What is the status of English in Argentina?
Argentina has a lot more to it than just tango, it has culture and history and much more. As an out looker you might be under the impression that English is not all that important for a country like Argentina where the main language of communication in Spanish. However, this impression is far from reality, in fact, there are a number of languages that Argentinians speak as a second language, these include; German, Italian and of course, English.
Like many other countries in the world, a second language is almost always part of the regular school curriculum, fortunately for ESL teachers, English is a major second language taught in a lot of Argentinian schools. Some schools might even teach part of their other subjects, such as sciences, history, and maths in English.
So giving you the birds view, the English language is far more significant in Argentina than it seems to be, it’s importance in terms of a second or third language cannot be underestimated.
Cons of teaching English in Argentina?
There are always a set of issues one must consider before making a decision on where to start or continue their ESL career. Here are some hurdles you might face in Argentina;
- Competition in Job Market – The Job market in Argentina is generally competitive, there are too many applicants competing for the same position. So there are fewer seats and more people standing. This, of course, impacts your chances of getting a job, requiring you to progressively improve your resume in order to secure your position and sustain it in this very competitive job Market.
- Limited Jobs – Since Argentina is still getting better in terms of economy, it means that they still have limited job opportunities, especially for people coming in from other countries since jobs are limited for locals themselves. The poverty rate in Argentina is high, meaning good jobs are rarely available for those seeking it. However, it does not mean that job options do not exist at all, it just means that you have to be really good in order to get one.
- Expensive – If you are lucky enough to get a job, it is rare that it pays exceptionally well for you to afford a luxury lifestyle. The main concern for you as an expat to Argentina should be budgeting. You need to be really good at budgeting your earnings and save accordingly since the general cost of living is expensive.
- Pros of teaching English in Argentina?
All that said, there is much good to Argentina as well.
- Stable economy – Argentina is a rich country despite the high poverty rate, which means that their economy is more or less stable all year round, the currency, does not drop too low, so earning there would be a safe option if you happen to find the right type of work.
- Great location – Well known for its beautiful Andes Mountains and Malbec wine, Argentina is a popular destination in South America, for years people have been visiting this beautiful country and have been drawn to stay. There is so much to explore and subsequently love, you will never really run out of adventures to uncover.
- International experience – If English teaching or more specifically ESL teaching is something you want to evolve as a career, it may be no surprise to you knowing how important experience is to land great jobs! If said experience is international, it significantly improves your resume and improves your chances of landing more high paying jobs. In Argentina, you can add to your international teaching experience while living in a beautiful place.
Three cities that have the best job opportunities for English language teachers
- Buenos Aires – Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and enjoys the virtue of being the most visited country in South America as well as Latin America, attracting more and more tourists every year. Buenos Aires is rich in terms of culture and heritage so it is no wonder someone would want to live in such an exquisite place. Being both culturally and geographically important, Buenos Aires is a great option for ESL teachers to look into; it has the greatest number of schools hence the greatest number of ESL job opportunities.
- Mendoza – Ciudad de Mendoza is the capital of the province Mendoza; it might as well be referred to as the Metropolitan of Argentina. The city is popular for adventure travels like mountaineering, horse riding, hiking, rafting, and other sports such as skiing in the Andes in the winter season. If you are someone looking for an adventure alongside your ESL teaching career, this might be the city for you since with tourism, comes the need to learn English, which is exactly what you need as a prospective English teacher.
- Cordoba – Cordoba, named after its Spanish nemesis, is famous from the heritage it saved from the Spanish colonial rule. Some famous spots to name are the Roman Catholic Church and Colegio Nacional de Monserrat. Cordoba is also known for its educational revolution such as the University revolution and is since then the country’s main education center with more than 6 universities and several colleges. With this advent of education, Cordoba proves to be one of the most attractive options for ESL teachers, having more students hence more teaching options.
What qualifications do you need to be able to teach English in Argentina?
