Switzerland is a landlocked country in the middle of Europe. Although it is surrounded by the European Union and has close ties to it, being out of the EU means it is easier for American and other non-European teachers to work there.
The country is beautiful. It has the Alps, lakes, greenery and is incredibly well organized. It is also quite expensive in some cities and the language can take some getting used to (although most Swiss speak a good level of English as well as German, French or Italian.)
Qualifications for Switzerland
To teach in Switzerland the usual qualifications are a degree and a TEFL Certificate. A lot will depend on the school, however, and some may ask for more and some may ask for less.
There is also a good demand for private lessons which pay very well.
Getting a work permit can be difficult and if you live outside the country you may need to move there without a job, set up and then apply which can be a very expensive process. Ideally you should try to find work beforehand or be able to rely on a partner to provide income until you are settled and working – which can take some months.
Pay, Conditions & Finding TEFL Work
Pay varies according to which part of Switzerland you are working in and can be between 50 CHF or €40 ($51 USD, £32) to 120 CHF or €100 ($126 USD, £80) per hour.
Native speakers can also find work in the public schools which pays very well.
Most teaching jobs in Switzerland are freelance and schools pay by the hour. The work is usually early mornings, lunchtime or evenings. In order to live and work in Switzerland you will need the appropriate visa. It is thus sometimes difficult to get a visa via a job in a school; normally it will be the other way around.
Most jobs are also found by actually being in the country. Often teachers will start off with a part-time job in one school and then add on a few hours extra from another. There are plenty of private lessons to give and these are often teaching Business English and you can sometimes find these advertised in online forums such as the English Forum Switzerland.
Swiss students – on the whole – tend to be quiet, respectful and hard working. And they will expect the same from you!