Seeking Summer in January? Teach English in South America!

With the holidays still lingering in our thoughts, there’s no denying that winter is nearly finished. Some people love this time of year, and get excited about the snow and cold of the coming months; but others, like me, are already counting down to the summer thaw. For you, my warm weather loving friends, I have a solution. It’s not a fuzzy sweater or heated socks, but something bigger and better: a shift in hemisphere.

Are you reading this and feeling a little rusty on geography?  I’m referring to the fact that in the world’s Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are completely reversed. That’s right— for countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Chile, it’s summer in January and winter in July. So if you’re thinking about teaching English next year, head to South America in January and you’ll have the unique and enviable experience of avoiding winter all together. Here’s the scoop:

Where can I teach?
There’s demand in almost any city in any South American country, but teachers tend to focus on bigger cities where language institutes abound. Popular destinations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina and Arequipa, Peru. Check out this guide to choosing the South American city that’s right for you!

When is hiring season in South America?
In countries like Brazil and Chile, the end of their summer holidays in February means a surge in an already booming job market for English teachers as students get back to class.  So if you’ve been considering teaching English abroad in South America, the time to get started with your plans is definitely now.

Who is the typical student in South America?
The students you will teach in South America are mostly adult professionals who attend language institutes to improve their fluency for better career opportunities. You may also teach university students or other adults, but it’s rare for foreign teachers to teach children.

Who is the typical teacher in South America?
As with most regions, there are lots of EFL teachers in their twenties; however, South America is known for being open to hiring teachers of all ages! Rather than focusing on age, schools look for confident, properly trained, professional teachers with a passion for helping their students learn.

Is it hard to get a job there?
No, not at all, if you’re qualified! Most language institutes look for teachers who hold TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification of at least 100 hours, earned either online or in a traditional classroom. Unlike some other regions of the world, you don’t necessarily need to have a degree to get hired as a teacher in South America.

You can get that TEFL certification online before you go, or you can take an in-country, hands-on TEFL course somewhere like Santiago, Chile, or a variety of other amazing cities. Getting certified onsite allows you to take advantage of added support features,  such as language classes, accommodations and job placement assistance from local staff.

Keep in mind that most language institutes hire teachers “on-the-spot,” so if seeking a job on your own makes you nervous, an onsite TEFL course or even more supportive Teach Abroad Program (similar to an internship) is probably the best fit for you.

Questions about how you can get started? Just visit our website or contact a TEFL Advisor by phone or email for more information! We’d love to help get you started with your plans to escape the cold and warm up in South America!