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English tutoring help - do we need the TESOL certificate to work in Poland?


Criminogenesis 1 | 4
15 Feb 2011 #1
Hey

So me and my partner are going traveling around Europe for a bit and we are going to stop in Poland for awhile. We figured an

easy enough way to earn some cash while we are over there is to teach English. What we are wondering is if we need to do

a course on teaching English as a second language. Most of the websites claim to teach English in Poland you need a university degree
and a tesol certificate. So does anyone know if we do need the tesol certificate?

some background....
we are both 21, although we will be 22 around the time we plan to be in Poland.
All my partner's grandparents were born in Poland, however her parents and her are New Zealand citizens.
Poland and New Zealand do have a work scheme set up to allow New Zealand and Polish people to get work visa easier.
We are currently trying to find a tutor to teach us polish. I am beginner level while my partner can understand a fair bit but cannot speak much.

We both will have university qualifications. I will have a bachelor of arts in Psychology and Criminology and my partner will have a bachelor of arts in sociology and media studies.

My partner and i are very active in the New Zealand polish community and my partner is a polish dancing teacher.
Iwona M 1 | 4
15 Feb 2011 #2
Hi I am a Polish and from what I know my friend sister she went to teach there English and she did not had TESOL. I could ask for it if you like in more details. If you both got yours Certificate from Uni then I don't see a reason why any Polish school would say no. Which part of Poland would you like to go???
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
15 Feb 2011 #3
We figured an easy enough way to earn some cash while we are over there is to teach English.

Easy? not really. Most people are looking for teachers who have been here and know the score. You can always work for peanuts, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously. You'll also find that most people won't take a 22 year old seriously - you're just too young. For some reason, Poles prefer older teachers.

It certainly won't be easy for you to find employment anywhere that will pay more than chocolate buttons.

Most of the websites claim to teach English in Poland you need a university degree
and a tesol certificate. So does anyone know if we do need the tesol certificate?

For any school that will go to the effort of getting a work permit (except schools really located in the middle of nowhere who are desperate) - yes, they'll expect a degree and a certificate that includes recognised teaching practice. You certainly won't find any credible employer in cities hiring anyone without a teaching certificate.

my partner is a polish dancing teacher

What's "Polish dancing"?

By all means, come over and try. But be warned - you only have 90 days to sort out all the paperwork. It's also worth pointing out that if you get caught working without a work permit, then it's an automatic year ban from the entire Schengen zone. The 90 day Schengen limit is enforced for non-EU citizens - even if you're not caught in-country, you will probably get caught when leaving the zone. Border runs won't work, either.
smurf 39 | 1,981
15 Feb 2011 #4
if you're only gonna be here for a while then there's hardly any point studying for a TESOL, TEFL, CELTA etc, just get a job in a call centre, it's a crap job but you're only gonna be here for a wee while and unless you actually wanna teach in other countries too then there really ain't much point handing over a fair bit of cash for a teaching qualification that you'll only use for a small while.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
15 Feb 2011 #5
just get a job in a call centre

Yep, plenty of those around who will hire native English speakers without fuss. I know the easyJet call centre here will bite the hand off any native speakers willing to work there - and they're probably one of the few employers who don't have any issue with applying for work permits.
grubas 12 | 1,390
15 Feb 2011 #6
it's a crap job

It's not only crap job but also s h i t t y money.
smurf 39 | 1,981
15 Feb 2011 #7
probably is, but sure if he's only 22 and gonna be in Poland for a wee while it's not like he'll need a ton of cash just enough to keep him in beer and grub.

Although I know some people here who do it and then earn ok money, beat pulling pints and stacking shelves for a living
grubas 12 | 1,390
15 Feb 2011 #8
probably is, but sure if he's only 22 and gonna be in Poland for a wee while it's not like he'll need a ton of cash just enough to keep him in beer and grub.

Not probably,he will have a very hard time to survive on this salary.

