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Basic questions about Peru: moving and working

 
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MicahtheGreat



Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Basic questions about Peru: moving and working Reply with quote

Hello, everyone. This is my first post here, so please bear with me. Well, as it would seem obvious, I have a few questions about teaching English in Peru. I've tried to look at the first couple pages of posts and have already gotten a very good idea of what to expect (naturegirl's FAQs and the teaching guide were super helpful). But I figured I'd ask a few more specific questions, so any help is appreciated.

First off, I'm a 29 year old American male. I got a TESOL/TESL certification from Oxford Seminars in 2007, which I realize now is mostly useless. Anyway, I ended up teaching oral communication in several high schools in Japan while on the JET Programme, from 2008-2011. So, I do have three years of some kind of classroom teaching experience (plus lesson planning, speech contests, English club). Also, I have a BS in Business Administration (although I'm not sure why at this point). Oh, and I took Spanish for a year in high school, but I pretty much lost all of that since then I bet.

So basically I'm wondering where would be a good place to try to work with these things in mind? As I've read, it seems if I just get down there and hit the streets with my CV for a couple weeks that it should be easy to at least get a job with a language institute that can keep me afloat. Does that seem like a reasonable assumption still? I don't have a regular teaching license or whatnot, so I suppose I can't get a job at most international schools or universities, but I'm curious if it's worth trying. I would at least stay 6 months to a year (maybe more), so I'm curious how that might factor in as well.

I read enough here to get a good picture about the VISA situation: just tell them 183 days at immigration and border hop a bit later. I don't mind that. And I'll have to get some immunizations. But what about the timing? I'm considering flying down in late February, because it seems like they do a fair amount of hiring around that time (though many institutes do year-round). Does that sound right?

Also, location. I actually don't like the beach much, nor big cities. So Cusco is seeming like a good choice, as it has a fair amount of job opportunities (which many people on here have discussed in detail) and everyone here has said pretty good things about it (besides getting sick). Plus it looks beautiful and has Machu Picchu nearby. But Arequipa sounds alright too.

And lastly, I'm curious about some specific things that I couldn't find too much information on, like what about the actual process of starting off when you get there. I think I was a bit spoiled by the JET Programme, as they took care of me getting an apartment, transportation, a cellphone... and pretty much anything else I needed. So, if I do make it to Cusco, let's say, and I have all my luggage, should I just stay at a hostel or something for a week or two until I'm sure I can get a job and while I'm looking for an apartment? And it would seem important to get a phone quickly as well so I can contact employers. Now, I've traveled around in 12 countries, but to just up a move without a job secured and with no setup is a little worrisome. Although I'm sure it will be fine, as many people have done it, but still I like to be as prepared as possible. So any insight into that would help.

Oh, and of course: money. I'm good at living on the cheap, so I think I could make a budget work easily. However, I could only muster about a 1,000 USD of beginning funds for this adventure move, so I'm very curious if you guys think that would be enough to get started, though I seems like it would be.

Much thanks for any advice.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Basic questions about Peru: moving and working Reply with quote

Hi Micah, I got your email, I'm on vacation, so am not really online much.

Oxford Sem is not the best, but it's a TEFL cert and could help you in Peru.

As far as working in Peru, most language schools will NOT get you a visa. Is that an issue for you? Working on a tourist visa? English Life in Lima might be able to get you a visa. Contact Valerie and ask.

Your plan is what lots of peopel do. Like all plans, have a back up plan just in case. As far as international schools, I know a handful of people wokring at them with no license. It's worth a try. School year starts March 1st. You might not get into the best schools, but could get a job at a bilingual school or an "international school" espeically since you have JET experience.

The visa won't be an issue in Peru. most likely they'll give you 183 days. You'll have problems in the US, when you leave. At the airport unless you show residency or a ticket out of Peru, they could make you buy a ticket or deny boarding. To be safe, I'd be a one way ticket out. Just to Ecuador, or Chile, Makes for a nice vacation.

Saving, you're not going to be able to save much to be honest, espeically if you just go for six months. You can live well, yes, but just starting out, with no contacts, you'd be lucky if you made 1000 usd a month, you'll probably be looking at a lot less to be honest.

expatperu.com and livinginperu.com are good. The first has a good forum, the second has some good jobs adverts, but you have to sort through the spam.

If you overstay your visa, you're charged $1 a day, it's usually cheaper to just stay rather than border hop.

Institutes hire year round. Schools up to a year in advance.

if you go to Cusco, look into Maximo Nivel, they seem to be decent. Macch Picchu, you'll be in for a shock, if you're not Peruvian or not a peruvian resident, you'll be paying through the nose to visit there. A visa could easily cost you a month's salary in Peru. they have a three tier pricing system: people from Cusco, Peruvians and residents, foreigners.

Apartments, flights? No dice, unless you're an overseas hire for an intl school and that's not going to happen. Cell phones can be bought easily enough. Apartments, check the two links, they have stuff there. You usually put one or two months down and pay the first month in advance. You could start in a hostel and ask around. there will be other people like you and you could help each other. The hostel workers could also help.

Hope that helps, check out those websites, very nice people on the boards.
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MicahtheGreat



Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the reply, Sharon.

So, things are just about how I thought they would be. I still don't feel 100% sure about it, but I'll make this my plan and see how it goes. I guess I'll start by emailing a few CVs to see if any jobs will be opening up.

I'm not too worried about the visa part. But as far as the 'onward travel' problem, I'll either just risk it or possibly get the cheapest bus ticket to La Paz or somewhere and refund it later.
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TOMASB



Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I live in Cusco and have a TEFL but do not teach as I found a better job in tourist industry. Cusco can be expensive but housing is cheap if willing to share. February is deep offseason in Cusco due to rainy season and Inka trail to MP also closed. Probably means it is easy to find apartments but tough job market. $1,000 is not a very deep cushion. This is not a place where you want to be struggling as a gringo.

Also, salaries throughout Peru are remarkably low. I have a friend from Peru who was managing the Starbucks in Lima and the pay was 1500 soles with some incentives that could get the salary up to 2000 soles. That is 700 USD. The general philosophy of owners is their employees can live at home and share expenses. The 1500 soles appears to be average that employees make in Cusco who are non- professional. Other posts is correct as 1,000USD per
month is very hard to find in Cusco. Your best bit is to find a Hostal and at this time of year, you can negotiate a long term price.

One other thing, it seems that more english teach jobs are in Lima now and not Cusco but Lima can be more expensive and complicated to negotiate.
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MicahtheGreat



Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well hey everybody. I just want to say that I decided to go for it and will be leaving out March 6th for Cusco.

To the living expenses and budget, I agree that $1000 usd would have not really been enough of a cushion to start on, so I was able to double it over the past month. And I'm used to living pretty cheap (college taught me that if not anything else).

But I'm confident it will work out and be quite interesting. Thanks for the replies, and I'll update if I get hired on somewhere.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MicahtheGreat wrote:
Well hey everybody. I just want to say that I decided to go for it and will be leaving out March 6th for Cusco.

To the living expenses and budget, I agree that $1000 usd would have not really been enough of a cushion to start on, so I was able to double it over the past month. And I'm used to living pretty cheap (college taught me that if not anything else).

But I'm confident it will work out and be quite interesting. Thanks for the replies, and I'll update if I get hired on somewhere.


Congratulations, Micah, on your coming adventure! I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted on your experience in Cusco.

.
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