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Uruguay

 
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Utica2008



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Uruguay Reply with quote

Hello,

I am considering moving to Montevideo to teach English.

I was wondering could anybody give me some info on the city?

Availability of work, nightlife etc.?
I know there are a couple of old threads but nothing has been added to them in over a year and I would like some up to date info.

Anyone there at the moment or over the last year?

Cheers,
Donal
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9016
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

misterbrownpants lived there for years, but moved back to Canada a couple years ago. She might still answer a Pm though.
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RL



Joined: 23 Jan 2010
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested in information on the teaching scene in Uruguay as well. Thanks for any replies.
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RL



Joined: 23 Jan 2010
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naturegirl, thanks for the information.
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MontevideoLife



Joined: 02 Dec 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Living and Working in Montevideo, Uruguay Reply with quote

I used this portal quite a lot when I was deciding where to go in the World to teach English, so I feel I should share some of the information Iíve come across in the last 18 months.

This thread on Uruguay - the undiscovered gem of South America, was probably the main reason why I ended up moving down to Montevideo and Iím glad I did. I was thinking about Argentina and Chile as well, but decided somewhere a bit more off the beaten track sounded good. Montevideo and Uruguay have lived up to expectations, and Iíd recommend this country to anyone.

Before I moved abroad I decided to do the month long intensive CELTA course, which I really enjoyed and helped me realise that I could teach for a living. Itís not a pre-requisite to get a job in South America, but it does open doors for you, and the skills you learn really help when it comes to working with groups of students. Itís not cheap, but itís an investment Iíd recommend.

I didnít plan much before I came out here - I arrived without a job, without a place to stay or knowing anyone here. Iím a young guy and I wanted the challenge of just turning up, but itís not the way for everyone. Iím currently planning my next move to Colombia and Iím putting more effort into it, using Couchsurfing for connections and sending emails out looking for work beforehand, while researching which city really appeals to me. The one thing I did know was that Uruguay was in the World Cup, so I knew Iíd be able to meet people while watching it! The football here in Uruguay is brilliant at the moment with the recent success of both Uruguay and PeŮarol.

There are plenty of English Teaching jobs in Uruguay, I made a list of all the institutes I could find online then went door to door and found a job within 2 days. However, finding a job doesnít mean that your life is settled, itís finding a good job and then making up the hours which I found was the hardest part. Iíve yet to work for a bad institute, but Iíve worked for some pretty low salaries which meant I had to use my savings to support myself. I brought about USD$2000 in savings out here and that allowed me to survive here for the first 6 months until I finally managed to break even.

Iíve since found a good list of all the Institutes in Montevideo;
http://www.montevideoingles.com/academias_e_institutos.php

I worked at Langland, which is a nice place, but pays about USD$7 per hour.
I looked for more work and found it at International House Ė London Institute, which pays between USD$10-12 per hour.
I continued looking and eventually found my current job at Oxbridge, which pays up to USD$20 per hour. My boss Ė Beatriz is great, and Iíd recommend applying for work there if youíre in Montevideo. Again, a CELTA certificate will help you get in the door and get a good number of hours. ox.institute@gmail(dot)com
The other Institute I have had no direct contact with, but I have friends who work there is Eureka, which pays you half of what the class earns the company, which means the salary varies wildly per hour, but can be anything between USD$10-50.
Oxbridge and Eureka are two of the best institutes from a teacherís point of view.
There are the standard places like Berlitz which pays around USD$6 per hour, but they can guarantee you a decent number of hours.

Getting the hours is the most important part. It took me ages to build up a full schedule and can be really quite frustrating. Thereís no quick fix to this, itís just about hanging around and making a name for yourself.
Iíve read varying reports on whether or not South America is a good place to make money as an English Teacher, and I can only speak for Uruguay. I am now taking home good money, just over USD$2000 per month. However, it took me a long time to get to that figure, for the first 6 months I was making about USD$800 per month, the second 6 months about USD$ 1250 per month and itís only in the last 6 months where I have been able to save some money. If youíre willing to search for a good job and hang around to build up a good schedule then it is possible to make some money, but itís not an easy process, and some months can be terrible Ė this country shuts down for the summer (Jan and Feb) so there is very little work then.

