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The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Peru

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:40 am    Post subject: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Peru Reply with quote

Peru? Where IS that? That’s how most people reacted when I told them that I was going to teach in Peru. I only planned on staying a year, but as fate would have it, I got married, and four years later, I’m still here. I have taught in the private school system and two universities during that time. Over the years, in addition to first hand experience, I’ve done research about teaching in Peru. This guide is the result. It’s comprehensive and should help you in transitioning to Peru. If you have questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]

1. Teaching
1A. Tips for Finding Work

In general it’s difficult to secure a teaching job before you arrive here. Be wary of chain schools, although some are good, they may not treat their teachers as well as other places. In most places, employers will want to ´meet you before having you sign a contract, they might also have you take English or physiological tests and do a demo lesson. This is all part of the job hunt process. Also, make sure that your CV has a professional photo on it. CVs without a photo will most likely be thrown aside. Don’t worry too much about TEFL certs. Having a degree and being a native speaker are usually enough to get a job. Experience and is also a big help. And if you have a teaching license, you can get a job just about anywhere. Even if you can’t arrange a job before you arrive, you should be able to secure one within a few weeks. Here are a few tips to help you get a job. If you’re planning on staying a while look for more info here MOD EDIT

Where to go: Some people are certain what city they want to live in while others aren’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. Smaller towns are an option. Piura and Chiclayo are close to the famous beaches. Trujillo is a uni town. Lima is the centre of everything. Arequipa is famous for its volcano. Puno has snow. Iquitos is in the jungle. Do some research; what appeals to some many not appeal to others.

Job Placement: If you’ve done a TEFL certificate programme or are planning on doing one, often they have a lifetime job placement service that you can use. If this isn’t an option for you, there are places that specialize in job placement for teachers. There’s usually a fee involved, but they tend to have good contacts with schools. Some good places are Innovative English and TEFL Job Placement , they have placements in Cusco. Lastly, although it may be a long shot, try your local college or university. If they have a career service centre, they might be able to provide you with some places that are looking for teachers.

Short-term: If you want to come here for a short time it's difficult to get a job and a visa before you get here. However, if you want to stay for six months, you could sign a year-long contract with a school and simply leave after six months. It’s not that honest, but it is an option. And chances are that they would get you a visa. But, if you have a work visa, the school has to give you papers in order to leave the country to prove that you have paid taxes.

Many people simply come here and hand out their CVs. You will probably make about 5 USD an hour. Keep in mind working without a visa is illegal. However, this being said, many people do it though and chances are slim that you will run into problems. You get 90 days upon entry and then can extend it three more times, each time for 30 days, so you can get a total of six months here. Some places that hire on tourists visas in Lima are Multilingua, World Communications, Master Business English, and Business Links. Expect to get around 6-10 USD an hour.

Networking: Many jobs aren’t even advertised and are filled by word of mouth. People often find jobs through friends of friends and that it especially true here in Peru. Be sure to tell everyone that you’re looking for a job. Who knows, your cousin’s girlfriend might know of a perfect job for you. You can also make contacts through forums like the ones on and as people tend to help each other out.

Answer Adverts Advertised jobs in Peru are few and far between, however, there are some. Some of the ones that usually have jobs in Peru are (You may have to pay a fee). .
If you’re in Peru try buying El Comercio on Sunday. The good jobs can be found in the Empleos section.

Cold Calling: This comes in many forms. Applying to schools by email can be discouraging. Many places won't reply. This may be because they usually hire in Jan or simply because they would rather have you come in person before they hire you. Don't give up. Being persistent pays off. Send out your CV by email and then when you arrive go to the schools in person. You can find lists of schools here MOD EDIT

Private lessons: Another option is coming and teaching private lessons. Try posting at private schools and universities. You can also try posting your advert at and You can also post in the local paper. Privates outside of Lima pay around 5-10 USD the hour. In Lima they can pay up to 20 USD an hour.

Volunteering: Volunteering can be expensive and some places charge up to 2000USD for a month. Some affordable programmes include AYNI ( ) , Awaiting Angels ( ), and Teach Peru ( ).

