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Teaching in Brazil: Content Index

Teaching in Brazil - Pros and Cons

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Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of teaching English in Brazil

Pros

  • generally enthusiastic and motivated students
  • teaching qualifications not always required
  • lots of potential for enterprising and entrepreneurial types

Cons

  • difficulty obtaining sponsorship/work visa
  • large variation in pay rates
  • relatively little English spoken outside major urban centers
  • potential for continued social unrest

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Getting a visa

Sponsorship by an employer is required to get a legitimate work visa. But the vast majority of schools in Brazil are unwilling to sponsor new teachers as it is a very lengthy, bureaucratic and expensive process and doing it yourself is expensive, time consuming and requires a command of the local language. So the reality is that the majority of foreign teachers in the country are there on 3-month tourist visas (renewable once), even though this is strictly speaking illegal. If a teacher manages to become an invaluable asset to a school, it obviously makes sponsorship by their employer more likely. Alternatives include marrying a Brazilian, having a baby in Brazil, or putting up a significant amount of money for an investor visa.

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Teaching qualifications

In general, schools in Brazil do not have strict requirements for qualifications such as obtained through a TEFL or CELTA certificate course (though the experience and knowledge gained from such a course is always beneficial in the classroom). Many companies or schools will have a compulsory in-house training program regardless of a teacher's qualifications. It is recommended to have a 4-year degree and a working knowledge of Portuguese will greatly increase your employability.

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Conditions & salary

Unless you have an existing network of contacts in Brazil or a significant amount of savings and enjoy living on the edge, you will need to start your teaching career in Brazil by working for a school. Classroom time will usually be in the early morning, lunchtime or in the evening after work hours.

Some schools in Brazil will agree to hire teachers coming from overseas, though transport to the country will usually be at the teacher's expense. And if you receive such an offer, it is highly advisable to ask for a written (notarized if possible) contract in advance.

Just like the cost of living, salaries and hourly rates will vary widely between rural areas, mid-size cities, and the major urban centers like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Working at an urban language school, a teacher would expect to earn about R$20-40 per hour or R$1800-3500 for 20 to 25 class hours per month. Once settled, many teachers start picking up opportunities to teach students privately. The hourly rate is usually in the range of R$40-60. In order to earn a higher hourly rate - R$200 per hour is not unheard of for teaching groups of urban professionals - you probably need to have the background to teach specialized or business English.

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Handpicked Links

General guides to Brazil

Websites/articles about teaching English in Brazil

English schools in Brazil

English teaching jobs in Brazil

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  • Teaching in Brazil - Pros and Cons
  • Getting a visa
  • Teaching qualifications
  • Conditions & salary
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      - renata

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