Greece has long been a popular destination among international TEFL teachers. However, the local economy has hit hard times in recent years which has had a serious impact on the number of jobs available across the country. Despite this setback, the warm climate, great beaches, and a relaxed outlook on life ensures that plenty of foreign teachers still end up stopping off in Greece for an extended stay.
What do I need to teach English in Greece?
Due to the lower number of job openings, schools in Greece are now able to be a bit more particular as to who they choose to employ. Recent changes to the local immigration laws have also made things that much harder for non-EU citizens when it comes to applying for the required work visa. The upshot of these changes means that many employers prefer to hire teachers with an EU passport. In order to qualify for a work visa you will need a university degree in any subject and a TEFL qualification.
What type of TEFL employer will I work for in Greece?
Greece is quite unique in the fact that it has a large network of private language schools known as frontistiria that are responsible for the vast majority of TEFL related jobs. There are currently around 6,000 schools connected to this network, which means there are always a number of vacant positions available at any one time. Business related classes are particularly popular in some areas and many schools also cater to young learners of all ages. As the average salary can be quite low, teachers often take on a few private students in their spare time to top up their income.
What about visas for teaching English in Greece?
As EU citizens can live and work in Greece without any restrictions, many employers will choose this option to avoid the official paperwork required when hiring non-EU passport holders. If you are from elsewhere in the world you will receive a 90-day tourist visa at your port of entry, which you need to convert into a work visa once you have a job offer from an employer who is willing to sponsor you. As the economic situation is not currently strong across Greece, finding a sponsor can be difficult unless you have plenty of experience and/or a high level of qualifications.
When should I apply for TEFL jobs in Greece?
As most schools like to interview candidates in-person it is not common for jobs in Greece to be secured from outside the country. Many employers also include a trial lesson as part of the interview process. To give yourself the best opportunities in the job market you should time your arrival to coincide with the peak hiring season at the start of the school year in September. There is also a secondary hiring season in January if you miss the peak season.
Effective job hunting in Greece typically means gathering a list of all the potential employers in your area and then visiting them in person with your CV/resume. By following this approach you will get to meet the employers and get an idea of how each school operates before deciding whether a job is right for you. Once you are offered a job you will usually be expected to sign a contract for a full year or a school year. Shorter contracts are sometimes available.
Where should I look for TEFL Jobs in Greece?
Private language centers can be found all over the country, although the capital Athens is by far the most popular destination due to the wide availability of jobs. Smaller cities such as Larissa, Patras, and Thessaloniki are also good options if you prefer a slower pace of life. Major resort locations such as Corfu and Crete also have potential due to the large number of people working in the tourism industry.