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Best Latin American country to break-even?

 
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:44 am    Post subject: Best Latin American country to break-even? Reply with quote

I am a 41-year-old black American woman with a BA in English, currently working in China as a EFL teacher. This is my first year in the TEFL field. No teacher certification.

I have been able to save some money working here in China, and I'm glad of that, but I think I'd like to go to another country next year. I have some basic knowledge of Spanish, and thought that Latin America might be a good choice.

I know I won't save much money (if any) working in Latin America, but is there any country that will at least allow me to break even?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 918

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what you mean by break even.

If you can find work, you will be able to earn enough to live on in most of the major countries, you can also probably save enough to travel locally occasionally. However, if you need to recover your relocation costs and/or save enough to pay for flights back home your options will be more limited.

Recognized certification will make you a lot more employable.
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to recoup my relocation expenses if possible. I doubt I will teach EFL for more than another year after this contract, so I'd rather not spend the money on a certification - I do have a 120-hour TEFL certificate, but I'm pretty sure only a few countries (such as China) would accept it. I will have one year of TEFL experience by June, but it's in China, which is pretty unimpressive from what I understand.

I'm mostly just curious if it's possible. If it's not, I may just go to a Spanish immersion course somewhere in Latin America instead.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 918

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With minimal experience and no certification, nowhere springs to mind.

But if you are going somewhere to study anyway, there's no harm looking for work once you're there. Most jobs in Lat Am are found by knocking on doors with your CV once you arrive.
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good point, I may go that route. Thanks!
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1153
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nkengaola wrote:
- I do have a 120-hour TEFL certificate, but I'm pretty sure only a few countries (such as China) would accept it. I will have one year of TEFL experience by June, but it's in China, which is pretty unimpressive from what I understand.


I'm not sure why you think that. 120 hour course is fairly standard?
If your main goal is improving your Spanish, if you can take some savings from China and do an intensive course in Latin America (Guatemala is a cheap place for those courses) that is probably the best option. But I think you may be able to break even in Mexico with a BA in English, a 120 hour cert and one year's experience. HOWEVER, Mexico has just reformed its immigration laws and it's still not entirely clear how this will affect English teachers, but it looks like you will no longer be able to turn up as a tourist, look for a job in person, then change your status once you have a job lined up. I invite you to visit the Mexico sub-forum if you are interesting in learning more about your chances.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 918

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies! I mis-read the OP as an online course. That does indeed change things.
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I mis-read the OP as an online course. That does indeed change things.


LOL, it WAS a online course, that's why I didn't bother to mention it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to TEFL for very long, so I didn't invest the money in a CELTA course. Looks like that was the right choice for me, since I doubt I will do this for more than another year.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1153
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

N. There are some conversation school chains in Mexico that make you go through their training regardless of what your previous experience is and are a good option for people like you. I do not know if their teachers break even after one year as start up costs can be high here--but you could look into them. One is called Harmon Hall and there is also Berlitz in some Mexican cities. There used to also be some schools that provided shared living quarters for their teachers in exchange for very low pay and billed themselves more as "cultural experience providers" offering people a chance to experience life in Mexico in exchange for teaching English classes. But I haven't heard anything about them in a couple of years now. They were mostly located in Western Mexico, in the states of Michoacan and Nayarit, which have been hard hit by cartel violence, so maybe that's why. Shocked
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