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I am currently 75% through an on line TEFL course & moving to Krakow


PADDYTR 2 | 19
25 May 2011  #1
Cześć,
Im a 30 year old Irish guy who will be moving to Krakow to be with my girlfriend of 4 years, who recently returned to Poland.I will arrive in mid august and hope to stay for a few years at least ,if not more.I am currently 75% through an on line TEFL course an would hope to gain employment in this field, but after doing much research i have come to the conclusion that most language schools are looking for 2 years teaching experience and a university degree (both of which i unfortunately do not have), is it possible to gain employment as a native speaker in this field without those requirements and if not what prospects as an English speaker with a limited (but progressing slowly)knowledge of the Polish language are? I wont be looking for employers to give me accommodation or pay for air line tickets or anything like that, would that make a difference with potential employers i dont know.

Also i would like to add that i am not moving to Poland just to go crazy and work for beer money, i intend to start a new life and hopefully a family so it is real important that i get as much honest feedback from this weather it is negative or positive.
Harry
25 May 2011  #2
Pity that you've wasted your money on that course, nobody here recognises those. If you want to get trained, do a CELTA (there's a place in Krakow which offers the course). If you don't have a degree but you do have a CELTA, you will find work. If you have neither a degree nor a CELTA, it will be much much more difficult. Especially in Krakow (the city attracts a lot of people who decide to live there and then look for a way of supporting themselves).

I wont be looking for employers to give me accommodation or pay for air line tickets or anything like that, would that make a difference with potential employers i dont know.

Yes, it does make a difference: it means that you are far less hassle to them, and school like their teachers to be as little hassle as possible.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
25 May 2011  #3
Thanks for the speedy reply Harry, first of all i am aware of the CELTA course but im afraid due to my work commitments in ireland and the price i was unable to commit to 4 weeks intense course that would of cost 1500+ euro and the price of accommodation to stay 4 weeks in dublin i opted for the TEFL online, it was also advised to me that the TEFL starts you at a more basic level and that i should consider a CELTA after maybe 1 years experience ( but its a case of the old CATCH 22)

have you any other advice for an english speaker in Krakow, in terms of employment opportunities
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
25 May 2011  #4
advice for an english speaker in Krakow, in terms of employment opportunities

Move out of Krakow. It is the worst place to be if you're chasing work. Too many people in the same situation. Warsaw is a better bet, though on the whole Poland is not the place to be if you want to teach English and have no qualifications or experience. There are a few places called Callan Method 'schools' that might be your best bet - there are lists of them online.
Dominicus - | 23
25 May 2011  #5
Kraków is the worst place in Poland to look for a job as an English teacher: far too much competition from people much better qualified than you are. I've been living and teaching English in Poland for 9 years, in Skierniwice and Wrocław. All the legitimate schoools require a university degree. I'd be wary of one that doesn't; sounds like a scam outfit.

You could try to give private lessons, but it will take you some time to build up a clientele big enough to support yourself, never mind a family. That will be especially hard in Kraków because of the competition; there are lots of native speakers who live there and many of them offer private lessons. Breaking into the market would be a challenge.

The on-line TEFL course is worthless. No one will recognize or accept it. Whether you need accommodation or airfare is irrelevant and will have no effect on your job prospects.

As for jobs other than English teacher, forget about it. Competition for jobs of any sort is fierce, and the wages are generally depressingly low, even if you did have a college degree.

Again, it would be best for you to stay in Ireland and bring your GF over. It will be MUCH easier to find work in Ireland than for you to find work in Poland, especially if you want to earn enough to support a family.

Your chances of finding work as an English teacher might be somewhat higher in the "province", away from the larger cities where foreigners tend to congregate. But that's hit or miss, and I would count on it.

Your best bet is to stay in Ireland and bring your fiancee back there. Or to get a job with an Irish, British or even American company to work in Poland. Chances are slim, however, unless you have some very special skills to sell. Again, your lack of a university degree greatly reduces your chances.

Last of all, go back to school and get a university degree. You'll be glad you did when you have bills to pay.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
25 May 2011  #6
All sounds a bit depressing but it isn't that bad. Teaching in Krakow is tough but not impossible to start from scratch. Don't count on private lessons to be the bulk of your income when you first move over. There are plenty of schools out there so get your cv ready and email them before moving over. Best bet as earlier stated would be to try the Callan schools but also depends on what time of the year you're planning on going.