Although I know some people here who do it and then earn ok money

What's ok money?Someone I know very well (Polish person but speaks 3 tongues fluently beside Polish) was offered this job in Poznan.The salary is 2000PLN before taxes (makes 1600 net) and they wanted him to pay them 2000PLN (training cost) if he quits within a year.These people are fuking nuts,I guess Indians in India make more than that.Anyway, he did not agree.
smurf 39 | 1,981
15 Feb 2011 #9
Not probably,he will have a very hard time to survive on this salary

The chap could be goin to live with some of his missus' relations. There was no mention of renting or anything like that. 1600zl a month would be alright if he wasn't payin any rent....but if he's gotta pay rent then yea OP you'd be better off trying to find work in a country where the money is better and the only country in Europe with a decent economy at the minute other than Poland is Germany.

What's ok money

Couldn't tell ya lad, depends on your personal situation, if you still live at home with your parents, as so many Polish people in their 20s & 30s do, then 1600zl per month is all profit aint it? Maybe that's the reason so many people here are tied to their mammy's apron strings.
OP Criminogenesis 1 | 4
17 Feb 2011 #10
What's "Polish dancing"?

what do you mean what's polish dancing. try google searching it and it will give you millions of links to it.

Easy? not really. Most people are looking for teachers who have been here and know the score. You can always work for peanuts, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously. You'll also find that most people won't take a 22 year old seriously - you're just too young. For some reason, Poles prefer older teachers.

The polish ambassador for New Zealand already told us the opposite to this. She said it wouldn't be that bad and might be able to help

us in finding job placement. worst case scenario we can't get a teaching job, then im sure we can get a job in hospitality or since the

Warszawa university is a sister university of the one we go to, we could always get jobs that way.

you only have 90 days to sort out all the paperwork. It's also worth pointing out that if you get caught working without a work permit, then it's an automatic year ban from the entire Schengen zone. The 90 day Schengen limit is enforced for non-EU citizens - even if you're not caught in-country, you will probably get caught when leaving the zone. Border runs won't work, either.

The agreement between Poland and New Zealand, will get us a 1 year work and travel visa for all of Poland. so we won't have to worry about that.

Hi I am a Polish and from what I know my friend sister she went to teach there English and she did not had TESOL. I could ask for it if you like in more details. If you both got yours Certificate from Uni then I don't see a reason why any Polish school would say no. Which part of Poland would you like to go???

that would be cool if you could get more details. Current plan is most of the major cities and my partner wishes to go back to her grandparents homeland but supposedly that's now

part of Russia or something. I get quite lost with all the polish names but she knows.

The chap could be goin to live with some of his missus' relations. There was no mention of renting or anything like that. 1600zl a month would be alright if he wasn't payin any rent....but if he's gotta pay rent then yea OP you'd be better off trying to find work in a country where the money is better and the only country in Europe with a decent economy at the minute other than Poland is Germany.

Yes we are planning on staying with family as much as we can while we are there. Also we are asking the polish community to help fund us a bit, as my partner wants to bring back heaps of dancing knowledge. getting money from this job isn't the main point, we want to experience working in another country.
smurf 39 | 1,981
17 Feb 2011 #11
then im sure we can get a job in hospitality or since the

wouldn't bank on it fella. If you can't speak Polish then I really really doubt that'll happen.
Only people under 40 can really speak any english and of that not that many are fluent.

gettin a TEFL or similar will probably cost ya a few bob...so ya gotta ask is it really worth gettin for just a year in Poland?

