Dramatic views, hospitable locals, and historic sites. When you teach abroad in Quito, you’ll live in Ecuador’s capital city, which lies in a valley between mountains at an elevation of over 9,000 feet! From the expansive parks to the monumental cathedrals to the delicious dishes, you’ll experience South America in a beautiful way. Not to mention the affordable cost of living, the usage of USD currency, and the mild climate as well. Teach abroad in Quito to make a difference, to learn some Spanish, and to explore a picturesque city!
What you need to know to teach in Quito
Quito is a hub for several educational institutions, so with some research and inquiring, you’ll be able to find a teaching position. While you shouldn’t expect to be rolling in dough while teaching in Quito, the work experience you’ll gain and the people you’ll meet will be a stepping stone for your career prospects. ¡Qué chévere! (Cool!)
Popular ESL jobs in Quito. Quito’s tourism has been growing, and the need for sophisticated English speakers has grown as well. Many English teaching opportunities are on a volunteer basis in public institutions, where you’ll earn a small stipend every month to cover necessities. If you work long enough, you may also be able to get a contract with the institution where you’ll earn more money. Private institutions and tutoring positions are harder to get, but they usually pay more.
Short-term vs. long-term teaching jobs, and other tidbits on job structure. Short-term English teaching positions are available, especially for those who are looking to earn their TEFL/TESOL certificate here. Some organizations offer year-long programs, which will you benefit you the most in terms of improving your Spanish and gaining more international work experience for your resume.
Teaching English vs. teaching other subjects. While teaching English is the most popular in Quito, you can also find jobs teaching science, math, and other subjects. Besides looking for teaching jobs online, job fairs and international education advisors at your university can also help you find teaching jobs in Ecuador. Many teaching positions require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate for English teachers, and in some cases, a master’s degree depending on the field.
Life in Quito for ESL Teachers
Life for teachers in Quito will be lively yet laid-back. As you’ll likely be working half days, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Parque Carolina, Plaza Foch, artesanal markets, Mitad del Mundo, UNESCO World Heritage sites in the historical district, TeleferiQo, and more. The number of museums, artsy cafes, and cinemas with international films will delight you with even more culture. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to attend language exchange clubs or take language classes.
With most teaching positions, the organization will arrange a homestay situation. Living with a host family is a good opportunity to learn more about Quito ways of life, taste local dishes, practice your Spanish, and get advice on the best places to shop and eat. Your family will also be able to help you get more involved in the local community, so you’ll be able to meet more locals and attend fiestas. You can look into renting an apartment, as the rent is fairly cheap, but you’ll need to keep in mind that foreigners are usually charged more, and you’ll have to find apartments the old-fashioned way (not online): by asking and walking around.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for foreign teachers in Quito
Quito is a fairly conservative city — you won’t see locals here wearing shorts and flip flops. As a teacher, your institution will expect you to dress semi-formally without any tears or holes in your clothes. With the climate like an eternal spring and strong sun rays, you’ll want to dress modestly anyway. Also, don’t be surprised if your students are late to class or if administration takes a bit to respond to you because they’re living on “Ecuatime.” Life is a bit more relaxed here, so take a breath, and learn to enjoy it!
When it comes to getting to and from your job, many forms of transportation are available. Renting cars is not recommended, however, because most intersections don’t have stoplights or stop signs. As you can imagine, you’ll need to take care when walking around. The sidewalks are bumpy and pickpocketing is prevalent at night. Metro buses or the Ecuavia trolley are available, which runs north and south through the city, and all of the buses are only a quarter! You could also take taxis, which are the best option at night.
Overall, one of the best parts of living in Quito is trying the local dishes. Encebollado is a national dish that tingles your tastebuds from its tangy onions and yucca. And the ceviche? It’s up there with encebollado. Whether you’re tasting local chocolate and coffee or strolling through plazas and parks, you’ll always discover something new here and experience life in rewarding ways when you teach abroad in Quito.
Want to explore Ecuador more? Read our comprehensive guide on teaching abroad in Ecuador.