Saturday, February 13, 2010
Teaching English in an E.U. Country without an E.U. Passport is challenging. However it can be done. As of late, I've been receiving a lot of emails on the subject so I thought I'd offer a few thoughts. First of all, for Australians and Canadians, its possible to work abroad in countries like France and Italy for up to one year on the "Working Holiday Visa" exchange program. This program doesn't exists for Americans and on a side note, I'd like to urge Americans to write to their state senators about implementing a similar program if indeed you'd like to have such an option available to you.
For Americans, there are a few options which, depending on the EU country in question, may vary.
1. You can show up, find an ESL job, then go back to the U.S. and take care of the paperwork. Not a popular option for folks as its expensive and risky. The average school won't want to get involved in arranging such paperwork in the first place. However, if you have a university degree and a TEFL certificate, you can apply at the university level, where they are prepared to do just that to get native English teachers.
2. You can apply to become an English Teaching Assistant before you leave home. This is a government offered program and the paperwork can be arranged.
3. Registering for internships is another way to arrange long term work contracts in Europe.
4. While this item has been disputed, if you register for language lessons in the country of your choice for 6 months or more, either with a private language school or university, you'll be issued a student visa which allows about 15 hours per week of work. Although if your interest is only to work and not take advantage of the language and cultural aspect, its possible that you may not be granted said visa. The idea is that your primary goal is to be a student abroad.
A more discreet piece of advice is that no matter what your nationality, in some European countries things may not come to you as quickly as you expect so its essential to have patience when attempting to live in this part of the world. Occasionally take your eye off the end goal and remember why you want to live in that particular country in the first place. Often doing that can lead you in the very direction where you want to go.
Posted by The Language House at 9:19 AM