Where can I join a TEFL placement program in Europe?

If you want to teach English in Europe you will find that most jobs are secured following a face to face interview. If you would like to have a teaching job organised before you leave home, a government placement program might be a good option for you. The following are the most popular programs of their kind in Europe.

What is the TAPIF Program for teaching English in France?

The TAPIF Program, short for Teaching Assistant Program in France, is a government initiative that places applicants into French state schools to work as teaching assistants. The program provides a great opportunity to live and work in a country where long-stay visas can be difficult to secure for non-EU citizens. For those who meet the necessary criteria, the TAPIF Program could be the perfect way to fulfil your dream of living and working in France.

What are the requirements for the TAPIF Program?

The program is open to those aged between 20 and 35. Participants work 12 hours per week in up to three different elementary or secondary schools for a period of seven months, running from October 1st to April 30th. During the application process you can submit preferences for where you would like to be assigned, but your destination cannot be guaranteed. The majority are located on the French mainland, while a few positions are also available in the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion. Each position comes with a work visa that is valid for the length of the contract, plus health insurance and a monthly stipend of 790 euro. Acceptance onto the program is by no means guaranteed. Each applicant's suitability is evaluated via the following criteria:

  • French language skills (a level equivalent to B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required)
  • Level of university education
  • Previous teaching experience
  • Experience working with children
  • Experience living abroad
  • TEFL/TESOL qualification (not compulsory but highly beneficial)

How do I apply for the TAPIF Program?

As the requirements are subject to change, you should visit the TAPIF Program website for the most up-to-date information. As well as being evaluated on the criteria stated above, applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • 500 word 'statement of purpose' in French
  • Scan of valid passport
  • Scan of university transcripts
  • Language evaluation from university French professor
  • Letter of recommendation from academic or professional
  • $60 application fee

Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certificate to apply to the TAPIF Program?

Although not an official requirement, completing a TEFL/TESOL certification course before submitting your application is highly recommended. As competition for places on the program can be strong, having an internationally certified teaching qualification will greatly improve your chances of acceptance. The course will also provide you with a better understanding of key teaching skills such as classroom management that will help to ensure that your teaching experience is both enjoyable and rewarding.

What is the Cultural Ambassadors Program for teaching English in Spain?

The Cultural Ambassadors Program (also known as the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program) is run by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Every year as many as 2,500 North Americans are placed through the scheme into elementary or secondary schools across the country to work as assistant language teachers. As Spain can be a difficult place for non-Europeans to secure an official work visa, this program provides a great opportunity for Americans and Canadians to legally live and work in one of the world's most popular teaching destinations.

What are the requirements for the Cultural Ambassadors Program?

The program is open to American and Canadian citizens aged between 21 and 60, although the upper age limit for placement in the Madrid region is 35. If accepted, participants are assigned as assistant English teachers in an elementary or secondary school from early October until May 31 (June 30 in the Madrid region). The position requires you to work a set number of classes per week in return for a stipend of 700 euro per month, health insurance coverage, and a long-stay work visa. Airfares and accommodation costs are not included. During the application process you can submit preferences for the cities or areas where you would prefer to be located, but there are no guarantees regarding your allocated place. The majority of positions are located in mainland cities and towns, with a smaller number available in the Canary and Balearic Islands. Successful applicants will be notified of their destination in April prior to departure. As this is a very competitive program there is no guarantee of acceptance. An applicant's suitability is evaluated on the following criteria:

  • A practical demonstration of Spanish language skills (college transcripts, high school records, and Spanish language certificates can be submitted to provide extra proof)
  • Physical and psychological suitability (a medical form is required)
  • Academic achievement (BA or BS minimum, university junior, senior, or graduate)
  • Previous teaching experience
  • Experience working with children
  • Experience living abroad
  • TEFL/TESOL qualification (not compulsory but highly beneficial)

How do I apply for the Cultural Ambassadors Program?

