South America is an extremely diverse and gorgeous continent. The media has shown a lot of corruption and violence in various regions across South America, but for those who would like to teach English, the continent is a land rich with opportunities.
Requirements for teaching
When compared to various other regions and countries, Latin America has the least teaching requirements. For example, you can work while you are in the country on a tourist visa, and it is completely legal. There is no hard and fast rule that will require you to get a work visa. In Latin America, you can even find a teaching job without having a degree. As long as you have an English teaching certificate like TEFL, getting a teaching job would be pretty simple.
If you have a TEFL certification, the opportunities of employment will largely increase. There are also opportunities for you to try and get employment before actually entering South America; accommodation will probably be a part of the package.
Wages for teachers
In Latin America, wages tend to be pretty average, but then it is very easy to get by because the cost of living is low as well. If you acquire a position with a University, you will probably be paid better.
Your wages are often paid cash-in-hand, which is great as you will not have to go through the trouble of getting a bank account operational.
Most cities in South America have language institutes, which are a great source of employment. The market for teachers is quite a good one, and if you find classes that need a teacher, you might find yourself with teaching jobs in South America on the very first day of trying to find a job. But on the other hand, in case all the classes have teachers, it could be quite challenging to find a job quickly.
If you get a job for teaching in an institute, the timings are usually in the evenings and on Saturdays. Private tutoring is a great way to earn some extra bucks and stay busy if you end up working at an institute which only has students in the evening.
The financial condition of places like Chile is improving, which in turn opens up a lot of employment opportunities.
The accommodation available to you largely depends on where you are teaching. If you need to find your own place to stay, this shouldn’t be too hard. Organizations and schools will have a lot of local knowledge, so you could get immense help with your accommodation.
The cost of living is low, which means the accommodations may not be superbly extravagant, but they are more than comfortable. Places that are provided by the universities usually have all you need, which include a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and a bathroom.
Often teachers end up staying in guesthouses or home stays, which are both great places to meet new people and other teachers as well.
Photo Credits: Liz Marie