Host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil (Brasil) is a growing economic powerhouse. As largest country in South America, Brazil is known for its wild and colorful Carnival, breathtaking beaches, and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Brazil is a diverse land that holds everything from sprawling metropolitan cities to untouched jungles. The locals are known for their hospitality and extroverted friendliness, so you will never be among strangers. If you are interested in teaching English abroad, then Brazil might just be the place for you.
Brazil at a Glance
Domestic Population: 202.6 Million People
Capital City: Brasília
Currency: Brazilian Real
Trivia: Brazil is so large that it has three time zones.
Credentials and Visa
In order to be an English instructor in Brazil, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, if not a Master’s. Schools can be fairly strict about the teachers that they hire and if you want a quality school, then expect to show your own quality to them. If you have a TEFL Certificate or have successfully proven experiences teaching English, then these can help you land a worthwhile job. It would also help if you knew a little bit of Portuguese. Also, some schools may require you to take an English test.
Another option for visas is to apply for a student visa to learn Portuguese. You would be able to stay in Brazil longer and you might even be more likely to land a job.
It can be quite difficult to job hunt from overseas. You will most likely have to purchase roundtrip (refundable and adjustable) airfare tickets and a tourist visa to get into Brazil and begin looking for positions. You could always prime the pump by emailing to set up an in-person interview or by using your TEFL Certification company to help you find a job. Most schools will not sponsor you for a work visa but are still willing to employ you on a tourist visa.
When is The Best Time to Teach in Brazil
While you can find positions year-round, Brazilian schools usually run from February to June and then from August to December. Plan your job hunt accordingly.
In order to teach English abroad in Brazil, you will need to plan plenty of time for job hunting. While there are a lot of opportunities available throughout each of the seasons, it sometimes takes word-of-mouth or even just dropping in on schools in order to get yourself an interview.
Programs and Popular Cities
Unless you are a student in university and trying to teach English as a way to volunteer or spice up your resume, then you should not have to pay to teach English in Brazil. You could, however, enroll in a local TEFL or TESOL or CELTA program and then find a position after you have acquired your certification.
Your best bet for finding a well-paying position is to look at international private schools. You could also look into English tutoring centers, smaller local schools, large chain local schools, or even just tutoring on the side to supplement your income.
Brazil: There are numerous TEFL accreditation centers located all around Brazil. Find a program that you think that you will get the most out of in terms of the course material, that will provide you with the most perks, and that will best be able to place you at the end.
- LanguageCorps Brazil
- International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)
- Teach Away Brazil
- BridgeAbroad Brazil
Popular cities include: Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte
Housing Options in Brazil
During your time in a TEFL course, you will have the option to live with fellow students or in a homestay. After you have obtained the certificate and are job hunting or have already landed a position, you are free to find a local apartment or house. You will most likely need to rent a place with a roommate since it can be difficult to rent if you are on a tourist visa.
Your monthly salary would range anywhere from $700-$3000. The traditional range is $800-$1200. You are usually paid an hourly fee that you charge the student, unless you work at a school. If you really want to make a lot of money, then consider taking an advanced course or degree to teach affluent demographics like lawyers. You might even be able to score government contacts like teaching English to diplomats if you meet the right people.
While teaching English in Brazil can be more challenging than countries in Southeast Asia, it is still a worthwhile and interesting endeavor. Since most positions only have you work 20-25 hours a week, you will be able to have a lot of time to explore your new home and to visit surrounding areas. Brazil is such a vibrant country and it will leave you wanting to come back for more. Start with a short visit to figure out where you want to live and then prepare to fall in love with the country and the remarkable people while teaching English in Brazil.