Teaching English in Belgium

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Belgium Overview

As the capital of the EU, Brussels is an exciting, vibrant city in which to teach. The level of demand for native speakers in Belgium as a whole is moderate although teachers without plenty of experience – and preferably a relevant MA qualification – may find well-paid opportunities very limited. For the experienced, TEFL salaries can be very good but living costs in Belgium (particularly in Brussels) are high. The opportunities that exist often involve in-house Business English tuition for staff members of various multi-national companies or private work tutoring the children of the international clientele. Be warned that you will not necessarily become rich teaching English here and may need to take on more than one job to pay the high costs of living to begin with. As usual in Western Europe, it is much easier for English-speaking EU nationals (i.e British and Irish) to find work due to European bureaucracy. Ultimately, private classes are the way to make the most cash, but you will need to make plenty of contacts first.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres and self-employed 1,000 – 2,000 Various shifts 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools and universities 3,000 upwards 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Brussels.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, relevant MA, 2-3 yrs exp., EU national.

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Tips

1. Get in touch with BETTA (Belgian English Teachers and Trainers Association) who may be able to provide you with an up-to-date list of employers.

2. Consider becoming a self-employed tutor so that you can work when you like and potentially earn a higher salary.

3. If you don’t have much teaching experience or a relevant MA, it is probably best to go elsewhere first and build up an impressive CV which includes plenty of Business English tuition.

Red tape

As with most countries in Europe, it is a lot easier for EU nationals to find work as the paperwork required is significantly less than when applying to employ non-EU nationals.

Cost of living

High – accommodation, food and transport.

Tax and salary information

Employers generally pay your income tax for you and as usual you should expect to be paid on a monthly basis. Many EU nationals (particularly British and Irish) decide to become self-employed tutors as the profit margins and flexibility can be attractive when compared to working for a typical language centre. An accountant is of great benefit in Belgium for working out which tax breaks and allowances you may be entitled to.

Summary

High standard of living Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals
A prestigious nation in which to work High living costs and only moderate salaries
An efficient and pleasant working environment in which daily tasks can be accomplished easily Not many jobs for those without significant experience and/or a relevant MA qualification

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

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Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.

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