Teach English in the heart of Central Europe
Teach in Europe on your own terms
Our Freelance Teaching Program is a unique model that takes the concept of flexibility for your teaching abroad experience to an entirely new level.
Under this program, you the teacher have the freedom teach at any school in Poland, while setting your own hours, schedule, and negotiating your own rate, all under the protection of a single contract and work visa.
WHAT WE OFFER
Full legal protection under a single work contract and visa. No more worrying about your legal status or getting stuck with a shady school.
You can teach at any school, language center, or business in Poland while negotiating your own pay rate and terms. You can work for as many or as few schools as you’d like.
You can rely on our support on every step of the way. We will provide all the tools necessary for getting a visa, landing jobs, and getting settled with life in Poland.
WHERE CAN I TEACH?
Most language centers prefer candidates to have at least a TEFL or CELTA and some prior experience, although some will overlook this if you have the right personality.
Wizards who have experience in the business word in addition to teaching qualifications have the opportunity to teach business English classes to corporate clients. As an “in company” teacher, you will travel to different parts of the city and teach professionals at their offices.
Many clients require a TEFL or CELTA and nearly all will want to see prior experience teaching adults. Having some corporate experience on your CV will also help. Less experienced teachers looking to get their first break into business teaching should look into our Internship in Business Teaching.
Qualified teachers will have the opportunity to get a job teaching English to Polish kids or teens at private kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools. For experienced teachers, teaching at a traditional school is often the most welcoming, as you’ll be working with traditional school hours, school holidays, and a full curriculum.
Most private schools will expect teachers to have a degree in education or a teaching license, although preschools and kindergartens are often more lenient and just want to see someone with experience working with kids.
As a native English teacher living in Poland, you will inevitably get offers to tutor students of all ages. As a tutor, you can negotiate your own rate and have the full freedom of running each tutoring session as you’d like. You’ll also get to experience Poland like a local, traveling to different residential neighborhoods and getting to know the locals on a first-name basis.
There are no requirements to be a tutor other than being outgoing and having the ability to sell yourself to prespective students.
How much can I earn?
Freelance teachers are paid hourly and have the freedom to negotiate pay rates directly with each school. We do not charge schools a commission, leaving you free to work out everything directly with the school.
Pay rates vary depending on the school and how experienced you are. A teacher with some prior experience can expect to a rate of around 50 PLN (about €12) per hour.
Full time hours in Poland for an English teacher are usually 20-25 classroom hours per week. As a freelance teacher, you have the option to supplement your core hours with private tutoring or additional part-time work at other schools.
PLN per hour
teaching hours per week
PLN per month
€ after tax
What are the costs?
Freelance teachers are fully responsible for their own living expenses while in Poland. Teachers from outside the European Union must also cover their own visa and work permit costs. Oh yeah, and taxes are a real thing too.
As we don’t like surprises, you’ll find all the costs of teaching in Poland as a freelancer clearly listed here.
Rent in Poland can be as low as €200 per month for a room in a shared flat, or even a private apartment in a smaller city.
A private apartment in a big city like Warsaw will cost between €350 and €500 per month.
Transport & Services
Public transit is excellent in Poland, so there’s no need to have a car. A monthly pass is around €25.
A mobile phone plan costs less than €7 per month, and home internet plans start at €12 per month.
Work Permit & Visa
To be fully legal to live and work in Poland, non-EU citizens are required to have:
- A work permit €190
- A Visa or Residence Permit €60 – 110
- Residence Permit* €105
- Emergency Medical Insurance €160 (estimate)
After housing and commuting costs, a reasonable budget to live on in Poland is between €200 and €500 per month depending on your spending habits.
Taxes and Administration
English Wizards takes care of processing the pay and taxes for our freelance teachers, regardless of how many schools you are teaching with.
Through our system, taxes are processed on top of your net pay rate, so you will never have to file taxes. Every zloty you earn is yours to keep.