In terms of when to arrive here, bear the summer in mind (Jan and Feb mainly). Uruguayans love their summer and the country genuinely shuts down as people move to the beaches out East. Iíve talked this through with some students and as a whole they realise that Uruguay will never have a huge economy with this attitude, but itís a country where they put happiness first, and theyíre willing to make the sacrifice. Itís not fun as a teacher to have 2 dead months when you are just about breaking even though. The beaches here are incredible, all along the coast of the department of Rocha, especially Punta Del Diablo and Cabo Polonia (Punta Del Este was too Monaco-like for me).

I came here to learn Spanish and thatís what Iíve been doing. The best place to learn is Instituto Uruguay in Plaza Matriz, in Ciudad Vieja. Itís not cheap though. I got in touch with one of the teachers and organised private lessons so she gets more and I pay less, but it still comes to USD$18 per hour. There are cheaper out there, but I went for quality, which Iím happy with in the end.

Iíve met a few teachers who have moved their families out here, and they seem to find it a bit more difficult than I did to integrate. I realise thatís pretty obvious, as I treated events and nights out like Spanish practice and went chatting to people, but from what I was told, itís harder to make connections family to family. There is an expat scene, but I havenít got involved with it, I went to the Couchsurfing meetings instead. The family culture here is very, very strong, children often live at home until they get married or move out at 25+. Even then, Sundays are often dedicated to families, markets and football. It took me ages to work this out as thereís nothing in guidebooks about this (Iíve yet to find a good one about Montevideo), but that was one of the reasons which brought me here. I wanted somewhere off the tourist trail, and for 9 months of the year thatís the way it is.

Finding shared, furnished accommodation wasnít easy for me. Couchsurfing turned out to be the best place to look. The problem is people live at home here until they buy a place of their own as rent is not cheap. If you want an apartment to yourself itís easier and there are plenty of estate agents, but again you need to lay down a 6 month deposit which I couldnít afford. I ended up going to the Universities and finding landlords for international students which worked out very well. Rent here is not cheap either and can eat up a fair amount of your salary.

The nightlife here is generally confined to the weekends and is OK - in the spring and summer it picks up during the week, but that stops as soon as the cold weather starts (or whenever itís raining!). The live music scene is tiny and the nightclubs only play cumbia or regaton, but there are a couple of smaller more alternative bars like ĎBluzzí, ĎLa Rondaí and ĎLivingí which keep going to 3-5am. However, Buenos Aires has an amazing nightlife and is 4-5 hours away. The slow pace of life here in Montevideo means itís a great place to live and work. People complain about crime here, but I feel that itís safer than many places Iíve been, it just involves avoiding certain districts at night.

Iíve had the chance to visit a lot of cities and towns here in Uruguay, and other than Montevideo they are very small. I really enjoyed visiting them for a day or two, and spent weeks on end in some of villages on the coast Ė I did see Institutes in these towns, and International House and Berlitz work in some of them, but I canít speak as to whether the work there is good or not. Montevideo itself has a very small town feel despite having over 1 million people.

Iím moving on in January as I want the next challenge and a change in weather (as although the winters are not exceptionally cold, the concept of heating and insulation has not really caught on!) I hope this helps revive interest in Uruguay Ė it really does deserve its own section in this forum!
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Utica2008



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Thanks montevideolife Reply with quote

Excellent post, very informative. Possibly would have convinced me to go to Montevideo 3 weeks ago but now reckon I'm going to fly into Colombia in the first week of February if not before that. It's things like the rent and general cost that turned me off it. Also want to live with locals and thats obviously difficult in Uruguay.
Colombia might be dangerous but screw it, at least you can live off the wage easily enough. Couch surfing also appears to be big in Colombia and I have made contact with people for when I land.

Send me a PM if you have any interest in meeting and putting our heads together when we arrive. Young guy too and would also treat nights out as an opportunity to meet people and practice my Spanish. Plan on living with locals out there.
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Busan, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the informative post MVLife, I've been interested in Uruguay for awhile as I wanted to experience that part of south america (argentina and uruguay) but was turned off by everything I've heard about TEFL in Argentina

I was wondering, did you ever meet any foreigners with an MA TESOL? I'm working on mine right now, and I wonder if it is valued at all in Uruguay, either for public or private universities, private or international k-12 schools (probably not IB I'm guessing because I don't have teacher certification), or, at the least, for higher salaries in the language institutes.

