Jobs Abroad in South America

A Guide To

Working Abroad in South America

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61 Jobs Abroad Programs in South America

International TEFL Academy

Each year, thousands of people of all ages from a variety of educational backgrounds become TEFL TESOL certified. In a few months, you could be an International TEFL Academy graduate telling your friends how great it is to live and teach English abroad!

International TEFL and TESOL Training

Where the world is your classroom ITTT offers a wide variety of high quality, internationally recognized TEFL and TESOL courses. Courses are available in-class, online or through a combination of both formats. Our teacher training courses enable graduates to obtain teaching jobs in nearly any location worldwide. No previous experience or qualifications are required. ITTT offers certifica...

GeoVisions

Journey to South America as a teacher's assistant with GeoVisions in Peru. Placed in public schools, participants aide teachers with assignments and lesson plans. The program includes transportation to and from the airport, accommodation with a host family, a short orientation, and medical insurance. Participants may also have the chance to explore Machu Picchu and other places of interest.

Instituto Hemingway

Our Paid Jobs program guarantees a placement in a top restaurant/hotel in Colombia. Accommodation, meals and pocket money are covered. You will earn enough to cover basic expenses. You will work on average 35-40 hours per week and will have one day off. The type of position will depend on your level of Spanish, experience in the hospitality management industry and dates. Generally speaking y...

LanguageCorps

The LanguageCorps TESOL Certification Programs will give you the skills and methodology needed to be comfortable and competent teaching English abroad. While the particular details of the Programs vary by country, all include approximately 140 hours of training, and as many as 30 hours of actual teaching practice. The TESOL Certification Programs incorporate classroom instruction in effectiv...

MAXIMO NIVEL

Be a TEFL/TESOL trainer with one of the top intercultural institutes in Latin America. We are presently recruiting TEFL/TESOL Trainers to work with us at our institutes in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica; Antigua, Guatemala; and Cusco, Peru. This position is open to ESL professionals who have at least five years experience teaching English as a Second Language. Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, an...

Gap Journey Internships in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here at Gap Journey we're looking for higly motivated, creative individuals who strive to do something more than just an internship. We seek those who are looking for a journey. With Gap Journey, we take care of placing you with a company that fits your needs as much as you fit their needs. That way you can build valuable experience in your field in a dynamic environment. In your internship ...

Teach English in Chile: English Opens Doors Program FEE FREE

The English Opens Doors Program is part of the Chilean Ministry of Education and supported by the United Nations Development Programme-Chile. As a government-run program, the contributions that volunteers make are part of a historic education reform occurring in the country right now. Ideal applicants are between 21 and 35 years old, and have their bachelor's degree or equivalent. Applicant...

i-to-i TEFL

Looking for the perfect way to live abroad while getting paid to do it? Consider working as a TEFL certified English teacher, and work to change the lives of locals through education in the English language. How about living and working in Argentina? If you're a university graduate eager to start working, you can earn up to USD 2,100 month! This is the perfect opportunity to spend have an...

Entry-level Copywriter - Koech Corp

The KOECH CORP copywriting program is designed to offer undergraduate/graduate students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to undertake international work experience in the South American country of Peru. This 6-month paid program combines both work and vacation time, providing an excellent opportunity to travel through South America and gain valuable experience in the copy writing field....

Want to take a Gap Year? Want to live a different holiday?

Connecting Worlds specializes in organizing gap year opportunities in Argentina. A gap year is perfect for recently graduated students from high school or college who want to experience a different culture. Students who sign up to one of the programs has the opportunity to experience a true cultural exchange, stay with local people and gain practical experience during their stay in Argentina. P...

Global Works - Travel with Purpose

Global Works offers all expense paid with salary job positions in South America. The program is looking for an American individual, must be over 23, and fluent in Spanish, French, or Mandarin. Experience leading high school students and assisting them in any cultural activities.

TeachingChile

Paid teaching positions available! K-12 English teaching include 30 hours per week classroom time. Class size will likely be 35-38 students. Teachers will co-teach with a local Chilean teacher. Co-teachers will participate fully as teachers in the school, assume their fair share of assignments, and all other responsibilities that other school staff are expected to accept. Course curriculu...

Teach English in Colombia with Greenheart Travel

Teach English in Colombia is a free program that offers a unique opportunity for a free, paid teaching position in Latin America. Discover what has even the most seasoned of travelers proclaiming Colombia as one of their favorite destinations and a highlight of their travels in Latin America. Greenheart Travel has been selected to work in partnership with SENA, (Servicio Nacional de Aprendi...

Visions Service Adventures

Visions Service Adventures offers a co-ed summer job program in South America to participants worldwide. Travel, live, and work in Nicaragua and Peru for six to 10 weeks, and experience the unique and vibrant culture. The Camp Counselor and Spanish Instructor positions are responsible for mentoring the teenagers and helping to supervise the project sites.

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Working Abroad in South America

The twelve diverse countries that make up South America seem to have all perfected the art of balancing rich cultural heritage with the necessary growth and development required to remain relevant. Individuals interested in working abroad will be hard-pressed to find a region more personable, passionate, proud, and with more verve for life than the ethnic melting pot that makes up South America. Jobs in South America exclude no one, as professionals with all levels of experience and expertise can find work in this beautifully biodiverse region.

Locations

Each boasting special strengths and its own unique flavor, the following five countries make up the most popular destinations for jobs in South America, and also where the majority of opportunities can be found.

