Last Updated on June 16, 2022
Europe can be described as a small-sized continent that includes 44 countries and a wide range of landscapes, from snow-capped mountains like Alps and Pyrenees, to varied coastlines, like those on the Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean sea.
However, for those who travel around it, Europe is so much more than this. It is a myriad of diverse cultures and languages located within easy reach from one another. It is the ideal destination for those who are investing time, effort, and resources in long term travel and want to make every minute of their journey count. It is the chance for international English teachers to make traveling fit around their busy schedule. Last but not least, it is the opportunity to start your new career abroad as a teacher of English as a foreign language (TEFL).
If you are planning a medium- to long-term journey, you might have already planned a detailed itinerary of the countries, cities, landmarks and places of interest you want to visit. However, if you are thinking about a more permanent move as a TEFL teacher abroad, you might want to try a different approach.
- Choose your base.
Working as a TEFL teacher should give you enough financial freedom to explore Europe in your free time. At the same time, you wouldn’t be able to change jobs every month: you’d waste your energies applying and attending interviews for teaching roles – it just wouldn’t be practical. Instead, choose a destination that can serve as a base as well as a starting point for your travels. Decide on a country that allows you to reach other countries fairly easily and offers good job opportunities.
Suggestion: The Czech Republic
Its central location makes this country, also known as Czechia, the ideal base for your teaching career abroad and a great starting point for your adventure. This landlocked country offers plenty of teaching opportunities as well as indoors and outdoors things to do.
Czech villages and small towns are simply enchanting, just like in a fairy tale. The big cities, like Brno and Prague, the capital, are equally fascinating, but with the added bonus of having a variety of language schools willing to hire English teachers throughout the year. Many of those schools train future teachers in-house, with a promise of being hired upon completion of their TEFL course. That’s a great way to save time and effort on both parts.
- Leaving your base for the first time
You’ve got your training and job sorted. You’ve spent some time exploring around your country/base. You are ready for something different, but you don’t want to go too far, you’re still finding your feet. At the end of the day, travelling in Europe might be different from what you are used to.
Although this country has harsh winters, Poland is an unexpected diamond in the rough. It is the ideal destination for a short break, as public transport, accommodation, and eating out are inexpensive.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer. Through the years, Poland has developed into a vibrant country. Keep busy with outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and camping, or take in the culture visiting museums and attending festivals and cultural events in one of the many beautiful Polish cities.
- Finding familiarity in the unknown
No matter where you come from, there are some specific countries that are more popular than others when it comes to short breaks. It might be because of their rich and fascinating culture, or because of renowned cuisine, but some countries end up in many travelers’ bucket lists. The problem is that there’s so much to see in these incredible countries that they can get you hooked. Would you be ready to go when it’s time to leave?
France is one of the most famous countries in the world for a number of reasons. Because it covers such a wide area, this country benefits from a plethora of landscapes. Do you love the sea? You can choose between Mediterranean beaches and a cooler Atlantic coastline. Do you enjoy the mountains? Take your pick between the Alps and the Pyrenees. Fancy some culture? Say no more – Paris is all you need. There’s no need to mention French food, a world-wide favorite.
With such a variety, France is a difficult country to leave. Should you decide to stay, bear in mind that English teaching opportunities are always available in this country. As it is often the case, large cities offer a wider selection of language schools, but teaching English in a small city in France would allow you to truly experience the local culture at a slower pace of life.
- Visiting a firm favorite
Many people have a dream location they wish to visit. It’s the place where you fantasize having your most relaxing holidays and most exciting adventures. It’s perhaps the place you feel most connected to, even if you haven’t been there yet.
For many, the country that is ‘home away from home’ is Italy. The reasons for the fascination with this country depend on the person: rich history and culture, different landscapes to enjoy, regional food specialties to try, the locals’ welcoming personality.
Traveling from the north to the south (and to the islands) of the country, the landscape and the climate changes dramatically. Equally substantial differences, but perhaps less noticeable during a short visit, are those related to the culture and the behavior of the locals. It might take you several trips to discover and experience the nuances of this incredible country.
- Looking for a change of scenery
The more you tick off countries from your travel bucket list, the more destinations you add. You might develop a ‘craving’ for something different and unusual, perhaps off of the beaten track. Something that might push you out of your comfort zone, leading you to discover wonderful and often underrated places.
While a warmer climate is often what people seek, a cooler setting might be a welcome change. Latvia can offer you just that, as well as stunning landscapes with vast forests, refreshing rivers and lakes, and sandy beaches. This country is a true paradise for those looking to reconnect with nature, as half of its territory has an unspoiled ecosystem. To appreciate and enjoy Latvia to the fullest, plan your visit in Autumn.
Compared to its neighboring countries, Latvia might not be as cheap, but it’s definitely more affordable than the countries in western Europe. Eating out is relatively inexpensive, offering hearty meals that revolve around meat and potatoes. Thanks to its well-connected, efficient, and reasonably priced modern public transport system, you’ll be able to travel effortlessly across Latvia and to the countries nearby, like Estonia and Lithuania.
Ready for your European tour?
Whether you are considering a long-term trip around Europe, or planning a more radical move as a TEFL teacher, think about the approach that best suits your needs. Choose a convenient destination as your base or starting point and then outline a plan for your movements. Making decisions as you go along might sound more fun, but having a general idea of where you’re going to go, how, and why will increase your chances of success and reduce those of unexpected hiccups. Go ahead, and plan your European adventure!