If you're gonna be staying with family then just do some call centre work man coz I think you'll find it hard to get a school job without a teaching qualification

Also some schools force you to set yourself up as self-employed and they hire you on a contract....kinda outsource thing...it's a pain in the ass to do but you'll prob get some help off your missus relatives with the translation, setting up ZUS, PESEL, NIP etc...all in all it took me about 6 months to do it all...bureaucracy is nuts here.

we are asking the polish community to help fund us a bit

are people in NZ giving you money to move to Poland? Wish they'd done that for me :)

I think you'll be fine anyway lad, you wont be paying rent so the only dosh you'll need is for food and beer and even if you have to do the call centre you should be ok with that, but check out some TEFL, CELTA courses just to see.....oh and some places will only hire you if you've got a CELTA.
OP Criminogenesis 1 | 4
17 Feb 2011 #12
are people in NZ giving you money to move to Poland?

basically yes.

wouldn't bank on it fella. If you can't speak Polish then I really really doubt that'll happen.

had a group of friends go to Poland 2 years ago, they all worked in bars. None of them
found it hard and they spoke bugger all Polish. I will at least be able to have everyday conversations by the time we get there.
smurf 39 | 1,981
17 Feb 2011 #13
they all worked in bars

yea? Where....I gotta move there...unless it's Warsaw, Warsaw sucks
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #14
what do you mean what's polish dancing. try google searching it and it will give you millions of links to it.

Ah, you mean "dances done by people who think that it's Polish when it's actually done by hardly anyone in Poland".

The polish ambassador for New Zealand already told us the opposite to this. She said it wouldn't be that bad and might be able to help
us in finding job placement. worst case scenario we can't get a teaching job, then im sure we can get a job in hospitality or since the
Warszawa university is a sister university of the one we go to, we could always get jobs that way.

She's living in dreamland. For a start, you'll need papers if you intend to work with food - and as for bar jobs, you'll be looking at 8zl an hour maximum. Perhaps a bit more in Warsaw, but then, the cost of living in Warsaw is much higher.

The Polish ambassador, of course, is going to encourage you to spend your money there. But the employment situation sucks for freshly graduated Poles - what makes you think that you'll be able to work here and not them?

The agreement between Poland and New Zealand, will get us a 1 year work and travel visa for all of Poland. so we won't have to worry about that.

You still require a work permit for every job that you take. Therefore - don't expect many employers to consider you, except cash-in-hand. And, knowing how Poles think -a foreigner paid cash in hand can be treated like crap.

Current plan is most of the major cities

Forget about employment in most major cities. I can tell you now that while there are jobs out there, they're not going to go to a pair of fresh faced 22 year olds. About the only thing I can think of would be a job working in a call centre. I actually know some foreign restaurant owners - none of them will hire foreigners. Why bother, when you can get a Polish student for 8zl an hour?

Also we are asking the polish community to help fund us a bit, as my partner wants to bring back heaps of dancing knowledge. getting money from this job isn't the main point, we want to experience working in another country.

I'm sorry to break your partners heart, but "Polish dancing" barely exists here. There's a thread already on here about "polka" - and quite honestly, Polish people are amazed/amused that foreigners seem to think that this goes on here. If you want to get experience in "Polish" dances, move to America.

had a group of friends go to Poland 2 years ago, they all worked in bars.

That's what they told you. The likelihood is that they spent their time doing nothing or working for a pathetically low wage - again, even in my city, Poznan - there's 120,000 students. Why the hell would anyone hire a foreigner? There's just no need.

I know an Aussie who runs a cafe in Krakow. It's not hers, she's just the manager. But she got the job through being very well connected in Krakow - it wasn't like she stepped off the plane and straight into the job.

If you want to come here and explore the (lack of) dancing tradition, great - just don't expect to find much in the way of work to subsidise your stay.
Karl1983 7 | 40
17 Feb 2011 #15
Easy? not really. Most people are looking for teachers who have been here and know the score. You can always work for peanuts, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously. You'll also find that most people won't take a 22 year old seriously - you're just too young. For some reason, Poles prefer older teachers.

Q. Delph is the glass half full or half empty, pessimist or optimist?

A. With Delph always half empty and the biggest pessimist on this site.

Every time someone comes on here about work it's always, " You'll find it hard". Yawn.
There is plenty of work here, I assure you that you'll find something.

Oh how old are you Delph. Let me guess 45 D.o.M ( Date of Menopause?)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #16
A. With Delph always half empty and the biggest pessimist on this site.

Better to be realistic than to pretend that Poland is like London or New York when it comes to finding work.

