Travel & Teach - Netherlands
The Netherlands mixes some of the most liberal attitudes to be found in Europe today with an orderly, structured society. Typified for being flat and easy to travel around, you will still find towns surrounded by canals and castle walls. Dutch people are very friendly and speak excellent English, partly because it is well taught in state schools. While there are many private language schools, the competition for jobs is fairly strong. However there is an increasing demand for in-company teaching, brought about by the high demand for English in the workplace.
Do bear in mind that a bilingual (Dutch-English) teacher will be in greater demand than an English only teacher. There is also an increasing demand within Universities, where teachers are quite often recruited informally through contacts, but you will need considerable experience to take advantage of these positions.
Alternatively, there is a tradition of people attending a kind of community college or folk university, called ‘Volksuniversiteit’, mainly for conversation classes. These centres throughout the Netherlands may be able to offer some work – try www.Volksuniversiteit.nl.
Tips for teaching English in the Netherlands
* choose the 150-hour TESOL Level 4 online >> course for Europe
* consider adding a 30-hour Business TESOL >> as this specialism is very much in demand
* add the 40-hour Total Grammar course >> as this will come in especially useful
* dress for business and present a professional CV/resume >>
British Council http://www.britishcouncil.org/
British Council in Holland: http://www.britishcouncil.org/netherlands.htm
Dutch Embassy UK: http://netherlands.embassyhomepage.com/
Dutch Embassy USA: http://www.netherlands-embassy.org/
Dutch National Tourist Office: www.goholland.co.uk
Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out
how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:
I have been teaching at two local language institutes “Volksuniversiteit”, for 4 years. I am also giving private English lessons to Dutch children who are moving to an English speaking country. Most recently, I started teaching a Business English course at a college. I have also given English lessons to a student studying for her P.E.T. and later her F.C.E. certificate.
I teach an interesting variety of class. It is part-time work, but it is possible to teach enough individual class that part-time work becomes almost full-time. Of course, it helps to live in Holland and meet people who do the same kind of work. Word of mouth and personal introductions are very important here when looking for an ESL teaching position. However, my training and certificate from Global English has certainly been beneficial to me in both teaching effectively and getting jobs.
Nancy recommends the following organisation for many different needs: CV writing class, information about schools, general questions and more and says they are very helpful: www.access.nl.org
Travel and Teach
There is a large English ex-pat community and to a great extent the demand is met by people from this already present population. Often these are English speaking partners of Dutch nationals. There is also a network of qualified and experienced local teachers with an excellent command of English. For this reason, little recruitment is done outside the country. Learning from a native speaker is still quite highly prized but you will also need good academic credentials. Most native speakers work as freelance teachers in private language schools, then supplementing their income with private lessons. A background in business or commerce is also a great benefit as it is business English that is in greatest demand.
Dutch employers will normally want to see you before offering you a job. This obviously favours the teacher who is prepared to travel and apply for jobs in person. If arriving on spec, try the gouden gids (meaning ‘golden pages’) but more often referred to as the gele gids (yellow pages) where language schools are listed under Taleninstituut. The British Council office (see Useful Contacts) may also hold a list of English language schools. Speculative applications are the norm here so a professional CV and covering letter to schools or institutes will have more chance of success.
Initially, for the reasons stated above, it is likely that you will have to survive on part time hours from a variety of schools. It is rare to be offered a full time contract and most teachers survive on long term freelance work with more than 1 school. If applying to teach business English, be aware that employers generally favour commercial experience over academic credentials alone. At interview, ‘dress for business’ and ensure your CV highlights any contact, however minimal, with the commercial world. You might find the guide to writing your CV on our site quite helpful here.
European Union residents just need their EU papers to enter. British and Irish nationals are able to work in Holland without too much difficulty. The Netherlands is also one of the easier EU countries for travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to enter and possibly find teaching work. You should apply for a tax number (sofi nummer) from the tax service (Belastingdienst). EU citizens seeking a sofi-nummer should only be required to show a passport, residence permit identification card (or proof of registration with the foreign police) and proof of registration with the population registrar in your local municipality.
Other nationalities from outside the EU will find the whole process more difficult and bureaucratic. However a degree and TESOL Certificate should enhance your job prospects.
For the best chance of finding work in the Netherlands, it is strongly recommended that you take: