Macedonia (FYROM or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) became independent in 1991. It is a landlocked country bordered by Kosova, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece (with whom it has strained relations, partly due to a dispute over its name).
The largest city and capital is Skopje with a population of about half a million people. Overall there are about 2m people in the country. Following independence was a period of civil war and bombings. There has been peace for several years now and the country is safe for travel and work.
The country was formerly communist but since independence it is looking more towards Europe and whereas before the foreign languages taught were generally German or French, these days English is becoming more important and teachers are needed there.
English Schools in Macedonia
There are a number of different options for English teachers wanting to work in Macedonia. There are several International Schools which are well organized and pay well – upwards of about €1500 ($1896 USD, £1206) per month.
There are a growing number of private language schools which pay between €500 ($632 USD, £402) and €1000 ($1264 USD, £804) per month. This is enough to live on reasonably well in the country.
In addition, the Peace Corps and other NGOs have a presence there alongside language schools.
Teachers working in Macedonia also often take on Private TEFL Lessons which pay around €10 ($13 USD, £8) per hour.
Students in Macedonia
Generally speaking many of the classes are for adults & Business English with growing numbers of younger students as well who see English as useful, especially since Macedonia is a candidate country for entry into the European Union.
Students tend to talk a lot in class and are perhaps less strict when it comes to copying off each other!
Teaching Requirements in Macedonia
The usual requirements are a degree and a TEFL Certificate. The international schools may ask for higher qualifications.
If you are in the country it is relatively easy to find work; many of the smaller language schools do not currently advertise online.
A lot of teachers work on tourist visas which are valid for 3 months. It is fairly standard practice for teachers to nip over the border every three months and have their passport stamped and then return to teach another term.
At the moment Macedonia is not in the EU and there are a number of American and other nationalities working there (on tourist visas, as mentioned above).
ELTAM – the English Language Teachers’ Association of Macedonia