Writing lessons on the whiteboard in class

How To Get A Job Teaching English In Peru With An Online TEFL

I want to share with you guys how easy it was for me to get my online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate and land a job teaching English in Peru.
During my travels in South America in 2015-2016, I based my self in Arequipa, Peru, for quite some time. Arequipa is the second-largest city in Peru, second to Lima, and is located about 1000km south of the Capital City.
I was working in the bar of a party hostel in exchange for free accommodation and decided that I would utilise my spare time and get certified to teach English to get a paid job during my travels.

Online course or language institution?

I did a bit of research into the differences between taking an online TEFL course and taking a classroom course through an institution. Firstly, the difference in price was enormous. To undertake a 120-hour online TEFL course, it was about $150 – 200 Australian Dollars from memory. But if I was to take the TEFL course through an institution or language school, it was about 10x the price, at around $1500 -2000 Australian Dollars! Allegedly, if you take the classroom course, your chances of gaining employment are much higher, and with more well recognised and higher-paying schools and institutions. It’s probably true for the most part, but this wasn’t my experience.

Online course

I decided that I didn’t want to fork out $2000 of my travel fund and I opted to take the 120-hour online TEFL course through LOVETEFL (now known as i-to-i) and take my chances at getting a job with my online certificate.

It took me a little under two weeks to complete the course, which surprisingly, taught me a lot about the English language that I had forgotten.

As soon as I had the electronic copy of my completed certificate, I began my job hunt in Arequipa. 

There are quite a few English schools in the city, with the most popular two being Extreme Learning Center and Brittany Group. So I tried my luck with Extreme Learning Center first, as I’d heard from one of the local girls that I worked with at the hostel, that Extreme was a great place to teach and they paid the best rate.

So off I went to pay a visit to Extreme. Luckily for me, the Manager of the centre was around, and I was ushered straight into an interview with him. He recommended me straight away to the Education Manager, and two days later, I was in a classroom presenting my trial lesson plan to him. 

I passed the interview process, and they hired me to begin teaching in the next month’s timetable. It was that simple.

Letting my students take over while teaching English in Peru
Letting my students take over while teaching English in Peru

Teaching in Peru

I spent three months teaching English at Extreme Learning Centres in Peru before I set off on my travels again. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so easy and so fun. I taught all levels from beginner through to advanced, with my students ranging from young children to adults. My Spanish at the time was next to none, which wasn’t a problem as there was a ‘No Spanish’ rule imposed in the classroom.
I found that I was more comfortable teaching the more advanced classes with older children and adults, rather than the kid’s classes. But that’s just my personal experience; everyone is different.

Writing lessons on the whiteboard in class
Teaching English is fun and easy

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I was so happy that the whole process was so easy for me. I read numerous blogs from people saying that it’s a lot more challenging to get a teaching job without a bachelors degree and classroom TEFL. But, I can confidently say my experience was the complete opposite. I was able to get a job at the top English School in Arequipa, without a bachelors degree, and with only an online TEFL. I’m not saying it will be this easy for everyone, but it could be.

Have you taught English abroad in a foreign country?

Tell me about your experience the comments below!

Sammy x

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