As a individual who is looking to teach in Argentina, there is much that you can look forward to in terms of lifestyle, climate and general standards of living. As the eighth largest country in the world, and second largest in South America, Argentina boasts of a diverse culture. The country is separated into four major areas – Pampas, Patagonia, Andes, and the tropical Northern region. Major cities in Argentina, with Buenos Aires in particular, offer excellent quality of living, comparable to cities like Rome in Italy or Paris in France. However, there is much to be said about the traditional, country life in Argentina as well. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most diverse countries on the planet, Argentina stretches for c2,300 miles offering everything from tropical rain forests and mountain ranges to cosmopolitan cities and towering glaciers. A nation built on immigration, Argentina has a rich culture with heavy influences from Europe, Asia and it’s continental neighbors. With this comes a wide selection of food to satisfy even the biggest and discerning appetites. Argentina is also popular for international business, thus opens it’s doors to hoards of English teachers that arrive to satisfy the demand.
Let’s be honest from the outset. Argentina, even Buenos Aires, is not a get rich quick scheme for English teachers in the shape of Asian and Middle Eastern teaching destinations. Yet, with the right attitude and a desire to succeed, it is possible to build a reliable group of classes/students and earn more than enough to live a comfortable Argentine lifestyle. Working for an institute you can expect a salary of US$10-15 (AR$45-70) per hour with classes typically lasting for 90-minutes. With four classes a day it is thus possible to earn from US$1,200 per month.
The key to truly enjoying the Argentine lifestyle, especially if situating yourself in Buenos Aires, is to not try and live like a tourist. Perhaps during the first few weeks or month you will be tempted to hit the bars and restaurants recommended by the likes of Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, and who is to blame you with arguably the world’s finest wine and steak on offer. Nevertheless, maintaining this rhythm will soon burn a huge hole in your pocket. Think like a local and live like a local and you will soon reap the benefits of the nations fine cuisine.
Take Buenos Aires for example, which is where the vast majority of foreign teachers reside. With a parrilla (grill or steakhouse) seemingly positioned on every corner, there is no shortage of opportunity to sit down and tuck into a juicy steak. Argentines will be quick to tell you that their steak is the best around, and who can argue? Unbelievably tender, you can expect to pick up 300g slab of rib-eye, sirloin or filet steak from as little as US$12. Washed down with a tasty bottle of Malbec for another US$10 and your traditional Argentine meal is complete. Simply take your pick from the hundreds of parrillas dotted around neighborhoods such as Almagro, Belgrano, Palermo and San Telmo.
Working as an English teacher, chances are you will do a fair bit of eating on the go. With classes spread throughout the day you will probably need to grab a quick bite whilst on the move from one company to the other. Argentina has some great snacks that can be picked up for next to nothing, namely the great empanada.
A delightful baked or fried savory pastry stuffed with a range of delicious fillings. Choose from ham and cheese, spicy beef, sweetcorn, chicken and mushroom and many more. Empanadas are as commonplace as football in Argentina, and at just over US$1 make for an ideal lunchtime or mid-afternoon snack. Another quick option is the choripan, a delicious choirzo sausage served up in a crusty white bread roll and smothered in chimi churri sauce; US$2 well spent.
It isn’t all just about meat eating however. Argentines are becoming ever more sophisticated in their eating habits. In addition to the influence of traditional Spanish and Italian cuisine, you’ll find Arab, Chinese and Japanese, and Peruvian options as well as a growing number of fusion restaurants and affordable puertas cerradas (closed-door restaurants).
For newcomers to Argentina, it may take some time to become accustomed to the local eating habits. Everything happens later here, particularly in Buenos Aires where first impression would suggest that nobody sleeps. Be prepared to sit down for dinner from 10pm and arrive with an empty stomach. If you have an 8am class the following morning, don’t expect to be heading home any time before 2am, with the return journey most likely including another local favorite pastime – ice cream.
