Belgium is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters. It is a country of 11 million inhabitants which is bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. It is also across the North Sea from the United Kingdom.
Linguistically the country is divided into Dutch speakers (approx. 59%, known colloquially as the Flemish) and French speakers (approx. 40%, known colloquially as the Walloons) with a smaller group of German speakers. Many people speak excellent English also and have access to British television stations being so close to the UK.
The country has relatively mild summers and cool winters and the people are known for their hospitality. Chocolate, french fries with mayonnaise and beer are Belgian specialties!
In general you’ll need a degree and a TEFL Certificate such as the IWEB TEFL Certificate to get work. Many jobs are not advertised online and can be found by approaching the schools directly when you are in the country. This also opens up the opportunity to find work if you are not fully qualified or do not hold an appropriate visa.
Check out The Bulletin which advertises jobs.
The country is home to many, many foreigners (almost a third) and thus English has become almost the lingua franca; there are many opportunities for private lessons and in all likelihood the classes you teach at language schools will be made up of non-Belgians also.
Reportedly there is a high turnover of teachers so finding work need not be necessarily that difficult.
Prices and Pay
Accommodation is affordable even in the center of the capital, Brussels, and the country offers a very decent standard of living.
Pay in schools can be between 20 – 40 euro per hour depending on your level of experience and qualifications; this is before tax which runs between 20 – 25% although in your first year you will not pay tax.
Some schools will pay a normal salary, but these jobs will go to very well qualified and experienced teachers only with an MA in TEFL or similar.
To work in Belgium you will need to hold a passport from an EU country which allows you to enter the country freely and work there without a problem or visa.
If you do not have a passport from an EU member state, you may still be able to get work but it will be much harder. Your employer will be able to do the paperwork to get you a B Permit which is valid for that employer only and for one year. If you remain in the country for several years you may be able to transfer this to an A Permit which does not expire and allows you to work for any employer.
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IWeb TEFL Team