- TEFL, TESOL, CELTA – A TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certification is needed by most schools. Since the job market is generally competitive it is better if your resume is as good as it can be. A TEFL or CELTA course gives you a solid certification which certainly betters your chances of getting ESL jobs in Argentina.
- Previous teaching experience – Given the competition for teaching jobs in Argentina, it is imperative that you have more than just your certifications to land a good job. Since locals are preferred for most good paying positions, having experience from your native country or anywhere else in the world counts as international experience and significantly improves your chances of getting good jobs.
- Bachelor’s degree – It goes without saying, with such competition; a bachelor’s degree at the very least is required. It might not always be mentioned as a prerequisite but it is significantly beneficial for you if you have one. Most often you will need a BA or a BS degree.
- Visa requirements
- Tourist Visa – The general norm in this country is to work on a tourist visa. A tourist visa is very easy to get for Argentina, contact your local embassy or websites like Teach Away that guide you through the entire process for the application. Most ESL teachers work on a tourist visa, the schools generally have no problem with it. Although it might be technically ambiguous if it is legal or not to work as a tourist, the government usually does not care you won’t get into any trouble. You will need to visit Uruguay on a ferry (an hour away) to renew your visa every 3 months.
- Work visa – If you are not sure about working on a tourist visa, getting a work visa is definitely an option, some schools might provide you with and sponsor your visa but this generally does not happen.
What type of English teaching jobs can you find in Argentina?
- Private English institutes – With the increasing popularity of language schools in Argentina, these are the most common type of jobs you can find here.
- Salary and Benefits
- You can expect to make around $600 to $1200 USD as a Private English teacher in Argentina.
- These jobs are easier to get due to high demand and are easy to find openings for in public advertisements.
- These schools have the advantage of having work and income stability, so you know what to expect at the end of each month.
- Most of these schools are located in bigger cities, meaning higher salaries and a better standard of living.
- A valid visa. Can be tourist or Work visa but it should be valid for at least a month at the time of your application.
- A TEFL or CELTA certificate since the competition of such jobs is high, it is better to have one even if it is not listed as a prerequisite.
- A Bachelor’s degree, minimum.
- Prior teaching experience
- Private lessons – If you do not want to commit to a full-time job and get the experience of what it is like to teach to Argentinians, teaching ESL as a private tutor might be your best bet. These jobs might take a while to find but are usually preferred over school jobs
- Salary and Benefits
- Since there is no middle man, you can expect to earn twice as much or at least more than what you would in a school job. In general, you can make $700 to $1400 or more depending on how many students you are teaching and how rich they are.
- Flexible working hours, you usually have the liberty to set your own timings if your student allows.
- You can work part-time as a private tutor, which means you can do other work too if you want to make more money
- It increases your exposure to the general public, making you settle down easier.
- Requirements – Fortunately as a private tutor there are no lists of requirements that you need to fulfill. You mostly just need a good reputation amongst your pupils which improves your chances of getting new students
- Local schools – Getting a local school job is usually uncommon in Argentina since English is still not widely taught as part of the curriculum. However some cities have local schools that do hire ESL teachers, you just need to work hard on finding them. You can find local school ESL jobs through local newspapers and websites like teaching away.
- British council – teach as a teacher assistant
The British council assistantship program is an experience that allows you to teach English overseas as a paid six-month or one-year placement working as a language assistant in your desired placement. It pays exceptionally well and lets you immerse yourself in a completely new country and culture.
- Salary and Benefits
- The monthly income as a language assistant is ARS 20, 000, but it can vary given the inflation rates in Argentina.
- Working hours are 12-18 hours per week, this lets you discover the country and find other part-time work as well.
- Since the British Council is an internationally recognized body, working with them is beneficial for your resume as well as your personal development.
- Teaching usually involves placements in higher education facilities like universities, but you may have to work at a secondary school as well.
- You get trained on a certain set of language and communication skills.
- Native level English- this is assessed through your application and your reference, therefore, make sure they are top notch
- You will need a B1 level of Spanish for this program
- You need to be a resident for UK, Ireland or any other EU country in order to apply
- You need to have completed three years of the secondary school inside the UK and should have obtained your GCSE’s in the UK.