For the most up-to-date information regarding the application process you should visit the official website of the Cultural Ambassadors Program. To complete the application you will need to supply the following documents:

  • 250 to 300 word 'statement of purpose' in English
  • Copy of a reference letter from your employer or university
  • Copy of your degree/diploma, or an official academic record
  • Copy of valid U.S. or Canadian passport

Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certificate to apply for the Cultural Ambassadors Program?

While not compulsory, completing a TEFL/TESOL certification course before applying for the Cultural Ambassadors Program is highly recommended. As there are a limited number of places available each year and competition is usually very strong, the addition of a teaching qualification to your application form will give you a distinct advantage over many other applicants. The practical skills taught during the course, such as classroom management and error correction, will also help to make your time in the classroom far more productive and enjoyable for both you and your students.

What is the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) for teaching English in Hungary?

Every year, thousands of new and experienced teachers head to Europe looking for adventure while working as an English language teacher. A large number of these will arrive in the usual hotspots across Italy and Spain where the competition for jobs can be very high. If you are looking for something a little different that is slightly off the beaten path, then the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) may be worth a look. The CETP is a long running program that places applicants into schools in Hungary to work as English language teachers.

What are the requirements for the Central European Teaching Program?

The CETP is open to native English speakers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., or any other EU country. As the scheme has no official upper age limit it is a particularly good option for older teachers who might find it difficult to secure jobs in some other European countries. The standard program runs for 10 months from September to mid-June, with an orientation week prior to the start. There are also 6-month positions available from January to June. Unlike many government run placement programs, the privately operated CETP requires applicants to pay a placement fee. While this might put off some teachers, the program does offer many benefits that warrant further consideration. Some of the main benefits of the program are as follows:

  • A regular salary that is equal to local coworkers (no income tax is required)
  • National health insurance
  • A private, furnished apartment with all utilities covered
  • Paid holidays
  • Work visa that also allows you to travel across Europe
  • Partners, friends or families can often be placed together

How do I apply for the Central European Teaching Program?

If you are interested in the program and would like further details you should visit the CETP website. In order to be accepted in the program applicants must submit the following documents:

  • TEFL/TESOL certification that includes at least 20 hours of practical classroom teaching
  • Letter from doctor confirming your good health (work visa requirement)
  • Notarized copy of your university diploma
  • Background check

What is the Teach and Learn with Georgia Program for teaching English in Georgia?

The Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) program was setup in 2010 with the intention of improving the country's foreign language skills and to promote greater ties with the global community. Sponsored by the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science, TLG actively recruits native English, French and German speakers to teach in public schools throughout the country on a voluntary basis. While the primary goal is language teaching within a school environment, the program also has a strong focus on cultural exchange.

What does the Teach and Learn with Georgia Program involve?

The TLG program is open to native speakers of English, French and German who are open-minded and highly motivated to make a positive difference in an unfamiliar environment. Contracts are for one academic year, during which time you will teach alongside local language teachers in primary age classrooms. A typical week involves 30 working hours from Monday to Friday which includes teaching, lesson planning and extra-curricular activities. Participants are also expected to provide three hours of language teaching per week for their host family.

What are the requirements for the Teach and Learn with Georgia Program?

The minimum education level is a BA/BS in education, linguistics or similar or a BA/BS in any other discipline plus teaching experience. Students in their final year of a bachelor's degree in education, linguistics, or similar discipline are also eligible to apply. A clean criminal record check and medical clearance are both required. Applicants who apply as either French or German native speakers will need to demonstrate an English language ability that is equivalent to the B1 level of the Common European Framework of reference for Languages. Any additional teaching qualifications, classroom experience, or voluntary experience with young people will be taken into account during the recruitment process. For further information please visit the official TLG website.

What are the benefits of the Teach and Learn with Georgia Program?

As TLG is a voluntary program it does not attract teachers who are simply looking to earn a high salary. The main attraction for many is that it offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience and personal fulfilment in a region that is a little off the beaten track. Included in the contract are the following extra benefits:

  • Monthly stipend of 750 GEL (400 GEL after tax and host family deduction)
  • Paid airfare in and out of Georgia
  • Room and board with a host family
  • Medical insurance
  • Paid winter holidays