Working legally: Getting a permission to work legally is difficult, however, this is Latin America, so laws tend to be shades of grey rather than black and white. Some options are getting a “permission to sign a contract” visa, see 2C for more info. Schools and universities are more likely to get you a work visa than institutes. Your work also might get you a volunteer visa, which isn’t a resident visa, but does allow you to stay in the country legally for a year. The University of Piura does this. Or if you’re married to a Peruvian and get a llamado de familia / marriage visa, you can work legally. There might be other visa options for you that let you work legally, such as student, independent, artist, immigrant, and religious, so see for more info. Or simply work under the table and border hop. If you’re only planning on staying for a short time, it might be the best option for you.

1B. Best time to look for work

The school year goes from March/April until November/December. International schools and schools may start looking for teachers at early as September or October. Universities may wait until the beginning of the year (January or February) to start hiring. Many institutes hire year-round.

1C. Hours / What to wear
Many institutes and universities will have you work split shifts, four hours in the morning, a break between two and four hours and then four more hours in the evening. Sometimes classes finish at 9pm, or even as late as 10pm. Although at first it seems difficult, you will get used to it and can use the time in the afternoon to take a nap or run errands.

Smart casual is usually the rule here. Some places require you to wear a uniform, other say that men have to wear ties and women appropriate clothing. For men, you should wear dress pants and a dress shirt and for women, nice pants or a skirt with a blouse. Jeans are usually not accepted and piercings and tattoos should be hidden. Depending on where you are, you may be allowed to wear sandals, especially in the north.

1D. Pay / Benefits / Retirement plans
The average pay is 5 USD an hour, which is about 500 USD a month. Is 500 USD a month enough for you to live on? Of course, as long as you don’t expect to take taxis everywhere and eat out all the time. This is the average, and this being said, the more experience and qualifications that you have, the better the pay.

International schools pay around 20,000 USD plus benefits, but you usually need a teaching license (qualified teaching status) from your country plus two years experience teaching in a school and you may have to sign a two-year contract. Also, if you have a legal working visa, you will be more likely to be paid more, because the school knows that you will stay for a while rather than only teach in order to get money to travel.

The average Peruvian salary is around 250 USD a month. However, you have to remember most of them live with their family, so they are not paying rent or food. Also, they will take public transport rather than taxis, so this allows them to save money.

Benefits may include transport, insurance, lunch, a housing stipend, and paid vacations. Make sure you clarify everything with your employer and sign a contract. You will usually have one month of vacation unless you work at a school, in that case you will probably get more than a month of vacations. Some schools may put you on planilla. That means that you get an extra month salary in July and December. You also get another bonus in June, called CTS. This is an unemployment fund. You're allowed to take half of the money out every six months. If you quit or get fired, you’re allowed access to the funds after completing the necessary paperwork.

Retirement plans in Peru are called AFP. Your employer should set up the fund for you. Some of the most common ones are
Union Vida
Horizonte ,
When you leave Peru or retire you can get AFP contributions back on a simple checking account. Use CPP as a reference and after 6 weeks you should get a wire on your personal checking account. Check your AFP for more details, here’s information about Integra as an example.

Some places may have you sign two contracts, one for the Ministry of Work, which will be in Spanish and another private one in English. The Spanish one will likely say that they are paying you less and you don’t receive benefits. This is done so that the school doesn’t have to pay lots of taxes. The private one should state all the benefits and the correct pay that you are going to receive.

If you leave your job whether because you finished your contract or quit, you should get both recommendation letters and a constancia de trabajo. Recommendation letters speak well of you and your work. The constancia de trabajo should be given by the head of the company and should state whether you were full/time or part/time, the dates when you started and finished working, your title, and duties. If possible, have this put in your recommendation letter as well. Have the constancia de trabajo signed and stamped with the company seal. If you’re in planilla, when you leave your job, you’ll get liquidacion, which is basically your last salary plus a month and a half. You can also take out all the money in your CTS. Be sure to ask for this.

1E. Training and Professional Affiliations
If you are in Lima, there are many congresses and conferences for you to attend. If you are in the provinces, there are opportunities to go to conferences, just not as many as in Lima. You could also attend short courses in Lima offered by Camelot Training Centre or Británico.

