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Looking to relocate to Peru

 
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naverill



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Looking to relocate to Peru Reply with quote

First of all I would like to say how helpful all the posts on this and other Dave's ESL forums have been. Thank you so much to everyone who participates. I apologize if I ask any repetitive questions, but your help would be greatly appreciated!

I am interested in teaching in South America next year, specifically in Lima, Peru. I am a 24 year-old red haired, blue-eyed female who just graduated with a degree in English. I have taken about half the coursework for a degree in education, including two years of working as a teacher's aid in high school classrooms but I did not graduate with a teaching degree (I know it would probably make this process easier, but for financial reasons it is simply not a viable option). That being said, I have several questions about living and teaching in Peru:

1. What is the difference between a language institute and a regular school?
2. Is it possible to secure a job before arriving in Lima, or am I better off looking once I'm there? Given the latter, what is the probability that I will be able to find work?
3. Do I need to be bilingual? I speak enough Spanish to get by, and I practice every day, but I am by no means fluent.
4. Lots of people have mentioned that schools will not provide/help you with getting a working visa. What are the repercussions of this? How, then, do you live and work there?
5. Will the salary for an English teacher be enough to live on (possibly some travel, food and decent housing in a safe neighborhood, use of public transportation- the basics but nothing fancy)?
6. How much money should I expect to have when I get to Lima, not including the cost of the plane ticket, to get by until I can get on my feet and start collecting a paycheck from a school?
7. I have a small (25 lb.) corgi who will be coming with me. Will there be any issues with having a pet in Lima?
8. Finally, I am open to considering other places, although I do prefer a decent-sized city. If there are other locations in Latin America where I would be better off, by all means I would love the advice and will definitely take it into consideration.

I know these are a lot of questions, but thank you in advance for your help. It's greatly appreciated!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8973
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Looking to relocate to Peru Reply with quote

1. Regular schools will get you visas, but you'll have to be a qualified teacher. The majority of institutes won't.
2. For an intl school yes. Language school no. SOme unis yes.
3. Nope, not at all.
4. Being fined, banned from Peru. Probably won't happen. You just border hop or pay the $1 a day fine. I know peopel who have paid $400 and more, meaning they overstayed their visa by over a year.
5. Depends. HOw do you live? What are your expectations? If you budget and don't expect to live like an expat, then you'll be oki.
6. A couple thousand bucks.
7. Depends again. Where are you going to live? Some apts allow them, others don't.
7. I have a small (25 lb.) corgi who will be coming with me. Will there be any issues with having a pet in Lima?
8. I vote for Ecuador
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naverill



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much!
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naverill



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Sorry... more questions Reply with quote

I'm reading through your TEFL Tips and Your Ultimate Peru List, and I have a couple more questions for you: You said you were going to declare secondary education as a major, but when you started teaching abroad, you were not actually certified to teach, correct? And second, would you recommend the TEFL course that you took? I've heard a lot about the CELTA, would you recommend that instead? I was told that if you want to teach in Europe it's almost absolutely necessary, but you said you worked in Spain?

Again, thank you so much for your help!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8973
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Sorry... more questions Reply with quote

naverill wrote:
You said you were going to declare secondary education as a major, but when you started teaching abroad, you were not actually certified to teach, correct? And second, would you recommend the TEFL course that you took? I've heard a lot about the CELTA, would you recommend that instead? I was told that if you want to teach in Europe it's almost absolutely necessary, but you said you worked in Spain?


That was ages ago, way back in college. I ended up declaring Art and Business as my major, when I was a sophomore. I was only 17, so it's been a while Smile

I am certified now. I've got three licenses of eligibility and have taught in an intl school. Don't really like it. NOt my cup of tea.

CELTA is different: it's for teaching English.

Getting certified allows you to teach in intl schools, where English is the main language (usually: there are German, French, etc schools as well).

Studied in Spain, ages ago, never worked there.

I went through the Boland school, they're no longer in business. I'll be doing the Trinity Dip, though have to wait for the baby to entertain herself. Right now she's attached at the hip. . . or something Smile

For teaching in Europe, it's not a matter of having a CELTA, but finding someone who will get you the visa, if you're not an EU citizen or don't have permission to work in the EU:

TEFL certs: CELTA; Trinity; SIT. Those are the big three. I'd do one of them if you can.

If you're not from the EU or don't have permission to work there, then I recommend going through the Ministry of Education in France and Spain. They'll get you permission to work there. Legally.
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naverill



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was it that you didn't like about the international school? I think I read on your website (but I've read so many) that teaching in an international school means you have more job stability, better pay, and better holidays. So especially for someone just starting out in Peru, what type of school do you recommend?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8973
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naverill wrote:
What was it that you didn't like about the international school? I think I read on your website (but I've read so many) that teaching in an international school means you have more job stability, better pay, and better holidays. So especially for someone just starting out in Peru, what type of school do you recommend?


The fact that since I was a local hire my contract said
Within the first 6 months we can fire you with "no reason, warning or notice" So they did that to me and 4 other teachers so that they wouldn't have to pay us the bonus.

It had no books, no organisation and WAS a good school: in the 70s. It was all about imagine and no learning. They'd have to write things perfectly using Miriam Richardson handwriting, didn't matter if they wrote nonsense, as long as it LOOKED good.

For someone starting in Peru, I'd recommend UDEP in Piura. They'll get you aspecial volunteer visa and pay about 700 usd a month. Keep in mind, that's also what they paid me, when I worked there nearly 10 years ago. And the cost of living has gone up.

There are different international schools. The one I was at was IBO, but it didn't mean a thing. I also prefer teaching uni "kids" rather than kid kids that bounce off the walls Wink

Not all intl schools are created equal and since I was a local hire, I got the short end of the stick. I'm much happier at unis. The only reason I'd go back to intl school was for free schooling for my little pig, but I think I might homeschool. The stress and long hours of an intl school simply aren't worth it for me. I got 2K and it was 1500 after deductions. Currently now, I work 28 hours, since I have about 13 of OT and make about 5K a month, but more in the vacation. I can go home for lunch as well.

Everything's unique: in Peru you could work 21 hours and make 800 a month at uni or 40 hours and make double that at intl schools. They might or might not offer more perks. As for job stability: look at what they did to the local hires at my intl school. Job stability really doesn't exist. Better pay: maybe not, espeically if you do privates. More vacation: I have 5 months now, but not in Peru. In Peru, at USIL, you'll get 4 months a year, but unpaid. At the bilingual and intl school I was at, we had time off, but there were usually meetings, planning, or grading to be done. I probably had about 2 months free. But it was paid.

Different strokes for different folks.

Peru's also not for me: at least not now.
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