With huge demand for English tuition, pleasant weather, interesting culture, cuisine and history, Turkey is an extremely popular TEFL destination and, unlike many countries in the region, treats EU citizens and non-EU citizens in exactly the same way. This makes it a great choice for Americans, Canadians and Australasians. For a first year of teaching English it is a good choice but salaries are not huge and opportunities for professional development are fairly slim. TEFL teachers in Turkey report mixed experiences when it comes to dealing with employers of language centres. Needless to say, it pays to do your research before signing anything. Most teachers say Istanbul is by far the most interesting location to be based in. There are tons of other teachers in Turkey so you should be able to have a great social life with locals and foreigners alike.
|Type of Institution||Typical salary (USD/month)||Typical hours||Typical annual leave|
|Language centres||1,000 – 1,500||Various but often evenings and weekends||2 weeks plus national holidays|
|International schools and universities||2,000 upwards||8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work||10 weeks plus national holidays|
Main places for jobs
Istanbul, Gaziantep, Ankara, Izmir.
Degree, TEFL certificate.
1. Even if you begin work on a tourist visa (as most do) it is essential that you obtain the proper work and residency permits as soon as possible. This process can take several weeks and it should always be paid for by your employer. Get everything in writing.
2. Experienced teachers should consider finding in-house Business English work via an agency. The payment is often much higher than if you sign a regular contract with a language centre.
3. Basic Turkish language skills will go a long way and will endear you to the locals however poor your pronunciation is.
The level of bureaucracy encountered during the application process for the work visa is rather high. One of the good things about Turkey is that native English speaking teachers who are not holders of EU passports are able to work in the country just as easily as those from Britain and Ireland.
Cost of living
Reasonably low – accommodation, food and transport. This is reflected to some degree in the salaries but certainly not enough to enable the average TEFL teacher to save much money each month.
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. Some teachers decide to become self-employed tutors as the profit margins and flexibility can be attractive when compared to working for a typical language centre. Bear in mind that you will have to deal with the paperwork required for paying taxes as a self-employed individual.
|High demand for English tuition||Rather high level of bureaucracy for those sensible enough to be unwilling to work illegally on a tourist visa|
|Wonderful people, food, culture and weather and a relaxed pace of life||Language centre managers are a very mixed bag in Turkey and it can be hard to predict to what extent you can trust them|
|One of the best countries in the region for non-EU citizens wanting to teach English||Rather low salaries and not much opportunity for professional development|
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