Teaching English in Kosice, Slovakia for Start Language School.

We are a small friendly school; most of our students are private students paying out of their own pockets and therefore motivated, enthusiastic and lots of fun to teach. The typical age range is about 13 to 40 with some younger and some older students. Our maximum group size is six students.

Kosice is a medium-sized university city and lots of fun - but still small enough to be the kind of place where you often bump into people you know in the street.

The package is competitive for Eastern Europe. There is a secure, fixed element and also a bonus element once you become popular with the students and get more lessons. As we are serious about your working for us in the long term here in Slovakia, unlike most other schools we are willing to employ you as a regular employee, not only as a "work agreement" employee or a contractor paying for national and health insurance yourself. We also particularly welcome applications from people studying in Slovakia interested in teaching part-time, as we often need only half a teacher, and it is not really possible for us to get people to move from Britain to Slovakia on that basis. A lot of people teach for us during the evening and do something else during the day such as study at university, look after their children while their spouse is working more conventional hours, write their magnum opus, do translation work etc. While it's true that money goes further in Slovakia than in Western Europe, you will still be poorer than if you took a prestige teaching job in Asia or the Middle East or (in most cases) stayed in your old job in your home country, so don't apply unless you think the wider lifestyle advantages make it worth coming and teaching in Slovakia for less money than you could get outside Europe.

We know it's difficult getting started in a new country so we help you find accommodation when you get here. If you are new to teaching then we can train you.

What qualifications you need:

First of all, we believe that you must know something yourself before you can teach it and English is no exception. This means your English must be at the level of a native speaker, i.e. someone born and raised in a country or part of a country where English is practically the only language spoken for most people in day to day life. We have a lot of applications from people from other countries who consider themselves to have English this good, but of course it is rare that they actually do.

Secondly, as Slovakia is part of the European Economic Area you must have permission to work here. Coupled with the first requirement, that means that in the vast majority of cases you will be a citizen of Britain, Ireland or Malta. You can also work here if your spouse is from the EEA (including Slovakia) or you have dual citizenship somewhere in the EEA - for example an American with a parent from Greece).

If you are not eligible to work in the EEA (for example an American with both parents from America) then it will be difficult, expensive (we don't refund the costs) and slow to get a visa. We can be your sponsoring firm for the purpose of getting a work visa though. If this is you, then it only makes sense to apply if you have a very specific reason for wanting to come to Slovakia (for example if your girlfriend is returning here to complete her studies). As this doesn't apply to most applicants, typical issues related to spouses, visas and the EEA are at the bottom of the page.

How we will decide:

You have a very good chance if you meet the 2 criteria mentioned above, but here is some more detailed information on how it works:

First, send your CV by email to richard@jazykova.sk

We get a huge number of applications from people who have sent the same email in response to every teaching job advert on the entire internet. These people, while in some cases well qualified, often take a lot of our time and cause us to reject other candidates before deciding they are not mad enough to come to Eastern Europe after all (or in the case of people from outside Europe, are not willing to go through with the visa process). The first thing we will do is sift those applicants out. If you have bothered to spend ten minutes reading this and mention Košice or our school specifically in your email then its clear that you are interested in working here particularly. Also mention why you think you can already work here if it is not obvious from the citizenships and residence rights your CV would imply you hold or can get (for example these days most people leave their marital status off their CV, but if you have a husband or wife from Europe and that's how you can work here then you need to tell us about it). If you have got through this stage you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application - if you don't hear in seven days then write to us again.

The next stage is that we read the CVs. While you will have a big advantage if you have at least one of TEFL training or any kind of previous teaching experience, probably equally good is to have shown a previous ability to learn to do something new. It is important to note that in Europe we consider a CV or resume to be a text that would allow the reader to know what you were doing (in the way of education or job) and where in a given year from the age of 18, or (where you prefer) at least allows the reader to deduce that there is a gap and that information has not been supplied for a particular time period. We prefer this kind to the kind that simply say "three years teaching", "six months in prison", "two years in a bar" without giving any dates, places or company names.

If you get through that stage we will send you a list of questions. If your answers are satisfactory then there will be a short phone interview, mainly to check that you are reasonably normal.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Richard Swales Director

Spousal/dual citizenship issues
If you believe you have dual citizenship through your parents (or otherwise), before you apply you need to get a passport from the embassy of your parent's original home country as this is the document the Slovak authorities will want to see as proof of citizenship of the other country, which automatically carries EEA citizenship with it (the exception being sometimes if your parent was from an overseas colony of the European country). This may take a long time if you have never asked to have your other citizenship recognised before. Although it's possible to travel to Slovakia from most other mainland European countries (the Schengen states) with a citizen's ID card issued by that state, for working and registration purposes you will need an actual passport.
If your spouse is from Slovakia then you need to go through the process to get spousal residency. Your nearest Slovak embassy will advise on this, but the basic principle is that the earlier you apply the earlier you finish the process. If your spouse is from another EEA country then it's actually easier, the police should simply register you together with him/her when you move (although we don't know of anyone who has done this before so we can't say if it's really that easy). In both cases your spouse needs to be going to live in Slovakia with you, you can't come here alone as a spouse.

The EEA is every country in Europe (including non-EU members) except Albania, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia and the former Soviet Union east of the Baltic republics. Switzerland is technically not a member but in practice is counted as a member for these purposes, so you shouldn't have problems if your European connection is through Switzerland.

Visa Issues
You should complete the process of applying for a visa in your home country before you come to Slovakia as it is difficult to arrange this later. Theoretically it is possible to apply in Slovakia but the problem is that it takes up to 90 days to hear back from the office which issues the visa, and as a foreigner you can only be in the Schengen states (most mainland European states including Slovakia) for a maximum of 90 days without a visa (unless you are from a country whose citizens require a visa even for that). Other schools have had the problem that 90 days after the application for the work visa was received, it was rejected on the grounds that the applicant had clearly been in Europe for more than 90 days out of the last six months and had therefore overstayed and had to leave immediately. If you do it this way then you will need to go and wait in a non-Schengen state (such as Ukraine or the UK) while the application is ruled upon, which will cost money but you can see it as an extended holiday.

We often hear of people who have been encouraged to believe it is possible to start working immediately without a work visa and later get one issued which would somehow be issued with a date in the past, thereby retrospectively legalising the situation. Unfortunately this is just as impossible as it would be in any other country; the government would otherwise have no control at all on who could work here in any job. If you are already in this situation then we can't help you, you need to go back to your home country and start the process properly. The only help we can give is to strongly advise you that if you suspect your employer has not registered you for any health cover at all in Slovakia then you should get basic tourist health and travel insurance from you home country to cover the time until you leave.

If you already have a work visa issued (for example if you have been working at another school) it is fairly easy to switch across at least until the expiry date on your visa. We only need to repeat one part of the original process.

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