One fine Saturday afternoon….
Friend: “How many European countries have you been to so far?”
Ken: “The better question is, ‘how many more European countries left for me to visit?’ Just two.”
Friend: “Wow, you must be receiving a very generous scholarship grant, huh!”
Ken: “Not really. My stipend is only enough for my school and living expenses. But I do have a sideline…”
You might be wondering how I get to travel around Europe with a menial stipend from my scholarship program. I love traveling and the only way to be able to do this is to find a way to earn an additional income.
Thus, I am writing this article to give you some ideas on how you can start earning for that frivolous pursuit of yours without having to get through the rough procedures of getting a working visa to be able to get a job. You may just have a student visa but this should not stop you from earning even more than a regular employee.
Option 1: Know your host country´s regulations for students who are interested to work.
The Spanish law, for example, allows students to render four working hours a day in any field. All you need to do is submit your working contract to the immigration office. Within 90 days, a student-working permit will be granted to you. However, because a permit takes 90 days to process, this may not be a good option if the employer needs you to start working right away.
Option 2: Look for opportunities to teach English through any of your host government programs or privately owned companies.
Here in Galicia, located northwest of Spain, the Xunta of Galicia has a program specially designed for bilingual scholars from English speaking countries. As a student, you can get employed directly by the government itself. This involves teaching conversational English to public school students rendering three hours per day, five days a week. Salary would range from 700 to 800 euros on a monthly basis. It is important that you should be able to comply with some requirements like proof of enrollment, a certificate from your university indicating the number of hours dedicated to your studies. It should also certify that you have extra number of hours for teaching.
For more information about the Spanish “Auxiliar de Conversación” program, visit their website at www.edu.xunta.es/web/.
Option 3: Be an English tutor
This option is best for those who would like to have flexible working hours. And yes, this is what I have been doing for the past several years.
When I started out, I only had one student but as they find satisfaction in what you think is a very simple task, you´ll be surprised at how positive words get around fast. After a year of teaching, I now maintain a dozen to 15 students spread across the week with an afternoon slot only.
This doesn´t need any permit at all. The only requirement is your passion for the English language and determination to always be the best in what you do.
So, let´s do the math. Since I dedicate my mornings to studying in school, I have the afternoon for tutoring. I normally have three students in a day, spending one hour for every student. Each pays a minimum of 10 euros per hour depending on the student’s level of comprehension and knowledge of the language. So, that’s 30 euros per day, 210 euros per week, or 840 euros per month. Not bad right?
To get you started, here are some tips:
1. Organize your schedule.
Make sure your teaching schedule will not come in conflict with that of your classes. You cannot just cancel a tutoring session just because you suddenly have school commitments. Be fair to your students.
2. Your house rules should be very clear right from the start of the class.
Most students think they can easily cancel classes on a whim. And no classes means no pay. So discuss your contract with your student or their parents. This way, students will be motivated, if not forced, to show up. There should be make-up classes for the cancelled ones. Holidays should be included in your class planning too.
3. Plan your learning objectives with the student. Coordinate with parents if the student is below 18 years old.
4. Monitor your student´s learning progress.
Your learning objectives for each student must be evaluated on a regular basis. This will
give the student and/or their parents to reflect on the progress of their learning.
5. And lastly, take care of your reputation.
Filipino English teachers are known not only for their ability to speak and teach English well but also for their dedication to their jobs.
Kenneth Subillaga is finishing his PhD studies at the University of Santiago de Compostela.. He is known in Facebook as the Pinoy Backpacker in Europe, Ken Subillaga is a photographer, a teacher, a baker, and a writer. Ken decided to quit his job in 2009 and started to embark on a journey around the world visiting 38 countries and counting.