Our fee to process payroll and invoices is €55 (250 PLN) per month. This also grants you full access to our online billing systems and resources. You are free to find your own accountant or do everything yourself, but believe us that this will cost a lot more than €60.
Feel free to read more about the administrative costs of being a freelancer on our blog.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
You're eligible for our Freelance Program if you are...
A native speaker of English
Or posses native-level fluency
A valid passport holder
Outgoing and social
Nobody wants a boring teacher
Read more about freelance teaching on our blog
COVID-19 Update (February 2021)
Poland has only been lightly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and life has mostly returned to normal, with most schools returning to the physical classroom and still recruiting teachers. Poland’s border restrictions continue to allow foreigners with work visas to enter the country. As such, we are continuing to recruit as normal for our Freelance Teaching Program for the upcoming academic year.
We would also like to remind perspective applicants that this program this program does not have a set start date. Should personal circumstances or travel difficulties impact your ability to join our program at your desired time, we would be more than happy to have you at any date in the future.
Can I work anywhere in Poland, or am I limited to certain cities?
As a freelancer, you are free to work anywhere you’d like to in Poland. We can’t make this decision for you as this is not a “placement” program.
Warsaw has by far the highest demand for English teachers, followed by Krakow, so choosing either of these cities will make the job hunt much easier. However, competition is also the highest in these cities, so if you are a less experienced teacher it may pay off to choose a smaller city where you’ll be one of the token native teachers. Small cities such as Bydgoszcz, Gliwice, and Bielsko Biała have numerous language schools and far less competition than the capital.
Am I free to arrive in Poland at anytime, or does the program have specific start dates?
As a freelancer, you are free to come to Poland and start working whenever you’d like to.
However, the biggest hiring seasons for English teachers in Poland are between September and mid October, and again between January and mid March. We highly recommend that you schedule your arrival for one of these hiring seasons to give yourself the biggest window of opportunity to find work.
Are short term summer positions available through this program?
Summer teaching work does exist in Poland, however options are very limited and pay is usually very low. If you’re arriving in Poland in the summer, chances are very low that you’ll be able to find much work.
So unfortunately if you are just looking for a summer job, this is not the right program for you.
How long is the contract for?
Freelance teachers do not have traditional contracts in that sense. The freelance contract (which will be used for your work permit and visa) does not have a set end date and remains valid until you choose to terminate it.
Most schools will also ask you to sign contracts with them in order to guarantee commitment. Typically, the minimum commitment requested one semester, or in many cases one full year.
What type of support will I receive in finding a job?
As soon as you’ve signed up, you’ll be given access to our community-based job hunting resources, which includes an exclusive job board where the 100+ schools that we’ve worked with advertise open positions, as well as many pages of resources on the best places to find job offers that may have otherwise been out of your reach.
As you may already know, teaching positions in Poland (as elsewhere in Europe) are rarely advertised overseas. Although you might be able to find a few schools here and there that will recruit teachers internationally, the overwhelming majority of Polish schools only hire teachers who are already in the country. As such, our connections with schools and other resources provides a “back door” to interview in advance to teaching jobs that would not otherwise be advertised or available to you.
Additionally, for non-EU citizens, our program provides a solution to the “chicken and egg” dilemma that is common in Poland and other EU countries: You can’t get a job unless you have a work visa, but you can’t get a work visa unless you have a job. As an English Wizard, you will have a work visa allowing you to legally teach English in Poland as a freelancer, so you can tell schools that you are already legal to work and they can hire you without any additional procedures.
Furthermore, your freelance contract will make you a very hirable teacher. As soon as a school hears that you can issue invoices and be paid as a freelancer, they will instantly know that this means less taxes and headaches. Check out our blog post on freelance teaching for more about why schools prefer to hire teachers as freelancers.
Finally, being part of the English Wizards community means that you are part of Poland’s largest community of native English teachers. In addition to support you can receive from our optional Support Packages, every Wizard gets access to the #1 job hunting resource by being part of our community: word of mouth.