I'm not sure whether or not I will go this route, as Colombia is high on my list too (especially w/ a pending fulbright scholarship), but I just want to check out all my options. Thanks again for your great post!
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DebMer



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 211
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks montevideolife Reply with quote

Only parts of Colombia are considered dangerous, and I was recently told by a Colombian student that things have improved amazingly. She grew up in Medellin, and said it wasn't uncommon to see a body in the street when she was a child. She said it's nothing like that anymore.

I lived in Colombia in the early 90's (when things were escalating), but was in Cartagena, which remained untouched, as far as I was aware.

The country is beautiful. I really only experienced daily life on the coast, though.


Utica2008 wrote:
Excellent post, very informative. Possibly would have convinced me to go to Montevideo 3 weeks ago but now reckon I'm going to fly into Colombia in the first week of February if not before that. It's things like the rent and general cost that turned me off it. Also want to live with locals and thats obviously difficult in Uruguay.
Colombia might be dangerous but screw it, at least you can live off the wage easily enough. Couch surfing also appears to be big in Colombia and I have made contact with people for when I land.

Send me a PM if you have any interest in meeting and putting our heads together when we arrive. Young guy too and would also treat nights out as an opportunity to meet people and practice my Spanish. Plan on living with locals out there.
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shenzhenbound



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Living and Working in Montevideo, Uruguay Reply with quote

MontevideoLife wrote:
I used this portal quite a lot when I was deciding where to go in the World to teach English, so I feel I should share some of the information Iíve come across in the last 18 months.

This thread on Uruguay - the undiscovered gem of South America, was probably the main reason why I ended up moving down to Montevideo and Iím glad I did. I was thinking about Argentina and Chile as well, but decided somewhere a bit more off the beaten track sounded good. Montevideo and Uruguay have lived up to expectations, and Iíd recommend this country to anyone.

Before I moved abroad I decided to do the month long intensive CELTA course, which I really enjoyed and helped me realise that I could teach for a living. Itís not a pre-requisite to get a job in South America, but it does open doors for you, and the skills you learn really help when it comes to working with groups of students. Itís not cheap, but itís an investment Iíd recommend.

I didnít plan much before I came out here - I arrived without a job, without a place to stay or knowing anyone here. Iím a young guy and I wanted the challenge of just turning up, but itís not the way for everyone. Iím currently planning my next move to Colombia and Iím putting more effort into it, using Couchsurfing for connections and sending emails out looking for work beforehand, while researching which city really appeals to me. The one thing I did know was that Uruguay was in the World Cup, so I knew Iíd be able to meet people while watching it! The football here in Uruguay is brilliant at the moment with the recent success of both Uruguay and PeŮarol.

There are plenty of English Teaching jobs in Uruguay, I made a list of all the institutes I could find online then went door to door and found a job within 2 days. However, finding a job doesnít mean that your life is settled, itís finding a good job and then making up the hours which I found was the hardest part. Iíve yet to work for a bad institute, but Iíve worked for some pretty low salaries which meant I had to use my savings to support myself. I brought about USD$2000 in savings out here and that allowed me to survive here for the first 6 months until I finally managed to break even.

Iíve since found a good list of all the Institutes in Montevideo;
http://www.montevideoingles.com/academias_e_institutos.php

I worked at Langland, which is a nice place, but pays about USD$7 per hour.
I looked for more work and found it at International House Ė London Institute, which pays between USD$10-12 per hour.
I continued looking and eventually found my current job at Oxbridge, which pays up to USD$20 per hour. My boss Ė Beatriz is great, and Iíd recommend applying for work there if youíre in Montevideo. Again, a CELTA certificate will help you get in the door and get a good number of hours. ox.institute@gmail(dot)com
The other Institute I have had no direct contact with, but I have friends who work there is Eureka, which pays you half of what the class earns the company, which means the salary varies wildly per hour, but can be anything between USD$10-50.
Oxbridge and Eureka are two of the best institutes from a teacherís point of view.
There are the standard places like Berlitz which pays around USD$6 per hour, but they can guarantee you a decent number of hours.

