Finding a teaching job in Europe isn't hard. Finding one in the kind of place that rewards you well for your efforts, that fosters a supportive, engaging educational environment, and that won't stretch your budget to breaking point can be a little trickier. Fortunately, it's by no means impossible. For the best salaries, the best teaching to student ratios, the best resources, and the best life-work balances, check out our round-up of the 20 best places to teach in Europe.
20. Brussels, Belgium
Forget all the stereotypes about Belgium. Far from being a dull, monotonous country with a flat landscape and an even flatter social scene, it's a rich, diverse country with a stunning coastline, vibrant cities, and a progressive attitude. Its capital city of Brussels is packed with gorgeous architecture, a thriving cafe culture, and the kind of schools you'd give your right arm to teach in. Classrooms numbers are small, stock cupboards are well-equipped, and the paychecks rank as some of the best in Europe. What more could you want?
19. Stockholm, Sweden
There's a lot more to Sweden than flat-packed furniture and ABBA. The capital city of Stockholm is a hub of new ideas, progressive thinking, and innovative creativity, all of which make for the kind of schools it's a pleasure to teach at. Even if the balanced curriculum and handsome salaries weren't enough to attract you, the Swedish emphasis on work-life balance, well-being, and equality in all things just might.
18. Athens, Greece
Where better to teach than at the cradle of Western civilization? If you take your vocation seriously, and if you care just as much about inspiring young minds as you do about being rewarded for your efforts, Athens is an amazing place to work. Salaries are generous, while the low cost of living will let you stretch your paycheck out even further. On top of that, you'll get to experience the delights of gorgeous weather, amazing food, and one of the most vibrant and charming cities in Europe.
17. Berlin, Germany
Berlin isn't just a great place to live for teachers, it's a great place to live, period. With low living costs, excellent job opportunities, a rich cultural scene, and an amazing variety of things to do and see, it's understandably considered one of Europe's top destinations. On top of that, Germany is one of the most academically acclaimed countries on the continent, with an emphasis on educational rigor and high teaching standards. If you want to teach here, you'll be expected to deliver the goods. If you do, you'll be very well-rewarded for your efforts.
16. Cambridge, UK
As home to one of the most famous universities in the world, Cambridge is something of an academic hotspot. The streets of packed with students, teachers, professors, and every other variety of academic you can imagine. Competition for teaching places is fierce, but if you do manage to land a position, you can expect small, well-equipped classrooms, engaged students, and very decent remuneration. Academia aside, Cambridge is a gorgeous place to live, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes and a great selection of hosing options that won't push your budget to breaking point.
15. Krakow, Poland
Blessed with history, charm, and an enticing combination of age-old traditions and 21st-century innovations, Krakow is a delightful place to call home. The low cost of living and supportive school system combine to create a very attractive proposition for teachers. Job opportunities are plentiful, and while the salaries aren't high by western standards, they're more than generous in comparison to the overall median income. If you do find yourself short on cash, you'll find plenty of opportunities to boost your income with a little private tuition on the side.
14. Prague, Czech Republic
If you want to live and work in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, look no further than Prague in the Czech Republic. With its ancient cobbled streets and its photogenic castle district, it'll take your breath away with its charm. The cost of living is delightfully low, with cheap (and efficient) public transport, affordable rental accommodation, and budget-friendly goods and services. With an amazing range of top-notch foreign language and international schools offering decent salaries and excellent benefits, it's long been considered one of the best places for teachers to live in Europe.
13. Strasbourg, France
If you love cafes, cheese, wine, and a relaxed pace of life, Strasbourg, France could be your ideal match. Blessed with a stunning historical center, an extraordinary gothic cathedral, and more cafes and bistros than you could pack into a lifetime, it's every Francophile's dream destination. The educational side of this university city is just as impressive as everything else. Schools are well funded and as supportive of their staff as they are of their students. Salaries are more than adequate, and the affordable cost of accommodation in the city will give you plenty of spending power.
12. Barcelona, Spain
Named by Go Overseas as one of the ten best places to teach in Europe, Spain has a lot to recommend it, especially for teachers looking for a better work-life balance than available in much of the west. Of all its cities and towns, Barcelona is arguably one of the most attractive. Combining city attractions with a beach lifestyle, this is the ideal base for anyone who wants the best of both worlds. Its cuisine, its culture, and its charm are legendary, while its glorious weather isn't too far behind. Teaching positions are well paid and usually come with a slew of extra benefits.
