Advanced search

Teaching abroad? Maybe South/Central America?

(19 Posts)
pepperminttaste Fri 29-Dec-17 10:31:27

I've seen a few jobs advertised in Bogotá and Santiago that sound interesting. My partner and I have been talking about going abroad with the children for a year or so and this might be a good way to do it.

Anyone have any experience of teaching somewhere like that? I'd be happy to consider anywhere but the Middle East. I'm only looking at South/Central America as I'm fluent in Spanish.


OP’s posts: |
pepperminttaste Fri 29-Dec-17 10:32:12

I should have said 'temporarily'. We'd come back to the UK after a year.

OP’s posts: |
LinoleumBlownapart Fri 29-Dec-17 10:54:58

Are they jobs in actual schools or private English schools? Only reason I ask is because South America is a bureaucratic nightmare. Getting jobs teaching English in the evening or at weekends are plentiful. Teaching in actual schools is more difficult, you often need to have permanent residency and in some cases be on the voting register before you can work with children, when we were in Chile I didn't work. I live and work in Brazil, I couldn't teach in school before I had voting rights and had taken the the state teaching qualification test. Also schools require yearly grade averages and have a similar system to the USA where you have to pass the school year. As England doesn't have this for primary my children needed to take entrance exams in all subjects before they could start school in Brazil. They were fluent and had Portuguese reading/writing classes in London, so they were able to enter the right school year and pass. To transfer to Chile they used their Brazilian transcripts, which needed to be translated officially and stamped by various agencies, so they didn't need to pass an entrance exam. It might be worth looking into schools and requirements first if your children are over 7. 6 and under, they don't have formal tests. Unless you're looking at one of the British schools and then you'll all be fine. Don't mean to put a dampener on this but just a heads up that bureaucracy is going to feature heavily.

pepperminttaste Fri 29-Dec-17 11:06:34

No, no. Happy with dampners as that's very helpful! The jobs are in International Schools and advertised on TES for example. I know it'll be less... authentic (?) but should be easier to organise.

OP’s posts: |
LinoleumBlownapart Fri 29-Dec-17 11:18:13

Oh! International schools you're good to go! Better for your children to. My experience of both the British and American schools in Rio in that despite all the lessons being in English, the local language is used more at lunch/recess/break. So they'll still get the authentic experience.

pepperminttaste Fri 29-Dec-17 11:35:11

Great! I also speak Portuguese though not as fluently. Would you recommend Brazil then?

OP’s posts: |
PersianCatLady Fri 29-Dec-17 11:56:36

My friend went to Bogota to teach English as a FL in 1998 for a year, he is still there.

EllaOlla Fri 29-Dec-17 13:31:49

I don't know about SA but most International teaching contracts are usually two years to begin, then rolling one/two in your third year.

Moving to International teaching is the best thing we've done. Brilliant for work/life balance. We love it.

ChocDee Fri 29-Dec-17 13:35:27

Hi! What a fantastic idea!!

I was on the international teaching circuit only for three years but flip me they were the best three years of my life!!
Plenty of people do it with young families in tow so that is not a problem.
The international schools vary greatly in quality so do your research carefully. They are money making business ventures at the end of the day so make sure that they treat their staff well and that they deliver a good curriculum etc etc.

The first job I had was quite unsatisfactory (but not at all as bad as it could have been) in a rather small school so I broke contract after one year which can be a bit dicey since you run the risk of becoming black listed in the relatively small expat teaching community but I got another job in a very large now well established school straight away. The difference in wages was night and day and I ended up earning the same as in the U.K. but with a free two bedroomed apartment thrown in - with 3 swimming pools, gym and room service of course. All the staff lived there so it was like being students again but with shedloads of money. Great fun!

I was not working in South America so I cannot advice you there however. I was living and working by in South East Asia and I cannot recommend that enough. A wonderful place to live and work.

Most contracts are for two years - though there are some for one year though I would imagine that the package would be for less? Go for two years and make yourself a little nest egg!! Friends of mine ended up vagabonding with their kids all over until it was time for A levels.


pepperminttaste Fri 29-Dec-17 18:40:53

Thanks everyone! This is really positive.

My partner has a good job here that he enjoys and they've said they'll hold his job for a year so 2 might not work. I may as well start looking anyway!

OP’s posts: |
LinoleumBlownapart Sat 30-Dec-17 09:09:22

Not sure I would recommend Brazil or not, it's not for everyone, especially Rio, I love Rio. Chile is more like Europe, Santiago is much safer. But the British school in RJ is really good, I didn't work there, I worked elsewhere but had friends with children there. That was 15 years ago though, I think they've moved the school to a newer area, which is supposed to be a great place for families.

FartnissEverbeans Sat 30-Dec-17 10:29:39

Why not the Middle East? I live there and the standard of living is really high... we have a part-time maid and access to three gorgeous swimming pools, beautiful beaches, tax free salary etc. We're both teachers. It has downsides too of course.

It's been a great experience so I'd definitely recommend heading overseas.

pepperminttaste Sat 30-Dec-17 10:51:02

I have a couple of friends who live/lived there. One was in Dubai, the other is still in Kuwait. It just didn't sound my cup of tea. They absolutely love/loved it though and I can see the appeal.

OP’s posts: |
PersianCatLady Sat 30-Dec-17 12:11:35

It has downsides too of course
It sounds like the OP isn't married to her partner so presumably they couldn't live together in either Dubai or Kuwait without being married??

pepperminttaste Sat 30-Dec-17 12:31:21

We'll get married before travelling. Maybe this spring. It'll be easier all round! We've been together for 16 years.

OP’s posts: |
earlylifecrisis Sat 30-Dec-17 12:50:32

Op I've just applied for a international job in Singapore. Lived there a few years ago when my husbands job seconded him and had a ball so was really excited to see the job.
I did relief teaching last time I was there and intl schools are buzzy exciting places and really fun to work at. I have two children and many of the teachers I met last time had young families so don't worry about that. Agree with posters who say it'll be a 2 year min though- the cost of moving you is too much for one year only

yorkshires Sat 30-Dec-17 14:22:19

Have you considered Bolivia? we taught English there for a while, lovely place

pepperminttaste Sat 30-Dec-17 16:13:10

Yes, definitely! Bolivia would be ace. We backpacked round Peru a while back and always talked about going to Bolivia. Great to hear so many positive stories! Still a daunting prospect but your posts are fairly reassuring. smile

OP’s posts: |
yorkshires Sat 30-Dec-17 17:03:29

We didn't set anything up before we left but we were childfree then. The English language school were desperate for native English speakers and took us both on despite my DH having no training to teach English.
Pay was not great by UK standards but enough to live locally.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in