For many years, Greece was one of the most popular destinations for English language teachers. Of all the candidates for the Cambridge First Certificate and Cambridge Proficiency exams worldwide, one quarter are in Greece. In most parts of the country, English language teaching in state schools is inadequate for these exams and children often attend private language schools (frontisteria) as a supplement.

There are estimated to be more than 5,000 of these schools in the country. You must be a graduate to teach and a certificate, diploma or MA in TESL is desirable although not absolutely necessary. Recruitment is normally done locally in May/June or September. Those less qualified may well have more success finding work in January, as many native speakers do not return to their jobs after the holiday break.

Embassy in UK:

1a Holland Park, London W11 3TP

Tel: 020 7221 6467

Embassy in USA:

2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008

Tel: 202 939 5800

British Council office:

17 Plateia Philikis Etairias, PO BOX 3488, 10673 Athens

Tel  +30 (21) 0 369 2333


Ü  Visa/Permits:

Non-EU citizens are supposed to apply for a work permit before they come to the country, for which they will need to present an employment offer from a Greek school, at their local Greek consulate. In practice, many teachers work while they are waiting for their permits to be processed. Americans of Greek descent can obtain residency permits but should check to make sure they won’t have to serve in the army.

Ü  Requirements:

College Degree and a TESOL/TESL Certificate

Ü  Cost of Living:

Greece is no longer a cheap place to live in although it is less expensive than other parts of Europe. The cost of living in Athens depends to a large extent on the price of the accommodation. You’ll need around £400 per month to cover your living expenses and rent.

Ü  Currency:

£1 = € 1.49  $1 = € 0.76

Ü  Salaries/Taxes:

Expect to earn approximately £400-500 a month at a language school. You can augment your income with private lessons.

Ü  Accommodation:

Apartments in Athens can be relatively expensive starting at around £200 per month. In smaller towns, some schools offer free accommodation but check to make sure the building has a roof and is adequately heated in winter.

Ü  Health advice:

Greek hospitals are notoriously overcrowded. Make sure you have a good medical insurance plan because if you fall sick or are injured, you will want to get back home as soon as you can.

Ü  English Language Media:

Athens News, Kathimerini (English edition).