Guide to Work, Study, Travel and Living Abroad    

Teaching English in the Mediterranean

Street in Morocco

Turkey: Middle Class Eager to Learn English

With its sights set on joining the European Union eventually, Turkish parents and Turkish young people are more eager than ever to promote the English language. Dozens of private secondary schools (lises) and a few universities use English as the language of instruction, and many secondary schools hire native-speaking teachers. Among the main indigenous language teaching organizations (see addresses below) are Interlang which employs about 50 native speakers in six schools and Dilko English, both in Istanbul. Although Istanbul is not the capital, it is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Turkey, so this is where most of the EFL teaching goes on. For less competition, consider Ankara and other inland cities.

A TEFL qualification may not be a prerequisite for employment, but a university degree and a commitment to stay for a year usually are. Private language schools will expect you to work the usual unsocial hours and may chop and change your timetable at short notice, while lises offer daytime working hours plus (sometimes onerous) extracurricular duties such as marking tests, attending school ceremonies, etc. Wages and working conditions often leave much to be desired. Teachers complain that the accommodations supplied by employers may be worse than mediocre and far from the workplace. Teachers have had difficulty collecting promised wages on time. But at least inflation has been brought under control so that salaries should hold their value over the course of a typical nine-month contract.

Egypt: Prosperous Residents Employ Private Tutors

Institutions like the American University in Cairo and the British Council have exacting standards for their teaching staff. At the other end of the spectrum plenty of commercial language institutes, often located in the back streets of Cairo, are less fussy. A large number of private secondary schools in Cairo and Alexandria offer large programs in English as a second language, some of which hire foreign graduates to work alongside certified teachers. In addition to the Sakkara Language school listed below, it is worth investigating schools like Futures American School and International Schools of Choueifat for such positions.

In prosperous residential areas of Cairo like Heliopolis, Maadi, and Zamalek, anyone who can cultivate contacts may be able to set up private lessons. If you have no acquaintances among affluent Cairenes you will have to advertise with notices written in Arabic and English or in the expatriate press. A simpler way to advertise your availability might be to place an ad on the notice boards of the schools mentioned above.

The cost of living in Egypt is very low, so that even modest wages go a long way. Most teachers enter Egypt on a tourist visa (which can be purchased at the airport), then ask their school to obtain a work permit for them from the Ministry of Manpower and Training.

Morocco: English Gaining Prominence

Although Morocco is a Francophone country, English has gained prominence in both academic and business circles. Ten American Language Centers in all the main cities (see below) employ a number of native speakers—some as part of a Visiting Teachers Program.

The Moroccan Ministry of Labor stipulates that all foreign teachers have a university degree to qualify for a work permit. Permits are obtained after arrival. Although knowing French is not a formal requirement, it is a great asset for anyone planning to spend time in Morocco. The hourly rate of pay is between $10 and $14. Net salaries for contract teachers are 9,000-11,000 dirhams per month. See Teaching English in Morocco for more detailed information.

Language Schools in the Mediterranean

Istanbul Via Lingua provides international TEFL certificate courses in many of the world's most popular teaching destinations, including Istanbul. During and after your TEFL course, you will receive extensive job guidance and assistance from Via Lingua.

International TEFL Academy has a school that offers a 4-week TEFL class and subsequent help with job placement in Istanbul and worldwide.

International Training Institute (ITI) is a CELTA and DELTA training center that is also an excellent place to find jobs teaching English in Istanbul.


Amideast has network of English language schools in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia that recruit qualified teachers locally; field office addresses on website.


American Language Center is part of a network of private language institutes affiliated to the U.S. State Department. Locations in Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir, Fez, Marrakesh, etc., all of which hire individually.


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