Sweden has a lot of things to offer to travellers looking for something new. Fondly called “The Elongated Country” by the Swedes, this Scandinavian country is famous for IKEA, Spotify, ABBA, and the Volvo Group. There certainly area some jobs for English teachers in this beautiful country. Keep on reading for more information!
Moreover, if you’re planning to take a trip to Sweden, you may want to stay a day or two in their ice hotels while checking out the Northern Lights.
But, there is more than just seeing the sights for teachers. This Nordic country can be an option for English teachers looking for something new.
Teaching in Sweden
Teaching English to Swedes is not quite challenging since the students are eager to learn the language. This is particularly true with Swedish children, who make up the bulk of the students of an ESL teacher.
Even as the ESL teaching process is not challenging, it’s a different story when it comes to finding a job as an English teacher, especially if you’re not a local. The difficulty in finding a good ESL job is because most Swedes speak the language. In fact, around 90 percent of Swedish citizens speak English.
Taking this into consideration, if you’re exploring the possibility of teaching English in Sweden, you should have impressive qualifications. If you’re wondering what these qualifications are, continue reading to find out if you qualify as an English teacher.
However, please note that it can get cold in Sweden! If you’re looking to teach English in Europe in a place with a bit more of a temperate climate, then please consider teaching ESL in the Czech Republic.
Requirements to Teach English in Sweden
Similar to many countries around the world, the requirements of teaching English in Sweden depend on where you’re applying for a teaching position. If you’re planning to apply for an English teaching in a public school, you should expect the requirements to be stricter compared to a private school. If you don’t meet these strict qualifications, consider instead a teaching job in Russia.
Anyway, check out the following requirements if you’re thinking of teaching ESL in Sweden
- Bachelor’s degree in Education
- Documented proficiency in the Swedish language (for public school teachers)
- Certificate from the National Agency for Education of Sweden (Skolverket)
- Native English speaker or has a high proficiency in the English language
- TEFL certification
- TEFL experience (not a strict requirement, but will help in looking for an EFL job in Sweden)
- Visa for non-European Union citizen
These requirements are very similar to opportunities in neighbouring Finland. Read more here: Teaching English in Finland.
Teaching Opportunities in Sweden
Even though English teaching opportunities are limited, you should not limit yourself to formal teaching jobs. Aside from teaching in a public or private school, you can also explore the following:
This is not a traditional teaching job since you’ll basically teach the children of the household English. In exchange, you get free accommodations and meals. Additionally, you get a monthly table salary of around $400 USD to $500 USD per month.
Au pair is ideal for single native English speakers who want to experience teaching in Sweden. Aside from immersing themselves in Swedish culture through the host family, they also earn something while spending time in Sweden.
While this is not an ideal ESL job, it gives native English speakers the chance to teach in Sweden even if they don’t have all the necessary qualifications to teach in a public or private school. The basic requirements for an au pair applicant are as follows:
- Between 18 to 30 years old
- Has a valid passport
- Has a written invitation from the host family
- Shows interest in the Swedish language and culture
The Folkuniversitetet or a community-university is a system where adult Swedes are educated on different topics. ESL teachers can use this system to teach in Sweden since the English language is one of the areas covered by the system.
The main focus of the system is communication. Due to this, the course will cover the basic language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
While this is the easiest way for an ESL teacher to teach in Sweden, you shouldn’t expect the salary to be as high as teaching in a public or private school.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Sweden
Have you made up your mind about teaching English in Sweden? If so, you should take a step back first and go through the following things before you send in your requirements. These things to consider will allow you to avoid experiencing a culture shock, especially if you have no idea to expect once you land on the shores of Sweden.
- The average salary of a public or private school English teacher is between $1,400 USD and $1,800 USD per month.
- Taxes in Sweden are quite high and you may see a 30 percent tax imposed on your salary
- While the cost of living in the major cities is high, it’s the opposite if you’re teaching in a rural area, such as Edsele
- Winter in Sweden normally has a shorter time with sunlight. Some areas only have four to five hours of sunlight when winter sets in. Want somewhere more tropical? Consider Okinawa, Japan or Puerto Rico.
- Learning is a serious thing among Swedes, which may be one of the reasons why they are eager to learn English
- Punctuality is a valuable trait in Sweden, so it’s ideal for you not to be late at all
- Sweden has a progressive approach toward education and is not using traditional classroom setups.
- Similarly, many Swedish schools are not quite strict when it comes to attire. Oftentimes you can wear a pair of jeans at work as long as you look clean and decent.
Teaching English in Sweden may not be financially-rewarding, the experience of working in this unique and interesting Nordic country will be enough for many teachers who want to try something new.
Should I Teach English in Sweden?
Deciding whether to teach English in Sweden is a personal choice that depends on various factors. Here are some points to consider:
- Demand for English Teachers: English proficiency is generally high in Sweden, and many Swedes already speak English fluently. However, there is still a demand for English teachers in schools, language institutes, and private tutoring, especially in larger cities or areas with a higher number of immigrants.
- Work Opportunities: Sweden offers opportunities for English teachers in different educational settings, such as public and private schools, language schools, and companies providing English training. Research the job market and available positions to determine the level of demand and the potential for finding employment.
- Qualifications and Requirements: Check the specific requirements for teaching English in Sweden. Typically, a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), are preferred. Additionally, knowledge of the Swedish language may be beneficial for certain teaching positions.
- Lifestyle and Culture: Consider the lifestyle and cultural aspects of living in Sweden. Sweden is known for its high standard of living, excellent healthcare and education systems, and a strong emphasis on work-life balance. It’s important to research and understand the local culture, customs, and cost of living to determine if it aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.
- Personal Preferences: Reflect on your personal interests and goals. Teaching English in a foreign country can be a rewarding and enriching experience, providing opportunities to immerse yourself in a new culture, develop teaching skills, and gain international work experience. Evaluate if the prospect of teaching in Sweden aligns with your career aspirations and personal growth objectives.
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching in this beautiful country. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is the typical salary range for English teachers in Sweden?
The salary range for English teachers in Sweden can vary depending on factors such as qualifications, experience, and the type of teaching position. Salaries are generally competitive and can range from 25,000 SEK to 40,000 SEK per month or more.
Are there opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to adults in Sweden?
Yes, there are opportunities to teach English as a foreign language to adults in Sweden. Language schools and private language institutes often offer English courses for adults seeking to improve their language skills for professional or personal reasons.
Are there any specific cultural considerations when teaching English in Sweden?
When teaching English in Sweden, it is important to be aware of Swedish cultural norms and values, such as a strong emphasis on equality, respect for individual autonomy, and a preference for consensus. Being culturally sensitive and adapting teaching methods accordingly can enhance the teaching experience.
Are there any resources or support available for English teachers in Sweden?
English teachers in Sweden can access resources and support through professional networks, online communities, and teaching associations. The British Council and International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) have resources and events that can be valuable for English teachers.
What is the work visa process for teaching English in Sweden?
Non-EU citizens who wish to teach English in Sweden typically need a work visa. The process involves securing a job offer, obtaining a residence permit, and fulfilling other requirements set by the Swedish Migration Agency. It is advisable to consult with the Swedish embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on work visa requirements.
Have Your Say about Teaching Jobs in Sweden
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about teaching English in this Northern European country? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about it. We’d love to hear from you.
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