11. Liverpool, UK
Named by Ranstad.co.uk as one of the most affordable places for teachers to live in the UK, Liverpool is a lively, cheerful city packed with attractions, history, and charm. With an incredible range of museums, shops, bars, galleries, and parks to check out, you'll find no shortage of ways to keep yourself entertained outside of the classroom. You'll find little to complain about when it comes to the schools either. With 37 of the city's schools described as 'outstanding' and another 99 rated as 'good' by Ofsted, the educational standards are high. The teacher to student ratio is excellent, as is the amount of student funding. Salaries are decent, while the low cost of living will help you stretch out your paycheck a lot further than you might be used to.
10. Lisbon, Portugal
With its scenic coastline, its tasty cuisine, and its relaxed, laid-back lifestyle, no one can deny that Lisbon is a great place to live. Education is prized, resulting in well-funded schools with small class sizes, eager students, and more than enough resources to go around. If you teach English, you'll find no shortage of opportunities to supplement your income with extra tuition. As the city's economy is dependent on tourism, English proficiency is considered a must for anyone looking to advance in their career. As a result, people are happy to pay handsomely for the privilege of private classes.
9. Budapest, Hungary
If you like beautiful architecture, historical sites, and supportive working environments, Budapest could be your perfect match. Named by bigseventravel.com as one of the best places to teach in Europe, the city has a lot to offer, including great nightlife, an incredibly affordable cost of living, and plenty of very well regarded schools to choose between. Thanks to Hungary's central location and superb transportation system, it's also a great base for exploring some of Europe's other gems.
8. Rome, Italy
With its snow-capped mountains, its turquoise seas, its art, and its history, Italy is one of the jewels in Europe's crown. Although you'll find plenty of places in the country that are far more affordable than its capital, Rome is actually less expensive than you might think, with cheap transportation, affordable housing options, and low-cost food and drink. The teaching opportunities are excellent, as are the schools themselves. If you teach English, you'll find plenty of opportunities to supplement your income by taking private lessons in your free time.
7. Madrid, Spain
When it comes to a good life-work balance, Spain has it covered. If you decide to teach as an English language assistant in the capital, you can expect to be paid between $970-1,330 for as little as 16 to 24 hours a day. Work stops at noon, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the attractions of Madrid (or, if you prefer, to top up your salary with a little extra tuition). Job opportunities are plentiful, meaning you'll be able to pick a school that matches your exact requirements with ease. The cost of living will let you get from one payday to the next without worry, and even have a little left over for saving.
6. Zurich, Switzerland
According to Naibuzz, teachers in Zurich can expect some of the highest teaching salaries in the world. The average teacher makes around CHF110,000 per year, thanks in no small part to the Swiss 13-month salary system. Along with a bulging pay packet, teachers can expect small class numbers, high levels of engagement, and a rigorous, well-structured curriculum.
5. Paris, France
Who doesn't dream of living in Paris? With its cafes, its culture, its museums, and its architecture, it's widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For teachers, the situation is even better. Standards are high and you'll be expected to get results - thanks to engaged students, excellent resources, and a well thought-out curriculum, you shouldn't face too many problems in achieving them. If you do, you can expect a very healthy wage that, even in an expensive city like Paris, will give you plenty of spending power. If you're looking to move to the city from overseas, one of the best ways to get a teaching job is through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). The program isn't necessarily the easiest to get onto - you'll need to be under 35 and have at least intermediate French skills - but if you qualify, you'll be guaranteed a position at one of the city's schools for the following academic year.
4. Brno, Czech Republic
Most people's thoughts automatically turn to Prague when they think of the Czech Republic, and for good reason - it's beautiful. But there's a lot more to the country than its capital. Brno may not have the same number of international schools as Prague, but there are still more than enough teaching positions to go around. As tefljobsworld.com notes, the city also has the advantage of fewer applicants per post (meaning a better chance of you landing the school of your choice) and a lower cost of living.
3. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Luxembourg might not be the most affordable city in Europe, but thanks to the value it places on education, teachers can live very comfortably on their salaries. With most high school teachers earning between €90,000 and €116,000, and elementary/primary school teachers making around €60,000, you'll find yourself in the rare position of having plenty to both save and spend if you make this city your home.
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its unique culture, vibrant atmosphere, and undeniable charm, Amsterdam is one of Europe's most beautiful places. The city is packed with international schools. While salaries vary by school, the Dutch 13 salary system ensures you'll never be short of cash. As a general guide, a mid-career teacher can expect to earn around €60,000 per year while those at the top of their game can expect €68,000. Educational standards are high, teachers are respected, and students are generally informed, engaged, and eager to learn.
1. Vienna, Austria
TIC Recruitment ranks Vienna as one of the best cities for teaching in Europe. It's not hard to see why. The education system ranks as among the best in Europe, with excellent graduation rates and test scores. The blend of traditional academia and creative ingenuity ensure an engaged, informed student body and an equally engaged staff. Although the cost of living in the city is high, so are the salaries.
Written by Liz Flynn
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