Why can't you guarantee me a job?
We are a teaching community and teacher support program, not a recruitment or employment agency. As such, it is not possible for us to guarantee a job for all of our Wizards. Schools in Poland do their own hiring, so no matter what you will still have to interview and get hired by a school before you start teaching.
Furthermore, our standard job assistance service is free and complimentary, so we cannot guarantee specific results. If you would like personalized job hunt support that comes with a guarantee, you can opt for our Insured Teacher Package. Alternatively, you can apply for our Internship Programs, which provide the guarantee of a job after completion of our training course.
What are the chances that I'll be able to find a teaching job before I arrive?
This is difficult to say, as it largely depends on how much effort you put in. From our experience, teachers who are actively digging on our job board and through other job resources that we provide during the months leading up to the hiring season will usually at the very least have a number of job interviews scheduled before they arrive. But at the same time, if you put no effort in, chances are slim that a job offer will just land on your lap.
Schools in smaller cities are usually more likely to consider a candidate who isn’t yet in the country as they lack the huge pool of foreign teachers at their doorstep. For this reason we highly recommend keeping your options open if your determined to land work before coming to Poland.
I'm pretty flexible about when I start and I'd prefer not to come to Poland before I have a job offer. Can I simply wait until I receive a job offer before I come?
Theoretically yes, but realistically, this is not something to rely on. While we do provide every teacher with resources to begin connecting with potential schools before arrival, schools obviously will prioritize candidates who are currently in the country. Many will want to meet you in-person for an interview or demo class before formally offering you a position. This is especially true for schools in big cities, and for less experienced teachers, but less so for schools in smaller cities which are often more willing to hire a teacher from overseas.
If being completely by yourself when when searching for jobs after landing in Poland is something that scares you, this may not be the right program for you. We recommend you opt for our Insured Teacher Package, which include personalized assistance and a job guarantee. Feel free to apply to our Internship Programs if you’d feel more comfortable having a guaranteed job before embarking on your travels.
If being accepted doesn't guarantee me a job, why is your criteria so high?
Being accepted as a Wizard means that you are part of our community. As a teaching community, we pride ourselves on being made up of 100% top quality English teachers. It also means that we will be sending you forward to our partner schools, arranging a work visa on your behalf, and providing you with an enormous amount of support free of charge in addition to our option paid services. Similar companies in Europe charge hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for services like ours. We provide these services free of charge to teachers we firmly believe will have no problem finding work as an English Wizard and representing the English Wizards community in a positive light.
Can I apply alongside a friend or partner?
Absolutely! We have many couples and groups of friends that come on our Freelance Teaching Program.
I am currently traveling/working/studying abroad! Can I become a Wizard and start working without having to go home first?
Absolutely! We love seeing applications from future Wizards who have already made the jump into life overseas. However, if you are not an EU citizen, you may not be able to get a visa before you arrive, as it is not always possible to obtain a Polish visa in a third country. Instead, you may have to come to Poland without a visa and apply for a Residence Permit at the Immigration Office.
What are my odds of being accepted if I am not a native English speaker?
This depends on how fluently and clearly you can speak English. If your level of English is anything below perfectly fluent or if you have a non-native accent, we unfortunately cannot accept you as a Wizard. Poland, like the rest of Europe, has a very high level of English proficiency. There is no shortage of local teachers who can speak C1 or C2 English and are qualified to teach English. For us to be able to consider you, you must offer something that no Polish teacher can offer: a native comprehension of the English language. If you can speak English with a native proficiency and a neutral accent, and can prove it in your interview, we will gladly accept you. However, you must still be prepared for a more competitive job hunt if English is not your first language.
English is my first language, but I come from a non-English speaking country. What are my chances of being accepted?
