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Has anyone here ever taught English in Eastern Europe?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.

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Ghost
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Has anyone here ever taught English in Eastern Europe?

Post by Ghost » August 5th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Specifically Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Hungary.

I'm looking up and compiling information about teaching in that region, but I want to hear some personal experiences. I don't recall if anyone here on HA has done the English teacher thing anywhere in Europe though.

Mostly interested in if you got legal paperwork and a work visa and temporary residence, how employers treated you and other employees, and what the specific challenges and frustrations of teaching were.
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by gsjackson » August 6th, 2018, 12:08 am

If memory serves, Jackal was doing it in Hungary for several years, and Think Different in Germany and Prague. But you'd have to PM them, as they haven't posted in a long time. Then there's your old buddy Yick, who I think did it in Russia, but I can understand if PMing him might be a bridge too far, unless it's to tell him to go f*ck himself.

And welcome back, Ghost.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Ghost » August 6th, 2018, 8:23 pm

gsjackson wrote:
August 6th, 2018, 12:08 am
If memory serves, Jackal was doing it in Hungary for several years, and Think Different in Germany and Prague. But you'd have to PM them, as they haven't posted in a long time. Then there's your old buddy Yick, who I think did it in Russia, but I can understand if PMing him might be a bridge too far, unless it's to tell him to go f*ck himself.

And welcome back, Ghost.
Thanks. Good to be back for a while, but the forum looks dead.
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IvanMNG
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by IvanMNG » August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm

I wrote a very extensive guide on that topic here: http://moscownightguide.com/teaching-en ... sia-guide/

Basic points:

-Don't do it for the money
-Don't do it if you haven't got another goal
-Don't do it for the girls
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing

Do it if you're ready to hustle hard, be at it constantly, have a talent for communication and languages and are a self-starter.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by TruthSeeker » August 10th, 2018, 9:36 pm

I think he means don't do it thinking you'll make a lot of money. I know a guy who does volunteer English teaching.
Last edited by TruthSeeker on August 11th, 2018, 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by gsjackson » August 10th, 2018, 10:10 pm

IvanMNG wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm
I wrote a very extensive guide on that topic here: http://moscownightguide.com/teaching-en ... sia-guide/

Basic points:

-Don't do it for the money
-Don't do it if you haven't got another goal
-Don't do it for the girls
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing

Do it if you're ready to hustle hard, be at it constantly, have a talent for communication and languages and are a self-starter.
Thanks for this. I'm planning on doing a CELTA in Moscow beginning in October, and all of this is very helpful. One question: How much are you using your voice during a typical one-hour lesson? My main concern is that mine would wear out easily over the course of a 24-hour work week (which is the most I would ever do -- I have a small passive income supplement).

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Cornfed » August 10th, 2018, 10:57 pm

IvanMNG wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm
-Don't do it for the money
-Don't do it if you haven't got another goal
-Don't do it for the girls
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing
Or to summarise:
-Don't do it

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Ghost » August 11th, 2018, 12:33 am

Cornfed wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 10:57 pm
IvanMNG wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm
-Don't do it for the money
-Don't do it if you haven't got another goal
-Don't do it for the girls
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing
Or to summarise:
-Don't do it
Yeah, I was about to say.

Don't do it for the money? Then what the hell am I working a job for?
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Ghost » August 11th, 2018, 12:38 am

IvanMNG wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm
I wrote a very extensive guide on that topic here: http://moscownightguide.com/teaching-en ... sia-guide/
Thanks for the guide.
-Don't do it for the money
That's what jobs are for though...but if you mean don't do it expecting to get rich, then yeah, of course.
-Don't do it for the girls
Are the women so hypergamous that they would never accept a man with a regular job? Not sure how you intended this, but interested in your thoughts.
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing
I think these should go without saying nowadays for those who have already gotten into TEFL but for newbies this is important to understand.
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IvanMNG
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by IvanMNG » August 11th, 2018, 10:58 pm

To address the questions:

-I only do 1-on-1 tutoring and hence have to use my voice all the time. Needless to say that having 3-4 sessions a day is draining as hell. Class teaching isn't much different.
-Don't do it for the money as in don't think you'll start teaching English and live a good life. Uhm, no. Unless you work your butt off you're better off doing something at home in terms of standard of living.
-Don't do it for the girls as in don't take a shitty job in a foreign country only to chase tail. I cannot comment too much on how girls view English teachers, I speak a bunch of languages and they're impressed by that. It might be different for your run-of-the-mill teacher with bad to no local language skills.

I really cannot find a lot of reasons why you should do it. I got into it myself more out of necessity but I have a talent for languages and good social skills so I can carve something out. As a "regular teacher" you're a commodity, there are lots of them out there. Not a good niche to pick.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Ghost » August 12th, 2018, 3:19 am

Why did you choose Russia in particular though? You said you got into it by necessity? (Assuming you mean money, but not sure.) If it was about money, why didn't you choose China or Korea? The salaries there are bigger, and at least in China the cost of living is very low.

And what about how to start finding jobs teaching in Russia? Are there any good recruiters you know? Or do you need to go boots on the ground and start knocking on school doors? I didn't see anything about that in your guide.
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Winston
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in EE?

Post by Winston » August 12th, 2018, 9:14 am

I taught English in Moscow once. I didn't have a degree or certificate. But it was a shady school that takes anyone willing to work. You don't need a work visa. But such schools are not accredited. They will pay you less and often pay you late too. So such schools exist. It's just that you will have to take lower pay and sometimes late payments too. It's a bit shady, but better than nothing.

On the other hand there are accredited English schools like English First, that are professional and high quality, but their standards or admittance are going to be higher. You will need a TEFL or TESOL certificate or something like that. I tried to apply there but never heard back from them.

I also worked for a business gazette too, writing business news articles. You can get those too, if you are a good writer. Or work as an editor in some English publication there. You get like 50 dollars per article. Not bad. But you gotta live on the outskirts of the city to get cheaper rent. Or stay in a hostel everyday. lol
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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in Eastern Europe?

Post by The_Penguin » August 12th, 2018, 3:38 pm

IvanMNG wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:32 pm
I wrote a very extensive guide on that topic here: http://moscownightguide.com/teaching-en ... sia-guide/

Basic points:

-Don't do it for the money
-Don't do it if you haven't got another goal
-Don't do it for the girls
-Don't do it for a long time
-Don't do it if you're socially awkward
-Don't think you'll make good money if you don't put in the effort and haven't got a clue what you're doing

Do it if you're ready to hustle hard, be at it constantly, have a talent for communication and languages and are a self-starter.
What do you mean by socially awkward? I think a large number of guys might be socially awkward if they go abroad to get a woman.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in Eastern Europe?

Post by IvanMNG » August 13th, 2018, 8:59 pm

Well, then these exact guys should not be teaching English as well.

I was in Russia for other reasons before that (study,work) and that was the financially most viable route that opened up for me. As I said, it is not easy at all and I'm rather good with both languages and social skills. So I'd not recommend it to anyone really.

As far as resources go, I want to use that as content upgrade but haven't gotten around to implementing it yet. There are a ton of schools out there but most of them are trash and pay funny money. English First among them.

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Re: Has anyone here ever taught English in Eastern Europe?

Post by Ghost » August 14th, 2018, 8:50 pm

IvanMNG wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 8:59 pm
Well, then these exact guys should not be teaching English as well.

I was in Russia for other reasons before that (study,work) and that was the financially most viable route that opened up for me. As I said, it is not easy at all and I'm rather good with both languages and social skills. So I'd not recommend it to anyone really.

As far as resources go, I want to use that as content upgrade but haven't gotten around to implementing it yet. There are a ton of schools out there but most of them are trash and pay funny money. English First among them.
Any good schools you could recommend? Did you teach on a work visa or a different one? Do you think it's possible to find a decent job offer online before going to Russia?
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