From the bustling streets of Buenos Aires and the beautiful wine region of Mendoza to the serene landscapes of Patagonia and the Andes, Argentina offers an irresistible blend of vibrant cities, culture, and nature. Allied with an improving economy and favorable conditions for TEFL teachers, it's no wonder that people want to teach English in Argentina.
So, if you're interested in a new teaching experience, learning Spanish, or indulging in local traditions, read on to learn how teaching English in Argentina can make this possible.
There are several different ways to teach English in Argentina. There is a strong demand to learn English there and many professionals, especially in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, want to take English classes to help them improve their English speaking and writing skills. There are also a host of other opportunities and different teaching jobs.
Let's take a look at the options:
The easiest way to teach English in Argentina is to work as a private tutor. You only need to be fluent in English and should ideally possess a TEFL certification.
You can either seek out students yourself or go through an agency to find them.
Agencies can act as a good stepping stone to get you started. They have a roster of students seeking instruction in business English or looking for assistance in preparing for language exams. The main downside to this is that the agency takes a cut from your pay. Plus, you may have to work early mornings or evenings to accommodate your students’ schedules.
In each case, you’ll likely be commuting to different locations. You need to factor this in when you’re deciding to take on students.
If you've been in the country for a while and established a network, you're better off acquiring students yourself, as you'll get to set your own prices and take home a much higher hourly rate. Some families hire private tutors so that their children can have ESL lessons after their regular classes. You should also be able to find work teaching business English if you make the right contacts and advertise your services in the right places.
Another way for you to teach English in Argentina is to apply to a private language school. Numerous language schools all over Argentina offer one-on-one and group instruction.
You’ll have a choice between private institutions and large chain schools that operate in Latin America, like Wall Street Institute or ABS International.
Students range from very young learners to working adults who want to improve their English to boost their careers.
The salary for English teachers working at the large chain language schools can be slightly lower than that offered by private institutions but, being more established, they often have more students so you’ll be offered more hours.
The Argentine school system caters to over 46 million students from primary to university level. This means they need a considerable number of teachers and there are plenty of teaching jobs, especially in public schools. There are also a growing number of opportunities in private schools.
With the improving economy and the establishment of foreign businesses in Argentina, many schools recognize the need for their students to communicate well in English. Thus, more public and private schools are offering multilingual instruction, increasing the demand for English teachers.
Several international schools also hire English-speaking teachers to cover their US or UK-based curriculum. So, this could be a natural step for your teaching career.
The salary of teachers working in private schools, particularly international schools, is higher than that of most state-run institutions. But the requirements for securing a job there are higher as well.
Depending on your qualifications, you can expect to earn anywhere from $600 to $1,200 a month teaching English in Argentina. This amount may seem quite low but the cost of living there is also low. Plus, you can always opt to take on extra classes from language schools or offer private tutoring services if you want to boost your income.
Private tutors can charge their students $10 to $20 an hour for ESL lessons. To earn the higher amounts in Argentina, teach English to business professionals in Buenos Aires.
The basic requirements for teaching English in Argentina are fluency in English and a TEFL certification. You don’t need to be a native English speaker or come from the US, Canada, or the UK. As long as you are fluent, you should be able to find a job as an English teacher here.
Below are the basic requirements that most employers look for in their applicants.
The standards for teaching jobs in Argentina are quite relaxed compared to other countries in South America. However, while many language schools and tutoring agencies do not require you to have a bachelor's degree, most will look for a TEFL certification.
If you plan on working for a chain language school, expect them to ask for your TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification before they schedule you for an interview.
If you're not TEFL certified yet, don't worry. There are many options to get your TEFL certificate. You can easily find a TEFL course online or even take an in-class TEFL in Buenos Aires. Some TEFL courses even offer job placement upon completion of the course.
While you'd be able to find a teaching job at a language school without a degree, you can only secure a position at an international school or a university with a bachelor's degree.
Your passport is the main document that you need to fly to Argentina and begin your job hunt. Many teachers start their careers in the country on tourist visas. This is mainly because the process of obtaining a work visa can be tedious and expensive. Some schools may offer assistance in helping you get one while many others are fine with letting you work as a tourist. Note that this is illegal but is still commonly practiced.
