Having developed behind the Iron Curtain during the latter half of the 20th century, many countries in Eastern Europe are still playing catch up in the process of globalization. Part of that effort is learning the world’s common language; you will find that there are many less English speakers on the eastern half of the continent than on the western. Enrolling in a TEFL course in Eastern Europe is the opportunity to place yourself in a growing market, while learning all about the fascinating cultural history of this emerging region of the world.
While there are no set-in-stone boundaries which delineate Eastern Europe from the western half of the continent, the region is most commonly described as encompassing the former member and satellite states of the USSR. This region expands from the Baltic states of the north to the Balkans in the south, and from Russia in the east to Germany in the west.
As the largest country and wielding the most influence in the region, Russia is generally a top choice for international educators of where to enroll in a TEFL course in Eastern Europe. A culturally rich country and significant world power, enrolling in a TEFL program in Russia is an opportunity to lay a strong global networking while also learning Russian, which is one of the UN’s six official languages.
Other popular countries where you can enroll in a TEFL course in Eastern Europe range from Lithuania to Slovakia to Croatia. Depending on the parameters you set, there are some 20 countries in Eastern Europe, each with their own distinct cultures and national heritage. Do your research into the major and minor destinations, to decide where a TEFL program in Eastern Europe seems like the most interesting fit for you!
Programs & Courses
Most TEFL programs in Eastern Europe require at least 120 hours of classroom training, which equates to a one-month period for course completion. In this time you will develop skills ranging from teaching the basics of reading, writing, and speaking English to more advanced techniques in areas such as classroom management, teaching methodology, and curriculum creation. Many TEFL courses in Eastern Europe will also give you the opportunity to practice in front of a live classroom, with trained teachers critiquing and giving you feedback.
Suffice to say that after one month, you will have developed the basic skillset and knowledge with which to begin teaching English in a classroom of your own. Many teachers who enroll in a TEFL program in Eastern Europe choose to stay put in their country of choice and find a job teaching there, while others move on to look in other parts of the world. Many international TEFL programs will offer lifelong job placement assistance, which can be a huge perk moving forward after your training.
If you do stay on to look for a teaching position in your host country after your TEFL program in Eastern Europe, then using the time to network and pick up as much of the local language as you can will be very worthwhile. Private schools, public schools, international schools, and language academies are all examples of the type of work you can easily find teaching English in Eastern Europe!
Costs & Affordability
TEFL courses in Eastern Europe fluctuate in price, bust most will end up costing you between $1,500 and $2,000 for tuition. This rate is somewhat standard around the world, while online courses are considerably cheaper. Another benefit about enrolling in your TEFL program in Eastern Europe is that general costs of living are significantly less expensive than the western part of the continent, so you can save money during your one-month program in this way as well.
Accommodation & Visas
Most TEFL programs in Eastern Europe will set you up with temporary housing for your one-month course, after which you may have to find your own place if you intend to stay and look for work. Group housing, homestays, and individual apartments are all popular types of accommodations offered for international educators during the training period.
Whether or not you will need a visa in order to enroll in a TEFL course in Eastern Europe depends on factors such as your home country and whether or not your host country is part of the European Union (which generally allows for a stay of up to three months before you have to obtain documentation). For more information regarding your individual circumstances, be sure to check out our Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Emerging Market. Having spent much of the 20th century within the Soviet sphere of influence, Eastern Europe is now one of the fastest growing regions of the world since integrating itself into the global marketplace. Its citizens earning English has been a big part of this push.
Alternate History. Heavily influenced by Russian, Orthodox, and Islamic cultures throughout its history, the eastern half of the continent has a much different tale to tell than the west. Enrolling in a TEFL program in Eastern Europe is the opportunity to set yourself on the road less travelled.
Head Start. It’s easy to stay and enroll in a TEFL course at home before looking for work abroad, but pushing yourself early on to adapt to a new language and environment will prepare you much more adequately for the experience. Why delay on beginning the adventure?
Enrolling in a TEFL program in Eastern Europe is an opportunity to immerse yourself within an enriching, understated part of the world while developing the skills that can take you anywhere thereafter as an international educator. A grand journey awaits you, all you need do is decide to go!