Teach English in Argentina

Teach English in Argentina

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.

Other answers:
“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.

Other answers:
“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.


Teacher training courses in Argentina
English language schools in Argentina
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6 comments and teachers' experiences of Argentina

  1. The Mini Explorer

    Hi there, I’m currently teaching English out here in Salta, Argentina.

    It’s great here, but as with the whole country, cost of living is high. It’s really important to know that inflation is high here and prices change on a weekly basis. Your salary, however, will only increase annually, if at all, so wages do not reflect the rate of inflation. Living costs are high and the average English teacher will have to budget.

    I am currently working at a private English institute earning AR$ 87 an hour on a 20 hour week. With my boyfriend earning about the same, it’s just enough for us to pay for rent, food and have one ‘luxury’ a month – for example, to make a short weekend trip, or to buy some clothes, or to go out for a meal or two, … or to pay for an extension on our visas (don’t expect to get a proper working visa sorted here).

    So bear in mind that living as a couple, we are sharing a lot of living costs so it’s easier than if we were living here alone.

    As we love travelling, we would love to go away and visit a bit more at the weekends, but, apart from that, we love it here! As long as we keep track of our spending, we can manage just fine. We saved up a lot of money before we came, so we can use that if we want to travel a bit more…particularly, to get down to Patagonia, which is a must.

    I’ve made a website giving information about living and teaching English in South America and I’m in the process of updating the Argentina section. You will also find a huge list of English schools all over South America.

    Please have a look if you’re interested: http://www.theminiexplorer.com/argentina/living-and-teaching-in-salta-argentina/

    Thanks :)

  2. Rob

    I’m British and work in a small private institute in one of the smaller cities in Argentina. I get holiday pay for the many public holidays (at least one a month, it seems) and I receive bonuses. I think the key is to find a smaller city with fewer native teachers and to negotiate a decent deal for yourself. I hear native teachers in BA have a harder time of it because the demand is lower due to greater competition.

    I also manage to save about £500 a month after expenses. However, to earn a decent wage , you have to be prepared to work long hours (I’m in class for 45 hours a week), both at work and at home.

  3. Vanessa

    Argentina has extreme inflation. Four years ago I was paid 20-25 pesos per hour and at the moment I make between 60 and 120 per hour. It is common here to adjust your prices every 3-4 months to adapt to the inflation.
    It is not enough, if you want to live comfortably, especially in a city like Buenos Aires. If you are foreign, you will always be considered a tourist and you will pay more for everything, even if you speak Spanish well.

    What can 60 pesos buy you at the moment? Three cups of coffee in a bar or 3 kilos of rice, or one kilo of meat (this is the positive side).

    Renting a room at the moment in the capital will cost a minimum of 2500 pesos with few exceptions.

    My advice is to be very cautious with the schools. Offer to commit to one class, not more until you see how they treat you, if they pay you, and until you learn a little bit more about the rates.

    Start looking for work in March and definitely don’t start any later than September unless you have some savings to get you through the summer months. Best of luck!

  4. A. Ryan Thompson

    The elegance of Europe, the passion of South America. Buenos Aires is the most cosmopolitan city of South America. The world famous and amazing falls of Iguazu. The Northwest, the region of the mighty Aconcagua and the Train to the Clouds. Bariloche with its majestic mountains and lakes. And the wild and wondrous region of Patagonia. Travel to Argentina is an unforgettable journey. Teaching in job rich Argentina can be amazing, but there are a few good things to know before you arrive.
    1. Remember that Summer is Winter aka the seasons are switched and most people don’t realize this when they first think of travelling here.
    2. Argentina is cheap, BUT, it is still relatively expensive in comparison to a place like Bolivia or Guatemala.

    3. Call radio taxis, or only take a taxI with a company logo on it. The majority of times you will be fine, in fact most travellers will have no problems, but kidnappings do happen. They normally involve borrowing you and your credit card for a few hours to max it out and to request a little ransom. This is rare, but still… beware it is a reality here.

    4. Get insurance. You can get insurance at local hospitals in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza, wherever, and it is cheap. It is full-coverage for about 140 pesos most places and that is usually better than the $50 US or 30 pounds sterling people are paying for just catastrophic.

    5. Immerse yourself. I can’t tell you how many people that visit want to “optimize” their time here with Spanish / TEFL / Gym / Phone / internet. My advice, relax. People here usually do not have email and they are much happier- go figure.

    6. See the sights, but realize that most people that live in Argentina don’t know too much outside of their barrios, or province. This is because there is so much other culture here that you FEEL. Just because you see some sights does not mean you know anything about them and thus haven’t really experienced its “Chi” if you will. So hit up a used book store or bring your guide book, get a coffee, and read about culture and history here to absorb what you are taking part in.

    7. If you have the time, go North, South, East, or West. Argentina is SO FULL of beauty and wonder, it would be a shame if a traveller who had the time to go to at least one natural wonder missed out on that opportunity.

    8. Attend events: Go to a football game, a tennis match, a polo tournament, whatever. Argentina is into sports and outside activities like BBQs (asados). When in Rome…

    9. Drink as much good wine as possible. I’m serious, it’s here, see number 8 regarding “When in Buenos Aires…”

    10. Call me, or visit our website for more tips and local immersion at the TEFL Taster Cafe for Argentina and advice for Latin America, tastercafe.com


  5. A. Meta

    Buenos Aires is a mixture of the cities of Paris, Rome and Madrid. It’s one of the most sophisticated cities in Latin America, and very European. As any other city in the world tourists need to take precautions when going out, but nothing more serious than in any other cosmopolitan city. Just don’t go out with your passport, or a lot of money. Public transport is quite good and very cheap. Regarding the taxis, the safest are the radio taxis which you can call at any time.
    There is a lot of work for ESL teachers, as English is in demand for all those people who work for multinational companies. It’s not an expensive country, although it can be more expensive than those countries like Bolivia or Peru.

    The South of Argentina is one of the most beautiful places to visit, with mountains, lakes, glaciars. Bariloche and Villa Langostura have landscapes very similar to Switzerland.

    Life in Buenos Aires can be fun. There are lots of cafes, and people tend to go out a lot late in the evening. The food is fantastic, specially beef meat, the steaks are just delicious!!! People from the provinces are quite different from those living in Buenos Aires. The pace in BA is quite like in New York, hectic, whereas in the provinces people tend to take it more slowly. However, we do take time to enjoy dinner in very good restaurants, going to the theater, etc.

    Health insurance is not expensive, and the Argentine doctors are one of the best in South America.

    If you need to keep in touch via internet, you can go to a LOCUTORIO, these are call centers where you can either make long distance calls or rent a PC for the hour in order to check your e-mails. Travelling in Argentina can be an unforgettable experience.

  6. Nikkieta

    Hi there , I am interested in teaching aboard what do I have to do I already did the course

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