If you do decide to take the risk and teach on a tourist visa, you should renew it every 90 days. You can do this by crossing the border. Popular routes are taking a ferry to Uruguay or traveling across to Chile via Mendoza.
Applying for a visa that allows you to teach English legally in Argentina starts with a job offer. You first have to sign a contract with a learning institution so that you can apply for residency. You will need to prepare the following documents in order to do this:
Copy of your valid passport with a stamp of your status in Argentina
Notarized Letter from employer
2 passport photos
A certificate signifying your clean criminal history from your home country (must be translated into Spanish)
Antecedentes Penales or criminal record certificate (set an appointment online and go to Tucuman 1357 on your appointment date)
Certificado de domicilio or proof of residence from the local police station (you can also present a public service bill under your name)
Make sure to apostille and translate any foreign language documents. You can set your appointment with the immigration office online. Just go to the DNM main office on the day and time that you set. You will also need to pay 600 ARS as a processing fee. You will receive an Argentine ID which you can use temporarily.
After receiving the approval of your application, you will get a residencia precaria or a temporary work visa. This document is valid for thirty days, enough time for your employer to officially hire you so that you can apply for an actual work visa.
Your employer can now register you in the Administracion Federal de Ingresos Publicos (AFIP) so you can have your official work number. The documents from the AFIP are needed to get your work visa. This visa is good for a year and also qualifies you for health insurance.
With a population that’s the second largest in South America, Argentina is filled with opportunities for individuals hoping to teach abroad. There are over thirty private language schools in Buenos Aires alone! Plus, there are also numerous multilingual public schools dotted all over the country. So, where can you teach?
Buenos Aires is often called the Paris of South America for its beautiful blend of Latin American culture and European architecture. It is a busy city that's lively all day, every day. The nightlife in this city is unparalleled and you may pick up a thing or two on the dance floor.
It is a highly populated city so you won't have any trouble finding a position teaching English. There are many language schools as well as international schools in the area so English teachers are always in demand.
Cordoba is a college town. It is home to the oldest university in Argentina as well as five other higher learning institutions. Because the population is mostly college-age, Cordoba hosts a lot of festivals here. It was also hailed as the Cultural Capital of the Americas. Art lovers will rejoice because it is home to four art galleries.
If you have a master's degree, finding a job teaching English at one of the colleges in the area will not be that difficult. However, don't fret if you only have TEFL certification. There are plenty of language academies that hire English teachers for TEFL jobs all year round.
If you love wine, Mendoza is the perfect location for you. It is full of wineries that teach visitors about the production process and allow you to sample some of Argentina's finest. You can even take some time off in March to participate in the activities during The National Grape Harvest Festival.
Mendoza is a favorite of many individuals teaching English in Argentina. There are plenty of private and public schools in the area, mostly high schools, so you'll have time to explore after work.
With a mixture of metropolitan life and countryside, you can spend your days outside the classroom taking a dip in the natural hot springs or camping next to the Andes Mountains in the Reserva Natural Villavicencio.
While it may be more convenient to apply for teaching jobs online, most hiring institutions prefer applicants who are already in the country and can do face-to-face interviews so that they can hire on the spot. It is best to bring a copy of your TEFL CV or resume along with your other credentials.
Local newspapers also advertise teaching job openings. Aside from this, you can consult job boards and social media forums. The best time to spot opportunities is around February or July, which is the time when the contracts of other teachers are ending.
The peak hiring season for teaching positions in Argentina is between February to March and August to September. However, many ESL teachers just opt to come to the country and hand in applications to language schools and tutorial centers all year round.
You can hold down jobs at a few language schools while waiting for job openings at an Argentine private or public school and this allows you to start earning immediately.
The warmth and openness of the Argentine people create an inviting atmosphere for educators, fostering connections that extend beyond the classroom. However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
Unlike in the US where interviews can be drawn out, job interviews in Argentina are quite short. If the employer likes you and you seem like a good fit, he or she will offer you a job on the spot. So, don't be confused if the interview ends quite abruptly.
