Teaching English in Argentina

Teaching English in Argentina

Argentina Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Buenos Aires$800 – $1500

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Argentina while embarking on a rewarding journey as an English teacher. From the passionate rhythms of the tango to the spirited conversations in bustling cafes, Argentina offers an incredible experience for those looking to teach English abroad.

This South American gem not only boasts breathtaking landscapes and mouthwatering cuisine but also a growing demand for English language skills. As an English teacher in Argentina, you’ll have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of eager learners, while also expanding your own horizons.

Whether you choose to teach in the bustling capital of Buenos Aires or in the charming rural towns nestled in the Andes, you’ll find yourself surrounded by warm and welcoming locals who are eager to learn and share their unique stories. So, get ready to embrace a rich cultural experience, while helping others unlock new opportunities through the power of language. Argentina awaits, and the rewards of teaching English here are abundant.

Buenos Aires is the main hub for English teachers and offers big city life in South America. For those with a little bit of Spanish speaking under their belt, it can be a great experience.

Living and working as an English teacher in Argentina

The level of demand for native speakers in Argentina is reasonably high. There are a lot of businesses in Argentina that deal with English-speakers and it’s usually the businessmen who are looking to expand their knowledge of the language.

But watch out for inflation!

Unfortunately, TEFL salaries are relatively low and due to moderate living costs you certainly won’t be able to save much, if at all. Recently, the fluctuation in the nation’s currency (the Argentine peso) has made it hard for teachers who are paid in that currency. However, if you can somehow get paid in American dollars, you will find the black market for currency exchange to be quite lucrative.

As in most Latin American countries, the students are lively and sociable and therefore a pleasure to teach. Unfortunately, non-Argentinians are not allowed to teach in public (state) schools so you are limited to language centers and the few bilingual schools that exist. There is a high turnover of staff at language centers which says a great deal about the pros and cons.

Employers can be unreliable and have unreasonable demands such as the common one that you are effectively β€˜on call’ from 8am to 8pm or similar. You are rarely paid for traveling from one location or class to another and this can take up a significant chunk of your daily schedule. There are lots of other native speakers looking for short-term employment but many leave after just a few months due to the poor pay and the fact that many private students cancel at short notice (and therefore don’t pay you).

If you are experienced and hard-working then you may be lucky to find one of the few well-paid positions, such as those at bilingual schools. You can also become a successful “freelance” language instructor if you’re able to get individual students to spread your services by word of mouth.

For the majority, however, teaching English in Argentina is a fun experience for a short period of time but certainly not a serious career option.

Flag of Argentina - Wikipedia

Typical Requirements and Tips for Teaching English in Argentina

Your employer is responsible for obtaining your work permit. However, in reality, many work illegally. By crossing the border to Uruguay every 3 months, you effectively renew a tourist visa that starts again once you return. Despite the flexibility this allows, this is not recommended for obvious reasons.

You should expect to be paid on a monthly basis. Make sure you actually have a contract or else you may have problems when it comes to payday. As mentioned, most will pay in Argentine peso which can hold inconsistent value.

Public transport is cheap but taxis are expensive. You will have to find good routes to your classes on the subway lines ideally. If not, the buses are fine but are notoriously off schedule and sporadic. Food is moderately-priced and once established in a community, you will find your local grocer to be helpful and cheap. Accommodation is unfortunately expensive in Buenos Aires depending on your area. You will probably have to share it with another teacher.

Pros of Teaching English in Argentina

  • A beautiful country with lots of culture
  • High demand for teachers

Cons of Teaching English in Argentina

  • Earnings can fluctuate in value, cutting into your savings
  • Hard to get around with public transit

Fun Fact About Argentina

Argentina was the first country in Latin America to adopt a national compulsory education system in 1884, which included free and mandatory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14.

Comparable Alternatives

Looking for something a little more adventurous and less structured? If your Spanish is really good, we’d recommend checking out:

1. Uruguay

Uruguay shares many similarities with Argentina in terms of culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. Its capital city, Montevideo, is often compared to Buenos Aires for its vibrant arts scene and architectural charm. Uruguayans also share a passion for football, and mate (a traditional South American drink) is widely consumed in both countries.

2. Chile

Chile has a similar Latin American vibe as Argentina, with a mix of European influences. The two countries are known for their breathtaking landscapes, including the Andes Mountains and Patagonia. Chilean cuisine, like Argentine cuisine, features grilled meats and seafood dishes. Santiago, the capital of Chile, is also comparable to Buenos Aires in terms of its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

3. Spain

While not geographically close, Spain has had a significant influence on Argentine culture, particularly due to the large number of Spanish immigrants who settled in Argentina. The Spanish language, architecture, and cuisine have played a vital role in shaping Argentine traditions. The tango, a popular dance in Argentina, also has Spanish origins. Spain offers a similar vibrant lifestyle and a rich history that can be compared to Argentina.

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