In short, there is no place like Peru! It is a truly unique country – Peru is rich with historical, archaeological, and cultural importance, and the country is now emerging as a modern competitor in commerce and cuisine. Peru offers cobblestone streets, open air markets, world class trekking, and some of the best nightlife in Latin America. Then, of course, there's Machu Picchu—if it isn't on your bucket list already, it should be. All of the above while earning your TEFL certificate!
There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing a TEFL course in Peru. Authentic, practical experience in a real English classroom is key! Don't consider a course that doesn't require you to actually teach and observe experienced teachers at work. It's only through practical teaching with feedback from a professional trainer that you will develop the confidence to teach ESL anywhere in the world.
In addition, look for courses that are at least 120 hours long. Quality TEFL courses are intense and challenging—as they should be! The curriculum should cover: foundational teaching techniques unique to ESL, learning and teaching theory, English grammar, and the methodologies for teaching ESL anywhere in the world… plus a ton more.
In Peru, 4-week TEFL courses are the most common type of TEFL program for foreign teachers. Completed entirely in-country, students improve from the supportive community of other teachers and staff, develop a tight-knit, professional relationship with their TEFL trainer(s) and bond with classmates. Seek courses that are globally accredited, offer smaller class sizes, at least 120 hours of training, observation of experienced teachers, and most importantly, a practical teaching component in real classroom settings.
Combination TEFL Courses:
Another common type of TEFL course offered in Peru is the combination course (the self-study and classroom learning program). These TEFL courses are designed for individuals who prefer to study theory and reading work online. Afterward, the final part of the course, including the practical teaching component, is completed in Peru.
Institutes providing TEFL certification programs normally offer a wide range of housing options during the course. These include homestays with Peruvian families, as well as apartments, hostels, and hotels. Family-stays will include meals while apartments offer more privacy. Hostels and hotels are good options, but cost more money.
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look:
Most TEFL courses are offered in the major cities of Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco. These are also the cities where you will find most teaching jobs. Each city offers something different. Lima is a large metropolitan city with all the conveniences a big city has to offer; Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru, surrounded by volcanoes and within driving distance to the beach; Cusco, the gateway city to Machu Picchu, is rich with Andean culture and history and is probably the most interesting destination in Peru.
You can enroll in a TEFL course any time of the year. However, you should carefully consider your destination and time of year. Peru has a number of climates depending on where you’re based.
You do not need a Bachelor’s degree to teach in Peru, and in most cases you don't need a degree to apply for a TFEL course either. If you're a native English speaker and hold a TEFL certificate, you'll be prepared and capable to teach English in Peru. However, your level of English needs to be fluent and will be assessed by the school before allowing you to sign up.
Some language institutes do require a Bachelor's degree to teach; however, there are plenty of institutes, volunteer organizations, and public schools that will be more than happy to offer you employment with or without a secondary degree.
There are plenty of teaching opportunities throughout Peru. Peruvians are very eager to learn English as a means to gaining better employment and advancing their career opportunities. By teaching English in Peru, you are no doubt changing people’s lives, creating opportunities, and positively affecting generations to come.
Often language institutes that offer TEFL certification programs are larger schools that are always looking for new teachers. This means you can complete your TEFL course and start working for them right away!
Most schools in Peru prefer teachers to be in-country already. Once you complete your TEFL course, you're at a huge advantage over other applicants. The first step is to send your resume out via email to the schools that you would like to work for, tell them that you're in the country, or even better in the city, and set up an interview right away. The best time to look for teaching positions in a Peruvian public or private school is December through February as the school year starts in March. Private language institutes in Peru hire year-round.
Cost of Living:
The cost of living in Peru is considered average when compared to other South American countries. It's much less expensive than Brazil and Chile and more expensive than, say, Bolivia or Paraguay. Depending on the city and neighborhood you choose to live, you'll find that rent varies. Neighborhoods, such as Mira Flores in Lima or San Blas in Cusco, will be more expensive. Overall, rent can range from $75-$300 USD per month with utilities typically ranging from $30-$50 USD per month.
Food in Peru is cheap! A whole chicken at the market can cost less than $5 USD. You can expect to spend around $10 - $20 USD per week on food if you eat mostly at home. Peru's “menu” restaurants are a steal, and offer set meals that include an appetizer, soup, main dish, dessert and drink all for about $2-$5 USD. There are also more expensive restaurants available, with meals costing $15-$40 USD.