- It is required that you should have passed two years of university-level education by the time you start your assistantship
- A criminal check is important since British council does not accept applications of child offenders or any other crime, however, if it is in the past you may apply and they will assess your application based on your case.
What is the average salary of English language teachers in Argentina?
This can vary depending on the city you work in and your own worth based on your experience and qualifications. On average, an English language teacher can make $600 to $1200 per month which is not enough to afford a luxury lifestyle so you will have to work full time and pick up some side work to make it work. If you work full time as an ESL teacher and work part-time elsewhere, you will be able to make up to $1000 to $1500 per month, which might just allow you to save a little as well.
Is living in Argentina cost effective or not?
Cost effectivity largely depends on how you are living and how well you can budget your earnings. However to answer this question, no.
Living in Argentina can be quite expensive but like said above, it depends on how you are choosing to live there, the city of your placement, the neighborhood (rural or urban) what groceries you need to get and where you get them (farmer’s markets and outdoor sellers are comparatively cheaper compared to high-end supermarkets which are usually a tad bit expensive).
Rent is the primary expense you will have to bear if your employer does not provide it for you. Rent for a one bedroom apartment can vary anywhere from $800 to $1200 per month, which is almost as much as you get paid, so you need to work part-time at more than one job to afford a good apartment. Alternatives do exist if you do not want to splurge on rent. You can instead rent out a room or share your apartment with someone so you can split the rent, this will cost you $400 to $500 per month, which is still expensive but almost half the price compared to renting an apartment on your own. So if you live on your own and do not mind having a roommate, you should definitely opt for the alternatives to save a significant amount of money.
If you are lucky enough to find a good ESL job in one of the smaller cities, that is good news since rent is much cheaper in these smaller cities, however, a job is also difficult to find in these cities.
Can you gain international English teaching experience without moving to a different country?
Yes, you can. Moving to a new country all together seems very daunting for most, so if you are one of those people and want to experience what it all it feels like to teach abroad without actually moving there, teaching as an online tutor or teaching through VIPKID provide you with that opportunity.
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is the internet’s largest language school, which has virtual classrooms for well over 500,000 Chinese students that are being taught English by about 60,000 teachers. The classes are held using the website’s own chatting software that works like Skype or any other chatting app. The lessons are planned by VIPKID teachers and they include activities and lectures. The teachers also use different props to make the lesson more efficient.
Why should you choose VIPKID?
- International experience – VIPKID is the perfect way to get international experience without going through the hassle of moving abroad. You can teach from the comfort of your home and invest as many hours into your teaching as you want. There are simply no complications of applying for a visa and filling out paperwork to apply for a job.
- VIPKID does all the work for you – There is not much that you have to do as an English teacher at VIPKID except obviously, teach. They do all the middle work and connect you with the student directly, making the entire ordeal as easy as possible.
- Flexible working hours – You get to choose your own working hours. If you have a day job then you can come home, have dinner watch some TV and then go online and teach. VIPKID can be your second job but without any stress and exhausting working hours.
- You get paid handsomely and on time – VIPKID offers a great salary between $7 and $22. These rates are the best in the online teaching job market. Being an international organization they are quite reputable and you do not have to worry about being paid since they always pay you on time.
- VIPKID provides you with the teaching material – You do not have to spend your time and energies on developing materials to teach since VIPKID sorts that out for you, making it all the easier for you.
What are the requirements to get hired by VIPKID?
You need a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one years’ experience of working with children is all you need to be able to teach on VIPKID
Having analyzed all the information, Argentina might not be anyone’s first choice since it is comparatively more difficult to find work here than countries like Colombia or Brazil, but it is definitely possible if you have a good CV and a certain amount of experience. Having said that, if you are lucky enough to find work here, it will definitely be an experience you will not regret! Getting the opportunity to live and work in a country accessible to Andes Mountains, years of culture and history is something that appeals to most people and will be an amazing experience if you are dauntless enough to take on it.