Peruvians stress training sessions, so your school may offer these free to their employees. If not, try to attend a conference, as it allows you to do some networking. Try to have a section on your CV that lists a few of the recent conferences that you have attended.

There are quite a number of professional affiliations that you can join. Some offer discounts for conferences and others publish newsletters.

Month-long intensive certification courses

Arequipa, Peru Pass (3 months)

Cusco, Maximo Nivel

Cusco, English Abroad

Cusco, Cactus TEFL

Cusco, Bridge Linguatec

Cusco. INTESOL International

Cusco. Language Corps

Lima, Britanico offers a part-time CELTA course.

Vive Trujillo
[email protected]

TEFL certification search for places outside of Peru

Distance / Online Programmes in TEFL
The University of Piura, through FUNIBER

English International

TEFL training

INTESOL International

TESOL Direct

The International TEFL Corporation



Online TEFL courses
The Distance DELTA

Conferences and Training
Universidad de Cesar Vallejo

Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola


Camelot Training Centre
[email protected] or [email protected]

Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú

ANPI [email protected]
San Marcos
ELTeCS-UK Camelot Teacher Training Center

Professional Affiliations links

Peru Teacher Network
Asociacion Peruana de Profesores de Ingles
The British Council’s ELTeCS
Sociedad de Profesores de Ingles del Peru
Asociacion Nacional de Profesores de Idiomas (ANPI) [email protected]
The British Council’s ELTeCS yahoo

1F. CV and cover letter
Your CV should include the following information:
your name
date of birth
sex, nationality (ex. Female American Citizen or Female, American, Native Speaker)
phone number
carne de extranjeria / permission to sign a contract visa / work visa,(If you are legal to work in Peru include this info, whichever applies to you and the number of the document)
Work / Teaching Experience
Conferences / Workshops given
Conferences / Workshops attended
Professional Affiliations
Other Skills (languages / computer)
Hobbies (optional)
Do NOT include scanned copies of documents such as a passport, degree or reference letter. First, it’s not necessary and second, anyone with Photoshop can change your name to their name.

Here are a few websites that has information for teachers on how to write a CV and cover letter.,,

1H. Options for Extra income (Teaching and Non-Teaching)
Teach night classes at a university or institute (About 5-10USD an hour)
Teach private classes (About 5-25USD an hour)
Do translations (About 5-25 USD a page), verbal translations or translations for mines (1,000 to 3,000USD a month). Try contacting Denise at Pardo 223 9th floor, [email protected] . Cel 99148239. Recruiting and training center for bilinguals, mostly call centers and mines.
Be a bilingual secretaries (1,000USD a month)
Give tours to English speaking people
Work at a call centre (About 3 USD an hour)
Castings for commercials, movies or adverts pay ok, usually extras get around 20 USD an hour, but it could be a great way to get your name out there. See and for more information.

2. Immigration Issues
2A. All Visas / Onward Ticket

All fees reflect 2007 fees. Every year fees usually increase 1 sol. Be sure to check at the Banco de la Nacion.

Useful links
Embassies and consulates in Peru.
Visa requirements in English
Immigration Offices

For those who need a visa before entering Peru
If you need a visa in order to enter Peru, you may be asked to show an onward ticket. Any ticket, whether it be bus or air will do. You could also buy an MCO (Miscellaneous Charge Order) from the IATA (International Air Transport Association) which will allow you to fly on any IATA airline with seats available or give you a refund. See Customer Services at for more details. There's been some discussion about entering on a one-way ticket. In theory, you need a round trip if you enter on a tourist visa. Sometimes they require you to buy a return ticket at the airport, then you simply refund it. Or you might be asked to show proof of funds.
Take a look at these:

2B. Tourist / Visa Extensions / Expired Visa / Student Visa
***Be sure you ask at Immigrations about your visa as rules and fees seem to change often. ***
Many nationalities receive 30-90 days upon entry of Peru. There is no paperwork beforehand and it’s free. Depending on the immigration officer, you may or may not be asked to show a ticket out of the country or sufficient funds. To see if you need to apply for a tourist visa beforehand, check with the Peruvian embassy or consulate in your country.

