Peru is best known for its Inca ruins, which are a major tourist attraction, but there is so much more to see in this varied and vibrant country than just Machu Picchu. Traditional Peruvian culture remains important to this day, and while a modern lifestyle has been embraced, the country has woven together the old and new to create a unique and immersive experience for foreign travellers.
While in Peru you’ll find activity and culture aplenty, whether you want to sample fine cuisine in the cities or feed macaws from a rainforest riverboat. Climb the peaks of the Andes, then cool off with a swim in the Pacific. Or you can just get caught up in some of the citywide festivals, many of which last for days. No matter your preference, life in Peru will offer a great deal, and the income from a TEFL position will be plenty to satisfy your needs and your curiosity.
Demand for TEFL has risen in recent years, as Peru has experienced sustained economic growth since 1993. If you want to teach kids, there are plenty of International Schools to apply to that are on the lookout for experienced TEFL teachers, and TEFL newbies can look to voluntary positions in the rural mountains. Business English is growing in popularity, and the tourist industry means that many Peruvians want to brush up on their language skills. In addition to global businesses and exports of natural resources, TEFL in Peru has also been on the rise due to the increasing presence of conservation efforts keen to preserve the remaining expanses of rainforests. In total, the atmosphere has proven to be very open to new TEFL instructors, making Peru an excellent place to begin your TEFL career.
- Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Lima, Cusco, Sullana, Arequipa, Trujillo
- Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 1,890 – 2,640 Sol (£360 – £500 / $500 – $700) per month. Freelance teaching can earn you around 18 – 75 Sol ($5 – $20 / £3 – £15) per hour.
- TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
- Prerequisite university degree: Having a degree is preferred but not required for all jobs
- Term times: March – December
- Currency: Sol (PEN)
- Language: Spanish
- Teaching programmes: Freelance, Voluntary, International Schools, Business English, Private Language Schools
- Age restrictions: None
- Previous teaching experience: Not usually required
With tourism being a major industry in Peru and countless visitors flocking to Machu Picchu every year, many of your TEFL students will be adults hoping to improve their English for work. You’ll find your students warm and friendly, with great emphasis being placed on community and the family unit. Peruvian dress is modest, especially in the rural communities where you’ll find people more reserved. Students in Peru who are keen to learn English can sometimes find it difficult to respect boundaries and will blur the line between teacher and friend – it isn’t recommended that you give your personal mobile number to your students, otherwise you might be plagued with grammar questions at all hours of the day. While Peruvians are hardworking, they can often be quite relaxed when it comes to timekeeping! However, as a teacher you should always be on time.
Teaching freelance in Peru can be lucrative but doesn’t offer the stability of a full-time paid position. For those who are in Peru on a backpacking holiday or have free accommodation, acquiring a few freelance students can be a great way to make a little extra money as they travel. If you want to make more of a career of freelancing, you’d be wise to offer students a discount to buy lessons in bulk, and make sure to include a clause about cancellation fees – as a freelancer, you lose out when students cancel if they didn’t pay in advance.
Requirements for teaching English in Peru
|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)
|Bolivia||£400 - £550
($500 - $700)
|Brazil||£650 - £900
($800 - $1,100)
|Chile||£550 - £800
($700 - $1,000)
|Colombia||£400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
|Ecuador||£400 - £650
($500 - $800)
|Guatemala||£400 - £550
($500 - $700)
|Mexico||£400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
|Peru||£325 - £650
($400 - $800)
|Uruguay||£325 - £800
($400 - $1000)
The cost of living in Peru is cheaper than in 75% of countries in Latin America, and cheaper than in 83% of countries in the world, making it a top destination for TEFL newbies travelling on a budget. Many teaching positions in this beautiful country are voluntary, and while you’ll be provided with food and somewhere to stay, you might not have much in the way of disposable income to spend in your free time. However, there are plenty of things to do that don’t cost a penny. If you love a party, in Peru there is no shortage of festivals for you to enjoy with newfound friends. The rich history and culture of this country makes it a great place to visit museums and archaeological sites. Peru is known for its beautiful beaches, and surfers flock to the Pacific coastline for its epic waves. You don’t need to stick to the ‘Gringo Trail’ when it comes to seeing the sights – seek out the unbeaten track to discover amazing views and breath-taking experiences.
- Accommodation: £342 – £512 / $470 – $703
- Utilities: £37 / $51
- Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £14 / $20
- Monthly transport pass: £21 / $29
- Basic dinner out for two: £7 / $9
- Cappuccino in expat area: £2.66 / $3.65
- A beer in a pub: £1.42 / $1.95
- 1 litre of milk: £0.83 / $1.14
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.42 / $1.95
(living costs sourced from Expatistan)