If you’re looking for adventure or just a stable job in another country, consider teaching English in Argentina.
You’ll love the laid back culture, beautiful scenery, and delicious food here — and you’ll also love making the world better by becoming a teacher.
Read on to find out what it’s like to live in Argentina, to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be an ESL teacher here and how much money you can kame.
|Types of Jobs||Private language institutions, international schools, private tutoring (freelance)|
|Average Teacher Salary||$800-$1,500/month|
|Average Living Costs||$600-$800/month|
|Peak Hiring Months||December-March and July-August|
Intro to Argentina
Home to South America’s highest mountain, giant guinea pigs, and the fourth-biggest metropolitan area in the Americas, Argentina is truly larger than life.
It’s the eighth-largest country in the world, the third-largest producer of beef, and home to over 30 national parks, making it a country where you can really do (and eat) it all.
If you love great food and drink, theatre, or hiking, you’ll find a home for yourself somewhere among the cities and towns of Argentina. Malbec grapes grow here and empanadas and barbecued meats are bountiful.
Argentina also has beautiful landscapes: there are flatlands, tropics, beaches, mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls here. It’s like a whole world unto itself!
And if you love dancing, you’re in luck: as the country that invented the tango, Argentina has a rich dancing culture. You’ll see tango in the many festivals that are held here, as well as at other times!
Argentina has it all: come see for yourself!
Basic Requirements to Teach English in Argentina
You’ll find that Argentina is pretty laid back about everything — including requirements for ESL teachers.
You’ll be able to find work here even if you aren’t a native English speaker or you don’t have a bachelor’s degree — although those things will both certainly give you a leg up.
However, if you work in a university or private language institution you probably will need a bachelor’s degree.
There’s also no real age requirement for teachers in Argentina. If you’re able and willing, there’s work for you here!
The one thing you will need to live in Argentina is some money to cover your startup costs: around $1,000-$3,000 should leave you with enough money to rent an apartment and live for a month or so before you’ve received your first paycheck.
If you come to Argentina before securing a job, bring a little more money — nothing is worse than being left in the lurch in a foreign country with no money, after all.
You should also get TEFL certified if you want to teach in Argentina. Although not every school or center requires certification, many do. And your certification will give you valuable teaching skills and set you apart from other candidates!
In case you haven’t noticed it yet: Yes, teaching English in Argentina without a degree legally(!) is absolutely possible. This fact alone makes the country an attractive destination for a lot of TEFL teachers.
TEFL Courses in Argentina
Completing your TEFL course in the place where you plan on teaching is a great idea because you’ll have a chance to get acquainted with the local culture while you’re completing your course.
Also, your classmates will be other foreign teachers who just might end up being your friends!
International TEFL Academy, an accredited provider with good reviews, offers a 4-week TEFL course in Buenos Aires for a little over $2,000.
International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT) also offers a TEFL course in Buenos Aires, starting around $1,500. (Get 10% off when you enroll through this link.)
If you decide to get TEFL certified online before departing for Argentina, we recommend to check out the accredited 120-hour Let’s TEFL online course.
No matter what kind of TEFL you get, the certification will help prepare you to teach in the classroom and it will make you eligible for higher paying jobs.
TEFL Job Opportunities and Salaries
Private Language Institutions
You’ll find more jobs in private language institutions in bigger cities. These jobs pay an average teacher salary of $800-$1,500 a month — enough to cover all your expenses plus a little extra.
Your schedule will be kind of flexible at a private language institution but you’ll work odd hours, teaching students before or after their regular school day.
You’ll need previous teaching experience, a teaching certificate, or TEFL/CELTA/TESOL certification to teach at a private language institution.
It’s hard to find private tutoring jobs before you’ve arrived in Argentina, but once you’re in the country and you’ve built up a network you can tutor outside of your normal work hours.
Many people love private freelance tutoring because it gives them some extra income and is totally flexible: you’re your own boss, so you set your own rates, teaching times, lesson plans, and everything else.
Private tutoring rates vary highly, but on average people charge $10-$15 an hour for private tutoring sessions.
Because you’re your own boss as a private tutor, there are no real requirements for the job: all you need are some connections and a good reputation!
You must be a licensed teacher to work in an international school, but if you meet the requirements you can cash out and get a very cush teaching experience.
Teachers at international schools make $2,100-$3,750 per month, and international schools often provide teachers accommodations and other benefits.
Beware that most international schools are located in Buenos Aires, so if you’re not trying to live in the midst of a big city this might not be a good option for you.
Job Application and Hiring Process
The peak hiring season in Argentina is February-March and July-August. Teachers generally work under 6-month or year-long contracts.
