Mendoza—a cosmopolitan city synonymous with wine and landscapes—is only two hours flight from Buenos Aires, but couldn’t feel more different. Mendoza is in the heart of the Andes Mountains, making it a metropolitan area with a flair for adventure sports. You can do things like trek America's highest peak, Aconcagua, or go horseback riding through the altiplano after class. Teaching English in Mendoza will be a life-changing experience, full of outdoor adventures, lots of grilled asado beef, and late nights of Malbec wine.
What do you need to know to teach in Mendoza
As English continues to be one of the top spoken languages of the world, demand from aspiring language learners grows. Jobs for English teachers are at a premium and Argentina is no exception—as a native English speaker, your opportunities to teach english in Argentina will feel endless! Here’s what you need to know as you look for teaching jobs in Mendoza.
Popular ESL jobs in Argentina. English jobs in Mendoza are largely offered to native-English speakers. While you may be able to find opportunities outside of the education field, they are rare and are mostly in business related fields. Most people who move to Mendoza find teaching positions. For experienced teachers or people with a TEFL/TESOL certificate, placements are usually in public or private high schools, or at universities. If you’re less experienced, there are always opportunities to be a private tutor or homestay teacher until you build up your resume.
Short term vs. long term teaching jobs—plus other tidbits on job structure. One of the biggest decisions when choosing to teach abroad in Mendoza is the length of contract. Short-term programs typically range from one to three months, while longer contracts could be nine to twelve months. Short-term programs are great for people looking to get their feet wet in teaching, while longer-term programs are a good option for teachers looking to make an impact in the local community. Whether you choose a long or short program, you’ll have ample opportunity to practice su espanol. Full immersion is one of the best parts of teaching abroad!
Teaching English vs teaching other subjects. If you are teach abroad in Argentina, you will most likely be teaching English. This is certainly true in Mendoza! English teaching placements are the easiest teaching jobs in Mendoza for foreigners to come by. If you want to teach another subject in Mendoza, you may have a hard time and may only be able to find these jobs once you already live in Mendoza. In local schools, international teachers will work with children, teenagers, or even adults depending on the classroom setting. You will either be teaching your own classes or assisting Argentine co-teachers.
Life in Mendoza for ESL Teachers
Because Mendoza is in the southern hemisphere, it’s important to remember that the seasons are opposite from what you might be used to. This will have a big effect on your life abroad as a teacher!
December and January are the height of the summer with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Given Mendoza’s arid desert climate, many locals will folk to the beach or further south for their summer vacations and the city tends to feel a little tranquilo this time of year. Most teaching positions will start back up in February or March (beginning of fall) when families have returned from summer vacation. Winter is usually at it’s peak in July and August, and Mendoza is no stranger to snowy weather. There are even ski resorts within driving distance!
Mendoza’s culture tends to be more laid-back than other places in Argentina. Wine-fueled lunches last for hours and you’ll need to prepare to take life at a slower pace. Although Mendoza is relajado during the day, the city really comes alive after the sun goes down. Mendozans know how to throw back the vino and have a good time—this is a city full of nightlife! Like many other countries in South America, things happen late. You’ll notice that dinner will wrap up around 10pm, and the bars along streets like Avenida Arístides don’t gather crowds until well after midnight.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for foreign teachers in Mendoza
The city center of Mendoza is relatively small and easily walkable for most people. Don’t miss a visit to Parque San Martín, Plaza Independencia, or Plaza España! In case you’re not much of a walker, buses are pretty widely available to take you around the city or to destinations around the region. The buses can, however, be confusing the first few times you ride them. Thankfully, GoAbroad is here to make sure you never get lost!
Every bus will have two numbers. The first, el numero de grupo, is the top number at the front of the bus. The second, el numero de ruta, is usually two or three digits on the small windshield sign. Buses running on the same group number have the same final destination, but will take a different route to get there. To ride, you’ll need to purchase a prepaid card at the bus terminal which you will use to swipe when you get on the bus. The average trip typically costs between $2-$4.
Mendoza isn’t called the the "Napa Valley of South America" for nothing—it is home to Argentina’s most renowned wines. You can’t live as an English teacher in Argentina’s wine country without exploring at least a few of the surrounding vineyards. Avoid the hoards of tourists visiting the major wineries by opting for a bike tour! We recommend exploring the smaller wineries, and the best time of the year to sample is during the harvest in late February. Lots of vineyards even come out with special blends to celebrate the annual harvest!
Mendoza is an ideal teach abroad destination for people who love the city life but have a sense of outdoor adventure and a laid-back attitude. As one of Argentina’s most down-to-earth cities, you will get the best of both worlds! Teaching in Mendoza will give you the opportunity to experience the culture, language, and history of one of South America’s most dynamic nations.
Are you already practicing your tango routine? Get more inspiration with our comprehensive guide on teaching abroad in Argentina!