There is plenty of work here, I assure you that you'll find something.

For a pair of 22 year olds who require work permits? Not so. I don't know any school directors who would hire such a person, unless they were completely desperate - why bother, when there are more and more qualified people turning up? I mean - neither of them have degrees in a related subject, neither of them have any teacher training certificates - and they're also going to be younger than most of their students.

Every time someone comes on here about work it's always, " You'll find it hard". Yawn.

It is hard. You've even posted yourself that you aren't earning enough to live during the summer months - is that really what you'd call "easy"?

Still, you can tell them that it's easy. They'll come here, only to realise that Poland isn't particularly good for foreigners to work in, especially when their age is used against them by ageist Poles who regard age = respect.

Yes, there's always work under the counter to be had in kebab shops and the like - but really, what are they going to do with 5-8zl an hour? The cheapest train ticket from Poznań to Wrocław costs nearly 26zl -that's 3 hours work, just to take a train to the closest nearest city. And that's travelling by Przewozy Regionalne - so hardly comfortable and always full of idiots. Even to visit Berlin (a mere 250km away), you're looking at paying a minimum of 55zl each way per person.

Heck, even to enjoy a beer outside in summer is going to set you back 8-9zl or so.
smurf 39 | 1,981
17 Feb 2011 #17
London

yea coz there's so many jobs in London at the moment...

I don't know any school directors who would hire such a person

c'mon Delph be nice to the person who wants to move to Poland....I'm sure he'll either get work in a call centre or in a Callan school, jesús all ya gotta do to get a job in one of them is be a native speaker and be able to read.

ageist Poles who regard age = respect

I have to disagree with you here man, sorry, but the bosses of these schools are usually in their 50s or 60s, they're usually like 30s or 40s and form my experience then hiring a younger person is better because an older person will be more experienced and demand a higher wage.

heapest train ticket from Poznań to Wrocław costs nearly 26zl -that's 3 hours work

3 hours? a teacher gets about 40-50zl an hour lad....so it's about a half hours work

Dont be so hard on him, if he wants to come here he'll be driven and determined and he'll get work.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #18
yea coz there's so many jobs in London at the moment...

Still loads of jobs there washing dishes and so on - typical Aussie jobs, really ;)

c'mon Delph be nice to the person who wants to move to Poland....I'm sure he'll either get work in a call centre or in a Callan school, jesús all ya gotta do to get a job in one of them is be a native speaker and be able to read.

Call centres, sure - they'll take anyone who speaks English natively. Wages and shifts are rubbish, though.

Callan schools- even they're getting remarkably fussy. They're dying out here - I don't know about elsewhere, but the ones remaining here are more or less moving towards traditional methods now. But - sure - if you want to live somewhere a bit crap, there's always work in those schools. But can you imagine a pair of 22 year olds really having fun in a place like Piła or Bytom? They'll want to be where the life is.

I have to disagree with you here man, sorry, but the bosses of these schools are usually in their 50s or 60s, they're usually like 30s or 40s and form my experience then hiring a younger person is better because an older person will be more experienced and demand a higher wage.

From what I've observed here, the ideal combination is older person who works cheaply. Sure though, the bad schools will happily hire someone just off the plane on 25-30zl an hour - but with crappy shifts and no guarantee of work.

3 hours? a teacher gets about 40-50zl an hour lad....so it's about a half hours work

40-50zl in a decent school, sure. But what decent school is gonna hire a 22 year old with no experience and no teaching certificate?

Heck, there are schools here that demand CELTA+degree and who are only paying 30zl an hour! Usual pattern seems to be "yay, job!" "meh" "fucks sake, they're ripping me off".

Dont be so hard on him, if he wants to come here he'll be driven and determined and he'll get work.

Well, now he knows the deal - it's not a case of stepping off the plane and being welcomed into the first Irish bar he sees with an offer of some work ;)

The biggest problem for him is going to be the work permit, I reckon.