Tourist extensions
You can extend your visa three times, for one month each at Immigrations. Then you have to leave the country, see the here for more info.

Expired Visa
It’s currently a dollar a day if you overstay your visa.

Student Visa
Student visas are loopholes that many people use to stay here. You are allowed to spend a year in Peru. All you need to do is study Spanish at a language institute accredited by the Ministry of Education, for example, ICPNA. You need F007, to pay 27 soles to process the form, a copy of your passport, proof that you are enrolled at a language school studying Spanish, proof that you have paid the tuition, and proof that you have enough money to live on (usually 2500 USD).

2C. Permission to sign a contract
***Be sure you ask at Immigrations about your visa as rules and fees seem to change often. ***
If you want to work in Peru, you can get permission from Migracion to sign contracts. You need form F004, to pay 27 soles to process the form, your passport, your Andean Card, (embarkment card) and to pay 50 USD for them to change your migratory status. You have to pay the fees in el Banco de la Nacion. Then you can be legal to sign contracts and then your work can start your work visa papers.

If you’re planning on working legally, you will need your university degree and birth certificate. Get them legalized by the Peruvian embassy/consulate before you arrive.

3.School System
There are public and private schools in Peru and the majority of the private ones are religious. As expected, private schooling is more expensive and can range from 200 to 800USD a month, depending on the school. Most of the English speaking ones are in Lima, but you can also find some in the provinces. Schools are broken into Primary (grades 1-6) and Secondary School (grades 1-5). There is also “Nido” which is Nursery school and usually starts around age 2. Since school is only 11 years, university is five years.

Peru has one of the oldest universities in the Americas, San Marcos. It’s very difficult to get in, about 60,000 apply but only a couple thousand are actually admitted. University is considerably harder than in many English-speaking countries. The reason for this is that most grades are based on the midterm and final exams. Some professors expect students to buy their books, memorise them and write their exact words on the exams. They may even take off points if they paraphrase, which is why many students think nothing of copying and pasting and then not giving any credit in the form of a bibliography. Here is a website that has statistics, such as the admission rate and number of students as well as other helpful information.

4. English books
As usual, it depends on where you are, if you’re in a big city, you’ll have no problem. Special Book Services is a big English book service. They have offices in Lima, Cusco, Trujillo, Arequipa and Chiclayo. Cambridge University Press,, sells their books through SBS. Nutesa, , has a few book shops in Lima. Crisol,, also located in Lima has some English material.

Prices are pretty reasonable, listening exercises are usually rather expensive. For example, a Practice Exam book for FCE which has 5 exams will cost about 80 soles at SBS, however the cassettes are 150 soles.

As for English reading material, many places where you work will have a library. If you’re in Lima, you can become a member of the Británico, or ICPNA library. Prices vary from 20 to 85 soles for a year’s membership. Fulbright has a free library and it's free, but it mainly has info on studying in the USA.

If you attend any conferences, there are usually many stands which sells books at discounted price because of the conference. You may want to buy them through and have someone mail them to you.

5. Jobs Job Bulletin, chocked full of adverts go to Directorios (Lists of language schools, unis, schools, academies and more) List of schools Yellow pages Newspaper Newspaper
www.livinginperu/classifieds Living in Peru Classified

5A. Places that get you a visa.
You will usually need at least a BA, one in teaching is preferred and experience in order to get these positions
Arequipa. CEP Anglo Americano Prescott.
Av. Alfonoso Ugarte 565
Tel: 00-5154-232-540
(Qualified Teacher Status and experience.)

Arequipa. Colegio Lord Byron

Cajamarca. Davy College
Av. Hoyos Rubio 2684, Casilla 1, Cajamarca, Perú
Tel 51 (76) 36-7501 Fax: 51 (76) 36-7502
E-mail: [email protected]
(8-12 years teaching experience. Experience teaching PYP, MYP, or IB a plus. Send CV, references and copies of degree and teaching cert to the address above.)

