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Information for everyone about living and and teaching in BA

 
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amymihyang



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Information for everyone about living and and teaching in BA Reply with quote

I'm writing this partly out of frustration and also a sense of giving back to the english teaching community. I started looking at this message board a few months ago before I moved to BA this month. I was greatly disappointed by the lack of responses to the n00bies here along with constant chastisement to them about needing to look back at past responses before they posted. Like many people, I did that as well, and found most of the info grossly out of date, and now that I live here, inaccurate even.
I am more than happy to share my experiences so far. Please feel free to PM me. (I'm not sure if I've made enough posts to PM back.)

Before you go:
I was told that most places will not even talk to you before you get here. This is NOT TRUE. Even despite the slow holiday period between Dec and Feb, I received a number of responses from schools. There is no trick to how to find them. Google. I was given a database from my TEFL school but I think most of the schools I found were through different websites and general patience on the web. I sat and mechanically form emailed all of them with my CV. Many of them asked me to simply contact them when I arrived, but those all led to actual interviews within the first week here.

Certification:
I was certified in Europe, so I don't have a lot of advice about the certification programs here. I can tell you that it seems to matter. Surely you can get some jobs here, but as I job hunted and my friend here did (she is not certified but has over a year teaching experience in Korea) she is struggling to get interviews. So it will be worth the time and money, at least in BA.

Timing:
One thing that really frustrated me was that no one could really tell me when things started up in terms of the 'school year.' I picked a flight date and just crossed my fingers. The academic year is slow to start up. I arrived 22 Feb and could have gotten here a week earlier, but some of my classes aren't starting til the end of March. The teaching schools are continuing to sort out details with businesses and confirm classes. I currently have 16 teaching hours and am told I am to get more. I've found I can afford to be picky as the good schools seem to deliver classes.

Teaching in general:
There is plenty of work here, but be ready to be flexible and travel a lot. The best schools will sit down and thoughtfully help you put together a schedule that will not keep you running around all of BA. Plus many classes are in the suburbs. You should be paid slightly more for them. I interviewed with 5 schools. I accepted positions with the two that asked me the most intelligent, student-concerned questions. Be wary of the places that offer you jobs on the spot.

Banking:
Depending on how long you stay, you do not need an account here. The jobs issue you a check, and you cash it with your passport. I wouldn't bother opening one unless you need it for specific reasons. It will take you up to a month after you start working to get paid, so plan on that for your move. Also, if you have a Visa debit card, you are only allowed to take out 300 pesos at a time. This is a pain in the ass in terms of fees. Mastercard debits allow you to take out 1000 at a time. Just something to think about.

Phones:
I was told by Argentinians that often the companies won't offer you a contract plan if they know you're foreign. There are a lot of pay as you go. CTI and Personal seem to be the most popular. They offer deals depending on how many minutes you use. You can also buy more minutes at any Kiosk.

Housing:
I stayed in a hostel at first and immediately began my housing search upon arrival. I started only looking at BA craigslist, but was later told that it targets foreign people who can afford to pay more. compartodepto.com is a good site, but it's in Spanish, so those who can speak are at a better advantage to find something cheaper. One place I looked at was shown by a landlady who spoke only Spanish. So consider your options a bit limited if you aren't comfortable with the language yet. It should be noted that I was only looking for a room, not an entire flat. I am not familiar with the system in terms of looking for a whole place to myself. El Clarin on Sundays and the Buenos Aires Herald (English) is also supposed to have listings as well. San Telmo is incredibly touristy as a neighborhood, fyi.

As I watch my friend who came from Korea to here, a bit of insight: the transition seems difficult as the financial scheme shifts (you will not make money to save here) and it is a frustrating process to piece your schedule together class by class and not have everything sorted for months into the process. I had an expectation that this was going to happen, and knew I needed patience for it. That type of mental preparation can make all the difference sometimes. Cool

Also, for anyone who just got here and would like to meet up for a drink, let me know! I'm also involved with the very new chapter of Democrats Abroad here. We're working on ways to help with the elections from here Smile

Besos!
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parrothead



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 342
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your experiences. We need more like that here.
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diw



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:31 am    Post subject: Gracias! Reply with quote

Thanks for taking time to write this, a huge help!
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Phil_b



Joined: 14 Oct 2003
Posts: 239
Location: Back in London

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

interesting info... thanks for the update... accomodation stuff is very interesting...
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bhog



Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 22
Location: KCMO

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Great post. Only saw it after I'd asked for some of this info in another thread.
BTW, I'm coming with a friend and we'd love to meet up for that drink, BUT we won't be there until September! Confused
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brianthestrider



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant post Amy. I'm going to copy a link on the facebook group, too.