I actually think he could do quite well to contact schools in small places, offering them a team of him and his girlfriend. I'm pretty sure that if they agreed to work 20 hours each for (say) 3000zl netto, they could probably land something quite easily. The money might be crap, but 3000zl netto would be more than enough for a couple to live in a smallish place for a year.
mafketis 25 | 9,338
17 Feb 2011 #19
The polish ambassador for New Zealand already told us the opposite to this.

And just what experience does she have in the market for English teachers?

delphiandomine is no ray of sunshine but he's on the ground and knows the market from the inside. He's also right in saying the Polish bias is for older teachers.

In the early 90's someone like you could sort of stumble into Poland and find a teaching job off the books and leisurely legalize your stay (or semi-legalize it with border runs or just ignore the laws on the books which weren't really enforced).

Those days are long past. Poland is now in the EU and the post communist government is busy making up for lost time when it comes to restaffing and creating useless bureaucracy and enforcing irrational regulations.

Also, bear in mind that Polish regulations are usually poorly worded and ambiguous and the only interpretation that matters is the one that the local bureaucrat comes up with. Once you know the system it's possible to work around it but you don't know the system (it takes at least a year to learn how any new country really works).

If you're determined to come then hope for the best but plan for the worst (enough cash to support yourself and/or get the return ticket home if you can't work things out in time).
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #20
He's also right in saying the Polish bias is for older teachers.

I still suffer from it quite a lot - certainly, I've seen a case of a well qualified 20something being overlooked for a guy in his 40's who didn't have much experience and was clearly a bit weird. Just the way it is here really.

Also, bear in mind that Polish regulations are usually poorly worded and ambiguous and the only interpretation that matters is the one that the local bureaucrat comes up with. Once you know the system it's possible to work around it but you don't know the system (it takes at least a year to learn how any new country really works).

Pretty much bang on. Heck, I've only just discovered that having a driving licence + car makes you very employable, yet I've had both for over 6 months!

And just what experience does she have in the market for English teachers?

I'd be wondering what experience she has with the Polish labour market full stop. The salaries within the Foreign Ministry are way out of line with what they'd get in the private market - and anyway, she's hardly going to be pragmatic when it comes to promoting her own country, is she?

(still wondering where you can do "Polish dancing" here...my local dom kultury doesn't offer it)
Karl1983 7 | 40
17 Feb 2011 #21
It is hard. You've even posted yourself that you aren't earning enough to live during the summer months - is that really what you'd call "easy"?

On the contrary I have a more than comfortable disposal income, however, I inherited a flat over here and need to invest a substantial amount of money to renovate and refurbish it. For a couple of travellers who are looking to have a fun time, they will be fine.

I bet when the next person who enquiries on here, you'll say the same as always.

If you have nothing positive to say why not just keep your trout mouth shut, people can find out themselves, instead of painting a bleak picture. Maybe you're scared of younger competition.

40-50zl in a decent school, sure. But what decent school is gonna hire a 22 year old with no experience and no teaching certificate?

Celta course and sometimes it's better to hire someone with no experience then an old, antique who has picked up bad habits over the years.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #22
On the contrary I have a more than comfortable disposal income, however, I inherited a flat over here and need to invest a substantial amount of money to renovate and refurbish it. For a couple of travellers who are looking to have a fun time, they will be fine.

I somehow doubt it - you posted this just a few weeks ago - What do English Teachers do during the summer for work?

Someone with a "more than comfortable disposal (sic) income" wouldn't need to be working in bars during the summer. I also have my great doubts that a school which has hired an Indian as a "native speaker" is going to be paying particularly well, and if you were earning so well, why are you only charging 35zl/hour for classes?

I bet when the next person who enquiries on here, you'll say the same as always.

Depends on what their background is. People with a bit of savvy and experience in the real world tend to do well here.

If you have nothing positive to say why not just keep your trout mouth shut, people can find out themselves, instead of painting a bleak picture. Maybe you're scared of younger competition.

