Teaching English abroad is steadily becoming a top option for new graduates and retirees, alike. Online travel stories and photos are enticing even the most stubborn homebodies to go out and explore all this beautiful world has to offer. English teachers are in huge demand all over the world, so why should you teach English in Latin America?
Well, there are several reasons why Latin America is the perfect starting point for any new English teacher. With over 20 countries to explore, you can be sure that you’ll find at least one to call home. Here are the top five reasons to teach English in Latin America.
A Booming Job Market
Growing economies, like that of Peru, have sparked a huge demand for English teachers. International business between countries typically negotiate using the English language, and Latin America is ready to mingle with the global economy. Businessmen and women in these countries are eager to develop their English language skills to become more competitive, but they aren’t the only ones.
The real spark for Latin America’s global recognition was ignited by the tourism industry. Latin America’s rich, cultural history, iconic architecture and landmarks, and traditional values have brought thousands of tourists flocking to the region since the 90’s. In order to continue catering to its visitors, many countries are seeking to provide more English courses for students beginning at the elementary school level. Therefore, job opportunities are not only available at private institutions, but public schools as well. There’s no shortage to the amount of work to be had for an English instructor in Latin America.
Low-Start Up Costs
The low-cost of living in Latin America helps you to save money while abroad. Unlike Europe, teaching English in Latin America is relatively cheap, even while you’re looking for work. Ideally, you should be covered for your first 30 days after completing your TEFL certification course. Therefore, you should be ready to pay for two months of living expenses before settling on a job offer to help you with your expenses.
Costa Rica is probably one of the most expensive countries to live in in Latin America, and still it proves to be rather affordable. If you’re choosing to live in the capital city, San Jose, where you’ll have the best chance of landing a paid opportunity, you can expect to share a two-bedroom apartment for about $300 per month. A month’s worth of groceries might cost about $100, and you’ll need to consider any additional meals at restaurants, commuter fees, and excursions. With about $700 per month, you’ll be able to live rather comfortably.
A University Degree Isn’t Always Required
Having a bachelor’s degree can almost guarantee you a position teaching English in Latin America, so it’s definitely a plus. However, if you’re choosing to get your TEFL certificate and traveling while teaching English before enrolling in university, you’ll still have options.
Many job opportunities in Latin America will hire someone who doesn’t have a university degree, as long as they have a TEFL certificate. Having the proper credentials ensures that you received the training needed to be a successful English instructor. A TEFL certification will grant you many options for teaching English in Latin America than a degree alone can.
From traditional Mayan fashions in Guatemala to intricately woven textiles in Peru, the cultures of Latin America are as bright and warm as the colors you can find in the markets. Various cultural festivals take place throughout the year in every Latin American country giving you a front row seat to experiencing the food, drinks, music, dance, and traditional folklore.
Each country also showcases their own unique flavors in their staple dishes. While Costa Rica prefers a straightforward plate of rice and beans, Guatemala’s dishes get more complex with the perfect creation of their traditional tamales. Peru’s world-renowned cuisine includes their famous ceviche and a Chinese spin on traditional foods known as Chifa.
Latin America offers you the chance to learn about American history in a way that a traditional classroom has never been able to. Being in the region where intelligent and organized empires have reigned, built cities, and developed educational systems allows for more insight into the people you’ll encounter. Learning about a country’s culture while living and working there brings new perspective that is sure to change your view of the world around you.
In the United States, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the country. But did you know it’s the second most spoken language in the world after Chinese? Knowing a second language not only benefits job opportunities and salary negotiations, but it also benefits your brain functions in tremendous ways; from prioritizing tasks, increasing your attention to detail, and limiting distractions. Knowing a second language fluently has also been proven to delay the onset of Alzheimer in older people.
Many people who choose to teach English in Latin America go abroad with the intention of becoming fluent in Spanish through immersion. Living and working in a Spanish speaking country will challenge you to use the language in everyday situations. Whether that’s doing your grocery shopping, exchanging your money, or riding the bus to work. Learning Spanish in Latin America, while teaching English, can be an exciting feat that allows you to connect with more people on a global scale, all while teaching others to do the same.
With so many countries offering paid opportunities for English teachers, it can be overwhelming to decide on where in the world you want to go. Teaching English in Latin America is a great option for gaining experience, learning a new language, discovering new cultures, travelling, and jump-starting a career with low start-up costs. So, what are you waiting for? Enroll in a TEFL certification program that ensures job placement assistance so you can start an indefinite travelling adventure while teaching English in Latin America.