Peru is an attractive destination for TEFL certification abroad. The nation’s tourism market requires Peruvians to have greater English language skills more and more, particularly in Lima, and many businesses are requiring employees to learn or improve their English abilities, which combined has created a higher demand for ESL teaching in Peru. For Spanish speakers, or those enthusiastic about learning, Peru is an exceptional location to expand Spanish language skills, because the the Spanish spoken in Peru is especially pure. Completing a TEFL program in Peru will place you in a nation rich in archaeological history and leave you immersed in the indigenous culture.
Lima offers the most opportunities for TEFL certification in Peru, as well as for English teaching jobs. As a large metropolitan area of almost 8.5 million people, Lima offers convenience and amenities. The nearby beach is slightly rocky, but still a popular site for surfing and paragliding. Be aware that Peru’s capital also has a strong dichotomy between rich and poor; neighborhoods and schools may vary greatly even if they are right next to each other.
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, is a strong second in terms of TEFL courses in Peru, with adventure and trekking opportunities available to compliment the TEFL program experience. Sitting at a high altitude and only about 50 miles from Machu Picchu, this city is a necessary stop for tourists, and because of this, many locals are looking to improve their English language skills. Earning a TEFL certificate in Cusco, will prepare you to teach english in Peru.
Aspiring English teachers will also find TEFL programs in Arequipa, known as the “White City” because of its stunning cathedral off the Plaza de Armas, it is encircled by mountains and volcanoes. Luckily, the beach is still close enough for a day trip and many tourists stop here to start a tour of Colca Canyon (the Grand Canyon of South America and Peru’s third most visited tourist destination).
Participants interested in a more rural experience while completing TEFL courses in Peru still have options too, and they will be guaranteed to not only expand their teaching skills but also their Spanish language skills.
Courses & Programs
TEFL programs in Peru have standard curriculums which include an intro to teaching ESL, theory and methods, as well as practical teaching experience and lesson planning. Both online TEFL programs and TEFL courses in classroom settings are available in Peru. There are some TEFL programs in Peru that offer a combination of online training and in-class learning too. TEFL programs abroad will typically include an exam at the culmination of the course to provide participants with full TEFL certification.
Expect the most reputable TEFL programs in Peru to last at least 120 hours over a four week time frame. This type of TEFL course structure is accredited on a global scale and requires more of participants during courses, so it will be easier for teachers to secure jobs once certified through these programs. Many TEFL program providers in Peru will provide assistance with job placementupon course completion and TEFL certification. Programs without a practical teaching component should be carefully examined to make sure they will prepare you appropriately for teaching English abroad.
Qualifications to participate in TEFL courses in Peru can vary slightly depending on the specific certification program. However, courses will require native fluency in the English language and a high school diploma at the very least. Unlike many other countries, English teachers in Peru are not required to have a bachelor’s degree. However, having a degree will certainly help you qualify for some of the better and more fruitful ESL teaching positions and have the ability to move fluidly throughout South America and across continents as well.
Salary & Costs
TEFL courses in Peru can range in cost from $1,500 to $2,500. Once the course is completed, ESL teachers can expect to make from around $500 to $1,000 per month (or $5 to 10 an hour) depending on their qualifications and placement location. If you choose to conduct private English tutoring in Peru, to add to your monthly income, charging more than $10 USD an hour is reasonable. Private language schools in large cities, like Lima, can pay more and may offer a higher salary for teachers with a degree.
For the most part, the cost of living for those earning TEFL certification in Peru is on par with the average of other countries nearby. Students should expect to budget at least $600 a month for spending money. You may need far less, or a bit more, depending on your lifestyle preferences and exact location. Budgeting $10 to $20 USD for a week of meals is typical. Rent varies from very cheap to expensive. In some places, a small apartment that houses one can be $100 to $300 a month, while in other cities it is more expensive.
Accommodation & Visas
TEFL programs in Peru may offer homestay options or housing in shared apartments to participants. If the accommodation costs and placement are not included in the program fee, participants may opt to find a cheap hostel in the area or even a hotel during their TEFL courses in Peru. Once you have acquired a teaching job in Peru, you will find that many jobs will include accommodation or will refer you to other expats to share housing with.
Anyone teaching English or working in Peru is technically required to have a work visa. However, many times language institutes will hire English teachers with a tourist visa and have them work under the table. If this is the case, it can entail low pay ($10 an hour or less), odd or long work hours, and schools not always following through with payments.
A tourist visa can be used for a stay of less than 183 days, and for U.S. citizens and many other countries, no application is necessary to obtain one. After this point you will need to leave the country and re-enter for a renewed visa, which will last a month, in order to remain in Peru legally. This can be done three times. The great part about obtaining a tourist visa is that no paperwork or fee is required.
Benefits & Challenges
- Job Opportunities. The market for English teachers in Peru is outstanding, with many Peruvians looking to improve their language abilities to heighten their chances for career advancement, and plenty of private language schools with available teaching placements.
- Local Access. Participating in a TEFL program in Peru will allow you to establish yourself in a Peruvian city, which makes you more appealing for hire, as teachers located in-country are preferable.
- Safety. While public demonstrations and drug trafficking are present within the country, Peru is generally a safe option to participate in a TEFL program or teach abroad.
- Pay Issues. Teachers working on a tourist visa have few legal rights if their employer doesn’t follow through with payment. A work visa provides greater backing and support.