3:11 pm - Thursday November 23, 6243

Belgium

Currently there is little demand for teachers in Belgium. English is taught at secondary school level and school leavers usually have enough English to get by with the demands that will be made on them later in life. Some of the private language schools are struggling to survive and are often a one or two-person business. Often it is only freelance work, which is available at private language schools. This is for a number of reasons. The first is that English is an asset but not essential to work in Belgium. Also, the UK is very close for those who want to travel to the UK to learn the language and newsagents are well supplied in English magazines and the British press. Last but not least, the country has cable television and this includes a wide choice of programmes in English (British and American). Many teenagers therefore learn the language by watching British and American soaps and viewing films in the original version with subtitles in their own language.

Embassy in UK:

103 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AW

Tel: +44 (0)20 7470 3700

www.diplobel.org/uk

Embassy in USA:

3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington DC 20008

Tel: +1 202 333 6900

www.diplobel.org/usa

British Council office:

Leopold Plaza, Rue du Trône 108 / Troonstraat 108

1050 Brussels

Tel: +32 (2) 227 08 41

www.britishcouncil.org/belgium

 

Ü  Visa/Work Permits:

If you’re a non-EU citizen you’ll need to apply for a work permit. This means you’ll have to prove no EU citizen is able to do your job–it is best to leave this paperwork to your prospective employer. There are two main types of work permit (permis de travail/werkvergunning), normally you will get a B permit which is valid for only one employer and must be renewed each year. After several years you should be able to transfer this to an A permit which is valid indefinitely and allows you to work for any employer you like. Contact the Ministère de l’Emploi et du Travail for information and application forms for work permits.

Ü  Requirements:

College Degree and a TESOL/TESL Certificate

Ü  Currency:

£1 = € 1.49  $1 = € 0.76

Ü  Cost of Living:

Expect to pay a third more than in the U.S. for basic living costs. Belgium is not as cheap as it used to be.

Ü  Salaries/Taxes:

Salaries are negotiable according to experience, but on contract expect to earn around £600 a month. Employers will pay your tax and health insurance only if you are on a contract.

Ü  Accommodation:

Schools rarely assist in finding accommodation. Outside Brussels rents are quite reasonable from a minimum of £150 per month for an apartment to £400 for a small house. An apartment in Brussels costs around £200.

Ü  English Language Media:

The Bulletin (weekly)