Teaching English abroad in Ukraine
Interested in teaching English abroad in Ukraine? This guest blog post by Kate from What Kate and Kris Did will give you a lot of great information to get you started! Read on if you want to learn more about how to get an ESL/EFL job, more about the TEFL teaching market and the expat lifestyle. There are also some great links to Kate and Kris’s website to provide you with more information about their journey and some awesome resources for teaching English abroad in Ukraine!
An Introduction ~ Meet Kate and Chris
Way, way back in 2007, we were traveling in South East Asia and had fallen in love with the region. We really didn’t want to leave and were looking for a way to stay longer. Some friends were teaching English in Spain so we looked at this as an option and found a program that would train us to teach English as a foreign language and then place us in a Thai school.
It’s safe to say we fell in love with the job and the lifestyle. Since then we’ve taught in Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Shanghai in China, Madrid in Spain and returned to Bangkok for another 18 months.
We currently teach in Kyiv Ukraine. This is our second job in Ukraine for the same company. We worked in Odessa for two years from 2014-2016 and then came back in August this year. We work for London School of English, a British owned language school which is in both Odessa and Kyiv. We teach a range of ages and levels, from children to adults working in companies and studying for international qualifications like Cambridge FCE and IELTS. Kate is one of the Directors of Studies, meaning she manages the teaching team, and Kris is also a teacher trainer and an educational methodologist for a book company.
Living and Working in Ukraine
Living and working in Ukraine is great. The company we work for is supportive and professional and the country is a diverse place, with big cities, beautiful architecture, mountains, and beaches. The Ukrainian students have a great interest in learning English because they need it for their education and work so they are interesting to teach.
Ukraine is a good option for English teachers because it is basically part of Europe, but doesn’t have the same restrictions as countries in the EU, where it’s difficult for people without EU passports to get a job. Ukraine is open to all nationalities, and we work with teachers from the USA, Australia, and South Africa, as well as lots of Ukrainians. All foreign teachers need a work visa and work permit to teach here, which decent schools can arrange for you. These schools usually ask for a CELTA or Trinity certTESOL or equivalent, meaning a course with assessed teaching practice with real students. You don’t need a degree to teach here though and both native and non-native teachers are accepted, as long as they have a native level of English (CEFR C2).
Most jobs are in language schools, the biggest employers of foreign teachers being London School of English,
International House, British Council, Study UA, and DEC. The majority of jobs are in Kyiv, with some in Odessa and a few in smaller cities like Dnipro. There are also Peace Corps and Fulbright Scholars working in the smaller cities for Americans. Another option is to come and teach summer camp here with an organization like Go Camps who provide English lessons in poorer parts of the country.
The salary can look low on paper when comparing it to some other countries, but the cost of living is low and a lot of schools provide accommodation as well so teachers have a good lifestyle here, eating out a lot and traveling during holidays. There’s definitely more potential to save money here than nearby countries like Spain where the cost of living is much higher.
If people are thinking of teaching English in Ukraine, we’d suggest they start by reading our guide on our own blog where we give more specific information on Ukraine as a destination.
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Any questions about teaching English abroad in Ukraine? Comment Below.