Teach English in Argentina – the following answers are from English teachers who have taught, or currently teach English in Argentina.
Do I need a degree to teach English in Argentina?
No, you don’t need a degree to teach English in most private language schools. Most state-run schools and bilingual schools require a degree unless there is a shortage of degree-qualified teachers.
Do I need a TEFL qualification and/or experience?
Most private language schools require a TEFL qualification, although demand for English teachers is higher than supply so requirements do not tend to be very strict. State-run schools and universities may require a Teacher Training College (Instituto del Profesorado) qualification.
What are the visa requirements?
It is difficult for foreign teachers to work in state-run schools. In the private sector a work permit is required but there are no nationality or age restrictions. Your employer will have to apply for the work permit for you. These are issued by the National Directorate of Migration.
Where are the jobs and what’s the best way to find work?
Buenos Aires is the easiest place to find work, as well as other big cities such as Cordoba, Rosario and Mar del Plata. Demand for English teachers is high.
Contacting schools directly and, if you’re already in Argentina, going door-to-door, seems to be the preferred way to find work. Advertisements sometimes appear in newspapers (Clarin, La Nacion, Buenos Aires Herald) as well as their online versions, and many jobs are posted internally at language schools and universities. If you take a TEFL course in Argentina your instructors will typically recommend you potential employers. Word of mouth and recommendations from other teachers are also common.
“I found Craigslist one of the most useful websites for finding available work. There is also a high turnover of teachers which is why the schools don’t often offer jobs in advance.”
“To work in a public school you need to enroll in a list and participate in an “Acto Publico” where teachers can get a job according to a score that depends on degree, years of experience, etc.”
When is the best time of year to look for work?
The best time to find work is February/March as the school year begins in March. However, many language schools who work primarily with companies recruit all year round.
“We found no problem when we turned up in June/July – in fact we were offered so many jobs we had to turn lots down.”
“For private lessons in Feb/ March, June/July or Nov/Dec. when students must sit for exams.”
What kind of salary and working conditions can I expect?
“A teacher working full time can expect to earn about 300-4000 ARS, although it depends on the city and region. If paid hourly, rates at language schools can be anywhere in the region of 20-70 ARS, again depending on the region. The first 10,800 ARS is non-taxable, and the rate is then 9% for the next 10,000 ARS and 14% for the 10,000 after that.”
“25 hours a week and split shifts are common, as are afternoon and evening shifts at private language schools.”
Are there opportunities for private teaching?
“Yes, but it requires patience. Word of mouth and advertising locally in newspapers and on websites such as Craigslist seem to be the best ways.”
What about the cost of living?
a cup of coffee 10-15 ARS
a beer 15-20 ARS
a cinema ticket 30-40 ARS
a meal in an average restaurant 50-80 ARS
a month’s rent 1200-2000 ARS for a one-bedroom apartment
a bus ticket 1.40 ARS or 3 ARS within Buenos Aires
a pair of jeans 150 ARS
1kg of tomatoes 12 ARS
a subway ticket 2.5 ARS
a one-way bus ticket from Buenos Aires to Mendoza 300 ARS
a return flight from Florianopolis to Buenos Aires 1500 ARS
96% of respondents in our survey thought that the cost of living in Argentina is high or quite high compared to salary.
What’s the best way to get around?
Public transportation is generally very good (buses, subways and trains have frequent schedules) but there are many traffic jams in Buenos Aires so it may take 30 minutes to do 25 blocks during rush hour.
We mostly get around by car (though petrol is expensive and traffic is horrible) and by bus or trolley (at least in the parts of the province near the capital city). Taxis are expensive so they’re only used to go short distances or in emergencies.
What about internet access?
Internet is easy to install at home but varies in cost according to where you are. It tends to be cheaper in bigger cities where there is more competition between service providers and can take about a month to install. Internet cafes are widespread.