If English is your first language and you speak with a clear, neutral accent, we will usually still be able to accept you as long as you meet our full requirements. For example, if you were born in Guatemala, hold Guatemalan citizenship, but moved to the U.S. at a very young age and speak English perfectly with an American accent, we will treat your application with the same merits as an American-born native speaker.
I have a TEFL certificate, but I've never taught before. Am I eligible to apply?
If you are a native speaker and a qualified TEFL teacher, you are welcome to apply. If we think you have what it takes to make a great Wizard, we can accept you into this program. However, if you have no teaching experience you must be prepared for a more competitive job hunt.
We highly recommend that less experienced teachers first start with one of our Internship Programs. Through these programs, we are able to offer world-class teacher training and guarantee paying jobs for aspiring teachers. You are welcome to move into the Freelance Program after completing a semester on the internship.
However, if you are new to teaching yet have the right personality and motivation to jump in the deep end and find work yourself, we can certainly consider you for the Freelance Teaching Program.
I do not have a Bachelor's Degree. Am I still eligible?
Yes, assuming you meet the rest of our eligibility requirements. A Bachelor’s degree is not required to teach in Poland.
If you have a degree in education, linguistics, English, or a related field, this will be seen as a huge plus and will open up numerous job opportunities and a potential for a higher salary. Otherwise, having a degree or not having a degree will not greatly impact your job prospects.
I do not have a TEFL Certificate. Can I apply and get certified later?
You may, although unless you have a considerable amount of experience it is unlikely that you’ll be able to find a job until you are TEFL certified. We work with an accredited British TEFL provider to offer incoming teachers a discounted TEFL course which you can take as you wait for your work permit and visa.
If you are new to teaching, we highly recommend you instead apply to one of our Internship Programs, which will offer you more training on top of the TEFL certificate and provide you with a paying job to match your training.
Are there any age restrictions to participate in this program?
You must be a legal adult (18+), but there is no upper age restriction. Age discrimination is illegal in the European Union, and any school advertising a preference for teachers of a certain age is breaking the law.
Where will I live?
As a freelance teacher, your accommodation is your responsibility. However Wizards who opt for our Insured Teacher Package receive assistance from our team in securing a place before arrival. If you’d prefer to find accommodation yourself, we highly recommend taking advantage of our Accommodation Packages so you’ll have a place to stay while you look at apartments during your first week. Most cities have English-language Facebook groups for apartment seeking expats.
Unlike in more expensive Western European countries, it is feasible to live alone in a studio or one-bedroom apartment on an English teacher’s salary. However, many teachers prefer to save money and opt to share an apartment with flatmates. With utilities included, a private apartment will cost around 2000 PLN per month (about €450), while a room in a shared apartment will be about half of that.
How will I get to work and get around?
Just like the locals, of course! Navigating Polish cities is very easy, as all have well developed and reliable public transportation systems, with buses, trams, and in the case of Warsaw, a metro. Cities offer transit passes for around €20-30 per month depending on the city. If you have a job offer arranged before landing, it can’t hurt to get an apartment within walking distance of your school to make commuting incredibly simple.
Will it be hard to have a social life in Poland?
Not at all! You will quickly get to meet the other Wizards working in your city through our Facebook group and regular social events. Check out our Community Page for a quick snapshot into what our community is up to!
All big cities in Poland are very cosmopolitan and have vibrant expat scenes. These communities of fellow foreigners are usually very friendly, with Facebook groups and regular meetups to welcome newcomers to the city. The Polish people are also very friendly and welcoming to foreigners, just make a few trips to a social bar or cafe and you’ll see for yourself! The level of English spoken by Poles is very high, so the language barrier is rarely a problem when meeting locals.
Our staff also organize language exchanges, which are a perfect opportunity to mingle with locals, expats, and fellow Wizards.
How much will I get paid?
As a freelancer, you will be paid by the hour, or by the class. The rate of pay is completely between you and the school, and you are free to negotiate your own pay rate with your employer. English Wizards does not mediate such negotiations, however we can offer you advice on what rate(s) you should be asking for.
