Poland is becoming an increasingly popular place for English teachers in Europe. Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland has seen its economy explode. As a result, the standard of living in the country has risen dramatically and old stereotypes of a dull, grey, Soviet bloc country have firmly been shaken off.
Poland is a great country for English teachers to make their home: it’s safe (for women teachers), it’s affordable, and it offers an excellent work-life balance. Snowy winters and hot sunny summers mean that there is a wide range of activities on offer. TEFL teachers can enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle in the capital, Warsaw, choose a historical city such as Krakow or Wroclaw, or plump for a small-town vibe where they might be the only English-speaker around.
Has the Russia-Ukraine war affected English teaching jobs in Poland?
The short answer to this question is that it has not significantly impacted the number of English teaching jobs in Poland. While there has been some political tension between the two countries, this has not translated into an overall decrease in the demand for English teachers in Poland.
A section of East Poland bordering Ukraine has seen a slight decrease in the number of English teaching jobs due to the conflict, but this has been offset by increases in other parts of the country.
In fact, the need for English teachers in Poland has actually increased in recent years. This is partly due to the country’s growing economic prosperity and desire to attract more foreign investment. As a result, there has been a steady increase in the number of English teaching jobs in Poland over the past few years.
Why teach English in Poland?
The demand for English teachers is high in Poland, because students in Polish schools have the choice to opt for one or two foreign languages, including English. International companies are moving in, and Poles know that the key to having a successful career is being able to speak English. The Polish government requires that all students pass an English proficiency test to be able to proceed beyond basic schooling. The test is also essential to pursue professional careers in higher institutions, including healthcare, engineering, and technology.
Poland has also experienced an increase in foreign investments over the years and the growth of many local and international business ventures. As a result of these, more locals are willing to learn to speak English, and the demand for English teachers keeps rising in the country. International companies are moving in, and Poles know that the key to having a successful career is being able to speak English.
Read on for a complete guide to teaching English in Poland in 2021 and beyond.
What qualification do I need to teach English in Poland?
- A bachelor’s degree in any subject
- A CertTESOL, CELTA, or a reputed TEFL certificate
- While native English speakers are preferred, you can still find a job being a non-native English speaker if you exhibit a strong command over English language at a native level.
- A sunny personality – seriously, schools can train someone how to teach the third conditional, but they can’t train someone to have a better personality!
Some schools won’t require a TEFL certificate, but prospective teachers should be wary of those which don’t; the working conditions and the salary offered probably won’t be very attractive. Also, if you are looking for a teaching job in universities, then a Master’s Degree may be required, at some positions.
Looking for a TEFL course?
Check out the Prestigious Level 5 Cambridge CELTA courses in Poland. Now delivered 100% Online – due to the current CoVID-19 situation, leading to the same qualification as the full-time intensive CELTA course.
- CELTA in Krakow (Online option available)
- CELTA in Wroclaw
- CELTA in Warsaw (Online option available)
What type of visa do I need to teach English in Poland?
If you’re dreaming of teaching English in Poland, the first step is to obtain a work visa. The type of visa you need depends on your citizenship and how long you plan to stay in the country.
All citizens of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, can enter Poland without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.
If you’re a citizen of a non-EU member state, you’ll need to obtain a Schengen visa before entering the country. This visa allows you to stay in any Schengen country for up to 90 days.
This can be obtained from any Polish embassy or consulate. In addition to a valid passport, you will need to provide proof of your teaching qualifications and a letter of invitation from your employer.
The process can seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s pretty straightforward if you have all the necessary documents in order.
- First, prospective teachers must obtain a job offer from a school or language institute.
- Once you have a job offer, you can begin the visa application process.
- The next step is to gather the required documents, which include a valid passport, proof of your job offer, and a criminal background check.
- Once you have the necessary paperwork, you can submit your visa application online.
- Once your application is approved, you can pick up your visa at a Polish embassy or consulate.
The entire process should take about 10-15 days. Also, it is important to find a school that is willing and able to help you with the process, as they will know what exactly needs to be done.
Once your application is approved, you’ll be able to pick up your visa and start making plans for your adventure in Poland!
Info: The Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) in Poland is issued to third-country nationals who intend to stay in Poland for a period exceeding 3 months. The permit is valid for the period of stay indicated in the application, but not exceeding 5 years.
What types of teaching jobs are available in Poland?
There are many different types of English teaching jobs in Poland. Some of the most common include working as an English teacher in a private language school, teaching in a public school, or working as a freelance tutor. There are also opportunities to teach English online or to work as an au pair.
Let’s look at them in detail!
