TEFL jobs in Bolivia
As your students in Bolivia are likely aiming to use English to move elsewhere later in life, most TEFL lessons are geared towards exam preparation such as for the SATs and TOEFL test. If you have experience in teaching TOEFL this will certainly be an advantage. Many language centres are overwhelmed with students and the demand for lessons in these areas exceeds the number of teachers wanting to work in Bolivia. This is great news for those fresh off their TEFL course who are looking for their first adventure. Positions vary greatly, with some paying what most would consider to be very low wages (but certainly enough to live on in such a cheap country) whereas experienced, qualified TEFL teachers can seek better paid jobs that cater for elite clientele. Speaking a bit of Spanish will always work in your favour when looking for teaching positions in Bolivia, too.
As is sometimes the case with poorer countries that have a fledgling TEFL market, you do come across cowboy schools from time to time – private language schools run by people who don’t speak any English, or who pay no attention to basic professional standards. As such, make sure to do your research before accepting a job in Bolivia. While you should seek a professional place of employment, take the Bolivian attitude to lessons with a pinch of salt – you’ll find your students relaxed rather than hardworking, likely turning up late to lesson and having a laidback attitude to homework. But as the students are often so friendly and cheerful, it’s hard to hold a grudge against even the most uncommitted students.
Where to find work in Bolivia
Most teachers arrive on a three-month tourist visa and then apply for a one-year work visa once they’ve found work. However, by leaving the country you can renew your tourist visa, and there doesn’t seem to be much red tape regarding working as a tourist. Some positions offer a generous end-of-year bonus in line with government regulations. Many jobs offer two-year contracts, offering a great opportunity to those who want to really get stuck into a foreign culture and brush up on their Spanish. Few positions offer accommodation – including voluntary positions – so be prepared to find your own apartment on arrival and do some research, although many schools can offer assistance with this. Some jobs list their salary in US $ while others list in local BOB.
Employers in Bolivia
Cambridge College prefers British applicants with a CELTA or 3 years of teaching experience. You must have experience of teaching exams. 2-year contracts teaching 25 contact hours per week. Salary of $1,000 – $1,400 per month.
Centro Boliviano Americano prefers American/British applicants with experience and a TEFL certificate. 2-year contracts, $4 per hour average pay. Health care provided. Correct visa required, not tourist visas.
If you’re working freelance, advertise your English lessons in the El Diario newspaper.
At Fox Language Academy you can volunteer teaching English to children and adults. There’s no charge to take part, and you can stay for days or months while learning Spanish with the academy.
IE requires candidates with at least A-level education and a TEFL certificate, but having a degree is preferred, as is experience in teaching. Inexperienced teachers will benefit from in-house training (of 5-20 hours). Contracts of 6 to 12-months, 30 teaching hours per week plus 10 hours of prep. Part-time contracts available. 3,000 BOB per month for full-time positions, 35 BOB per hour for hourly contracts. Homestay accommodation provided while you look for an apartment.
Language Connection hires native speakers with a CELTA or equivalent, no experience necessary. 2-year contracts, 24 teaching hours a week. $10 per hour, around $1,000 per month, plus end-of-year bonus. Another perk – the school has a swimming pool.