Slovakia is in Eastern Europe. It is a relatively new state coming into existence in 1993 with the break-up of the former Czechoslovakia. Having said this, the Slovak people have lived in this area under one rule or another for over 1,500 years.
In 2010 the government passed a law making English a compulsory subject in state schools for students aged 9 and up. However, concerns have been raised over the lack of professionally qualified and experienced teachers. The demand for native English teachers is thus high in Slovakia and on the increase with more jobs being advertised than before. British English teachers are particularly welcome.
Qualifications & Requirements
As Slovakia is part of the European Union (EU) there is a preference for British/Irish teachers. If you do not have a passport from an EU member state you are unlikely to find work as thevisa process is both expensive and time consuming and many schools find it far easier to hire EU teachers.
Qualifications vary but usually begin with a degree and a TEFL Certificate. Most jobs are found by applying directly to the school or by visiting them in person.
Pay & Conditions
Depending on the job pay usually begins at around €750 ($948 USD, £603) per month. This can go as high as €1500 ($1896 USD, £1206) for higher level jobs.
Some schools will also provide accommodation (and in doing so they will reduce the pay rate). Other schools may offer incentives such as a performance bonus, travel allowance and suchlike. Private accommodation can begin (shared) at €150 ($190 USD, £121) per month. The cost of living is relatively cheap and a full time job will offer enough to live on.
The pay from schools is not regarded as great; local teachers get paid very little and English native speakers are paid slightly – but not a lot – more. Often teachers will take on private students to help out. Some teachers will also work for a couple of schools in order to increase their hours and pay.
The country – especially in the East – is very beautiful and ideal for outdoors types. The capital, Bratislava, is known to be a pleasant city with plenty of both cheap and cheerful as well as trendy bars. It is very well located for traveling around that part of Europe with Vienna just 1hr away by train.
Vegetarians may well have problems finding decent food when they eat out. The food is often described as quite greasy and heavy and there is a lot of pork on offer.
The people are generally hardworking, conservative and friendly; however we have had some reports of casual racism and being non-white may mean getting a lot of attention.