Guide to TEFL in Argentina
The elegance of Europe and the passion of South America. The world famous falls of Iguazu. The Northwest, the region of the mighty Aconcagua. Bariloche with its majestic mountains and lakes. The wild and wondrous region of Patagonia. And the most cosmopolitan city in South America: Buenos Aires. Argentina is an unforgettable experience, and teaching there can be amazing.
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. 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. 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.
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. Teachers have reported, however, having no problem arriving in June or July and having no problem finding work. A lot of private teaching is available in February/March, June/July and Novemeber/December, when students must sit for exams. Finsing private teaching work requires patience though – word of mouth and advertising locally in newspapers are some of the best ways to find it.
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.
What’s public transport like?
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. Taxis are expensive so they’re only used to go short distances or in emergencies.