Men and women often greet each other with a simple kiss on the cheek. This is not unusual even for people who just met. Handshakes are typically reserved for more formal settings like closing a business agreement.
It is a largely Spanish-speaking destination so it is practical for you to learn the language and get to know some common Spanish phrases.
Argentines are quite passionate about all things in general. Expect your students to be loud and participative especially if they enjoy the classroom activity. Don't worry, big classes are uncommon here in language schools where a class with ten students is already considered large.
If you are teaching as a private tutor or as a language instructor, you may be expected to work before regular work hours, during lunch breaks, and evenings. Some centers may also ask you to come in during your weekends because those are the times that most of the students are available.
Life in Argentina seems to move at a slower pace. This means the locals do not stress too much about time and being punctual. Keep this in mind when you have school gatherings or when you are meeting a student for private tutoring. Always give ample time between students to avoid overlapping schedules.
Crime is still prevalent in Argentina, much like in any other country. Petty thefts are common in crowded areas. Secure your belongings whenever you go out, especially when commuting. Do not bring a large amount of cash and don't bring out your expensive gadgets.
The cost of living in Argentina is up to 60% less than in the United States. You can live comfortably in Argentina for about $1,500 per month. If you manage your expenses well, you can even get by with around $1,000 and be able to save a little for your weekend adventures and other luxuries.
As with any other country, the cost of housing will likely be your biggest expense. A one-bedroom apartment can cost around $175 to $250 a month. Accommodation is cheaper on the outskirts of cities so you may want to factor that in when you’re applying for a teaching job. You can generally commute from outside the city since transportation is quite cheap.
Basic utilities will cost you about $50 a month. This covers electricity, water, heating/air conditioning, and garbage disposal. Internet access adds around $20 to that monthly expense.
A one-way ticket on local transport costs $0.25. You can also get a monthly pass for $16. This is the most economical way to get around. You can also take a taxi if needed. This starts at $1 and is an additional $0.70 per kilometer.
Having your meals at an inexpensive restaurant will set you back around $7 a meal. If you are craving an English meal, you’ll spend about $16 to $25 for a three-course set.
However, making your meals at home is still the most practical choice if you’re trying to save. Buying two full bags of fruit and vegetables from a local market will cost you around $20.
Argentina is a great place to live and work and there are a lot of things to enjoy there.
After suffering from a period of decline, the country is now recuperating and is experiencing considerable growth in its economy. More foreign businesses are investing in Argentina, and the country is once again becoming a desirable destination for tourists. This increased interest in Argentina has also led to a higher demand for English teachers. Just imagine being able to visit the famed Iguazu Falls or ski at Ushuaia during your breaks from teaching.
You can also explore Argentina's stunning landscapes like the majestic glacial lakes in Patagonia and the grasslands at the Pampas. Of course, if you’re a food lover, you should try authentic Argentine fare like empanadas, and Chimichurri served with Asado. And let's not forget the famous wine and steaks!
Overall, Argentina is a great choice for those wanting to teach English abroad because of its stunning landscapes, friendly people, and rich culture. So if you're considering teaching English abroad, be sure to put Argentina on your list of destinations!
Still looking for more information? Check out some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding English teaching jobs in Argentina below.
Qualified teachers with a bachelor's degree and a TEFL certificate can expect to earn somewhere between $600 and $1,300 per month. Argentina can be considered a break-even market for ESL teachers. This means you can earn enough to afford basic living expenses on an average salary while teaching a 25 to 35-hour week. If you want to increase your income you can take on some private students.
Yes, English teachers are very much needed and in demand all over Argentina. With its booming economy and growing tourism, more and more people want to learn English to communicate with their clients. Consequently, there is a higher demand for ESL lessons and native English speakers.
To be able to teach English in Argentina, you will need TEFL certification and native-level English proficiency. You will also need a valid passport and a clean criminal record to be legally employed.
Unless you work in an international school or university, you will likely not need to have a Bachelor’s degree to get teaching jobs there.