Teaching English in the Ukraine

Demand for English teachers in Eastern Europe is growing, and the Ukraine is no exception.

Though the Ukraine has not been given any immediate prospect of European Union membership, the possibility of being granted market economy status has boosted its need to communicate with the rest of the world, and as we know, that level of communication calls for a good command of the English language.

With rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system, the Ukraine has the potential to become a major European economy.

However for Ukraine to meet EU standards, several reforms will need to be met from democratic safeguards to steel import quotas to a relaxed visa regime. Needles to say, everything from tourism to commerce, to the much-desired membership of the EU depends heavily on English, and native English teachers are highly sought after, both American and English (as well as other countries).

Where to Teach

With an area of 233,000 sq. mi. the Ukraine is the largest country wholly in Europe.

The population of Ukraine is about 46.3 million, consisting of 73% ethnic Ukrainians, 22% ethnic Russians, and 55 ethnic Belarusians. The east and southeast areas of the country are the most heavily populated.

The main cities where you can look for work are Kiev, Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovs’k and Zaporizhzhya. There are also opportunities available in the Crimea.


The usual requirements to work in the Ukraine are:

  • To be a native English speaker.
  • To hold a TEFL Certificate such as the IWeb TEFL Certificate

A degree is not always a must however it does help with getting the better jobs.

Experience is preferable but not necessary. A good disposition and enthusiasm for teaching both adults and young learners is always a plus.

As regards the visa, make sure that the school is prepared to help organize a work permit for you; there have been reports of teachers being fined when they leave the Ukraine for not having the correct paperwork. Note that a work visa for a British citizen costs in the region of €900 ($1137 USD, £724) whilst for an American this is around €550 ($695 USD, £442). Good schools will cover this cost.


Pay will vary according to qualifications and experience.

On average €1500 ($1896 USD, £1206) a month is considered a very competitive salary.

Some schools give the opportunity to work additional hours, often in the form of in-house corporate tutoring. Opportunities for private tutoring abound and many teachers supplement their income with private TEFL lessons.

As far as bonuses go, accommodation is often provided and travel expenses are covered. Medical coverage is also included.

Your school may also offer free introductory Russian lessons!

Useful Links

Expat English Teachers – a quick guide for expats thinking about teaching English as a part-time or full-time job while they are abroad.

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Posted in Country Guides.

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