Prague is a stunning city that attracts over 20 million visitors every year looking to explore each nook and cranny. Those looking to get a deeper understanding of the city by living and taking a TEFL course within its borders are in for a treat.
With medieval architecture around every corner, Prague has some of the most beautiful structures in Europe, like St. Vitus Cathedral and Church of Our Lady Before Týn. TEFL courses are held in modern classrooms, yet once students step outside they are transported to cobblestone pathways, gothic archways, and grand castles that seem straight out of a childhood fairytale.
Although the city center may be reminiscent of centuries ago, the people of Prague are keen to stay competitive in a modern global world that relies on English to do business. There is a high demand to learn English and locals and other non-English speaking locals want to increase their use, retention, and proficiency of the global lingua franca.
Prague has a robust selection of TEFL organizations offering TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA courses. There are many organizations offering the same service, so the schools in Prague tend to provide high-quality courses in order to remain competitive.
The student whose first or primary language is not English usually takes courses from teachers who have passed a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. TEFL is the umbrella under which TESOL and CELTA live. There are many courses -- but be aware that requirements (at least within Prague) have become stricter. While in other countries teachers can take courses of 100-120 hours, the average course in Prague is 130 hours in the classroom plus at least 6 hours of ESL practicum.
To get a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification, the completion of 160+ hours in a classroom is required. The course takes place on a full-time basis for four weeks. Part-time courses are available but are generally not as popular. Prague has options to enroll in Trinity TESOL courses, which has equivalent standards to a CELTA course.
The University of Cambridge created Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA), which is a brand of TEFL course. After finishing the CELTA requirements, students have unlimited opportunities to work domestically and abroad. 120 hours of study within a classroom, as well as 6 to 7 hours of actually teaching ESL, is required. This course takes about four weeks to complete.
When to Take Your TEFL in Prague
TEFL courses are widespread in Prague and can be taken at any time during the year. Several companies have course dates each month. Usually, an application and interview must be completed before being accepted into a course, so apply at least a month or two before the date you would like to start.
Many teaching contracts finish after the spring and start anew in the fall. However, schools are constantly looking for TEFL teachers -- so much so that some TEFL programs guarantee job placement within a certain number of days of course completion regardless of the time of year!
Popular Destinations for TEFL Courses in Prague
Most TEFL course providers are based around the center of Prague. Several programs are just a 10-minute walk from the Old Town, also known as Prague 1. The Old Town is expensive to live in, so most students live outside the center in more affordable housing. Other schools are no further than a 10- to 20-minute ride from areas like Karlin and Prague 8, which are nice to live in.
What to Look For in a TEFL Course in Prague
Since requirements to teach English in Prague are so competitive, it’s important to take a classroom course. Many schools and programs do not accept graduates of online courses since the online programs are not as strict on qualifications or minimum hours. An additional perk of TEFL classroom courses is a guarantee of 6 to 20 practicum hours with real ESL learners.
In addition to higher quality education in the classroom, learning with other students creates a network and support system in a new city. Support is extremely important as the TEFL course winds down and the job search begins.
Another thing to consider in the TEFL course is how much aid will be provided by the school or organization after the TEFL course is complete. Learning how to teach English is just part of the battle -- finding a job after certification is the hard part! Evaluate if your program provides coaching for interviews, connections in the area, or help with visas.
Health & Safety
Although Prague is a large city, there is little violent crime and the Czech Republic is considered to be one of the safest countries in Europe. Accidents can still happen, however, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel and medical insurance before arriving in Prague.
As with most of Europe, Prague has petty crime, reports of bag snatching, and pickpocketing. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t flash valuables. It’s always a good idea to make copies of your passport and visas in case of theft.
When to Apply for Jobs in Prague
Job vacancies occur throughout the school year, yet the top hiring season is September and October. This is right after the summer season when most teachers finish their contracts and move onto a new school or country. The second highest hiring time is in January for language schools.
Average Salary of Post-TEFL Jobs in Prague
The cost of living in Prague is low compared to the rest of Europe, but keep in mind that a low cost of living usually equates with low salaries as well. TEFL teachers can expect to make approximately $1,000-$1,300 per month. With an average of $700-800 going towards rent, utilities, and groceries every month, TEFL teachers can still live comfortably and will most likely break even.
Tips for Finding a Job in Prague
Since the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, students can study their TEFL course on a 90-day tourist visa, which is granted upon entry to the country. During this three-month period, if students want to stay in Prague longer-term to work as a TEFL teacher, they will have to apply for a work visa (Zivno Business Visa). It’s not necessary to apply for the visa beforehand and can be submitted once in Prague.
There are professional service companies that can help with documents, but TEFL companies usually help with visa attainment for their graduates. Processing the documents can take two to three months, which is something that needs to be taken into consideration when applying for the visa.