Ireland is an ideal destination for English teachers in search of a more laid-back lifestyle than might be found in the U.K. or most other parts of northern Europe. With a small population and vast swathes of unspoiled countryside, it will also appeal to outdoor types, and those with an appreciation of culture and tradition.
Language schools can be found all over Ireland in the major cities and large towns, but the highest density of schools are, not surprisingly, located in and around the capital city, Dublin. Although these schools are open all year round, accommodating students from across the globe, the peak season is between June and September. For this reason, while there are plenty of opportunities for seasonal work during this period, longer-term teaching positions are much harder to come by, and are generally filled by Irish citizens. However, those with substantial teaching experience and first-class qualifications may be able to secure long-term contracts, particularly if they have experience in management and/or training.
For seasonal posts, you should apply to schools well in advance of your intended arrival date as such positions are normally filled by early spring. Being based in the U.K. or Ireland, so that you are available for interview would certainly be advantageous, but if you are applying for jobs with major international schools for whom you have previously been employed, then this might not be necessary.
The minimum requirements to teach in Irish language schools include a first degree (most disciplines are acceptable) and an internationally recognized TEFL qualification that includes a set number of contact teaching hours prior to qualification. TEFL qualifications acquired solely on-line are not acceptable. EU visa requirements also dictate that applicants must be native speakers, regardless of English ability and/or qualifications. You must also be a passport holder from one of the following countries; Ireland, the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the USA. Although there are opportunities for recently qualified teachers. Post-qualification teaching experience, particularly related to IELTS or business English, will certainly be advantageous.
Salaries reflect experience and qualifications but, on average, teachers can expect to earn €15-17 (US$19.85-22.50) per hour. Teaching hours will vary according to season and the needs of the school. You can expect to be teaching students ranging from young teens to mature adults, from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
The climate in Ireland experiences few extremes, with temperatures in winter rarely falling below 0°C, and summer only occasionally climbing above 20°C. The weather, however, can be very changeable throughout the year, and rain is common.
While sports such as soccer, rugby, golf and tennis are popular in Ireland, traditional (and still widely played) sports include Gaelic football, hurling and camogie. In fact, these Gaelic games remain the most widely watched sports in Ireland.
A typical Irish dinner consists of potatoes, cabbage and meat, the most popular being beef, lamb and pork. Some traditional dishes include Colcannon (potatoes, wild garlic, and curly kale), Boxty (a kind of potato pancake) and the famous Dublin Coddle which includes sausages, smoked ham yellow onions and, you’ve guessed it, potatoes. Of course, in all the major cities and large towns you will find a variety restaurants serving a range of international cuisine. Nightlife ranges from country pubs with traditional Irish music and ballads often being performed live (and spontaneously) to modern nightclubs and lively cafes.
In the cities and major towns, buses are frequent, and they also represent the cheapest and most convenient mode of transport when traveling around the country. In rural areas, however, public transportation is patchy at best, and you may find it more convenient to hitch-hike, which is still relatively safe in Ireland. Rail services in Ireland are very limited and are neither cheap or particularly comfortable.
Throughout the country there are numerous landmarks of historical interest, including Newgrange, a pagan burial ground dating back to 3200BC. Some of the country villages seem almost untouched by time and you will find plenty of examples traditional arts and crafts still being practiced today.
Detailed living costs for teaching English in Ireland.
Information on visa requirements to teach English in Ireland
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