Argentina. Given the extensive Italian and Spanish immigration to flood Argentina the past 150 years, Argentina continues to maintain European influences as evidenced by the pizza and pasta dishes that can be found alongside traditional parrillas (steak restaurants) country-wide. In addition to teaching, other popular jobs in Argentina include those in the following fields:

  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Advertising
  • Business and Finance 
  • Real Estate

Brazil boasts the largest bay on earth and one of the seven natural wonders of the world: the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. Projected host of the 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil continues to foster its relevant reputation in the world. The majority of jobs in Brazil can be found in the hectic and ethnically diverse city of São Paulo, which is the largest city in South America (by population). The expanding international trade, ever-increasing tourism rates, and continued industrial development have contributed to Brazil’s success in making a name for itself as an economic powerhouse in South America. Brazil offers numerous jobs for specialists in a variety of fields, including but not limited to:

  • Agriculture
  • Engineering and Environmental Management
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas Renewable Energy

Chile. Sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, individuals who choose to work in Chile can experience some of the most varied and extreme landscapes in all of South America, and simply relax and enjoy the hospitality of the locals over maté tea. Chile was given official endorsement by the World Bank in 2013 as a fully developed nation. However, the large income gap and resulting social inequality additionally ensures endless nonprofit job opportunities across the country. An emerging international presence combined with the fact that Chile is known for having the lowest level of English language skills in South America create high demand for English teachers.

Ecuador. Despite the steady drop in poverty rates over the past decade, high-paying jobs can be tough to find for expats interested in working in Ecuador. Environmental and wildlife preservation, research, or unpaid jobs can more commonly be found on the famous Galapagos islands 600 miles off the mainland coast, while jobs located in Quito allow individuals the opportunity to work in the world’s highest capital city. While some business positions can be found in the larger urban areas of Ecuador, the majority of jobs in Ecuador reflect the need for societal development.

Peru. Home of the must-see Machu Picchu, the toughest decision for foreigners working abroad in Peru will be where to visit next! While mining and agriculture are the largest industries in Peru, with constant employment opportunities popping up, the most common form of employment in Peru is (of course) teaching jobs, as well as positions working for international organizations. However, those looking to work in the tourism industry in Peru need look no further than the capital of the former Inca Empire, Cusco.

Jobs in South America

Teaching. While some countries offer a more extensive array of employment options than others, the most common job in South America, across all twelve countries, is teaching. Teaching jobs in South America vary greatly in atmosphere, audience, hours, and curriculum, and generally speaking, the more qualified you are, the higher the pay will be. English teaching jobs are especially available and lax when it comes to credentials, length of commitment, and visa requirements.

Multinational Organizations. For those already working for a multinational organization or business, relocating to a branch in South America can often be the best course to take for working abroad long-term. Although, it can be difficult to obtain a professional job in South America if not already on a company’s radar, it is possible for expats with the appropriate qualifications. 

Specialist Positions. Since the majority of countries in South America are developing economies with a gradually expanding international presence, locals often lack either the language ability (English) or specific skills required to fill some employment positions. Therefore, individuals who possess the desired experience and relevant education can often find work in South American countries experiencing growth in specialty sectors.

Environmental Efforts. While the highest number of jobs and higher-paying professional placements will be found in major urban areas, the incredibly biodiverse and pristine landscape of South America warrants the need for its protection. From conservation and sustainability to zoology and wildlife research, environmental job opportunities can be found scattered across the region in smaller towns and rural areas.

Work Atmosphere & Etiquette. The two official and most widely-spoken languages in South America are Spanish and Portuguese. Some level of fluency is always more desirable, and often required, for jobs in South America; although some types of employment allow foreign workers to get by with very little knowledge of the local language, such as teaching English.

A typical work schedule will vary according to the job in South America, and salaried positions generally hold more stable, traditional hours and even overtime pay and paid vacation. While punctuality is not strictly enforced, it is always best to remain professional and respect job responsibilities. Self-presentation is extremely important in South America, and small-talk and relationship building is also generally expected and will prove beneficial in any field.

Salary & Affordability

As it would anywhere, salaries for work in South America vary according to the specific position and field, and are often based on experience and credentials. Location also plays a huge role in the amount of pay one should expect, and likewise, a developing country will reflect a lower paycheck. Luckily, salary and affordability go hand in hand, so whatever type of financial compensation one receives, it will almost always be enough to cover all basic living expenses and possibly even accumulate some savings.

Accommodation & Visas

Accommodation options available to foreign workers in South America will vary based upon your location. But, it is safe to assume that the further you venture outside the major urban areas, the more basic your accommodation will be. For expats relocating long-term, looking into real estate may prove to be the most economical option, while shared or individual apartments can often be rented very affordably for those needing something less permanent.

Obviously, renting with roommates will prove the most beneficial for those looking to cut costs, or for those who simply enjoy living in the presence of potential new friends! In some cases, especially when working for organizations that cannot provide a large paycheck, a living stipend or housing assistance may be included as part of a compensation package. 

More often than not, some type of work or business visa will be required to work abroad in South America. In some cases, obtaining an additional residential visa may also be necessary. Be sure to ask your employer well in advance, as the application process can be time-consuming and almost always requires some type of endorsement from the organization or business you will be working for. Although it is not legally correct, teaching English in South America is often the one exception to the work-visa-rule, as foreigners can generally get by doing short-term stints (less than six months) on a tourist visa.

Benefits & Challenges
  • Glass Ceiling. Social status, physical appearance, age, and sex all too often continue to play a part in determining recruitment, management practices, and wage scales for jobs in South America.
  • Networking. Relationships carry much weight in the South American work force and recommendations may influence what job opportunities are made available to what people. Building connections in South America will prove invaluable to any person’s South American career.
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