With just over 10 million inhabitants, the Czech Republic has evolved into a hub for investment and tourism after officially splitting from former Czechoslovakia in 1993. It’s also become one of the most popular destinations to teach English abroad. English teachers at public schools and language academies are in demand, and the opportunity to privately tutor has grown in recent years.
Experience a place where east European culture meets west, a haven for beer enthusiasts and historical connoisseurs alike. Get your fill of strong Czech beer from one of its well-known breweries, explore the nation’s several thousand castles and castle ruins, and then learn more about the Bohemian way of life as a Guest English Teacher (GET) in the Czech Republic.
CULTURAL TIPS AND TABOOS FOR TEACHING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Family is the center of the Czech Republic’s social structure. Rules are closely followed, and punctuality is an important aspect of the culture.
Business casual attire is considered appropriate for both males and females at school. Teachers are highly respected, as a difference in levels of power exists within the workplace.
Tip: If invited to a Czech home, it’s customary to remove your shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring a gift.
Taboo: Sitting down for a meal before being instructed to do so might be perceived as rude.
Tip: Although visitors are often treated as friends, locals rarely refer to people outside their family (or close friends) on a first-name basis.
Taboo: Avoid calling someone by the first name until invited to do so. It may be seen as an attempt to humiliate, especially if it’s an older person.
Learning some simple expressions in the language of Czech is easy and necessary. Consonants generally sound the same no matter what words they’re in, and long vowels should be held twice as long as short, but both are pronounced similarly. Here are some basics phrases to get you started:
Hello/Good day (formal): do-bree dehn
Hello (informal): ahoy
Nice to meet you: tye-shee mye
How are you? (formal): yak seh mah-te
How are you? (informal): yak-seh mahsh
I’m well: mahm se do-breh
Thank you: dyekooyee
Please/You're welcome: proseem
Goodbye (formal): nah skledah-noh
Goodbye (informal): chow
HOW TO GET A TEACHING JOB IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Most public schools in the Czech Republic hire for teaching positions starting in September or January, although options for GETs in private institutions are usually available year-round. Jobs are much harder to come by in Prague due to its international reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe.
Consider teaching outside of Prague for less competition, possibly higher pay, and a chance to take in more of the country and culture. The Czech Republic has an extensive mass rail system. Even if placed outside the nation’s capital, it wouldn’t be difficult or too costly to travel there during time off.
A TESOL/TEFL or a CELTA certification isn't required to get an English teaching position in the Czech Republic; however, in order to be a competitive candidate, it’s best to get certified. Highly qualified applicants have both a Bachelor’s in English, as well as a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate.
General information about teaching at public schools in the Czech Republic:
Most teaching positions in public schools are available in smaller cities throughout the Czech Republic. Getting a public school job in Prague is difficult. Full-time teachers work an average of 25 hours per week.
Basic qualifications to teach at a public school:
- Bachelor’s degree in English (or related field)
- TESOL/TEFL or CELTA certificate for non-English degrees
- Previous teaching experience preferred
General information about teaching at private language academies in the Czech Republic:
There are many opportunities to teach in private language academies all over the country. Private institutes hire teachers year-round, and offer convenient working hours (usually after school). It’s also easier to get a job in a private academy.
Basic qualifications to teach at a private language academy:
- TESOL/TEFL or CELTA certificate
- Flexibility in regional placement
- Some private schools require EU citizenship
Privately tutoring English in the Czech Republic:
Private English tutors are in demand. To supplement your income, look for opportunities to privately tutor children, adults, or even employees of companies offering to train their workforce. The average hourly wage for a private lesson is about $18 USD, depending on experience and qualifications.
TEACHER SALARIES, HOUSING, AND COST OF LIVING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The average salary for an English teacher in a language school in the Czech Republic is around $900 USD per month (ranging from $600 to $1,200). The average cost of living nationwide is about equal to the monthly income of a GET.
While the salary may not be very enticing, keep in mind the cost of living in the Czech Republic is less than in most other European countries. Even the cost of living in Prague is lower when compared to other famous travel destinations around Europe. Although you may not be able to save money while living in the Czech Republic, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy living in an unforgettable place.
Most schools offer housing or assist teachers with finding accommodation since the availability of apartments tends to be scarce. It’s not uncommon to be living in a complex with other foreign teachers and/or workers, or even with a Czech family. Rent in Prague is quite high in contrast to other cities and regions of the country, but prices can be negotiated. Overall, living conditions are simple and suitable for one person.
VISA REQUIREMENTS TO WORK IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Service providers such as Teach Away, offer help with getting the required short-term or long-term visa to work in the Czech Republic. Long-term visas are valid for up to six months.
To enter the country, teachers must show proof of employment and accommodation, and be able to prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves while living and working in the country. Visa processing time can be lengthy, so it’s recommended to start the process early.
Check out the country’s embassy website for more information about visa requirements.
WHY YOU SHOULD TEACH ENGLISH IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech Republic is one of the most sought-after places to teach English as a second language, and there are numerous ways to land a teaching position within public schools and private academies throughout the picturesque country. With its fairytale-like architecture, popular beer halls, welcoming residents, and charming countryside, the Czech Republic captivates all those who pass through or stay awhile.