Teach English Abroad in Ukraine

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A Guide to Teaching Abroad in Ukraine

Whether you’re an adventure lover, foodie maven, or history buff (or all three), the Ukrainians will welcome you with open arms and genuine hospitality. Here, you can enjoy the incredibly low cost of living, see diverse landscapes, partake in scrumptious cuisine, learn Russian or Ukrainian, and live in a former U.S.S.R. country that is off the beaten path and one of the last travel frontiers. English is not commonly spoken in most of of Ukraine, and luckily for you, the demand for ESL teachers is growing nationwide. Experience what few others ever will by teaching in Ukraine.

Where to Teach Abroad in Ukraine

Ukraine is an ethnically diverse hodgepodge that is steeped in history, with its Gothic churches and Soviet remnants. From exploring the vast forests to wandering along tranquil rivers, here are the best places to teach abroad in Ukraine. 

Kiev. The capital of Ukraine and an important economic hub of Eastern Europe is situated in north area of the country on the Dnieper River. After seeing the differences in styles of the St. Sophia Cathedral, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, and St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral, you’ll quickly realize how eclectic and colorful this city is. 

Lviv. You’ll find a fusion of Polish, Austrian, Jewish, Hungarian, and Armenian languages, traditions, cuisines, and customs when you’re in the cultural center and number one tourist destination in this city in western Ukraine. The romantic courtyards and coffee houses beckon visitors from all over the world to get a little taste of this cup of beauty. 

Odessa. This third most populous city and a major seaport is famous for its Potemkin Steps that lead down to the Black Sea. While you’re visiting Odessa, make sure to marvel at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater, discover the underground catacombs, and make a wish at the Duke de Richelieu statute.

Opportunities to Teach English in Ukraine

There are more jobs available to native English teachers in Ukraine than there are soccer fans. Fortunately for potential English teachers, that means a lot! Here are the types of teaching jobs in Ukraine, particularly if you’d like to teach English in Ukraine.

TEFL placements are a great way to get you started on the path to teach English in Ukraine. You’ll be trained by language instructors, and at the end, most programs will offer free job placement and other resources to help you launch your ESL teaching career. 

Alternative subjects. If you’re interested in teaching in Ukraine, but not English, you’ll also find programs that are looking for qualified teachers to teach other subjects, like science, to a variety of ages from early years to university levels with more generous salaries. 

The high demand for teachers means that regardless of whether you have a TEFL or any other advanced language learning degree, you won’t have trouble finding a job teaching English in Ukraine. These factors vary from school to school but are generally true.

Salaries for Teachers in Ukraine

Wondering “How much money can I make teaching English in Ukraine?” Expect to make enough to live very well here – the average salary is between $1500-3000 a month, which goes a long way in terms of rent and other living expenses in Ukraine. Those looking primarily to support themselves while exploring a new and fascinating Eastern European country will make enough to live and travel comfortably. Many programs in Ukraine also offer additional benefits, such as airfare, accommodation, and transportation costs.

Housing Options in Ukraine

Depending on the program and placement, where you hang your hat could vary. In most cases, programs offer housing subsidies as a part of the compensation for your employment. You could also be staying in a basic apartment that may even be furnished (ohh yeah). Wherever you stay, you can bet that it will be in a safe area and that the housing will be comfortable and cover your basic needs. 

Visas for Ukraine

Unfortunately, with Ukraine changing its laws so frequently, the process for applying for a work permit and visa for a teaching position can get a little messy and lengthy. You could apply for the official work visa, which is an IM-1 visa. Usually, you’ll need to provide proof of your teaching qualifications and acceptance into the program, and you’ll need to be in Ukraine to fulfill the steps to receive the visa. You can get started with the process with GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory and ask your program assistance.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Students come in all ages and levels. In some schools, you won’t teach beginners. Some people begin instead with bilingual Ukrainian teachers who teach grammar and fundamentals of speech, leaving the higher levels to native speakers. In this case, those who are looking to teach English in Ukraine will provide purely conversational and practical level guidance. Schools will supply you with pre-planned lessons that follow material the students have already gone over once with their Ukrainian teachers. 

It isn’t uncommon at all to be invited by a group of students for a beer after class or a weekend paintball excursion. Students will warm your heart with their gratitude and generosity.

Whether you’re slurping clean your bowl of borscht or walking on the hills in the Carpathians, you’ll love your experience as a teacher in Ukraine. From sunup to sundown, in school and out, find yourself celebrating life with the locals.

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