I was going to wait on this Destination TEFL report until March, but I decided that this is such great information, it needs to be get out there ASAP. This is literally everything you must know about teaching in Peru. I thank Sharon de Hinojosa of The LA TEFL Job List and The Ultimate Peru List for allowing us to reprint this so that you can get as much information as possible on this interesting destination.
The most important requirements are that you are a native speaker and have a BA degree. Although a TEFL Cert is helpful as it gives you a background to TEFL, few places actually require one.
A Peruvian Style CV
First of all, there is no need to put your CV into Spanish. Youâ€™re trying to find a position teaching English, so although Spanish is helpful outside of the classroom, youâ€™ll be expected to speak English inside of the classroom. In fact, even if you DO speak Spanish, employers usually frown upon using it in class.
Second, youâ€™ll need to add a professional, updated photo to your CV. It makes your CV more personal and is a basic requirement for a CV in Peru.
Third, you should put the following at the top next to your photo: Legal name, Nationality, Phone Number, Email. You can include your DOB and civil status, but itâ€™s not necessary.
Lastly, you need to include: Work experience, Education experience, Conferences/Workshops Presented and Given, Professional Associations, Other Skills and Hobbies.
When to look for a job
If you want to work at an institute, just about any time of the year is a good time to get a job. However, summer (January and February) and holidays (end of July and December) is usually the slow season.
If youâ€™re trying to get a job at a school, start looking around October. Hiring takes place between October and February, though in February usually the only jobs that are left are either on the low end of the salary scale or for very experienced teachers (think Science or Math) and require heaps of experience and education.
How to find a job
Although itâ€™s true that itâ€™s hard to find a job before you arrive, it isnâ€™t impossible. If you have QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) itâ€™s much easier to arrange a job beforehand and you should go to a local international school job fair. If youâ€™re not a qualified teacher, donâ€™t worry, there are still plenty of jobs out there.
There are a couple of websites that have classified adverts, such as
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/perujobbulletin/ , http://www.teachabroad.com, http://www.expatperu.com
and http://www.livinginperu.com/classifieds. And if youâ€™re willing to pay for a list of schools, try www.thelajoblist.blogspot.com
When you send out your CV, try to personalise your cover letter as much as possible and address it to an actual person, not just Sir or Madam. Donâ€™t get discouraged if you donâ€™t get many responses as the majority of employers will want to meet you before offering you a job. One important thing to keep in mind is to tell the institutes when you will be arriving and ask for an interview. Then when you do arrive to Peru, go visit the places you previously contacted with your CV in hand.
Some people are certain what city they want to live in while others arenâ€™t. Many people want to go to Cusco. Keep in mind that there are lots of tourists and is similar to Europe, so if you want the real Peru experience, I would advise against Cusco. Lima is the centre of everything. Trujillo is a uni town. Arequipa is famous for its volcano. Smaller towns are an option. Piura and Chiclayo are close to the famous beaches. Puno has snow. Iquitos is in the middle of a steamy jungle. Do some research; what appeals to some many not appeal to others.
Salary and Hours
Most institutes pay about 5 USD an hour, some business institutes may pay from 6 to 10 USD an hour. And youâ€™ll probably teach about 20 to 30 hours a week, and may have to work a split shift or Saturdays or even both.
Schools usually pay 500 to 1000 USD, and international schools can pay up to 2500 USD a month, but competition is stiff. Schools also give you benefits such as insurance, paid vacation, sick days, pension, and bonuses. Hours are usually from 730 to 430pm.
A word to the wise, if you decide to teach private lessons, have your students pay you after EACH lesson. If you donâ€™t, when the end of the month comes, you might find your students have disappeared. You can charge about 5 to 20 USD an hour for private lessons, depending on the level of the student, your experience, and the city youâ€™re in (Lima usually pays the best).
Teaching a tourist visa is not legal, but thatâ€™s not to say itâ€™s not done. Upon entry you will usually be given 90 days. You can extend your visa for one month up to three times, giving you a total of 180 days. Once youâ€™ve done that you have the choice of either border hopping or overstaying your visa and paying a dollar a day fine.
If you work at a school, you are more likely to get a work visa than if you work at an institute. Chances are slim to none that your institute will get you a work visa.
Want to know more about Peru?
Check out the famous Ultimate Peru List at www.theultimateperulist.blogspot.com
About the Author
Sharon de Hinojosa (naturegirl321) has lived and worked (mainly teaching English) in the US, Scotland, Spain, the Czech Republic, China, Korea, and Peru. She has also taught short-term in Venezuela and Taiwan. Sheâ€™s been living in Peru (Piura and Lima) since August 2004. Although she planned on staying for a year, she fell in love and is now happily married.
She regularly contributes to the forums on ELT World, TEFL Watch, Daveâ€™s ESL CafÃ©, Living in Peru and Expat Peru. Her work has been featured Viva Travel Guides and will soon be published in Transitions Abroad, Ezinearticles, and Boots N All in the coming months.
When sheâ€™s not teaching or helping people in Peru, she enjoys redecorating her house with her husband in Lima.