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Just give the whole region a pass..

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Joined: 29 Sep 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:09 am    Post subject: Just give the whole region a pass.. Reply with quote

I am bilingual--I majored in Spanish in college-- and I love teaching Hispanics. But it's not worth it to go.

A high end of standard salary is 450/month with no help with airfare or visa costs. So you salary vs. expenses will look like this:
Pay for 1 year: 5400
airfare (round trip) to South America: 3000
visa fees: 200
transportation fees to get to work: 300 (if you always take a bus)
extras: anything you need for your classes, internet fees, etc. 200 (probably more!)
That leaves you 1700..and you'll pay taxes, too!

Jobs will lie about EVERYTHING. They'll hire you as a standard teacher if they just want a sub to come in when teachers can't come! They aren't honest about the salary, how many hours you'll get (if you are paid by the hour) or how many hours you'll really work (if you are paid a standard monthly salary). I was even told I would have an intermediate class and thrown into COLLEGE BUSINESS FOR BUSINESS MAJORS.. I have zero business background! Some jobs won't even pay you.

The visa process is insane in all countries. It's confusing, time consuming and stressful and the government takes your passport with no concrete return date. You can not possibly have the visa ready by day one of teaching, and without 100% legal visa you can't do anything if a job refuses to pay you or you have other problems.

Do you know Spanish?
If not classroom management is impossible.. English levels are very low and behavior from students of all ages (even adults at times!) is horrific. And you'll be working with English speakers, so learning it can be hard.

If you do, expect to be constantly bombarded with requests for help! You'll get everything from.. "I'm in Sarah's class..can you help me with my homework?'
to "Would you go buy us lunch quick?".

And students will come to you to complain other teachers don't know Spanish..or about any school policy they dislike.

For all of this, a standard schedule is:
Monday-Friday: 7 am-10 am and 5-9 pm..with many small tasks (entering attendence, etc.) to do between 10-5 and someones even long staff meetings. Saturday: 8-12

There are some real rewards!! People are wonderfully friendly and kind and students are great fun to teach. But you can get the same rewards by paying for Spanish classes and living with a family or by volunteering.
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Joined: 29 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject: OP..just to clarify Reply with quote

I meant give the region a pass for PAID TEACHING JOBS! For traveling, learning Spanish and volunteering it's fine. It can be dangerous but it's a cheap region to travel in, people are friendly and there's a lot of see/do/experience. And learning Spanish is good..I teach it now Smile.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Also.. Reply with quote

If you read Dave's board, the most consistent advice you get for finding a job is get where you want to be and knock on doors. Unless you happen to be familiar with the area you want to be in--i.e. you want to go to Lima because your girlfriend is from there and lives there-- just arriving in a strange city and job hunting is a bad idea. It's dangerous, in most medium to large sized cities finding a certain school can be hard, it's both expensive and a pain in the a$$ to deal with finding a hotel, places to eat, etc. when you are all alone--and that can be dangerous, too-- and if you show up at a school they might well "hire you" to say they have a native speaker on staff even if all they need is a substitute teacher for emergencies or someone to teach for one week until a teacher who can't come in returns-- or even if they don't really need you at all! I had a "job" where I taught for 2 hours just before a holiday and they said they'd call me after the holiday..they didn't. I spoke Spanish..without Spanish it would be very hard to do anything--from getting a taxi to finding an apartment to rent. Also some "jobs" might just never pay you..and don't be naive enough to think a job that didn't advertise either can (as in know how or legally be able to) or will be willing to get you a visa. Some might get you a visa, but don't expect it! When I did the "knock on doors to get hired" thing it was because I came for one job but quit immediately--due to numerous huge red flags-- and decided I might as well stay where I was for 80 more days. I told schools I just wanted a short term job; I didn't have a visa and I had no plans to get one either.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: OP replying to myself.. Reply with quote

I would like to add that there is a lot of confusing information from posters on chatboards.

I posted my warning on Dave's ESL; people claimed that you can get 2 times 450 a month in Latin America (with just a BA and no experience) if you get there and apply for jobs.

That is just not possible. Here are offers I have had:

Chile: 10 dollars an hour (with a higher cost of living than Latin America)

Costa Rica (in San Jose) 6 dollars an hour for working as an hourly paid teacher

Keep in mind too.. if you don't get a lot of hours on an hourly contract, you don't get paid.

Peru, 3 different jobs: 2 salaried, one hourly but all about 4 dollars in hour (salary was in the local currency)

Ecuador: 4.50/hour.. in an expensive private school! (Visa fees were covered, which is unusual.) Without overtime hours I made 600/month; base salary was 450.

Ecuador: 4/hour I was promised 5.50 for my native language but not paid that.. I LOVED my students so I just accepted 4.

Ecuador: For you 600 a month; we have never paid a teacher that much that much. (I have a masters and a lot of experience in Latin America.)

Good offers:
Costa Rica 500 a month plus room/board

Argentina (1998..when the economy was good): airfare, visa, room and board (at my scholl so no transportation fees) and 200 a month

ONE "real" job offer.. about 1100/month, airfare and visa. This was for an elite private school in Mexico.. but you needed an MBA. (I don't have one--or any business background-- was hired to replace a teacher who was leaving and was the best they could do.) They never told me I'd teach business English and in fact lied about what classes I'd have.. so actually I rate it as the least professional job abroad I have ever had!

PLEASE don't believe that jobs online only offer you have of what you can expect to bargain for in your just show up in a strange city! Schools that don't advertise abroad might simply not need teachers (Amazing huh?)--which means if you ask for a job they won't have one for you-- but they also might lack the ability to sponsor you for a visa, only want part time teachers or even not have anyone who knows how to post a job online. These schools are likely your below average jobs.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject: last sentence got jumbled Reply with quote

please don't believe that jobs posted online only offer half of what you can get if you get to your desired location and bargain.
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