If you are ready to venture around Europe and become TEFL-certified while you are at it, there is no better homebase than Poland. The land of pierogis and vodka has an extremely high demand for English teachers, and no lack of qualities to lure them in. Not to mention that its central European location offers an ideal starting point for all sorts of European travel, whether before or during your TEFL courses.. Then again, once you experience the cheap cost of living and endless activities (castles, museums, and nightlife galore!), why would you even want to leave?
With a high demand for English teachers, you will be able to find a TEFL program in many Polish cities. However, the most popular places to earn TEFL certification in Poland are Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw, each sharing a difficult and sombering past, but uniquely alluring and thriving today.
Warsaw is the capital and business hub of the country, making it an excellent place to complete TEFL courses in Poland. After being mostly destroyed during World War II, this city has worked hard to rebuild itself and now is stronger than ever. It even boasts the ninth largest population in the European Union. If you plan to stay and teach in Poland, you will have no problem finding a job teaching business English in one of the many companies that call Warsaw home.
Kraków is a stunning, medieval gem in southern Poland. With winding, cobblestone alleyways that open up to the massive main square and 15th century market, it feels as though you have stepped back in time. As a city built on the legend of a conquered dragon and overflowing with history, there is plenty of creative lesson plan inspiration! The old world charm is paired with plenty of unique activities and a lively nightlife making it one of the most popular places to earn a TEFL certificate in Poland.
Wrocław has a smaller feel with more of an authentic, local charm. The city is known for being a cultural and educational hotspot, and was even named the European Capital of Culture in 2016. An emphasis on learning is an integral part of the city, which not only makes it an ideal place for TEFL certification in Poland, but also a highly respected place to teach English in Poland. To take a break outside of the classroom, challenge your students to find all of the gnome statues hidden throughout the city!
Honorable mentions. Poland is a land of rich history and gorgeous landscapes. While the three cities listed above are the most popular locations to take TEFL courses in Poland, there is a high demand for people to teach English in smaller cities too, which make these lesser known locations great options as well. Zakopane is resort town that sits at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, while Gdansk is a port city on the Baltic Sea, which was beautifully reconstructed after WWII. With the sea to the north and the mountains to the south, you cannot go wrong with either option; everything in between isn’t a shabby decision either.
TEFL Programs in Poland
A standard TEFL program in Poland is a month-long, 120-hour class that is a mix between teacher training and grammar bootcamp. No previous experience is required, though many TEFL programs do require that you have a college degree. TEFL courses in Poland will prepare you for teaching classes of various ages and English proficiency levels. You will learn how to teach grammar and develop language skills (writing, speaking, and listening). Throughout the course, you will be provided with lesson plans and resources to be successful in your future teaching career.
TEFL certification courses can be in-person, online, or a mixture of both. An in-person TEFL program in Poland will allow you to get to know the city and culture; it will also give you hands-on experience, along with the chance to make connections and get a job right after completion. If you want to do an in-person class, a key benefit to look out for is practice teaching hours. Many TEFL programs in Poland offer 20+ hours of teaching experience as part of the course.
This exposure will make it easier to find a job teaching English in Poland after you complete TEFL certification, and will also make you feel more comfortable in front of a classroom. Once you are TEFL certified, you can easily find a job teaching kids or adults. Most of teaching jobs in Poland can be found through language schools that will send you to companies to teach business English.
Costs & Affordability
The price of TEFL programs in Poland can can vary greatly, depending on what you want out of the course; program costs can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Choose wisely based on your needs. At first sight, a cheaper course could have all the essentials your heart desires. However, after some in-depth research, you could find the sticker shock of a pricier course is worthwhile because they help with logistics like housing, job placement, and visa assistance.
After completing TEFL certification in Poland, teachers generally earn between $1,500 and $2,000 working full time. With the reasonable cost of living in Poland, you will make enough money to live comfortably. Poland is ranked as one of the cheapest countries to live in in the European Union. Eating out (like a giant plate of delicious pierogis!) can be between $4 and $7, a coffee (or shot of Polish vodka for when you are off the TEFL-clock!) will be about $2 and $3, and public transportation tickets are around $1.
Accommodation & Visas
Not many TEFL programs in Poland provide accommodation, but many do offer housing assistance before and after courses. They might have deals with local real estate agents or match you up with other TEFL participants, for example. No matter the situation, housing in Poland is fairly reasonable; you can find an apartment near city center for as little as $500 to $700 (or even cheaper with roommates!).
The visa process will be different depending on your home country, how long you want to stay, and if you plan to teach English in Poland after your TEFL courses. For EU citizens, you do not need a visa to live or work in Poland. For non-EU citizens, you will not need a visa if you are only staying for the duration of the course, but once you start working, you will need to apply for a work visa. To learn more about the visa process and requirements, check out GoAbroad's Polish Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Cost Conscious. The cost of TEFL courses in Poland vary, so do your research first to get the best bang for your buck. Make sure the TEFL certification program meets your needs and is internationally accredited, and then once you receive your TEFL certificate, you will be able to teach almost anywhere in the world!
Cheap European Living. As one of the EU’s most affordable countries, taking TEFL courses in Poland will give you the chance to experience the European lifestyle, while still living within your means. It will also open up plenty of travel opportunities, whether it’s a quick bus ride to Prague or a short flight to Paris.
Head Start on the Job Search. If you plan to teach English in Poland after your TEFL certification program, getting a job in Poland will be a breeze. There are job openings for English teachers in many Polish cities, and most TEFL program providers supply job assistance.
Europe is generally a tough market for TEFL jobs and teaching English. Western European countries are not only more expensive, but also tend to hire experienced teachers that are EU citizens. That’s what makes TEFL programs in Poland such a TEFL jackpot! The cheap cost of living won’t break the bank, and completing your TEFL certification in Poland will almost guarantee a job once you have finished. Powodzenia!