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Teaching English in Egypt

TEFL/TESOL in EgyptA street in Cairo at night.

Egypt is situated in North Africa. It has a population of 83 million and much of its income derives from tourism where English‏‎ is required.

Finding Work

Demand for English teachers is high in Egypt but finding a teaching job for a foreigner is no longer easy given that many positions are now filled by Egyptian graduates who are fluent in both English and Arabic‏‎.

The basic qualifications for work here are a degree and a TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate.

Specializing in Business English‏‎ and IT might give you the edge over applicants with just general English language skills since most adult students want to learn English to do business and improve their computer skills (as well as English for Tourism‏‎, of course).

Being on the spot will also facilitate your search for work. You should expect your job hunting to take some time (up to 3 months in worst case scenarios) so make sure you can support yourself while you are looking for employment.

Learning survival Arabic is a smart move as English is not so widely spoken in every day life.

Babysitting and tutoring of American children are jobs often advertised in the Maadi Messenger. Look for their issues in English-speaking churches and in areas known for their expat communities like in Maadi, Zamalek, and Heliopolis.

The Cairo Yellow Pages lists schools and language training centers both in the capital and in Alexandria and it is a useful source of contacts.

Well qualified American teachers can try and apply at the Cairo American College. This is a private coeducational school enrolling approximately 1300 students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. Entry levels salaries range from $28,551 to $45,162. Benefits include round trip transportation for initial contract, housing, health, life/accident insurance, home leave, and tax-free status. Teaching standards and requirements are high so you will need a solid resume to apply here.

High standards are also required at the Center for Adult and Continuing Education ( CACE) of the American University in Cairo which employs only teachers with extensive experience or an internationally recognized Certificate in teaching English to adults.

The Berlitz school of languages offer freelance part-time teaching positions at any of its centers all within the city. Applicants don’t need to have any prior teaching experience as they provide all new candidates with training based on Berlitz methodology.

Amideast is a private, non-profit organization that promotes inter-cultural understanding between the U.S. and countries of the Middle East. Among the services it provides there is also English language training. It’s worth applying only if you are a higly qualified teacher.

The British Council is a UK’s international organization for educational and cultural relations which offers employment opportunities to British English speakers equipped with British certification.

Apart from company in-house classes, one of the largest markets is for young learners. English medium schools and private schools teach international GCSEs and recruit from April till May for a September start.

Nursery schools also need English native speakers and will overlook a lack of qualifications if they see you have a knack with kids.

Students

Most of the students in schools tend to be either youngsters or teenagers, the latter of whom are often quite excitable and talkative. It’s reported that you will need to be quite firm with the older teenagers to keep a handle on the class.

Formalities

To enter the country you will need a valid passport and a visa. A 30-day visa can be obtained on arrival provided the purpose of travel is for tourism. Upon hiring you, the school will apply for the issuing of your work permit.

For the most current visa information visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs or the Embassy of Egypt or the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Culture

Egypt is hot and can be quite chaotic. Driving is particularly so and produces phenomenon such as the Cairo Kiss where two cars hit, scratch, then move on. In many areas – including well to do suburbs – rubbish disposal is a problem.

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