One of Poland’s most popular types of English teaching jobs is working in a private language school. These private institutions offer English classes to students of all levels, from beginners to advanced. In addition, many private language schools also offer extra-curricular activities, such as conversation clubs or cultural events. This can be a great way to meet people and learn more about the culture while working. The salary for English teachers working in private language schools can vary depending on the school but is usually around 1500-2500 złoty per month.
These are government-run institutions offering English classes to students from elementary school through high school. The type of students you will be teaching, class size, and working hours can vary depending on the school. However, this can be a great option if you are looking for a more traditional teaching job. The government sets salaries for English teachers working in public schools, starting at around 2000-2500 złoty per month.
International schools are a great option to work with students worldwide. They are considered some of the best schools in Poland where English is taught. International schools usually offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. Salaries at international schools are generally higher than at other schools and can range from 3000-5000 złoty per month.
Universities and colleges:
Colleges and universities are other options for teaching English in Poland. These institutions offer a variety of English courses to students, from beginner to advanced levels. In addition, classes are typically smaller at universities and colleges, which can provide a more intimate setting for teaching. Salaries for college and university instructors vary depending on the institution but are typically around 3000-4000 złoty per month.
Online teaching is a growing trend in Poland, as it offers a flexible way to work from home. There are many different types of online English teaching jobs available, from one-on-one tutoring to group classes. Salaries for online English teachers can vary depending on the job but are usually around 1500-2000 złoty per month.
An au pair is a live-in helper who provides childcare and helps with light household duties in exchange for room and board. Au pairs typically work 25-30 hours per week and care for children aged 2-12. This can be a great way to learn about the culture and language while living with a Polish family. Salaries for au pairs are typically around 800-1200 złoty per month, plus room and board.
Some of the other English teaching opportunities in Poland include:
- Working as a freelance tutor
- Teaching English at a summer camp
- Teaching in a British Council-approved center
- Trainer for business English courses
- EFL volunteer in an NGO or charity organization
Overall, many different types of English teaching jobs are available in Poland. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the one that best suits your needs and preferences is important. Salaries for English teachers vary depending on the type of job but generally range from 1500-4000 złoty per month.
Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, Gydnia, Sopt, and Lodz are some of the top locations with the widest variety of teaching jobs in Poland.
Although there is a broader variety of jobs in big cities than small towns, you will find English teaching jobs in all parts of Poland since English is a compulsory subject in schools. Even if you want to teach in a small mountain town, as long as there are schools, there will be English teaching jobs.
How to find an English teaching job in Poland?
Choosing the best place to teach English in Poland is hinged on so many factors. You need to consider the availability of jobs, salary, cost of living, your level of teaching experience, qualifications, TEFL certification, fluency in polish, and a host of other factors.
The academic year in Poland runs from September to June, so the best time to look for a job is in the late spring when schools will know if their current teachers are leaving or returning for the next year.
You are most likely to find your first job in Poland on the internet, unless you’re very brave and want to turn up in Poland and then find a job. Lots of schools advertise on the internet and do interviews via Skype.
You should prepare a CV to send to prospective employers and write a separate cover letter for each. Photographs are common on Polish CVs, so you might want to attach a professional headshot.
Here are some websites where jobs are often advertised:
To advertise yourself as a private teacher, you can use: https://www.olx.pl
And here are a couple of Facebook groups for English speakers in Poland:
How much can I earn teaching English in Poland?
Outside of Warsaw, salaries in private language schools will range from 3200 PLN – 5000 PLN per month (850 US$ – 1500 US$). In Warsaw, you should earn between 5000 PLN and 7000 PLN per month (1350 US$ – 1900 US$).
Salaries in Poland don’t rival those you find in South Korea or Saudi Arabia, but you are paid enough to have a good standard of living with something left over. In fact, when you take into account Poland’s low cost of living, the salary is actually pretty good for Europe.
The salary for English teachers in Poland barely varies across cities. A person teaching in a small town in Poland can earn just as much someone teaching in a big city. However, some cities are an exception for offering higher salaries than others. Cities like the bustling capital, Warsaw and Krakow fall into this category.
In addition to this, the type of school you teach is also very significant in determining your salary. The combination of the type of institution and the choice of a city makes a lot of difference in the amount of salary you can earn as an English teacher in Poland.
You will either receive a contract for between 20 – 30 hours a week, or you will work for an hourly wage with a guaranteed minimum. Working for an hourly wage will probably mean working more hours, and earning slightly more too.
Some jobs, especially in smaller cities, will include accommodation and utility bills, though this is rare. Flights are seldom reimbursed. How much you can save will depend very much on what type of lifestyle you have and how much sushi you eat. Seriously, sushi will break the bank pretty fast in Poland.
In larger cities such as Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw, costs are higher, and you’ll more than likely save less. In smaller cities, not only are prices lower but there are fewer opportunities to spend your money so that you can save much more.
