How’s about teaching abroad, eh Canadians?
You’ve decided to try your hand at teaching English abroad. Good on yah! Assuming you are already TEFL qualified, etc, you‘re pretty much set to go. If not, that‘s the next step. For those who are TEFLized though, visa and immigration restrictions are getting tighter, permission to work legally abroad isn’t as hassle-free as it once was. Getting yourself sorted with the least amount of heartache, really depends on researching well where you want to go.
TEFL Teaching Hot-spots
There’s South East Asia – where English teaching jobs are plentiful. Schools often organize someone to sort out the paperwork and salaries are competitive. Teaching days can be quite long though, and you may end up being the only native English speaker for miles. A good choice for those looking for the immersion-type, out of my culture, out of my comfort-zone experience.
South America? An attractive option; lots of sunshine, milder climates. Think friendly natives, and the chance to use that high school Spanish of yours. The downside, economic and political stability can be iffy in some places. Research and choose wisely my son.
Europe? Perhaps. Long histories, gourmet cuisine, great wines and beers, beautiful architecture, the work-life balance of the European lifestyle… Yeah, but so many choices, where should I go? So glad you asked! Canada and the Czech Republic have a friendly, history of mutual appreciation – the NHL, Molson-Coors / Staropramen… The reciprocal youth mobility visa arrangement between the two countries means if you are between the ages of 18 and 35 when you apply, the chance to teach abroad might be easier to grab than you think. The Czech Republic, Prague especially, has a thriving TEFL industry and culture. It’s a great place to get qualified before moving on to the next leg of your teaching journey or the perfect place to start your teaching career, maybe and even settle down. (Great, cheap beer and solid hockey culture, what’s not to love?)
In a nutshell, you will need:
- passport (obviously)
- visa application form (available for download; see the address at the end of the article)
- 2 identical recent photographs of you (again obviously; with all your clothes on, looking mildly respectable. What the photo doesn’t show, well…)
- return ticket, or flight reservation, or proof that you have enough cash to buy one and won’t be stranded in the CZ (and forced to sing Coldplay songs outside the metro for spare change)
- proof of financial resources enough to cover the cost of setting yourself up; the minimum 2.500 CAD and maybe an additional 1.500 CAD to cover the flight home. Together something close to 4.000 CAD. (Usually as a letter from your bank, stating your accounts are in good standing, your balance and that you have a credit/debit card allowing access to your money from the CZ.)
- declaration arranging for health insurance prior to your arrival and for the duration, with minimum coverage of EUR 60.000 (approx. 85.000 CAD)
- declaration of your plans to stay in the CZ for vacation with the possibility of employment to supplement your income. If you can get a pre-contract letter from an employer or school in the CZ, all the better. For people applying to a TEFL course, this would mean doing a course with the intention of sticking around to teach afterward.
Most of this you can do digitally or by post via your nearest Czech consulate or embassy.
For more detailed information have a look HERE.