English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
-   Permits/visas/government (https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-visas-government/)
-   -   Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX (https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-visas-government/44061-guitar-english-teacher-austin-tx.html)

kivettbednar 20.02.2009 20:58

Degree'd Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX, USA
Hey y'all,

I want to move from Texas and teach music lessons in Switzerland. I've been looking at Lucern because I have a friend there, but I'm open to ideas. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2005. I play guitar and bass, have been teaching music lessons for 12 years now. I currently work at the NW School of Music in Austin, and play in a few bands around town. I am currently working on my CELTA certification to teach English as a second language.
I want to make the move to Switzerland in about 6 months, but I'm not sure how to proceed. Anyone have any ideas, suggestions or advice?

Thank you for your time,

www.myspace.com/thenastyclan (I'm the one on the left)

tildaoz 20.02.2009 21:37

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX
Hi, unless you have an EU passport you won't be able to come here and stay for more than a tourist visa's worth without having already sorted out a job, and you are not allowed to look for work from within the country while on a tourist visa.

Getting a job teaching English won't be easy as there is so much competition from people already living here, and the same goes for music teaching. There are enough locals who speak fluent English that there is no need to employ someone from outside, unless you have very specialist skills. Of course it's different once you have permission to look for work, but that only happens if you're married to a local or someone with permission to work, and even then it isn't guaranteed.

Don't mean to be negative about it, but that's the reality if you're not from the EU. To make it even more difficult, even if you do have permission to live here you aren't allowed to be self-employed for at least a few years. I've not seen many music teaching jobs advertised anyway (I'm a musician, too), and the idea of doing it illegally is not worth it, given that Switzerland is so strict when it comes to illegal work.

You will find lots of threads about working here (because there are so many on this forum in the same boat), and there are also very informative threads on the permit situation.

Good luck!

Kate (Australian with a resident permit because my husband has a job but who has only just found some work after looking for a long time!)

kivettbednar 20.02.2009 23:50

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX
Wow! Thanks for replying. That is somewhat discouraging. However, if that is the reality of the situation, then I need to face it. Hmm.

Thanks Again,

Arizona Ben 21.02.2009 01:16

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX
Kate made some really good points about the difficulties for non-EU citizens with getting permits and work in English and/or music teaching over here. She is absolutely right to warn of these difficulties. But, on the upside it is possible. My wife and I (Americans) ended up over here because she was offered a job with a French energy company. Because we are married, when she received her work permit (B permit), I also had access to one. This can be a really beautiful country to live in, so it might be worth a little effort if you are feeling the dream. I don't normally write this length of response, but I like to see dreamers out there.

I am teaching English over here part time right now (for two schools), having previously taught high school social studies for ten years in Arizona. Yes, I had teaching experience but it wasn't teaching English as a language. I think my teaching experience probably got me in the door at most places, but it is worth thinking about in your situation. If you can take a one month CELTA certification course in England (or Switzerland), this is what most language schools over here seem to like the best (although I myself am not CELTA certified). I'll be going back into teaching social studies at the end of the summer.

Now, getting a work permit can be a problem, but is not an impossible dream. Your best bet is to become a certified teacher (English, primary school, secondary school, etc.) if you want to be hired by schools. International schools will sponsor a permit for you if you are hired, but you will need to be a certified teacher to get those jobs. Also their big hiring season is starting to draw to a close for next year, although jobs can still pop up sometimes. The best of these jobs are really great jobs that pay much better than U.S. teaching salaries.

Check into the Swiss school system as well, as I know a couple of native English speakers who have received work with music, drama, and English language jobs in the Swiss system, despite being told by many that this would not be a possibility for them in Switzerland. To be fair, they were already here when they found this work, which is obviously an advantage.

There might be graduate programs over here that you could look into as well, although you might have to speak one of the native languages. Also, this would be a student visa and different than a work permit.

If you can get a school to sponsor a work permit for you, that is your best ticket...it might take a few years of effort to get here, but it is a possibility. So, I wish you the best in your efforts if you decide to continue.

Arizona Ben 21.02.2009 01:32

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX
Oh, I see now you are working on your CELTA...great idea--ignore that part of my previous post.

prudence 21.02.2009 03:31

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX
Hi there,
I'm another music-teaching expat here.. don't quote me on this, but I've been told that one would need about 36 hours of teaching a week to qualify for a work-visa.. and for a music teacher that is A LOT. Don't want to sound discouraging, but it's extremely hard to get music teaching work here. Basically, you'll only be considered if there are no Swiss candidates for the job (even if you speak fluent German and have loads of teaching experience).
I once went for a teaching job where there were only 2 candidates.. the other one had no teaching experience at all.. he still got the job. Go figure..

Nathu 25.02.2009 00:58

Re: Degree'd Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX, USA
Hi, a late welcome to EF! :) If you still plan to come to Switzerland, all the best for your preparations.

25.02.2009 01:25

Re: Guitar/English Teacher from Austin, TX

From speaking to others in this game, being a music teacher in Switzerland is tough. In Basel the going rate seems to average around SFR 80 per hour, but the problem is finding reasonably priced yet central classrooms, and naturally finding enough pupils.

Language teaching can be low-end too, but if you manage to get corporate clients, the rewards can be good. But again, a steady income is tricky.

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