I might just add that these past few days my Mastercard is only allowing me 300 pesos at a time. Another victory for "the man".....

Also here's our experience regarding CUIT numbers. CUIT is a tax number for working here in Buenos Aires, even if you are only here on a tourist visa. The law is unclear but YOU CAN GET A CUIT NUMBER WITH A TOURIST VISA. Some institutes won't employ you unless you have one, but this is not true of all of them. You pay some tax per month and it makes you legitimate.

To get your CUIT number you first need a Certificate of Address that you can get for 10 pesos at your nearest police station. Go to the station and a policeman will come to your house later with the cert.

Take this and two copies of your passport to your nearest tax office. Your institute should help you find out this info. Also take a copy of your lease if you have one. If you don't speak Spanish, you'll need to bring a friend.

It appears to be up to the discretion of the civil servant dealing with you whether or not you get a number! We were fine. Others are not so lucky. If you don't get one, I guess you can keep trying. Some people ´share´numbers, but this is shady.... This final part of the process is completed online and requires good Spanish.

All of this info and more is being compiled on a facebook group called English Teachers in Buenos Aires so join up, invite and contribute!

Hope this is helpful.

Cheers again Amy.

Brian
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Sabine11



Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm writing this partly out of frustration and also a sense of giving back to the english teaching community. I started looking at this message board a few months ago before I moved to BA this month. I was greatly disappointed by the lack of responses to the n00bies here along with constant chastisement to them about needing to look back at past responses before they posted. Like many people, I did that as well, and found most of the info grossly out of date, and now that I live here, inaccurate even.


Did it ever occur to you that the ‘older’ more experienced teachers that used to be here have all left the country several months, even years ago??

ESL teachers in Argentina typically stay in B.A. up to year, even less and then leave the country for various reasons. Others (like myself) may be too busy to post on the forum. Last year I’ve spent months without even visiting this forum because I was swamped with work. Some people may not feel like posting at all; it’s their right.

Posting on a forum is not a part-time job or an obligation; it’s supposed to be voluntary and fun. I’m sorry on behalf of everyone here that you were ignored and your feelings were hurt. It wasn’t personal.

Buena onda, S.
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brianthestrider



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add to my comment about CUIT numbers you can find your nearest AFIP office (where you go to apply) at http://www.afip.gov.ar/ and follow the links.

Also the form you need to fill in is a Formulario 460/J. The actual place where you pay your tax is at Parana 763, I believe.
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schern19



Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

What a great post! Thanks for all the useful information.

I will be graduating with a bachelors in Elementary Education this December and was wondering if this would be enough for me to teach English in Argentina. Do I need other certifications and/or experience with teaching?

Any information would be of great help!

Thanks!
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jgz



Joined: 20 Jul 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, such a great post! Thanks so much for all the information.
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Sean1962



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:29 pm    Post subject: Argentina Reply with quote

This is a really useful posting - thankyou. I have recenctly arrived in Argentina and am now in Montevideo. I loved BA and would be really happy to teach there. Can you provide any more pointers since you posted this. Do you know anything about Uruguay. If I return to BA, It would be great to meet up and pick your brain.

Thanks again for the time and effort you put in.

Sean
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Leroyal



Joined: 04 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Argentina Reply with quote

Argentina is a great place to visit and live in.
Teaching here can be a headache at times and you're not going to save any decent amount of cash, much like the rest of Latin America.
Best thing you can hope to do is get a job with a school or institute that offers back to back hours. A lot of people are forced to run around town from 1 place to another to give private lessons here and there and you might get paid for the cost of tranport but I doubt anyone will pay you for the time you spend in transit. From my experience I've had to learn to deal with a mountain of bureaucratic bullshit and redtape to get paid but that's the way things are around here I guess. As great as this place is I can't see myself spending another year here, making just enough to live and saving little for the holidays or time off. Also as everyone here is paid cash in hand you have no rights and when school holidays is on you get no work and no pay. Any questions or anything else just ask.

PEACE
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longdistancewalker



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for this post.
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