language school will be the most available type of job. Most lessons are already planned, so you don’t have to stress about taking much work home with you at the end of the day. Teach by day and surf by night to create a perfect work/life balance. 

Short-term vs. long-term teaching jobs, and other tidbits on job structure. Teaching contracts typically last a semester or a year. Depending on the school it could possibly include health insurance, housing, and a bonus. What better way to keep future employers wide-eyed and curious with a year's worth of experience teaching English in Lisbon? In a year, you can truly make an impact on your kiddos, learn more about the culture, and walk the school halls with full on confidence. The two main hiring seasons are in September and January and contracts typically last until June. If you are unsure about a long term commitment, look into summer teaching jobs in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Teaching English vs. teaching other subjects. There are more opportunities beyond only teaching English in Lisbon. Although teaching English is the most popular subject for expats, there are also other teaching jobs in Lisbon, Portugal. International schools accepts teachers who are capable of teaching sciences, math, literature, and primary ages. As being the capital city, Lisbon has the majority of international schools in the country which can make it a perfect home-base for any certified educator to get on board with a teaching job.

Life in Lisbon for Teachers

Prepare to be stunned at the architecture and landscape of Lisbon. The buildings that surround you will narrate their history as it has evolved since the pre-Roman era. Through exploring the city you will be mesmerized by the castles, towers, and monuments that are mixed in with the modernization. The lively colors certainly will brighten your days. Make sure to check out the Museo Nacional do Azulejo to view the history of Lisbon explained through their famous tile art. 

Teachers in Lisbon can take advantage of soaking up all of the vitamin-D they can get. The sunny climate is amongst the warmest in Europe. You can spend the days cruising the waterfront around Belem, surfing at Carcavelos, or grabbing a coffee in Alfama. If you are looking to explore beyond Lisbon you can take the train to beautiful destinations around the country. Head to Porto for a weekend and learn all about the local fortified or dessert wines. Immersing yourself in the community with other expat teachers will also guide you through the local spots you can’t just find online.

GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for international teachers in Lisbon

Bring good shoes! Lisbon is very walkable, bikeable, and tram-able. No doubt the tram will help you conquer those hills on a blazing sunny day. You are bound to work off all of the delicious carne de porco alentejana you eat by trekking through the city. 

The cost of living in Lisbon is much less than other popular western European cities. ESL teachers will typically make a little over $1000 a month. If you live with other teachers, you can cut costs on rent, which is much less than large cities elsewhere around the globe. Going out for a meal costs under $10, transportation is free by foot or just over $1 one way. Living comfortably is very doable while teaching abroad in Lisbon. 

Enrich yourself in Fado culture. This bluesy music came to Lisbon in the early 19th century. Two hundred years later and it’s still a staple of the Portuguese culture in all corners of the city of Lisbon.

Teaching in Lisbon will be an experience of a lifetime. Conquering a classroom of eager students on top of learning a new culture is a unique adventure. Teaching abroad will give you a new worldwide perspective on your career. Not only that, but it’ll enhance your global network in general for other opportunities abroad. The professional development you will gain is priceless. So take that next step and make your way to Lisbon!

If you’re ready to teach abroad in Lisbon, pack your shades and read our comprehensive guide on teaching abroad in Portugal.

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A Guide To
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