Getting the hours is the most important part. It took me ages to build up a full schedule and can be really quite frustrating. Thereís no quick fix to this, itís just about hanging around and making a name for yourself.
Iíve read varying reports on whether or not South America is a good place to make money as an English Teacher, and I can only speak for Uruguay. I am now taking home good money, just over USD$2000 per month. However, it took me a long time to get to that figure, for the first 6 months I was making about USD$800 per month, the second 6 months about USD$ 1250 per month and itís only in the last 6 months where I have been able to save some money. If youíre willing to search for a good job and hang around to build up a good schedule then it is possible to make some money, but itís not an easy process, and some months can be terrible Ė this country shuts down for the summer (Jan and Feb) so there is very little work then.

In terms of when to arrive here, bear the summer in mind (Jan and Feb mainly). Uruguayans love their summer and the country genuinely shuts down as people move to the beaches out East. Iíve talked this through with some students and as a whole they realise that Uruguay will never have a huge economy with this attitude, but itís a country where they put happiness first, and theyíre willing to make the sacrifice. Itís not fun as a teacher to have 2 dead months when you are just about breaking even though. The beaches here are incredible, all along the coast of the department of Rocha, especially Punta Del Diablo and Cabo Polonia (Punta Del Este was too Monaco-like for me).

I came here to learn Spanish and thatís what Iíve been doing. The best place to learn is Instituto Uruguay in Plaza Matriz, in Ciudad Vieja. Itís not cheap though. I got in touch with one of the teachers and organised private lessons so she gets more and I pay less, but it still comes to USD$18 per hour. There are cheaper out there, but I went for quality, which Iím happy with in the end.

Iíve met a few teachers who have moved their families out here, and they seem to find it a bit more difficult than I did to integrate. I realise thatís pretty obvious, as I treated events and nights out like Spanish practice and went chatting to people, but from what I was told, itís harder to make connections family to family. There is an expat scene, but I havenít got involved with it, I went to the Couchsurfing meetings instead. The family culture here is very, very strong, children often live at home until they get married or move out at 25+. Even then, Sundays are often dedicated to families, markets and football. It took me ages to work this out as thereís nothing in guidebooks about this (Iíve yet to find a good one about Montevideo), but that was one of the reasons which brought me here. I wanted somewhere off the tourist trail, and for 9 months of the year thatís the way it is.

Finding shared, furnished accommodation wasnít easy for me. Couchsurfing turned out to be the best place to look. The problem is people live at home here until they buy a place of their own as rent is not cheap. If you want an apartment to yourself itís easier and there are plenty of estate agents, but again you need to lay down a 6 month deposit which I couldnít afford. I ended up going to the Universities and finding landlords for international students which worked out very well. Rent here is not cheap either and can eat up a fair amount of your salary.

The nightlife here is generally confined to the weekends and is OK - in the spring and summer it picks up during the week, but that stops as soon as the cold weather starts (or whenever itís raining!). The live music scene is tiny and the nightclubs only play cumbia or regaton, but there are a couple of smaller more alternative bars like ĎBluzzí, ĎLa Rondaí and ĎLivingí which keep going to 3-5am. However, Buenos Aires has an amazing nightlife and is 4-5 hours away. The slow pace of life here in Montevideo means itís a great place to live and work. People complain about crime here, but I feel that itís safer than many places Iíve been, it just involves avoiding certain districts at night.

Iíve had the chance to visit a lot of cities and towns here in Uruguay, and other than Montevideo they are very small. I really enjoyed visiting them for a day or two, and spent weeks on end in some of villages on the coast Ė I did see Institutes in these towns, and International House and Berlitz work in some of them, but I canít speak as to whether the work there is good or not. Montevideo itself has a very small town feel despite having over 1 million people.

Iím moving on in January as I want the next challenge and a change in weather (as although the winters are not exceptionally cold, the concept of heating and insulation has not really caught on!) I hope this helps revive interest in Uruguay Ė it really does deserve its own section in this forum!


Did making connections through couchsurfing.net help you?
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