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How to Find an English Teaching Job in Istanbul

Hello Jen, There are virtually hundreds of English schools in Istanbul, and it is more than possible to find work. But it just takes some time. It took me nearly a month of trying before offers began coming in, and at this point I was ready to  leave the city. Most schools seem to want [...]

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Hello Jen,

There are virtually hundreds of English schools in Istanbul, and it is more than possible to find work. But it just takes some time. It took me nearly a month of trying before offers began coming in, and at this point I was ready to  leave the city.

Most schools seem to want you to make a long term commitment of at least a year. If you want to be in Istanbul that long, then you should not have any problems.

As I wrote to another reader, the best school that I visited in Istanbul was called Dilge English. It is run by a Turkish woman who grew up in England named Ayse Sahin. Her email is ayse@dilge.com.tr

They teach the Callan method there, so you don’t have to worry about not having certification, you just need to be real outgoing and speak loud and clearly.

The going rate for a native speaking English teacher is at least 25 Lira an hour, but I was offered amounts as low as 17. It is my impression that there is a lot of lee way to negotiate payment. Keep in mind that anything under 20 Lira an hour is considered low for a native speaking English teacher, so go high!

I do not know if you are certified, but I received a 100hr TEFL certification from an institute called ITTT for under $200. The course was completely online, and was actually pretty good. Their website is at ITTT TEFL Teachers Training.

I have included three lists of contact information for English schools in Istanbul, so you can call or email them. Keep in mind that many of the receptionists at these schools do not speak English, so calling them is sometimes a slight challenge. If you keep gabbing in English on the phone they will eventually give it to someone who understands what you are saying.

Keep on the job hunt, and I am sure that you will find yourself with a good English teaching position in Istanbul.

English Teaching School List Istanbul

English Teaching Schools Istanbul

Asia English Teaching Job List

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Walk Slow,

P.S. I fund my travels off of the proceeds from this website, if you are able, please consider making a contribution. Thank you.

Question about finding English teaching work in Istanbul

Hi Wade

Istanbul is awesome. I was there for six weeks over November/December last year also looking for a teaching job. I had no luck. Do you have any contacts were I can apply again? I live in South Africa. I want to come over, but I don’t have the finances to be unemployed for too long. Help this Istanbul-lover please. Thanks 🙂


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Filed under: English Teaching, Travel Help, Turkey, Work

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3704 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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14 comments… add one

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  • Fredrick Brown May 18, 2009, 12:47 am

    Well…..I agree with most of the things you said. Anyway, thanks!

    Link Reply
  • nida September 30, 2009, 12:43 am

    Hello, I´m helping out some friends to look for a native English Speaker, to talk to a baby (he is almost 1 yr.old) and play with him in English, 3-4 hours each day of the week(except weekends). The baby is an American citizen(born abroad), so the parents want to raise him bilingual. The baby already has a baby-sitter, and there is a cleaner at the house full time too, so this person will only be an ´English conversation buddy´ for the baby. They will pay a salary for this part time job.(It´s in Istanbul) Please contact me at 533-2844764 if you are interested, or email nidatozluklu@yahoo.com Thank you so much!

    Link Reply
    • Malik December 4, 2012, 3:20 pm

      I’m interested, please get back to me if the offer is still valid.I’m a native English teach right here in Istanbul Turkey,I teach in Language schools and do private lessons as well.I’ve thought in some Language schools both in England and other non English speaking countries.I intend to spent more time right here in Turkey possibly forever.

      Link Reply
      • Wade Shepard December 4, 2012, 8:01 pm

        I don’t get it. There nothing in this article advertising a job.

        Link Reply
  • Chris Poole May 2, 2011, 11:46 am


    We can help teachers find good jobs in Istanbul.

    Please get in touch via our website http://www.englishjobsturkey.com.

    Its free for the teachers, we just charge a small one-off fee to the school. We are teachers ourselves with experience in all kinds of schools all over the world, so we now what its all about. We have now settled in Istanbul permanently and we are keen to use our contacts and knowledge to help people find jobs they are happy with.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    Link Reply
  • Andreas al Chreiki December 11, 2011, 11:06 am

    Hi , I am highly skilled artist ,I teach painting , sculptor , drawing

    And fashion drawing also fashion design from drawing to ready
    concept ,I am looking for job in Istanbul as art teacher , looking for the right contacts in Istanbul , thank you

    Link Reply
  • shima January 15, 2012, 2:25 am

    id like to teach english in turkey im a teacher and ive been teaching english for 8 years
    i studied and graduated translation

    Link Reply
  • Wiola May 17, 2012, 8:50 am

    Hi there,

    I am an English teacher from Poland. As I heard it’s not that hard to find a job in Turkey if you want to teach English. However, I am not a native speaker of this language. Is it still possible for me to find a job in some language school? I have got a bachelor degree in Teaching English and I am currently taking a scholarship, I am a teaching assistant in one of secondary schools in the UK.

    I will be grateful for any answer and advice,

    many thanks!

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard May 17, 2012, 9:17 am

      It is my impression that it would be alright as far as getting hired, but it may be another issue getting a proper work permit, as some countries will only give them out for English speakers from a select group of countries. I don’t know what the deal is with Turkey in this regard.

      Link Reply
  • Wiola June 11, 2012, 7:26 am

    All right. I understand. I will be searching for some more information. Thanks a lot.

    Link Reply
  • m khan June 13, 2012, 6:52 am

    hi, im a native British english teacher in Istanbul .. anone interested than please email me on [email address edited out].

    Link Reply
  • Ali October 22, 2012, 5:06 am

    hi, i’m iranian and i have a masters degree in civil engineering. i have also been teaching english in differnt language schools in iran for about 12 years. morover during the last 5 years i was a teacher in the most accredited language institute in iran where there are tough requirements regarding reaching ability and english knowledge. as far as knowlege and experience are concerned i am a very good teacher. but i am not a native english speaker and my university degree is not english. i want to know if there are any chances for me to get a job as an english teacher in istanbul.

    Link Reply
  • Richard October 29, 2012, 8:12 am

    hi,am a nigeria with BSC marketing,and i have experience in english teaching for five years,and currently runing my MBA program with(BAHCESEHIRE UNIVERSITY BESIKTAS ISTANBUL) i will be vary happy if my request is granted.

    Link Reply
  • Malik December 4, 2012, 4:39 pm

    My name is Mliik.I’m an English teacher right here in Istanbul,I’m a native speaker from Birmingham UK.I’m looking for a private classes please any assistance in getting any will be highly appreciated..Here is my number 535-944-7522 lets get it started..

    Link Reply