If you need some advice about Krakow don't hesitate to contact me ;)
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #7
thanks for the feed back guys, its appreciated even as negative as most of it is,i would like to state that me moving to krakow is not a thought it is something that is happening in august so staying in ireland will not be an option for the near future my girlfriend spent almost 6 years in ireland and she wants to take some time to be near her family,and also i would like to experience the real poland not just a week here and there every few months,im not worried about getting a job im very confident in my abilities and i have a very determined attitude i dont give up on anything in life that easily, i was just looking for advice and opinion on the "teaching " topic

,

If you need some advice about Krakow don't hesitate to contact me ;)

i would love to take you up on that offer , i do know krarow pretty good, well the city area any way,but any information that could benefit us would be greatly appreciated , may i ask where you are from and where in poland you reside ?

thanks
Harry
26 May 2011  #8
All the legitimate schoools require a university degree. I'd be wary of one that doesn't; sounds like a scam outfit.

Every school I taught at employed people who did not have a university degree (and almost all of them were PASE approved). The only schools which insist on a university degree are the ones which are MEN inspected.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #9
while i am familiar with what P.A.S.E is,could you explain to me what MEN. is?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
26 May 2011  #10
thanks for the feed back guys, its appreciated even as negative as most of it is,i would like to state that me moving to krakow is not a thought it is something that is happening in august so staying in ireland will not be an option for the near future my girlfriend spent almost 6 years in ireland and she wants to take some time to be near her family

Are you sure teaching English is for you?

Bear one thing in mind - Polish employers are ruthless. If you mess up too much for their liking, they'll cut the work from you without blinking an eyelid - especially in Krakow where they can replace a native without any effort whatsoever. You can also expect students to be demanding - after all, it's their money.

You'd be best to try and get a job in a Callan school - but - they're going to pay absolutely peanuts. 30zl an hour, with no holiday pay or health insurance isn't going to go especially far in Poland if you've got a family to feed - especially combined with the ridiculously antisocial hours.

Now - if your girlfriend is earning good money by Polish standards (let's say - anything over 5000zl gross) - then it might work. But if she's working in a low earning job, you're going to find it a real struggle - no job security, in a competitive city full of people willing to offer "konwersacje" for beer money - it's really not a good bet if you want a future.

If you want to make it work in Poland, then my advice is to go to somewhere unfashionable. Rzeszow, Bialystok, Lodz et al.
Ajb 6 | 232
26 May 2011  #11
I would also agree with most of the above, although I know of people working in private language schools who don't have a university degree but have TEFL. Most of these work in Callan schools which but also "teach" traditional text book based courses.

If you have sent in stone the idea of coming to Poland to teach I would have to agree with the others when they say, stay away from Krakow and maybe head to a smaller city or town! Should you want more information I would look up the thread "Some cold, hard facts about teaching in Poland for newbies"

Never the less I wish you all the best!
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #12
Are you sure teaching English is for you?

well i guess there is only one way to find that out.

if i got paid a survivable wage for the 6months to a year it wouldnt really bother me as long as i got the relevant experience and class time, i have put a lot of hours and study into this so i would like to try and make a go of it,but the only way of knowing do i suit this line of work or does this line of work suit me is by giving it a go. i dont have a family yet and dont really intend to start one without being somewhat financially stable, and like i said before i am a very determined person and if i put my mind to something i can usually come out on top, my down fall is that i dont really have an extensive knowledge in this area

on another point what is the chances of getting work in the hospitality sector in poland(i am a chef for the past 7 years)or in the construction industry (i come from a construction backround and worked for a while in this area/also a hobby of mine) if i do not speak or have a broad knowledge of polish language??
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
26 May 2011  #13
I think the degree thing is simply a way to insist on minimum standards - it's not totally compulsory (especially for Callan schools) - but in a fiercely competitive market like Krakow, they can afford to throw out any CV that doesn't have a degree listed.

I have a very experienced friend that works in Krakow - and she's telling me that the market is simply saturated. She owns a school - and she's now managing to hire natives for 40zl an hour - and this is a traditional school, not Callan or any other "method".

Krakow might be beautiful yada yada - but it's also going to be the hardest place to find a job in Poland.

i intend to start a new life and hopefully a family

Then try and get a job in a high school in a small town. Although there are regulations surrounding the education of teachers, a blind eye is frequently turned, especially in smaller places. But at the same time - you'll be paid in accordance with the national scale, which means about 800zl a month after tax.
Maaarysia
26 May 2011  #14
MEN

Ministry of Education.
Harry
26 May 2011  #15
could you explain to me what MEN. is?

