Teaching English in Suriname

By | January 27, 2014

Suriname is a South American country that shares borders with Guyana, Brazil and French Guiana. It is the smallest country in the region with a population of just over half a million people. Having been colonised the Netherlands in the 17th century, it only gained independence in 1975.

Suriname is the only country in Latin America that is a Dutch speaking country, but many people also speak Sranang which is a creole language based on the English language.

Although it is based in South America, Suriname is often referred to as a Caribbean country and has close ties with other Caribbean nations.

Read more about Suriname from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Suriname


Paramaribo – Image Courtesy of WikiMedia.

Although there aren’t many opportunities for native English speaking teachers in the country, there are still some jobs available.

If you do decide to go and teach in Suriname you can make a real difference in the lives of the Surinamese children who are disadvantaged because of the lack of motivated teachers and resources in the educational system.

Most people live in Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname and it is a bustling and modern city where you will find many things to do. If city life isn’t for you, you can find beautiful jumbles and wildlife just a few miles outside of the big cities.

Where to Teach English in Suriname

The only real paid opportunities that you are likely to find in the countries will be in the capital city, Paramaribo. There will be some volunteer opportunities in the more rural areas, but not any paid ones.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Suriname

Public Schools

Watching the rains (Suriname)

Watching the rains (Suriname)

You’ll find that not many public schools offer English classes, and moreover, the government ran schools are often underfunded and have very few resources. These limited resources will not often stretch to employing native English speaking teachers. However, some government-funded schools are ran by churches, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, and some of these schools do offer English classes.

Private Schools

There are a few private language schools and international schools in the country and most of them are for expat children and children from wealthy families. These kinds of schools do employ native English speaking TEFL teachers.


You might also find a few opportunities teaching in businesses because more and more companies are requiring that their employees can speak English. Therefore, companies sometimes look for private teachers to come into their offices and teach their employees English.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

It is possible to teach English in Suriname without any qualifications or experience. As always, however, you will be able to command a higher salary if you have both a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1472″]If you are lucky enough to find a paid teaching position in Surname, don’t expect to get paid a lot. The pay is very low and you will probably only be earning a few dollars per hour at best. If you are working in one of the bigger international schools, you can expect to get a much higher salary, but still not a lot.

The cost of living in Suriname is also quite low, but it can be a little more expensive than neighbouring countries. You can expect to live a fairly decent lifestyle on around $500 to $600 per month.

For more information about the cost of living in Suriname, take a look at Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

To work legally in Suriname you will need to get a working permit. There are a number of different forms and documents that you will need and your employer will need to supply some of these. When you are working in Suriname, ask your employer about obtaining the necessary working permit and they will be able to help you with the process.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Suriname

It is quite unlikely that you will find many positions advertised online for teaching jobs in Suriname. Moreover, it is also quite unlikely that you will find them advertised anywhere for that matter. If you do want to teach in Suriname, it’s better to contact the schools directly.

Teach English in Suriname

For a country of such a small size it’s not surprising that you won’t find many opportunities teaching there. If you do find paid work, the salary will be very low and probably not enough to cover your cost of living in the country.

This unique Dutch speaking country is like no other you will find in Latin America and will give any visitor an experience that they won’t find anywhere else in the world.


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 Suriname, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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