Thursday, August 7, 2008

TESOL Jobs in Egypt

General Information

Despite its francophone past, the prospects in Egypt are good for ESL teachers. There is no shortage of English in high schools, where all subjects are taught in English. Indeed, the chances of you being accosted and asked to supply English tuition to anybody from taxi drivers to business people to students is really quite high, so don’t be surprised.

Teaching English

Quite unlike Europe, for those wishing to teach in a state or private school, there is not the requirement for an undergraduate degree. There is no requirement for two years’ teaching experience either - a TESOL certificate will suffice.

There is a reasonably large number of private language institutes and opportunities to teach in high schools and universities are available to the better qualified.

Because of the huge variety of standards in education you can expect a commensurately patchy student body. Some will have very little experience whereas others will have many years experience in studying English.

Classes tend to be large, but schools are clean, and reasonably well resourced. Egyptian students are a joy to teach, and show great enthusiasm for learning English, since it is regarded as a passport to future success.

Visas and Regulations

Your visa entitlements will depend on what your country of origin has set up with Egypt, and it is a good idea to contact your local Egyptian consulate stating that you intend to teach, and asking what your visa entitlements are. Most of the organisations detailed below will be able to advise you of the current visa requirements. In most cases you will need originals of your educational certificates, a resume or CV, and you may need to have these documents translated.

If you plan to show up on a tourist visa to check things out first, it is still worth considering what you have to do to renew your visa. Is it worth it to go all the way back home, or do a regular cross border trip?

Getting a Job

Once in Egypt you can check out the English language publications Egypt Today, the Maadi Messenger and Middle East Times, all of which carry ads for teachers. The British Council is always an excellent place to start, and carries a list of private institutes that teach English. It is also worth checking out the Egypt Yellow Pages on which will detail language schools, high schools, and other educational establishments.

For many, getting a job will mean knocking on doors - again, the need for your certificates. Egyptians typically conduct a lengthy interview, perhaps over tea and backgammon, where the impression you make will counts far more than any qualifications you may have. Highly-qualified, and more importantly, well-turned-out, organised and enthusiastic teachers are in short supply. If they like you they will most certainly find some teaching for you!

One of the best and most realistic propositions is to build a working life based around constructing a portfolio a few hours here and a few hours there, bearing mind that revenue from ‘one to one lessons’ can double a teacher’s income, one should always be on the lookout for one to one students, whatever one’s employment or visa status. The market for those wanting private tuition or conversation practice is huge, and potentially very lucrative, therefore, not be neglected. Give yourself time to build a portfolio of work. This is best safeguard to both your income, and employment status.

For more information on becoming TESOL certified, visit us here!

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