Lima. Leonardo Da Vinci, Ana Teresa Zapata
[email protected]

Lima, Cambridge High School
Alameda de los Molinos 728-730 Chorrillos, Phone: 254-0107

Lima. Colegio Villa Caritas and Colegio San Pedro, Macky Torres and Cecilia Rosas
[email protected]
(1 year contract begins in Feb, Catholic school.)

Lima. Markham College
Apartado 18-1048, Miraflores, Tel. 51-1-241 7677. Fax 51-1-241 7678
(Should have experience and Qualified Teacher Status.)

Lima, Colegio San Silvestre
Av. Santa Cruz 1251, Miraflores, Phone: 241-3334
[email protected]
(girls’ school.)

Lima. FDR. American School of Lima.
Av. Las Palmeras 325 Camacho, La Molina, Phone: 435-0890 / 702-4511
(Uni degree with Qualified Teacher Status. 2 year min contract. Very competitive.)

Lima. Colegio Santa Margarita, Bethsabé Galmez

Lima, Hiram Bingham
Av. Paseo La Castellana 919 Surco, Phone: 2719880 / 4486260
(Qualified Teacher Status and experience. Very competitive.)

Lima. Colegio Peruano-Britanico
Av. Vía Láctea 445 Monterrico, Surco, Phone : 436-0151
[email protected]
(Qualified Teacher Status and experience. Very competitive.)

Lima. Newton College
Av. Ricardo Elías Aparicio 240. La Molina, Phone: (511) 479-0460 Fax: (511) 479-0430
[email protected]

Lima. Abraham Lincoln
(Very competitive.)

Piura. UDEP, Connie Nalvarte
[email protected]
(They get you a volunteer visa)

Trujillo. Centro de Idiomas, UPAO
Av. America Sur 3145, Monserrate Pabellón D, First Floor
(44) 284444 X174
[email protected]
[email protected]

Trujillo. Centro de Idiomas, UNT
[email protected]
(44) 205448

Trujillo. Fleming
(Qualified Teacher Status, minimum 2 year contract. Primary and secondary school..)

5B. Places that hire people on tourist visas
Chachapoyas. International Language Center, Fidel Angel
[email protected]

Cusco. Maximo Nivel, Ken
[email protected]

Cusco. Excel
[email protected]

Cusco. ICPNA

Lima. English for Life
(Part-time positions available)

Lima. Euroidiomas
272 Av. Santa Cruz, San Isidro, Tel: 422 9932
Av. Santa Cruz 111, Miraflores, Tel: 421 2231

Lima. Master Business English, Matthew O´Connor
Tel. 445-1744 Cel. 9836-5669
[email protected]

Lima. PARI Cooperation, Reza Giveh
[email protected], 3460329,
Native speakers of English to teach to executives. Payment in the form of Recibos de Honorarios

Lima, Business Links, Alex Ellul
Jirón Tacna 873, Tel: 422 6002
[email protected]

Lima, Multilingua, Alan LaRue
Av. Grimaldo del Solar No. 469, Miraflores, Tel: 242 7763, Fax: 241 3806
[email protected]

Lima. World Communication, Charo
San Isidro. 2213912

Talara. L&B Language School, Brandon Reece
Av. A 107
73-385787 (tel/fax)
[email protected]

Trujillo. El Cultural, Eduardo Torres or Martha Cecilia Perez Gamboa
Av. Venezula 125, Urb El Recreo
(44) 245832 or (44) 232512 Fax (44) 261922
Av Larco 296
(44) 220694
[email protected] or [email protected]

5C. Places that require you to have legal working status
Lima. Pontificia Universidad Católica

Lima, San Ignacio de Loyola University, Carol Reyes
(must have a B.A. in English teaching, Education (or related "Liberal Arts" fields) legalized by the Peruvian consulate nearest your home)
Call Milagros to request an appointment 01 317-1035.
Carol Reyes, [email protected]

Lima. Asociacion Cultural Peruano-Britanico
3495 Av. Arequipa, San Isidro, Tel: 221 7550, 242 7052
Centro Cultural, Jr. Bellavista 531, Miraflores, Tel: 447-1135
[email protected]
[email protected]
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