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Not just a top destination for tourists, Greece offers an incredible lifestyle for foreigners looking to make the move to sunnier shores.
The country boasts some of the oldest monuments in the world – many of them open and available to wander around freely – and a long, fascinating history that includes appearances from the Arabs, Romans and Venetians. Explore the Acropolis of Athens, ancient ruins of a citadel from the 4th and 5th centuries. In particular, see the ruins of the Parthenon, a temple built for the goddess Athena. Or visit Meteora, a complex of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries built atop giant, unusual rock formations.
On a daily basis, you can expect to enjoy sunny weather and blue skies, spend your spare time socialising at cafes and restaurants, and dig into delicious mezes! In Plaka, a hillside neighbourhood in Athens with traditional cobbled streets, you can enjoy nibbling local goods at small family-owned cafes and restaurants as well as browsing market stalls selling local handicrafts
The demand for English teachers is high, especially with a thriving tourism market playing a big part in local life. And there are opportunities to earn a little extra income if you enjoy private tutoring.
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£650-£1,100 per month
Bachelor’s degree usually required
Cost of living
TEFL certificate needed
120 hours +
Main job types
Private language centres
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As the Greek economy relies heavily on tourism, learning English is becoming increasingly important and there is a great need for English teachers. In fact, there are more than 6,000 private language centres in the country. With that in mind, if you have the relevant qualifications and can legally work in the country, you should be able to find teaching work relatively easily.
Greece itself has a lot to offer, from incredible cuisine (think soft bread, tangy olives, crumbly feta and fresh fish) to awe-inspiring history (including many age-old ruins and the location of the world’s first Olympics). There are also plenty of stunning beaches with crystal clear waters and world-famous islands. And one of the best things about Greece is the lifestyle, locals work to live (not the other way around) and love nothing more than socialising at a bustling café or restaurant.
The most popular places to teach English in Greece are Athens, Heraklion and Thessaloniki. These are some of the most populated, built-up cities in the country, where there’s a greater need for English teachers.
Athens is the capital of Greece and home to some of the most impressive historical artefacts and architecture. It is also the hub of social activities, the arts and creativity – perfect for those who want an active social life.
Heraklion is Crete’s largest city, offering a more modern, urban lifestyle with all the benefits of living on an island. Crete itself is a large Greek island home to stunning beaches and rugged cliff faces as well as bustling, colourful villages and cities. Old traditions are still going strong here, especially when it comes to music, dancing and celebrations.
Thessaloniki is one of the largest cities in Greece and a major commercial, economic and political hub. It is also full of cultural interest, frequently referred to as Greece’s ‘cultural capital’ and boasting plenty of festivals and fairs.
TEFL teachers in Greece are not particularly well-paid but you can expect to earn enough to live relatively comfortably. The average salary for an English teacher in Greece is 700-1,200 EUR / £650-1,100 / $800-1,350 per month which is slightly more than the cost of living, depending on your lifestyle. You can also earn a little extra by offering private tutoring to children or adults, which can pay 14 EUR / £13 / $16 per hour.
The cost of living in Greece is cheaper than many European countries, such as France, Germany, Malta, Sweden and the UK – but it can still cost a fair bit to live in Greece. You may need up to $2,000 to get started and you could spend up to $1,300 per month on expenses, including rent.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Athens costs roughly $350-450 per month, whereas renting a room in a house share can cost as little as $200 per month. A meal at a local restaurant costs about $12 per person, a beer costs $5 and a coffee costs $3.50. A one-way ticket on public transport is about $1.50, a cinema ticket is $8-10 and monthly gym membership costs roughly $30.
The most popular type of teaching work in Greece is teaching children at public schools or private language centres. You’ll need a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree to secure work at these types of schools, and a small number of schools may only consider candidates with a basic level of Greek.
Another popular type of teaching work is offering private tutoring. You’ll find both adults and children in need of private English tutoring, and most tutoring work will be found in Greece’s larger cities.
If you’re an EU citizen, you’ll be able to legally teach English in Greece without a work visa. Hurray!
If you aren’t an EU citizen, you may find it difficult to find a school that will sponsor your working visa so that you can work legally in the country. Depending on where you’re from, you might be able to apply for a working holiday visa for Greece which should allow you to teach English legally. At the moment, citizens of Australia and Canada between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply for a working holiday visa for Greece. Some TEFL teachers work illegally on a tourist visa, but this certainly isn’t recommended.
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