The typical monthly earnings of an English teacher in Poland range from less than 2500 PLN to more than 6000 PLN per month. As pay is hourly, the more hours you teach the more you’ll end up earning at the end of the month.
There is no upper limit to your earnings as a Freelance Teacher. Some of our highest earning and most qualified teachers have netted over 8000 PLN per month.
How do taxes work?
Freelancers are typically responsible for their own taxes, meaning that every single penny earned must be declared to the government and then taxed. However, Wizards on our Freelance Teaching Program have their taxes processed by English Wizards through our payroll system, so you’ll never have to deal with the tax office. Every single złoty that you earn at the end of the month will be 100% yours to keep.
As we will be taking the taxes out of your pay, it is important to factor this in when negotiating your salary with a school. We give all of our freelance teachers a handy calculator which computes the difference between the “brutto” amount which the school pays and the “netto’ amount you’ll have in your hand after taxes.
Why is there a monthly administrative fee?
At English Wizards, we provide accounting and tax services to every Wizard on our Freelance Teaching Program, and do all of the legwork to invoice every school and client that our teachers work with. But this is a very expensive and admin heavy task, and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Freelance teachers are typically responsible for invoicing schools and clients themself, filing their own taxes and managing their own accounting, so typically the burden is on you. We take all of that off of your shoulders, leaving you free to focus solely on teaching.
To avoid the 250 PLN administrative fee, you are welcome to register directly with the government as a freelancer (or a “sole proprietor” as it’s called in Poland) and manage your own accounting, taxes, and invoicing. Or you could hire an accountant to do it for you, but trust us when we say that it will cost you much more than 250 PLN per month.
We’ve gone into more details on the administration and costs associated with being a freelancer in Poland on our blog.
What kind of support will I receive before departing to Europe?
What kind of support will I receive while I am in Poland?
What kind of hours will I be teaching?
The exact nature of the hours is between you and the school. Typically, teachers at private schools and kindergartens will work regular school hours, teachers at language centers will work weekday afternoons and evenings and occasional Saturday mornings, and business English teachers will work weekday mornings and late afternoons.
Teaching “full time” for an English teacher in Europe generally means teaching 20-30 hours a week, and very few teachers work more than that. It is very common for schools to offer new teachers only part time hours, often between 5 and 15 hours per week, until they have proven themselves as a good fit for their classroom. As such, you should be ready to only work part-time (or juggle multiple part-time jobs) during their first few months before filling up your schedule.
Am I required to teach a minimum number of hours?
No you are not. As a Freelance Teacher, the nature of your hours is between you, your school, and any private clients you may have.
The only minimum that we require is that you must be earning at least 1000 PLN per month for your teaching. This is to comply with Poland’s minimum wage laws.
I hate my job! Can I quit and find another?
Will I get holidays?
Yes, the Polish love holidays! Most schools will typically have 1-2 weeks off around Christmas time, as well as 1-2 weeks off towards the end of January and early February as fall semester ends and spring semester begins. There is also usually 1-2 weeks off in April around Easter. Many schools also break for the entire summer, and those with a summer camp will usually have 1-2 weeks off before and after the summer season.
As a freelance teacher, you are only paid for the hours you teach, so make sure to factor in the school’s holidays when looking into how much you’ll be earning at a particular school.
If you would like to take additional time off, English Wizards does not mediate this. You must work this out directly with the school.
If I'm on holiday will I still have to pay the administrative fee?
No. The administrative fee only exists to cover the cost of us invoicing your schools and clients and processing your pay. So for months that you don’t have any schools or clients for us to invoice, there is no administrative fee.
As we can only process payroll when your total pay sums to over 1000 PLN, you will also not be charged the administrative fee for the shortest of months, where your pay will be held until the next month. For example, if you return from holiday on the 26th of a month and only teach for 3 days that month, the entire pay will be processed for the next month.