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What Are the Requirements for Teaching English in Peru?

Learn what qualifications you need to teach English in Peru including education, citizenship, visa, and financial requirements. 

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From the headwaters of the Amazon to the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru’s historical and natural offerings are second to none. The national capital of Lima, home to 10 million people, has blossomed into a very large and promising job market for ESL teachers abroad in South America.

Peru offers many benefits for English teachers, including a low cost of living, great travel opportunities, and fewer hiring restrictions than some other countries in Central and South America.

If you are considering teaching English in Peru, you will need to ensure you meet the following qualifications:

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Peru?

To teach English in Peru, you will need a TEFL certification. A 4-year college degree is not required but is strongly preferred. You do not need to be a native-English speaker but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level. The average salary for an English teacher in Peru is about $500 - $1,000 USD per month.

How to Teach English in Peru

Now let’s look at the following requirements to teach English in Peru in detail:

  1. Hold a TEFL certification

  2. Have a college degree (not required but preferred)

  3. Be a native-English speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (not required but preferred)

  4. Have a valid passport & visa

  5. Be financially prepared for start-up costs

Let’s expand on each of these Peru ESL teaching requirements and qualifications below:

1. Hold a TEFL Certification

A TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certificate is required to teach English in Peru. Getting TEFL certified will provide you with the relevant training and qualifications you need to get hired by a reputable school in Peru and should give you confidence in your abilities to provide effective ESL lessons to your students. 

Which TEFL Course is Right for Me?

Most language schools in Peru recruit and interview on the ground, in person. Therefore, it is common for many aspiring English teachers to take ITA’s 4-week TEFL Course in Arequipa, Peru. Taking the course in Peru means you can begin interviewing for TEFL jobs in Peru immediately at course completion.

The course staff will assist you with finding local teaching opportunities and will provide guidance for the interview process. 

Another popular option is ITA's 170-Hour Online TEFL Course which you can take online from home. This award-winning course is part-time, so you can take it while going to school or working full-time, so you can work and save some extra money in anticipation of your departure to Peru. 

a group of English teachers in Peru

2. Have a College Degree (Not Required But Preferred)

Can I Teach English in Peru Without a Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is not required to teach English in Peru. Your TEFL certification should be enough to successfully gain employment as an ESL teacher. Please note, while a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement some employers may still prefer that you have one.

Prior Teaching Experience

While prior teaching experience can help you stand out on your resume, you do not need it to teach English in Peru. Your TEFL certification training will provide you with the relevant qualifications you need to get hired by a school in Peru.

Any reputable TEFL certification course should include a mandatory practicum component to help gain firsthand experience practice teaching with real non-native English speakers. This will prepare you for the classroom and leave you feeling confident in your ability to deliver well-structured ESL lessons to your students. This practice teaching can count as teaching experience and should be highlighted on your resume.

3. Be a Native-English Speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (Not Required But Preferred)

If you are a qualified, non-native English speaker, you may be considered for English teaching jobs in Peru. Non-natives will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level. Although not required, native-English speakers with citizenship from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa may still be preferred by some employers.

Also, please note that you do not need to speak Spanish to teach English in Peru.

4. Have a Valid Passport & Visa

You will need a valid passport to enter and work as an English teacher in Peru. If your passport is scheduled to expire within six months of your planned arrival in Peru, it is recommended that you renew your passport prior to your departure.

What Type of Visa Will I Need to Teach English in Peru?

Teachers in Peru typically teach on a 90-day tourist visa. For American English teachers, no paperwork is required to get this tourist visa, it is just a stamp in your passport that you’ll be issued upon arrival at a Peruvian airport. Once in-country, you are able to submit an application to extend your 90-day tourist visa up to a maximum of 183 days total (6 months). 

In order to avoid any overstay fees, you must leave Peru after your 183-day stay.

Requirements to teach English in Peru

5. Be Financially Prepared for Start-up Costs

The cost of living in Peru is relatively low ($500 - $1,000 USD per month) with most teachers breaking even each month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn’t expect to save money at the end of each month. Financial planning is imperative to prepare for your success. 

Remember, nobody will hand you a paycheck the moment you step off the plane, and given that most English teachers will interview and apply for jobs upon arrival, you will need to cover 1-2 months of living expenses ($1,000 - $1,500 on the safe side) until you start working and getting paid. You will also need to cover your airfare to Peru from your home country. 

Read more about Start-up Costs for Teaching English Abroad.

Go Further: What are the requirements for teaching English abroad?

Read more: Salaries for teaching English in Peru


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