Argentina is a popular destination for TEFL teachers, particularly with those who are fresh off their TEFL course and looking for their first adventure. Top draws that the country has to offer include the amazing cuisine, as well as world-famous wine that is both cheap and delicious. From wetlands to jungles, deserts to mountains, the natural landscape of Argentina makes it a top location for inspiring wanderlust. And if you like hot weather, you won’t be disappointed with the temperature in Argentina, where it rarely falls below 5 degrees. Friendly locals and plenty of teaching opportunities make this a great TEFL destination.

Wages aren’t high in Argentina, but neither is the cost of living, so while you might not save a bundle as a TEFL teacher you can certainly earn enough to get by. The TEFL industry in Argentina has a high turnover and a casual way of doing business, with part-time and freelance work just as much a viable option as getting something full-time. There are also plenty of voluntary opportunities too, which are great if you’d like to get a flavour for the country and check it out before seeking permanent employment.

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Key Facts

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Buenos Aires, Salta, Rosario, Córdoba, Mendoza, and Bariloche
  • Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 45,000 pesos to 90,000 pesos (£465 – £930 / $600 – $1,200) per month. Most jobs pay by the hour at around 45 to 120 pesos (£0.50 – £1.25 / $0.60 – $1.60 ) an hour. 70 pesos per hour is usual (£0.70 / $0.90 ).
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
  • Prerequisite university degree: Most positions require teachers to have a BA degree
  • Term times: The school year starts in March
  • Currency: Peso (ARS)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Teaching programmes: Private Language Schools, Freelance, Bilingual Schools, Volunteering
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Prior experience is helpful for some positions but not always necessary

Be prepared for the casual nature of hiring and teaching in Argentina. With many schools (and rental accommodations) offering 6-month contracts, turnover of TEFL teachers is high. As such, an employer won’t spend ages reaching a decision about your job – the interview will be short, and if they like you, you’ll be offered the position on the spot. A kiss on the cheek is more common than a handshake, even in the office, and while many schools will look for a minimum standard (perhaps having a BA degree, a TEFL certificate, or teaching experience) much more will ride on how you come across and if they find you affable.

Teaching as a freelancer in Argentina can often be far more lucrative than at a language school, but as your one-to-one lessons don’t offer the same stability, it’s best to hedge your bets and build up a portfolio of different gigs, including some language school work alongside your freelance ventures. It’s not hard to find students, with some teachers putting up notices or handing out flyers to attract clients.

Requirements for teaching English in Argentina

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Argentina £500 - £950
($600 - $1,200)
No March Preferred No Yes None
Bolivia £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
No February Preferred No Yes None
Brazil £650 - £900
($800 - $1,100)
No February No No Yes None
Chile £550 - £800
($700 - $1,000)
No March No No Yes None
Colombia £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
No January/February No No Yes Under 62
Ecuador £400 - £650
($500 - $800)
Preferred May Preferred No Yes None
Guatemala £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
Preferred January No No Yes None
Mexico £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Preferred August No Sometimes Yes None
Peru £325 - £650
($400 - $800)
Yes March Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 70
Uruguay £325 - £800
($400 - $1000)
Preferred March Preferred No Yes None

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Living Costs

Life in Argentina can be cheap as chips if you embrace the local lifestyle, but if you pine for imported goods, you’ll quickly burn through your cash. Fashionable brands, imported foods, and even foreign electrical goods will set you back far more than if you learn to live with what is produced locally. However, view the challenge of getting a good deal from your spending as an adventure rather than a chore, and enjoy local highlights such as cheap wine, inexpensive dining, and cheap public transport. Saying that, even if you embrace the local lifestyle, Argentina isn’t a place where you’ll be able to save huge amount of money unless you take on extra work. If you have a standard 30-hour working week, you’ll find that you break even at the end of the month and don’t have much cash leftover. If you’re looking for a more luxuriant lifestyle or want to put some money aside for the future, you’ll need to consider taking on private students in your free time.

If you have to furnish your own accommodation, try not to rely on the brands you know from home if you want to save money. Apartments are often rented furnished on six-month contracts, or unfurnished for two-year contracts. You might need a local guarantor for some rentals, and there are others that will allow you to pay your six-month contract fee up front. Few jobs come with accommodation, so this is certainly something to consider and research before you travel. Staying in a hostel when you arrive is a great way to ask for local recommendations and get the word on the ground.

Argentina is becoming increasingly popular with expats who love the cosmopolitan vibe of the big cities and the benefits on offer. Argentina has a good healthcare system and while quality is good when you seek public health services, private healthcare is also highly affordable and popular with expats. One of the cheaper places to live in South America, expect to put up with some inconveniences like power cuts and public transport not running to schedule. You’re also likely to experience some of the economic problems and bureaucracy that some expats consider make-or-break factors when choosing where to live, but if you’re up for an adventure, Argentina is a great place to do it.

  • Accommodation: £223 – £328 / $285 – $420
  • Utilities: £42 / $53
  • Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £11 / $14
  • Monthly transport pass: £15 / $19
  • Basic dinner out for two: £12 / $15
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £1.47 / $1.88
  • A beer in a pub: £1.38 / $1.77
  • 1 litre of milk: £0.63 / $0.81
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.32 / $1.69

(living costs sourced from Expatistan)

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