The Oxford TEFL Blog

Living & working in Latin America

In Latin America, there is a great demand for English teaching; the most popular countries being Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Working conditions

The academic year runs from February/March to December.  In the big cities the greatest demand for English comes from the business community. And because of the strong commercial links between the two American continents, the demand tends to be for American English. The whole continent is culturally and economically oriented towards the U.S. Having said this there is demand for general English and teaching young learners as well. Teachers from other countries are also welcomed.  Many learners see the British accent as desirable too.

One way to find employment is through American Bi-National Centers and Cultural Centers – Information on the centers, including email addresses, can be found on the web at The English Language Fellows Program places TESL/TEFL graduates in language centers. Qualified candidates who want to teach in US Department of State Cultural Centers should go to the web site and follow the link to “Employment Outside the United States.” They look for teachers with varying levels of qualifications and experience.  Everything from an MA in TESOL to a Tesol Certificate.
For lists and info onschools in a number of South American countries see links from the web site… also has lots of useful information about working in Latin America.

You can also look for job ads in the other general job sites we recommend.

Comments from our graduates

I have been teaching in Costa Rica since September, 2009. Prior to that, I was teaching in Barcelona for two years. As you can imagine, these are two very different countries. I wanted to relocate somewhere which was fairly different from Barcelona, yet I wanted to be in a Spanish speaking country. I had my eye on Costa Rica and Chile, hearing that they were two good choices for South and Central America with respect to pay. A friend, who is also a teacher, told me that an institute was hiring and I applied. I found the offer to be good, although the pay was not as expected compared to the cost of living. Some perks of the contract are: airport pick-up, a home stay for two weeks, arrangement of the work visa, and assistance finding accommodation and going to the doctor if you are sick. The nice thing about Costa Rica is that it is possible to get a work permit if you choose to do so. – Carrie Torres

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