South America is one of the most loved travel destinations in the world. Although the pandemic had a huge impact on traveling in recent years, it is still considered to be a popular place to travel. If you are interested in traveling to Latin American countries, you definitely should consider teaching English in South America. There are a few options to choose from within South America. Go over the details of each country and choose where in South America you want to teach ESL.
ESL teachers often choose to teach abroad. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most English teachers. Teaching abroad in places like South America, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Europe allows you to gain teaching experience, learn a new culture, and travel a lot at the same time! If this sounds like something you would like to do, continue reading to learn how to teach English in South America.
Top Countries for Teaching English in South America
There are 12 countries in South America. Among these countries, we picked the top five countries for English teachers who wish to teach ESL in South America. The salary, requirements, and types of English teaching jobs slightly vary for each country.
Teaching English in Brazil
Brazil is a country well known for its amazing beaches, rainforests, and diverse cities. This amazing country’s peak hiring months are March and August. You won’t be able to easily find jobs during January and February because it is the popular vacation season in Brazil.
- Minimum contract: 6 months
- Job Requirements: TEFL certificate & bachelor’s degree (preferred)
- Salary: $800 – $1,300 USD per month
- Types of English Teaching Jobs in Brazil: private language schools & private tutoring
You should keep in mind that it is pretty uncommon for English teachers to stay in Brazil with work visas. This is because the employer has to sponsor the English teachers. Unfortunately, most private language schools do not prefer supporting the visa process as it is very long and expensive. So, most ESL teachers will stay as tourists. But you can only stay in Brazil for up to 180 days as a tourist. You will be able to make a one-time extension of 90 days while in Brazil. With the extension, you can stay in Brazil for 270 days (about 8 months) at most. So, plan your stay accordingly.
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Teaching English in Argentina
Wine, barbecues, football, tango, hiking, and rock climbing. Are any of these of your interest? If yes, then you will love teaching English in Argentina. A lot of people in Argentina are starting to get interested in learning English. Why? Because speaking English opens up a lot better job opportunities.
- Minimum contract: 6 or 12 months
- Job Requirements: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, bachelor’s degree, prior teaching experience (preferred)
- Salary: $600 – $1,200 USD per month
- Types of English Teaching Jobs in Argentina: private language schools & private tutoring
Although the salary isn’t much, it will be enough to cover the low cost of living. Also, make sure which visa you will get. Some employers will support the process of getting a work visa, but a lot of language schools won’t care if you work with a tourist visa. So, basically, you are pretty much responsible for which visa you get. Keep in mind that most ESL teachers will need a 23 A visa to teach English in Argentina.
Teaching English in Ecuador
Ecuador is one of the smaller-size countries in South America. Ecuador is approximately 30 times smaller than Brazil in size. Nonetheless, Ecuador is a country with rich culture, diverse cultures, and amazing nature. Did you know that Ecuadorian culture and landscape were shaped by the Incas? You will learn a lot about history and a new culture teaching English in Ecuador.
- Minimum contract: 6 or 12 months
- Job Requirements: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, bachelor’s degree (preferred)
- Salary: $500 – $800 USD per month
- Types of English Teaching Jobs in Ecuador: public school, international school, private language school, university, and private tutoring
English teachers’ salary in Ecuador isn’t much. It is definitely not enough to live a luxurious life. A great way to supplement your income is by teaching private tutoring lessons. You will be able to charge higher hourly rates than in schools.
Teaching English in Chile
If you want to work in South America and get a decent salary, you should teach English in Chile. This amazing country with fantastic food and great local wines is also on the list of the world’s top 10 countries with the highest-paid TEFL jobs. Although it is on the lower side of the list, you will have a better chance of finding a well-paying English teaching job in Chile compared to other South American countries.
- Minimum contract: 6 or 12 months
- Job Requirements: bachelor’s degree, TEFL certificate (preferred), prior work experience, Master’s degree (for teaching at an elementary or high school)
- Salary: $500 – $1,200 USD per month
- Types of English Teaching Jobs in Ecuador: EOD (English Opens Doors), Private language institutes, private tutoring, private schools
Unlike most of the countries in South America, a TEFL certificate is not a common requirement for ESL teachers in Chile. However, if you are planning to teach abroad, obtaining a TEFL certificate is highly recommended. You can easily get it by taking an online TEFL course. It will boost your chances of getting the job you want!
Teaching English in Colombia
Things that Colombia is famous for include beautiful landscapes, rainforests, mountains, and, of course, specialty coffee. While teaching English in Colombia, you will be able to try hundreds of Colombian coffee brands and amazing desserts.
- Minimum contract: 1 month (but 1 year is standard)
- Job Requirements: TEFL certificate, bachelor’s degree, prior teaching experience
- Salary: $500 – $1,500 USD per month
- Types of English Teaching Jobs in Ecuador: private international schools & private language institutes
The cost of living is quite low in Colombia. You will be able to cover the basic cost of living with your salary, travel, and even save a bit. Some employers will expect ESL teachers to work longer hours and even on weekends. So, keep in mind to check the work schedule with the employer during the job interview.
Things to Consider When Teaching in South America
South America is becoming more popular among ESL teachers with the rise in demand for learning English. Also, the relatively low cost of living is another reason why ESL instructors choose to teach English in South America. To make your job search a little bit easier, check out these tips for finding English teaching jobs in South America!
- Check government programs like TEC (Colombia) or EOD (Chile)
- Private tutoring: salary in some South American countries are quite low, keep it as a side gig and make extra cash!
- Check online job boards
- Find in-country jobs: it’s often easier to find a job when you are physically there
- TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificates are a must!
- Beware of the hiring season: check the hiring and vacation season to know when it is the best time to apply for jobs
FAQ About Teaching English in South America
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about teaching English in South America.
Can I teach English in South America?
If you have a TEFL certificate and university degree, you will be able to get an English teaching job in most of the countries in South America.
How much do English teachers make in South America?
Salary highly depends on the country and type of institution. Generally speaking, English teachers in South America make between $500 – $1,300 USD per month.
Do I need a degree to teach English in South America?
Many employers will prefer teachers with a university degree. However, it isn’t always a required qualification. One thing you must have is a TEFL (or equivalent) certificate.
Teach English in South America: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in this part of the world? Do you think it is the right place for you, or are you expecting to learn ESL job opportunities in other parts of the world, like Norway in Europe or Japan in Asia? Let us know what you think in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API