Teaching English in Uruguay

Teaching English in Uruguay

Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure?

Imagine yourself sipping mate tea while strolling along the picturesque beaches of Uruguay, immersing yourself in the rich culture and embracing the warmth of its people.

If you have a passion for teaching and a desire to explore new horizons, teaching English in Uruguay could be your ticket to living the dream.

In this guide, we will unveil the secrets to not only becoming an English teacher in Uruguay but also experiencing the true essence of this South American gem. From the vibrant streets of Montevideo to the charming colonial towns of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a thriving teaching community. Join us as we delve into the wonders of this enchanting country and discover how you can make a difference in the lives of others while immersing yourself in the beauty of Uruguay.

Uruguay Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Montevideo$500 – $1000

A small, low-lying, mainly undeveloped nation of ancient traditions, Uruguay is a great country for the adventurous. The level of demand for native speakers in Uruguay is moderately high and the crime rate is one of the lowest in Latin America.

Unfortunately, TEFL salaries are relatively low and despite low living costs you certainly won’t be able to save much, if at all. As in most Latin American countries, the students are lively and sociable and therefore a pleasure to teach.

Employers at some language centers can be unreliable and have unreasonable demands such as the common one that you are effectively β€˜on-call’ from 8 am to 8 pm 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. 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.

For the majority, however, teaching Engish in Uruguay is a fun experience for a short period of time but only rarely a serious long-term career option.

Uruguay - Wikipedia

Requirements and qualifications for teaching English in Uruguay

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?

A CELTA or TEFL certificate is not strictly necessary, but you will find that if you have one you are eligible for better jobs and better pay. You’ll also be a more confident teacher.

Given the low salaries, you may need to supplement your income with extra, private one-to-one tuition. Contacts are essential and found via word of mouth and through local adverts and websites. Bear in mind that punctuality is less important in Uruguay than in the West so it is quite common for students to turn up late!

American and Canadian teachers may be at a slight advantage. Teachers with Spanish language skills will find settling in a lot easier.

Your employer is responsible for obtaining your work permit. However, in reality, many work illegally. Despite the flexibility this allows, this is not recommended for obvious reasons. Most teachers arrive on a tourist visa which can be converted into a work visa without having to leave the country.

The cost of living is low but you will probably have to share accommodation with another teacher, to begin with. Transport is especially cheap and efficient in Montevideo.

Pros of Teaching in Uruguay

  • Reasonable demand for English tuition
  • Fantastic, sociable students
  • A wonderful country for the adventurous

Cons of Teaching in Uruguay

  • Generally low pay and many employers are reluctant to offer proper, full-time contracts
  • Teachers are sometimes expected to work split shifts and spend a lot of time traveling (which is unpaid)
  • It is very difficult to find work unless you are already in the country

Looking for another country that’s on the rise in South America? If your Spanish is good enough, we’d recommend checking out teaching English in Paraguay! It’s a country on the come-up and full of potential for English teachers.

Fun Fact About Uruguay:

Uruguay is often referred to as the “Switzerland of South America” due to its long-standing tradition of political stability, social welfare, and high standard of living, making it an interesting case study for comparing and contrasting political systems and social policies in English literature and language classes.

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