London is a very popular place for students to come to learn English as they can have the whole experience: the language, the culture and time in one of the most exciting cities in the world! For this reason there is a high demand for TEFL teachers and there are many language schools across the city. Nearly all institutions require teachers to have either the Trinity TESOL or the Cambridge CELTA to be eligible for work and many also require a university degree.
The main demand is for general English, but there is also a high demand for English classes which help students to prepare for exams such as Cambridge First Certificate (FCE), the Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and for business English. Much of the recruitment is via websites such as TEFL.com and applicants can also send their CV directly to the school for the attention of the Director of Studies.
Work is available all year round, but the busiest time is the summer period when a lot of European students are on holiday. In addition to teaching opportunities at language schools, opportunities are also offered by residential summer schools in the UK. These often provide the teachers with accommodation and meals on top of their wages.
Most classes are take place on weekdays starting at 09:00 in the morning , (some schools finish early on Friday) and you should expect to teach between 20 -30 hours per week. You can supplement your income by finding private students, becoming an examiner (after a few years of experience) or offering to assist with the social programme – many schools arrange activities such as visits to local pubs or famous landmarks and day trips to the south east coast.
Rents are high in London: even in cheaper areas, you should expect to pay at least £500 per month for a room in a shared house or flat, £900 for a studio flat and £1000 for a small one-bedroom flat. However, there is a lot free entertainment and once you are away from the main tourist areas, the cost of living is comparable with a lot of other cities in the rest of the UK.