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Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 49
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: AREQUIPA?? Reply with quote

Hello all,

Has anyone worked in 2011 for EXTREME school in this town? I've read the past posts about the manager who didn't care about the employees, but it seems that the head of the school is now an American woman, who seemed quite agreeable via SKYPE. Anyone working there now, or who has recently worked for this woman director?
Also, how is it living in Arequipa? Is it a good place to live?

Thanks a lot for any info!
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Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I will make some general comments about Arequipa.


As far as salary goes, most of the schools in Arequipa pay about 12.50 soles an hour. TEFL teachers who have several years of teaching experience will earn this amount, too. In other words, it is not a pay for performance environment. I don't know how it's like in other countries because I have only worked here in Peru so far.


While the school has its flaws, it is one the two most reputable schools in Arequipa. The other one is Centro Cultural Peruano which is, as the name in Spanish suggests, a Peruvian-owned institution. Both pay most of their teachers 12.50 soles an hour. This is not negotiable. However, I have heard that Centro Cultural will pay you 20.00 soles an hour if you have a MA in TESOL or MA in Education with a teacher's license.

The best thing about Extreme is that you will get plenty of teaching hours if you're a native speaker. Also, they pay on time. The same cannot be said of all the other schools here with the possible exception of Centro Cultural. In other words, it's either Extreme or Cultural in Arequipa.


Compared to other cities I have visited in Latin America, Arequipa is a very quaint and safe city. However, the urban planning is not keeping up with the rapid growth of the private sector. Expect frequent traffic jams and inadequate public transportation. In fact, I rather take public transportation in Mexico City even with its 18 million plus inhabitants. However, the taxis are very cheap here. Of course, that is of very little comfort when you're making 12.50 soles an hour (4.50 USD an hour).

As far as the people go, Arequipeños are nice enough, although I have encountered more outgoing, friendly latinos in other countries. The students are generally very respectful of the teachers. Of course, this perception of respectfulness depends greatly on your classroom management skills like any teaching position.

The great thing about Arequipa in my opinion is that it has a lovely skyline with volcanoes and mountains looking down on the city. Also, it has been designated a UNESCO World Hertiage site by the UN. That means there are many historic buildings here.

In summary, Arequipa is good place to start TEFL if you are new to teaching. If you expect high compensation and a long-term steady job in a language school, I would suggest a country in Asia.

I hope this helps. Maybe we can exchange private message is you require more info.
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Andrew Jordan

Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught at Extreme last year bust since then I have stayed in Arequipa and am close to many current teachers.

If you want a quick answer, the school is acceptable to work at. It is not a place I would advise against actually it was one of the better jobs I have had although it has its problems.

It was the owner who is often absent and treats the teachers as replaceable. The manager, who is no longer with the school (at least not in arequipa) solved this somewhat but still they have plenty of applicants (the only school in arequipa to advertise on the internet) so they treat teachers poorly. Teachers are sometimes given very few hours as a way to force them out or told to go on vacation but when they return are told there is no positions. Good teachers they treat reasonable but if the managment doesn't like you then it can be problematic.

The workload is reasonable and the pay sufficient to live here if you get classes. Last year they were paying 11.6, and it might have gone down since then. They do not pay on time, but always within a day or two and always the full amount.

About Arequipa, it is a great city, I have stayed here for well over a year and enjoy it. The traffic is not a big problem for me. The people are nice and helpful. There are tons of other English schools here, but most are no good. It takes some time and effort to find a alternative job and most of them are more or less the same. I got tired of working for schools so I started teaching privates, but if I were to go back to a school I would consider Extreme again.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks to those who posted about information regarding Arequipa. I am thinking about moving to Peru and becoming TEFL certified through Is anyone familiar with this process, or has done something similar when getting certified in Peru?
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Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick info about TEFL certs, good ones have 120 hours with 6 hours of teaching. Online ones often don't include teaching. CELTA online and ONtesol Canada are some exceptions.
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Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject: Areqiupa: Salary vs rental problem Reply with quote

i recently applied for and accepted a job at Extreme and only later asked about the ration of salary to rent. it turns out that rent in Arequipa is approximately 50% of the salary, which is not do-able. when negotiating the salary, please don't make the same mistake that I made by failing to ask early on what the rent-salary ratio is. ideally,the rent should be 25-30% of the salary. any more than that, and living will be difficult.
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