Teach English in Nicaragua

Map of Nicaragua
Flag of Nicaragua

Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua provides a beautiful and exciting tropical environment in which to teach English. Speaking English is an economically vital skill for Nicaraguan citizens, who are increasingly required to communicate in English. Thus, most qualified teachers looking to teach English are able to find openings.

Teachers will immediately feel welcomed by the warm Nicaraguan hospitality, and other Central American countries are not far, allowing teachers the ability to easily explore the rest of Central America. In Nicaragua, teachers will provide an enriching educational experience to students while discovering a colorful culture and remarkably unique country.

Leon in Nicaragua
Leon, Nicaragua
  • Peak Hiring Times: Feb-Mar, July-Aug
  • Average Monthly Salary: Language centers & local universities: $500-800
    International schools: $2500+
  • Average Cost of Living: Low
  • Save or Break Even? Break even
  • Work Visa: The employee should arrange for a work permit, and U.S. citizens traveling to Nicaragua for a short period do not need Nicaraguan visas. Those without a visa are normally allowed to stay 90 days, but those looking to live in Nicaragua will need to apply for residency at Nicaraguan Immigration. Go to the Nicaragua US Embassy site for more information.
Nicaraguan Village Class
English class in a Nicaraguan village
Private Language Academies/Schools:

Teach in at institutes where the sole objective of students is to learn English from a native English speaker. At these institutes you normally teach 5 classes a day for 45-50 minutes, 5 days a week. TEFL typically places volunteers in such institutes.

International Schools:

International schools often offer higher salaries but may require teachers to have more credentials. Typical hours are 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday with some additional weekend work. Schools include Lincoln International Academy and Nicaragua Christian Academy in Managua.

Nicaraguan Classroom
Classroom in Nicaragua
When and Where to Look for Jobs:

Most jobs are found in Granada and Managua. Managua is the capital and the largest city in Nicaragua and Granada is the country's fifth most populous city. Both cities are located in western Nicaragua and are close in distance.

Peak hiring times are typically from February to March and July to August. Although it is easier to find a job before coming to Nicaragua, many of the English schools in Nicaragua cannot be found online. Newly-qualified TEFL teachers often arrive in Nicaragua on tourist visas and start initial work at local universities before finding a job.

Qualifications:

Most schools only require previous experience, a degree, or a TEFL certificate. However, some high-end schools in Managua seek teachers with Masters in TESOL and other credentials.

Salary & Cost of Living:

Depending on teachers' education levels and positions, they may be making anywhere from $500 to $2500+ a month. Unless you are teaching through a specific program that situates your housing, you will likely have to find housing on your own. Rent is typically around $225 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center and $150 for similar housing outside of the center (Numbeo).

Fortunately, the cost of living in Nicaragua is very low, and teachers can look into setting up a homestay with a host Nicaraguan family. It is also important to keep in mind that to start out many teachers will share accommodation with other teachers.

Nicaraguan children
Nicaraguan children are a pleasure to teach
Classroom & Work Culture:
  • Student/Teacher Relations: Teachers in Nicaragua may find that class attendance and timeliness isn't always consistent. Expect to be more lenient with tardiness than you would at home, and be prepared for students to not show up to class even after confirming that they are attending. More lax schools may cancel classes from time to time, but it depends on the specific school's management.
  • Dress Code: Attire is largely informal even in business situations, though shorts are not typically worn to work.
  • Greetings: Handshakes are a common form of greeting.
  • Etiquette: It can be considered rude to say 'no' to an offer of food or drink (Culture Crossing).
Concepcion at sunset
Nicaragua is home to amazing volcanoes
Why Teach in Nicaragua?

Teaching in Nicaragua allows one to acquire valuable and unique professional experience in a country that provides an extraordinary natural landscape waiting to be explored. Teachers will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the friendly Nicaraguan people and improve their Spanish skills. In short, there will never be a dull moment while working in Nicaragua, and teachers will walk away with lifelong relationships and enhanced teaching skills.

Photo credit: Keely Joy Photography

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