If you want to top up your income, you can give private classes. You can charge 70 PLN + for a sixty-minute lesson and at least 100 PLN in Warsaw.
What type of students will I teach in Poland?
If you teach in a private language school, you can go from sipping coffee and chatting with the CEO of an international company to singing the ABCs with six-year-olds in the space of a couple of hours.
It seems like everyone wants to learn English in Poland, so you’ll have a wide variety of students. Polish learners are generally very motivated as they often need English for work or their studies. You might have a bit of trouble getting learners to talk at the beginning, as there is a heavy focus on teaching grammar rather than speaking in Polish state schools. Make your students feel comfortable, and they’ll soon open up.
Where to live while teaching in Poland?
As said above, so many people want to learn English in Poland that you can find a job almost anywhere, from the bright lights of Warsaw to the little towns in the rural east of the country.
Warsaw: If you want to make more money and live a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Poland’s capital, Warsaw, is where you should head. Jobs here are plentiful for English teachers, and there is a large expat community, as well as a large number of international students.
Krakow: Poland’s most beautiful city, not destroyed during the Second World War, Krakow attracts tourists and expats in droves. It might be a bit harder to find a teaching job here due to the number of people who want to live there. But if you do snag one, you’re unlikely to ever want to leave.
Smaller cities: Some of the benefits of living in smaller cities are the lower cost of living and the chance to be part of the Polish community. There will be fewer expats around, so you’ll have to make friends with the locals. Bear in mind that fewer people speak English in small towns, so you’ll need to brush up on your Polish!
How much money do I need to live in Poland?
Poland is one of the cheapest countries to live in the European Union, less expensive than over 70 percent of all, counties in the world. However, some cities are still cheaper to live in than others. Warsaw is undoubtedly the country’s most expensive city to live in. Yet, it was ranked 154 out of 209 in the 2018 Mercer Cost of living Survey, which shows it is relatively cheap compared to many other European countries. After Warsaw, the next expensive cities are Panama, Krakow, Wroclaw, Lodz, Lublin, and Rzeszow in that other.
The low cost of living along with an average English teachers salary, you can enjoy meals out, plan a weekend trip, and save some money without breaking a sweat.
Accommodation is one of the most significant expenses: flats cost between 1000 PLN per month in smaller towns to 2000 PLN and up in Warsaw. You can choose to share a flat if you want to save money; rooms are often advertised onhttps://olx.pl.
Food is generally cheap in Poland, especially if you eat local dishes or cook for yourself. A meal with a drink in a restaurant can cost as little as 25 PLN. Alcohol is also generally cheap, both in bars and from shops.
Transportation is excellent and very good value. All cities have extensive bus networks, and some of the larger cities have trams which are great for beating the traffic.
Trains run almost everywhere in Poland and are an excellent value for money – though if you want to travel by high-speed train, you should book in advance for the best fares. Buses also run intercity. Domestic flights aren’t usually worth taking unless you’re travelling from one remote corner of the country to the other.
Smaller cities and towns that are not tourist destinations have a lower cost of living. Also, the farther away from the capital a city is in Poland, the lesser the cost of living. Note, however, that the cheaper the city, the less likely the availability of fun activities, ex-pats, and the smaller the English speaking community.
How to spend my leisure time in Poland?
Pack your ski goggles and your swimming goggles if you’re moving to Poland! Poles love to head to the mountains, especially the little town of Zakopane, at any time of the year. At the opposite end of the country is the Baltic Sea, and the white sands are flooded with sun-seekers in July and August.
There are quite a few public holidays throughout the year which give lots of opportunities to travel, especially the long weekends in November and May.
Poland is in Central Europe, and there are excellent, cheap flight, train, and bus connections to surrounding countries. A weekend in Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Lviv, or even Budapest is a regular thing for most English teachers in Poland.
If you wish to teach in the smaller towns in Poland, then you may need to work on your polish because you will have fewer people speaking English. Also, you may want to get some extra teaching experience if you’re going to teach in any international school within a big city.
Regardless of all these factors, teaching English anywhere in Poland is fun and fulfilling, no matter where you stay, poles are always welcoming and friendly. The transport system is sound, and you will be able to explore the rest of the country.
However, be careful when considering schools to teach in Poland. If a school offers you benefits that are too good to be true, then they are most likely too good to be true.
So, what are you waiting for?
Jump on a plane and head to Poland. Take a TEFL course or find your dream job teaching English in the European Union’s very own “tiger economy”.
Vibrant cities, gorgeous architecture, and friendly locals, from the shores of the Baltic to the top of the Tatras: it’s all waiting for you in Poland.