Do you want to live and travel in South America? Is one of your goals to learn Spanish? Do you want to get paid to live and work in a world class cosmopolitan city like Buenos Aires? Earning an accredited TEFL certification in Argentina offers the opportunity of a lifetime to live and work in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in South America. It will also provide you with skills and a certification that will qualify you for thousands of great job opportunities, not only in Argentina, but throughout South America and all over the world in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

When considering your options for TEFL certification in Argentina, bear in mind that schools and language institutes in Argentina (and around the world) seek to hire those who hold at least a 120 hour TEFL certification that is from an accredited provider and includes live practice teaching. This equates to a four-week intensive class or a part-time equivalent. Receiving job placement assistance is also a key element that you should look for.

The majority of accredited TEFL courses in Argentina, that provide a professional level certification accepted by schools and language institutes and hire foreign teachers, are four-week intensive classes that incorporate 120-130 hours of training, including at least 6-10 hours of live practice teaching with local ESL students. All of these classes will cover critical teaching skills including teaching methodology and practices, lesson planning and classroom management.

When and Where to Look:

You should plan your TEFL class around the primary hiring seasons in late February through March and July through August. Although it is certainly possible to gain employment during other parts of the year, particularly in big cities like Buenos Aires. The top job market by far is Buenos Aires, and more job opportunities will be found in other major cities such as Córdoba, Rosario, and Mendoza.

Qualifications:

Most TEFL certification programs in Argentina are open to fluent English speakers, ages 18 and older. However, those without a degree and non-native English speakers may be required to write an essay and/or conduct and interview with the course director.

No Degree? Not a native English-speaker? It is worth noting that while job markets have tightened somewhat in recent years due to the economic climate, Argentina and Latin America are generally more favorable job markets for those looking to teach English abroad without a 4-year degree or a passport from a native English-speaking country than more competitive job markets in Europe or Asia where a four-year degree and a passport from a major English-speaking nation is often required.

Post-TEFL Resources and Support:

Before enrolling in any TEFL class in Argentina (or anywhere else for that matter), you should inquire about job placement assistance, which can make or break your efforts to gain employment after your course. Top quality TEFL courses should be able to refer you to local language schools seeking to hire teachers and also to provide assistance in areas such as resume development or coaching you on the interview process. Well-established TEFL training organizations also provide worldwide job placement assistance for gaining employment teaching English in other countries.

English teachers in Argentina are typically paid by the hour (and in cash). Expect to make the equivalent of $8 - $10 USD per hour to start depending on the school, the job and your basic qualifications. That may not seem like much, but bear in mind that the cost of living in Argentina is considerably lower than in major American cities. You should look to work 25 hours per week (class time) to make the equivalent of $800-$1000 USD per month, which is enough to live comfortably and cover your expenses. Giving private lessons while abroad, for which you can usually receive $8-$12 per hour, is a great way to make extra money for travel and other pursuits.

Accommodations and Cost of Living:

About $1,000 USD will typically be enough to cover monthly rent and living expenses both during your TEFL course and monthly costs of living and teaching English in Argentina – of course, living costs will vary by city and region. Housing is not typically included with tuition for a TEFL course, but most providers can assist with making housing arrangements in a local apartment (often shared by multiple students), a hostel, or possible a home-stay with a local family. The local course staff can usually provide some guidance when it comes to finding a place to live after the course. In addition, many English teachers share an apartment with other teachers, and given that English teachers are constantly moving, it’s usually easy to find somebody looking to share a flat.

Expect to pay approximately the equivalent of $400 - $600 USD per month in rent in a major city like Buenos Aires; getting a roommate will cut down on costs and note that rent will vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Most apartments are furnished and may even come with a weekly maid service. You should count on needing $800-$1000 USD per month to cover other expenses like food, transportation and recreation. As a local, you will learn how to eat, drink and have fun at prices that are dirt cheap compared to the U.S. or Western Europe.

Contributed by John Bentley

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