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Australian looking to teach English in Poland


James341
31 Mar 2014 #1
I'm 25 year old Australian male with a BA and honours (I.e. 1 year post grad course), seriously considering moving to Poland to work as an English language teacher. Hoping to get info/opinions on the feasibility of supporting myself as an English teacher in Poland. Happy for general advice and thoughts, but if anyone wanys to answer some of these questions I'd be very grateful! Reading through the other threads on this site, it seems that work is easier to get outside the major cities, are there any cities that strike a good balance between size and demand? I have yet to do a TEFL course or similar, is there a recommended course? Will being a non EU citizen make it significantly harder to gain work? Is there anything I can do in australia, other than learn polish, that will look good on my CV? If possible, should I try to lock in a job before I leave?

Any help is appreciated!

James
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
31 Mar 2014 #2
In the big cities, unless you're cheap (50 or sub 50 an hour) don't expect to be that busy unless you already know people who'll give you work. Locally all I hear is "very quiet" (from the established ones who charge only about 60 or 65). That said, charge a lot less and you might be very busy if you have the strength to do a lot of cheap lessons each day, I don't know. If you do get going, don't forget you've tax to pay at 20% on your earnings plus min 400 approx. ZUS each month for 2 years, then 1000 per month ZUS - whether you made a cent or not. Some schools may offer work, but stories about not getting paid for long periods are not uncommon.

Lots of threads here on this, do a search.
DominicB - | 2,704
31 Mar 2014 #3
Hoping to get info/opinions on the feasibility of supporting myself as an English teacher in Poland.

Basically, that boat has sailed. You're about fifteen years too late. The accession of Poland into the EU, the economic crisis, an increasing number of qualified Polish English teachers, and scads of unemployed and unemployable British and Irish slackers who will teach for peanuts have all driven wages down, increased competition, and contributed to making teaching English for non-EU not a very attractive option, especially in the big, popular cities like Wrocław, Kraków and Warsaw.

Few schools are willing to go through the hassle of getting work permission for a non-EU citizen, and fewer and fewer offer full-time work contracts, opting instead for freelance "garbage contracts", which are useless for establishing residency. The profitable contracts with companies to teach employees on the job have also largely dried up due to the economic crisis. A few opportunities might be found off the beaten track in the hinterlands, but it's probably not worth the time and effort to seek them out as those jobs will become less attractive in the coming years.

Furthermore, wages have stagnated or gone down over the last few years, while the cost of living has gone up considerably, so even as a slacking-off, slumming-it year or two adventurous break from real life, it's not at all attractive anymore, and you might well end up spending more than you make, especially if you calculate in airfare to Poland and back and the cost of getting a residence permit. Setting yourself up as a freelance operator is not really an attractive option for non-EU citizens. You'll need a real work contract to establish residency, and those are getting very hard to come by.

Like InWrocław said, there are plenty of threads about this on this forum.

Is there anything I can do in australia, other than learn polish, that will look good on my CV?

It would be absurd to beef up your CV in order to get a measly job as an English teacher in Poland. Beef it up so that you can get a better real job at home. Under the best circumstances, it will take you over two years to learn Polish well enough to communicate relatively easily, and probably longer. It's highly unlikely that you will spend that long in Poland before giving it up, so there's no point in learning Polish.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
31 Mar 2014 #4
popular cities like Wrocław, Kraków and Warsaw.

And I think I'm right in saying there's actually free English groups at a venue in this city for people at the shopping malls. I am only guessing but I think if some tutors are doing it free, it kind of suggests there's not a lot of paid work. I mean no offence, am just thinking if tutors are doing it free then there can't be huge demand and what I'm hearing on the ground from people who were doing it successfully in the past is that trade's nowadays much less busy to say the least. It might be Skype or a new influx of natives causing that, I don't know.
DominicB - | 2,704
31 Mar 2014 #5
And I think I'm right in saying there's actually free English groups at a venue in this city for people at the shopping malls.

That's right. Tuesdays at Skytower, and Thursdays at Renoma. I've been running these groups for six years, but unfortunately have to return to the States in a month. If you're interested in taking over, stop by. We meet from 18:00 to 21:00, in Skytower on the first floor at 212 Lifestyle cafe, and at Renoma on the first floor in from of the French connection. Talk to the handsome dude with the long white beard.

There are other groups scattered throughout the city as well on different nights. I know there's one in Chopper Bar in the Old Town, for example.

By the way, I do it as my charity project.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
31 Mar 2014 #6
If you are under 31/32 then last week Poland singed some agreement with Australia and soon Poles under that age will be able to work in Australia without permit for 1 year and Australian in Poland. Don't know details because the law is not implemented yet.
TaiCat 1 | 30
1 Apr 2014 #7
It's called Working Holiday Visa
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Apr 2014 #8
Furthermore, wages have stagnated or gone down over the last few years,

Getting worse...here's a native speaker's ad, and it's the cheapest price I've ever seen: just 20PLN per hour (previous lowest ever was 30)
jon357 63 | 15,061
11 Apr 2014 #9
20zl per hour! That's a scandal - the person must be truly short of money to buy food if they're doing that.

