Travel & Teach - Serbia and Montenegro
Before starting your TEFL adventure to Serbia and Montenegro (formerly part of what was Yugoslavia), you might be interested in a little history. In the early 1990s, post-Tito Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all declared their independence in 1991; Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in 1992, with Slobodan Milsoevic as President.
A turbulent period led to conflict in the region and severe upheaval. Expulsions by Serbs of ethnic Albanians living in the autonomous republic of Kosovo provoked an international response, including the NATO bombing of Serbia and the stationing of NATO and Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo. Milosovic was replaced in a presidential ballot in October 2000, which was held in a climate of nationwide demonstrations and strikes.
The decade of strife caused the break up of trade links between what was Yugoslavia and its neighbouring states has meant that the EFL industry also suffered, although it wasn’t particularly well developed when the tourist industry was in full swing in the 1980s. In spite of this, there has been an increase in interest in learning English at the local level and the number of language schools has grown rapidly.
Presently there are scores of private language schools in Belgrade, primarily teaching English. Most of these schools are rather small and few of them can afford to offer regular employment as they have to pay the tax and contributions from the salaries. However, many of them employ part-time teachers. Many would like to have at least one native speaker teaching at their school. However, if you are committed to teaching and able and willing to make a minor investment, you may join a school as a partner, in which case your earnings would mainly depend on your personal skill and engagement. Besides teaching at a school, you can make quick and considerable money by giving private lessons at a rate of EUR 20-30 for 90 minutes and/or edit translations into English. Living in Belgrade can be very pleasant for young people. So for the adventurous traveller, prospects of finding work are quite good.
British Council http://www.britishcouncil.org/
British Council in Serbia and Montenegro: http://www.britishcouncil.org/yugoslavia.htm
Serbia and Montenegro Embassy UK: http://www.yugoslavembassy.org.uk/
Serbia and Montenegro Embassy USA: http://www.yuembusa.org
Serbia and Montenegro National Tourist Office: http://www.serbia-tourism.org/
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Travel and Teach
We have been advised that there are very few countries whose citizens need a visa to visit Serbia and Montenegro. You can visit Serbia and Montenegro as a tourist and once you are there, you can find a job and then, you, or your employer can apply for a work permit. On the other hand, most of the language schools in Serbia & Montenegro have their www sites on the Internet and you can easily find them if you search for language school or English school +Serbia or +Belgrade, and then you can contact them directly and offer your services. For information on Visas for Serbia and Montenegro, contact your country’s embassy. But do check out the situation for yourself and take advice from your own country’s embassy on travel and staying in Serbia and Montenegro (see Useful Contacts).
Because the demand is growing, you may be able to secure work without a degree. However if you do hold appropriate qualifications (degree + TESOL qualification) your chances of success and securing a better rate of pay will be higher.
Pay can range from EUR 150 to EUR 650 per month, depending on qualifications and experience. One school provides teachers with a percentage of the income generated by the group they are teaching. Accommodation is likely to be your biggest cost in the region. Monthly rent for a room in Belgrade ranges between EUR 70 and 150 and for a smaller apartment between EUR 150 to 250, depending on the location. If you rent an apartment, you may be requested to pay a deposit equal to the monthly rent and, of course, household bills amounting up to EUR 50 per month. These costs tend to be lower in smaller cities and towns in Serbia and Montenegro. Train travel is reasonably cheap, buses a little more expensive. Food is rather cheap. All banks, travel agencies and hotels will change hard currency into Yugoslav Dinars at the official rate. Cash is easier to change than any other form of currency. Montenegro uses Euros as well as Yugoslav Dinars.