Argentina is an unforgettable destination and one that clings on to visitors like no other. Should the possibility arise to supplement your teaching income with an online source of income from back home then your ability to enjoy the country to it’s maximum potential will increase. Just be careful of the pounds; that’s both those that you spend and the ones that add a few inches to the waistline.
Are you thinking of teaching English?
Argentina has drastically recovered from its economic woes, and as the country sprints ahead, more and more businesses are realizing the potential of English instruction or most importantly are now able to afford it. Argentina is the most appealing and visited destination in the South American Continent, and for a plethora of reasons starting with its elegant urban setting, fantastic ice-hiking opportunities, home of the tango, the majestic Andean Cordillera, magnificent glaciers in the south, Parisian architecture and legendary nightlife (just to name a few).
The astounding populous of just over 9 million combined with Argentina’s accelerated economic growth is a fusion for success of English language classes. Although the essence of the country’s population dwells in the capital city – Buenos Aires undoubtedly presents more job opportunities than any other city, but there are a number of other nontraditional options such as the coastal resort of Mar del Plata, Salta, Rosario and Corboba worth exploring.
If you think that teaching beyond the capital is a bland experience, think again! Although Buenos Aires does have its fair share of enduring popularity, the rest of the country is a magnificent stretch of tropical waterfalls, the legendary wineries of Mendoza to the magical Bariloche – the magical lover’s paradise. English is growing rapidly to become more of a necessity rather than a luxury, and with this surge of attention, landing a job as an English teacher is not farfetched.
Where to Look for Work in Argentina and How do I get Started?
With native English speakers being a prized commodity in this diverse country, the opportunities for teaching can be found with little or sometimes no efforts. Placements are definitely versatile so you need to be ready to work in the morning, during lunch or even until late evening. Teaching instruction in Argentina is set in a range of entertaining environments from schools, local businesses to esteemed English language institutions.
To help you jumpstart your teaching career in Argentina, there are a myriad places to look starting from online publications, English language newspapers such as the Argentine Independent and the Buenos Aires Herald, job postings in the Buenos Aires Craigslist to expat forums or just use TeacherKick for jobs teaching English in Argentina. Some teachers have also found promising teaching positions in the Spanish language publication – the Clarin, and networking through students. Pay close attention when preparing your CV as unlike traditional jobs, it is likely that you will be working for reputable companies or language institutes so their needs must be addressed accordingly.
Is a Work Visa Required to Teach in Argentina or will my Tourist Visa Suffice?
Good news for citizens from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia is that they can enter and stay in Argentina for a period of 90 days without a tourist visa. During this period, they are permitted to seek employment, but beyond that will need a designated work permit. Once you’ve secured employment, the process of applying for a work permit is rather seamless.
In most instances, it is your employer who will represent you, and will complete the documentation process on your behalf. This typically takes around a month and depends on the time of year and number of applications. The work permit usually carries a validity of 9 months, but should you wish to change employers during and after this period, a new visa will need to be sanctioned.
What are Typical Salaries for Teachers in Argentina and the Costs of Living?
Argentina is not the best payers for English teachers, but if you want to piece together a successful career in the continents coolest countries, it is an unrivalled choice. Wages for teachers vary, but are typically in the range of ARS 1000 – ARS 1800 (USD 300 – 500) per month. This may not seem much, but considering that the cost of commodities and provisions in relatively lower than North America, you are able to lead a comfortable European lifestyle on a generous budget.
Just to give you a ball park idea of how far your money will go:
- Fully furnished shared apartment will cost ARS 325 (USD 100)/month
- Broadband and internet = ARS 160 (USD 50)/per month
- Monthly Utilities excluding internet ARS 200 (USD 60)/ month
- Transportation is fairly cheap in Argentina
- 3-course dinner, including wine, can cost as little as ARS 70 (USD$20)
Besides its outdoor extravagance, Argentina is infamous for its amplified culture and class, and teaching in this country is a great way to share your culture with a unique slice of the globe.
This Guide for Teachers in Argentina was originally published on TeacherKick.com