Teaching English in Peru

By | January 23, 2014

Peru is located in South America and shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. Peru is home to one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Inca Empire and it later became part of the Spanish empire.

Peru is a multicultural country with many ethnicities including Europeans, Africans and Asians. Although the main language in the country is Spanish, there are numerous native languages that are spoken throughout the country.

The country contains 3 main regions, the costa (coast), the sierra (highlands) which is part of the Andes and finally the selva (jungle) where the Amazon jungle covers around 60% of the country.

Therefore, there are a number of different climates throughout the country. It can be dry near the coast, but very wet near the jungle! As a result, there is a diverse number of plant and animal species living in the country.

Read more about Peru from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Peru

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu – Image Courtesy of WikiMedia.

There is a growing need for English teachers in Peru because many Peruvians are able to find better jobs if they can speak English. Therefore, TEFL teaching has become an important part of the economy in Peru and native English speakers are able to find relatively well-paid jobs in the country.

Coupled with the relative ease in finding teaching work in the country, you will be surrounded by an old and fascinating culture like no other place on earth. On top of this, there is a lot to see and do in Peru with beautiful beaches, stunning mountains and dense jungles.

Peru is also home to the world famous Machu Picchu and if you are an adventurous teacher then this country might be the right destination for you! Outside of work you can dedicate your free time to exploring the endless valleys and stunning landscape on offer.

Where to Teach English in Peru

You will find most teaching opportunities in Lima, the capital city, but you will also find that Arequipa, Trujillo and Cuzco also have a number of language schools and can be good locations for TEFL teachers. Follow the links below to read more about teaching English in Peru.

Arequipa

Types of Teaching Jobs in Peru

Volunteering

Down by the Pier, Makaha

Down by the Pier, Makaha

Peru is classed as a developing country and as a result there are many volunteer opportunities and volunteer teachers are in huge demand. You will find that organisations recruit volunteers all year round and can be found both before and after you arrive in the country.

Private Language Schools

With more and more language schools opening up over the country, most TEFL teachers looking for paid work will find jobs in one of these schools. You are likely to be teaching older students who have jobs and therefore you will be working early in the morning, the evenings and weekends.

International Schools

Peru Rail

Peru Rail

There are also international schools in Peru and they will usually sponsor a business visa for you. Most of the time there is a 2 year contract, the salaries are much higher and you’ll be working during normal school hours. You will need to be very well qualified and experienced to get a job in an international school.

Universities

Universities also offer very high salaries. To find a job in a university, you will have to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate.

Private Lessons

Finally, you can give private lessons by either visiting student’s home or in your own home. The money is usually very good but it will take a long time to build up a decent number of students. Another problem is that students will often cancel lessons at short notice and this means that you won’t get paid!

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

Road on the Plateau above Cuzco

Road on the Plateau above Cuzco

It is possible to find a job teaching English in Peru without a degree, no TEFL, TESOL or CELTA and no experience. For some schools the only requirement is that you are a native English speaker. However, you will find that in most cases these schools will not sponsor you for a visa meaning that you will be working illegally and you will also be paid a lot less than others.

If you have a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA and a bachelor’s degree you are more likely to find a higher paying position than those without and find schools that will sponsor you for a business visa. Moreover, you may also be able to find jobs in international schools and universities which have the highest salaries in the country. Some international schools and universities might even only employ teachers that have a master’s degree.

Some international schools will require that you are a qualified teacher in your home country, but they can pay a similar salary to what a teacher might expect in your home country.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1394″]The average salary for teachers in Peru is around $10 per hour and most teachers can expect to earn anywhere between $500 and $1000 per month. Teachers with experience and relevant qualifications can expect to earn the most and some international schools and universities might pay a lot more than this.

Although this might not seem like a lot, the cost of living in Peru is so cheap that you can reasonably well from this amount. If you earn around $1000 or more, you will even be able to save money.

Peru is a cheap country to live in and accommodation will be your biggest expense. Everything else is fairly cheap. Local food can cost just a few dollars a meal and local transport is very cheap too.

Take a look at Numbeo’s website for more information about the cost of living in Peru.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

To work legally in Peru you will need to have business visa, but most teachers work on their tourist visa. A tourist visa lasts for up to 183 days, but it is up to the official on arrival to write how many days your visa will last. Therefore, you should tell them that you want the full amount of time possible.

If you have arranged a job before going to Peru, you can arrange a business visa and the school will take you through the steps required to obtain this visa.

If you want to get a work visa when you are already in Peru, your employer will have to arrange this for you. It can take a number of months and cost up to $500. You should expect to cover the cost of this visa yourself as unless you are working for an international school, most employers will not pay this for you.

For more information, you can read this helpful blog post.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Peru

Machou Picchu

Machu Picchu

Although you do sometimes find job vacancies advertised online, most teachers don’t usually secure a job before they arrive in the country. As is the case in most South American countries, your prospective employers will want to do a face-to-face interview and have you do a demo lesson.

Some international schools will sometimes recruit teachers online and you shouldn’t dismiss the possibility altogether.

Probably the best way to find a job in Peru is to find a list of schools and visit them in person. Get some CVs, attach a professional photo of yourself and visit as many schools as possible and get yourself out there.

You can usually find work all year round, but international schools will look to employ teachers a few months before the semester starts around December time.

Teach English in Peru

With a growing number of opportunities and the relative ease in finding jobs, Peru is a good choice for TEFL teachers.

Peru is unlike any other culture you’ll find where the ancient world meets the modern world. There are many things to explore outside of teaching including Machu Picchu, stunning beaches and the Amazon jungle all on your doorstep.

Disclaimer

Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Peru, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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