Mind you, they almost certainly aren't a teacher of any sort - just some bod who'll accept money to chat.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Apr 2014 #10
20zl per hour!

Like I said, cheapest I've ever seen. Cheapest I saw previously was on a lamp-post ad for 30 per hour. Often the 30 an hour ads are fuill of English mistakes, leading one to conclude the person is either carefess or English isn't their subject after all. However, I had a quick look at the 20 bod above and seems his English is fine, albeit a small sample and me not being a professor to judge, but anyway! I can only imagine that he tried for 30 or even 25 and got little by way of response. From what I hear, things are dismal.
Tamarisk
11 Apr 2014 #11
WTF is up with the pic of the kid crawling on that grubby looking beach? That alone would put me off.

Love how the ad states that the lesson can extend 2-3 hours. Not bad for the student I suppose. 20 zloty for a three hours lesson.
Harry
11 Apr 2014 #12
the ad states that the lesson can extend 2-3 hours. Not bad for the student I suppose.

Actually it is bad: three hours is far too long for a lesson, even two hours is too long for a one-to-one lesson, there's no way somebody can maintain the necessary concentration to learn effectively for three hours.
jon357 63 | 15,061
11 Apr 2014 #13
Would they learn anything at all? It's a total drag when people masquerading as teachers talk about so-called comversation classes and say "all I do is chat'" without ever realising themselves that there's a whole range of techniques for 1-1 teaching that are probably harder to master than normal language teaching methodology and certainly much harder to put in to practice effectively.

That and a sequential structure to the course of lessons. Without it, they're just a form of masturbation; except perhaps somewhat less enjoyable.
kennyway
11 Apr 2014 #14
Hello James,

I have a good Job for you that you can use as a part time there in Poland while looking for your main Job

Contact me on email to " kentian81 (@) gmail . com " for more details
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Apr 2014 #15
carefess

Classic!

Love how the ad states that the lesson can extend 2-3 hours. Not bad for the student I suppose. 20 zloty for a three hours lesson.

Yes, well spotted! It does seem like he's saying 20 ZL buys "a session" which he defines as up to 3 hours depending on his schedule. What a guy, he's obviously a very giving person!
Forumsuser13 1 | 11
18 Jul 2014 #16
Australia and Poland sign a work and holiday agreement
(From Department of Immigration website: immi.gov.au/News/Pages/australia-poland-sign-work-holiday-agreement.aspx)

On 28 March 2014, Australia and Poland announced that a reciprocal work and holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangement between our two countries had been signed.

The arrangement, when brought into effect, will enable young adults (aged 18 - 30 years) from Poland and Australia to enjoy an extended holiday in each other's country, during which they may undertake short term work and study. There will be 200 places on offer for each country per programme year.

The work and holiday arrangement will not commence until a start date has been agreed by both countries. This can take some time as administrative processes on both sides are finalised.

Once a commencement date has been announced, eligible young adults from Poland and Australia will be able to apply for this visa.
Tamarisk
19 Jul 2014 #17
There will be 200 places on offer for each country per programme year.

Hardly seems worth it for that few spots.
Flor
2 Aug 2014 #18
So much negativity on here, goodness me.
Gosiaa 2 | 89
16 Nov 2014 #19
I'm sure you will find something as long as you will be living in one of the big cities. There are plenty of jobs for IT specialists . How about tour guide ?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,799
16 Nov 2014 #20
yes you could find something - have a look on tefl.com
Although Dominic does speak some truth !
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
16 Nov 2014 #21
Once a commencement date has been announced, eligible young adults from Poland and Australia will be able to apply for this visa.

Commencement date started yet? There were a 50 or so young adults from Oz on a plane with me arriving at Wrocław recently. Or at least it sounded like that from the noise. Maybe there were just 3.
moniq
24 Nov 2014 #22
Why is each foreigner going for teaching?

Maybe try some service centres? Call centers etc?
Some secretary/administration jobs/international big companies with english as a company's language, that require native english??
DominicB - | 2,704
25 Nov 2014 #23
If you are not a technical specialist, especially in the IT field, the only jobs for you in call centers are cold-call sales and low-level bill collection, neither of which I would wish on a dog, nor pays enough to live on. It's the cottonpicking of the twenty first century.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
25 Nov 2014 #24
At least working hours are shorter.
DominicB - | 2,704
25 Nov 2014 #25
True, but you're cooped up in a dingy maze of tiny cubicles instead of being out in the fresh air and sunshine. And none of those moving spiritual songs to brighten your day.


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