Polish ministry of education.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #16
Should you want more information I would look up the thread "Some cold, hard facts about teaching in Poland for newbies"

i have read that thread and many others like it, and i know i will not just waltz into a top paid job, im starting at the bottom in this industry and know there is a lot of more qualified teachers out there , but as i said i am determined to make it in poland,and while i do acknowledge that krakow is probably not the best place to start,it happens to be where i will arrive and where i have to start, i has been suggested to me me that commuting to tarnów or rybnik from krakow is an option

can i ask of those who posted to my thread how many of you live or have lived in krakow?and are you polish? and if not when and where did you arrive in poland?

thanks.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
26 May 2011  #17
i has been suggested to me me that commuting to tarnów or rybnik from krakow is an option

Problem with this is that you'll find that much of your money gets eaten up in commuting costs. The small towns won't pay so well, and public transport isn't *that* cheap.

Is there any special reason for living in Krakow? You'll find that schools in small towns will be far more willing to ignore the lack of degree/etc.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #18
the special reason is a special woman....mmwahh : )
i initially wanted to move to krakow because it is a beautiful city and i kind of fell in love with it(that love is quickly dying at the moment)

my girlfriend recently got a job there marketing for a catering company so we kind of have a tie to the place now but im not stuck on staying in krakow for good i would love to head to the north-east for a while (she is from mazuri) but i didnt think there would be much prospects of work for the both of us
Harry
26 May 2011  #19
i didnt think there would be much prospects of work for the both of us

I'd imagine that the prospects there would be better for you than in Krakow.
Ajb 6 | 232
26 May 2011  #20
has been suggested to me me that commuting to tarnów or rybnik fro

Well you wouldn't want to do that for very long at all, it may not look far on the map but it would be quite time consuming and not ideal at all!

Dude, i started at the bottom and lived in a small town with only one native speaker, me! It is a good way to get a years experience but is frustrating and can leave you unsure why you even bothered! You said your determined so you will manage to find something or other!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
26 May 2011  #21
I'd imagine that the prospects there would be better for you than in Krakow.

Definitely in Bialystok - it's a big place, yet no-one wants to live there. Plenty of demand, little competition - what's not to like?

AJ, you realise that we're going to put you on a train back to that small town this weekend? ;)
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #22
Dude, i started at the bottom and lived in a small town with only one native speaker, me! It is a good way to get a years experience but is frustrating and can leave you unsure why you even bothered! You said your determined so you will manage to find something or other!

so maybe that is something to consider,but for the moment my destination is krakow, but if i got a live in position where i could return to krakow on weekends while i got experience i could live with that

i've always had the theory that if you look hard enough for work you will find it
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
26 May 2011  #23
so maybe that is something to consider,but for the moment my destination is krakow, but if i got a live in position where i could return to krakow on weekends while i got experience i could live with that

I can tell you that accepting accomodation from a Polish employer is equal to putting a gun to your head.

i've always had the theory that if you look hard enough for work you will find it

True, when you speak the language fluently.

Give yourself a fighting chance and do the CELTA. If you do that and pass it (especially if you do it in Krakow) - you can use the duration of the course to go and talk to potential employers.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #24
I can tell you that accepting accomodation from a Polish employer is equal to putting a gun to your head.

duly noted!!

i do intend to do a CELTA,and have also thought about volunteering my self to some school for a month just to have in my cv, and starting in two weeks i do 1 or 2 days sit in at an english language camp for kids near my city,weather that will be seen as experience i dont know
Harry
26 May 2011  #25
weather that will be seen as experience i dont know

Not trying to seem picky here, but you might like to study the English language a bit.
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #26
whether
my apologies ,
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
26 May 2011  #27
Harry, no, no need to be so picky...
Englishpoznan 4 | 102
26 May 2011  #28
Have you not thought about opening your own business over here?
OP PADDYTR 2 | 19
26 May 2011  #29
it is something we have discussed, but alas we dont have the collateral , kind of been traveling around the last few years son have'nt got a whole lot of savings, we are however looking into these eu grants, but a guy i spoke to today said something that got me thinking, if you start up something it will have to be something original,if i were to follow other successful business' i would be already chasing other better known more reputable business'..............so if i were to do something like that i would need 1/an original idea 2/ money 3/a lot more time to think about it

but yes that would be an ideal scenario , thanks
Englishpoznan 4 | 102
26 May 2011  #30
You are right you need an original idea. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to set up a small business and it could be your best bet in the long run. I don't know krakow to well but just for example what about opening an all things English/Irish shop there must be enough expats and tourists in krakow for something like this to work.


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