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Finding a TEFL job in a particular country

I'm looking for a TEFL job in Poland, Any tips? Trainee Vance Carson

On this page Webmaster Tom Walton provides tips for searching the web which will work for countries round the world...


A significant number of CELTA course trainees come to Barcelona to do their course but with the intention of working elsewhere. In some cases, for one reason or another, they have a particular country in mind from even before they start their CELTA course.

Newly graduated IH Barcelona trainee Vance Carson was interested in looking for a English teaching job in Poland and wanted to know if we could recommend any Internet search tips.

For Poland, or any other country in the world, for that matter, first place I'd head would be the Dave's ESL Cafe, which has a very interesting country-by-country forum, with the Poland link being about half way down that page.

It is probably wise to treat what you find on Dave's -- or any other Internet forum, for that matter -- with a healthy degree of skepticism. You will find lots of users there moaning about getting a miserable salary, living in Eastern Bloc standard accommodation, and so on -- though in fact you will find the same sort of complaints, most of them duly refuted by other users, about most countries, including Spain.

As it happens, I have heard a few horror stories about teaching English in Eastern Europe from friends and colleagues (not, it should be noted, always a entirely reliable source of information, either), some of whom taught in heavily polluted, unattractive industrial towns they hated... Actually, I can think of a few places like that in, er, Britain...?

So, first, I'd research Poland on somewhere like Lonely Planet -- which are the nice towns, which are like, er, Dundee (no offence intended, I went to school there). I've never personally been to Poland, but understand that are some really lovely small towns there. A quick trawl of Lonely Planet tells me that Glogowek, Torun and Zamosc are all attractive, though -- as with anything else I found on the Web -- I'd want to cross-check that on another site.

Lonely Planet, note, also has extensive forums and for somewhere really exotic, the CIA Factbook website is a useful source of basic information.

Armed with that information, ie (a) that I do in fact want to go to the country and (b) and names of attractive places to live, I'd (c) check out the vacancies with IH website and Bell, who have a number of schools there.

Particularly in this case, I'd turn to the big language teaching organizations , as I reckon that if they offer you a contract, you more likely to get out there and find that the job does exist and that they still want you for it.

Note, however, that neither have a reputation for paying high salaries -- especially somewhere like Poland. I had heard that already, but confirmed it on Dave's -- cross-checking again.

And finally, I'd head over to tefl.com in order to find out what openings there might be on offer there.

You certainly can find TEFL jobs on the Internet in virtually any country you care to name. Note, however, that if you can afford to get there (and survive while looking for work), actually being right there on the spot and available for interview is still probably the easiest way to find work.