Why should I "keep my mouth shut"? It's a discussion forum - deal with it. As for them finding out for themselves - sure, they can - but I somehow doubt you'll be giving them money when they've got problems with money and can't do anything, while being stuck in a flat with some elderly relative in some depressing cesspit.

I mean, living in Bytom might be fine for you, but I can't imagine anything worse than to live somewhere like that, especially for a young couple.

As for being scared of younger competition - what on earth would I have to fear from someone willing to work for peanuts? The Polish market appreciates high prices and the ability to issue an invoice ;)

Celta course and sometimes it's better to hire someone with no experience then an old, antique who has picked up bad habits over the years.

They don't sound like they're willing to do the CELTA. If they are - fair play, that will open doors for them. As for hiring an "old antique with bad habits" - generally speaking, any credible school will hire credible people.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,840
17 Feb 2011 #23
sometimes it's better to hire someone with no experience then an old, antique who has picked up bad habits over the years.

what total rubbish. Don't diss my years of bitter experience, classroom and people management, proper understanding of grammar, teacher development, etc etc, all of which have contributed to make me the fantastic teacher I am today, worth way more than a fresh faced "traveller" with a brand new online CELTA

Ah me, the arrogance of youth!!
jonni 16 | 2,485
17 Feb 2011 #24
So does anyone know if we do need the tesol certificate?

Yes, if you want to do a half decent job. Remember people are paying for the lessons.

we are both 21

Maybe at a summer camp.

had a group of friends go to Poland 2 years ago, they all worked in bars. None of them found it hard and they spoke bugger all Polish.

That doesn't ring true.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Feb 2011 #25
That doesn't ring true.

Have you ever met a native English speaker working in a bar as normal bar staff, not as a manager/owner in Poland?

I know one Mexican guy who was working in some really dodgy Shisha bar for 6zl an hour, as well as some Arab guy who was working for 5zl an hour in a pretty dingy kebab shop. Both of them were working illegally.

One concern I'd have are about these relatives - are they really going to be pleasant to stay with?
jonni 16 | 2,485
17 Feb 2011 #26
Have you ever met a native English speaker working in a bar as normal bar staff

Never in 11 years, though I've occasionally helped out a friend when her barmaid has been off sick. The customers could barely believe it!
smurf 39 | 1,981
17 Feb 2011 #27
or Bytom

but you'd get to learn to speak po slasku :P

But what decent school is gonna hire a 22 year old with no experience and no teaching certificate?

yea, Bytom isn't far form me and I'd say you'd be the only native speaker...but yea still...he'd have to live in Bytom and I cant see Polish dancing being much of a draw in Slask.

There's some really good points to be taken on board before you come here OP, if you plan on staying longer than a year or going to teach somewhere else then do your TESOL/CELTA etc if not then it's prob not worth it just for a year and head along to the nearest call centre.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
18 Feb 2011 #28
but you'd get to learn to speak po slasku :P

Oh jeez. I'd probably also learn how to beat people ;)

yea, Bytom isn't far form me and I'd say you'd be the only native speaker...but yea still...he'd have to live in Bytom and I cant see Polish dancing being much of a draw in Slask.

I can't see Polish dancing being much of a draw anywhere - I asked everyone in the pub tonight and no-one had a clue where to find such a thing. I'm convinced that it's a Polonia thing, rather than Polish thing.

The real problem is that the days of "hello, I'm a native" seem to be well and truly over.
mafketis 25 | 9,338
18 Feb 2011 #29
The real problem is that the days of "hello, I'm a native" seem to be well and truly over.

That should be "The days of "Hello, I'm a native. Where's my job?" are over. Not good news for random people who blow into Poland but better news for those who know what they're doing and generally better news for learners.
smurf 39 | 1,981
18 Feb 2011 #30
learn how to beat people

hahaha, could come in handy if you cross over in Chorzów :)

hello, I'm a native" seem to be well and truly over

Thank f€ck I got here just in time then

I'm convinced that it's a Polonia thing

Must be, the only place I've heard of it is on this forum


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