TEFL/TESOL in Slovenia
Slovenia is a small country with a population of just over 2 million. It is located in south-central Europe and borders with Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast. The beautiful Slovenian landscape is varied and spans from the Alps to the Adriatic sea!
Previously one of Yugoslavia‘s six constituent republics, present-day Slovenia became independent in 1991. The switch to independence happened peacefully and with no bloodshed. Slovenia today is a parliamentary republic and a member state of the European Union and NATO. The capital city is Ljubljana. The country enjoys a strong economy and a stable democracy. It is well connected to the rest of the world through a modern highway network, railway system, international airport and ports.
Importantly it is one of the most westward looking of the former Yugoslav countries and English is seen as an important factor in continued economic growth and prosperity.
English Schools & Working Regulations
English is taught at state schools but mainly in private language centers. There are many private language schools in Slovenia as well as a number of international schools, such as the British International School of Ljubljana, where all subjects are taught in English by teachers who are either English native speakers or bilingual.
Business English and General English are the two main areas of tuition covered in most private language institutes who usually ask for a degree and a TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate from their teachers.
If you are an EU citizen then standard EU work regulations will apply. If you do not hold an EU passport then you will need to get a work permit and a visa to work in this country, although it must be said that some people do work on a tourist visa. As a non EU citizen planning to teach in Slovenia the first step is to inquire with your local Slovenian Embassy, though much information can also be found online.
Schools will usually assist you with finding accommodation and with the preparation of paperwork for official permits, etc.
Teaching Salary in Slovenia
Working for an international school offers many benefits. For example at BISL teachers are paid €2750 ($3476 USD, £2212) before tax. There are also tax allowances for dependents at about €1650 ($2085 USD, £1327) net per month for people with no dependents, plus tax-free travel and lunch allowances for each working day.
You may also find part time work at international schools with lessons usually paid at €20 ($25 USD, £16) an hour (actual teaching time 45 min). In smaller private schools lessons tend to be paid less.
Accommodation & Living Expenses
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is around €250 ($316 USD, £201) per month. Utilities are €50 ($63 USD, £40) during the summer months but will go up in the cold winter months to about €100 ($126 USD, £80) as heating is quite expensive. However the cost of living in Slovenia is fairly low. On average you can live comfortably on about €700 ($885 USD, £563) per month.
- Eating out is cheap with meals for less than €10 ($13 USD, £8).
- Beers at the bar are €2 ($3 USD, £2).
- Transport is fairly cheap.
- Internet and cable TV run to about €30 ($38 USD, £24) per month.
The nightlife of Slovenia is very lively and offers a wide selection of theaters, cinemas, casinos and nightclubs in the larger towns. The capital city Ljubljana has a western outlook and a vibrant student population which contributes to a lively and “happening” atmosphere. Trendy cafés, interesting bars, and small art galleries dot the streets of the old part of town. Live music is played at numerous bars and restaurants. Jazz clubs, rock clubs and discos are very popular, and so are wine bars! Ljubljana also has a good opera house and the symphony orchestra plays regularly in the Cultural and Congress Center. Each year Ljubljana also hosts the International Summer Festival, which features a lively program of concerts and experimental theater.Image © Tit Bonač