As in many places in Latin America, it’s easier to get a job in Argentina in person because employers want to meet applicants in person. So consider arriving in Argentina during hiring season and setting aside a couple of weeks or a month to go job hunting.
The application process typically happens very quickly in Argentina: if you have a successful interview you could sign a contract that day and then start teaching within the week!
The exception to all this is international schools. Because they have stricter requirements, they may hire a qualified teacher online and arrange to fly them over to Argentina. International schools also have longer and more intensive hiring processes than other places.
But unlike China and other popular countries to teach abroad, you are not going to find many, if any advertisements to teach there. (Craigslist has a few of them.)
It’s just one of those places you have to travel to, do a bit of networking, manage not to throw away all of your savings and get hired or find work as a freelancer.
The requirements for teaching English in Argentina are pretty lax: most teachers work on a tourist visa and do visa runs to Uruguay every three months and the government turns a blind eye.
However, there are some employers that will help their teachers obtain proper work visas.
For a tourist visa, you don’t need to do anything or apply for a visa — just show up at the airport with your ticket (make sure this is true for you at VisaHQ)
If you do end up getting a work visa, you’ll need the following documents:
- A valid passport
- An FBI Criminal Background Check along with a version translated into Spanish
- A signed and notarized letter from your employer
- A document proving your residence
- 2 passport photos
- around $15 for the application fee
Most schools in Argentina don’t provide teachers with accommodation (international schools again being the exception), but they will help you find an apartment if you don’t have one before you get a job.
If you need to find housing in Argentina on your own, look for apartment listings on Piso Compartido, or if you’re in Buenos Aires check out Spare Rooms Buenos Aires. You can also find apartment listings in the classifieds sections of El Clarín, La Nación, and other papers.
Housing prices in Argentina vary from around $250 to $525, depending on what area you’re in. You’ll also likely have to pay a security deposit, and utilities may or may not be included in the price of rent.
Can You Save Money While Teaching English in Argentina?
You probably won’t leave Argentina a millionaire, but you’ll be more than able to cover your needs and have some money to spare here.
Of course, the more work such as private tutoring you do the more you’ll make, and the more frugally you live the more you’ll save.
This breakdown of basic costs in Argentina will help you determine your cost of living in Argentina according to your lifestyle and habits.
Note when you’re researching costs that Argentina has “blue rates” which allow you to change money for a higher exchange rate through unofficial money changers, so if you bring USD in cash you can get a lot more bang for your buck.
The Best Cities to Find TEFL Jobs in Argentina
Buenos Aires is the throbbing heart of Argentina. It’s known as the “Paris of Latin America” because of its bustling theater scene and vibrant nightlife.
It’s also got lots of professionals trying to learn English and well-to-do families concerned that their children get a good education, so you’ll find plenty of jobs to teach English in Buenos Aires — more than anywhere else in the country.
Salaries are higher in Buenos Aires than in other cities, but the cost of living is higher here, too.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas, Córdoba is the second-most populous city in Argentina — and as such the place with the second-highest demand for ESL teachers.
Córdoba has a rich culture all its own, with a lively and unique music scene, lots of colonial-era monuments, and a selection of world-class museums.
You’ll find adventure and fun in Córdoba, as well as a slightly calmer pace and lower cost of living than you would in Buenos Aires.
Mendoza is most famous for producing Malbec grapes, and in fact, it’s one of the world’s great wine capitals. The city is rife with wineries, but it has much more to offer than that.
In recent years Mendoza has become an ecotourism capital, and it attracts climbers on their way to scale Aconcagua as well as adventurers coming to the region to ski, ride horses, hike, and much more.
Teaching jobs are harder to come by in Mendoza than in bigger cities like Córdoba and Buenos Aires, but the tourism industry here means there are plenty of people who want to learn English for business and personal reasons.
Classroom and Work Culture
Argentina has a super friendly and relaxed culture. Everyone kisses everyone on the cheek, and everyone shows up late to everything.
It’s also a country of night owls: people wake up late and stays up late, so coffee shops and stores might not be open until 10 or 11 and dinner might not happen until 9 at night or later.
As a teacher in Argentina, you’ll find that your teaching staff is friendly and helpful and that your workload isn’t too heavy. In fact, most ESL teachers only work 20-25 hours a week here.
Additionally, schools in Argentina offer provide teachers with lots of resources, so you won’t be scrounging around to get what you need for a functional classroom.
And remember that Argentina’s across the Equator, so their school year lasts from December through March.
Argentina is a totally dynamic and exciting country. The pace of life is exciting but not overwhelming, and people are gregarious, helpful, and welcoming.
And ESL jobs are plentiful here, so you’ll be more than able to find the teaching job of your dreams in Argentina!
Start your journey today, and get ready to set foot in the land of fútbol, tango, and adventure.