no degree

Miraflores, Peru English Teaching Q&A with David Sierra

What is your citizenship?

United States

What city and state are you from?

New York, NY

How old are you?


What is your education level and background?

Some College

Have you traveled abroad in the past?

My family is from Peru and I actually had the chance to teach English down here on previous trips. 

If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?

I've been to Europe but I have visited South America and Peru frequently with family.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?

When I was teaching this guy how to surf on my last trip to Peru, he told me about their cushy English teaching job. He also said teaching jobs in Peru weren't too difficult to find if you were TEFL certified. That interaction piqued my interest in teaching English abroad this year.  

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?

If I was ever going to find an institution that would actually hire me.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

My family was skeptical whether or not the certification would increase my chances of being hired to teach. In the end, they were supportive.


English teaching jobs in PeruWhy did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?

The person I taught surfing in Lima recommended looking into getting a TEFL certification, since he also had his TEFL.

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

The online TEFL certification course. 

How did you like the course?

I enjoyed the online TEFL course because it adjusted well with my busy schedule, and I was able to finish my tasks on time. The practicum was a great addition because it gave me hands-on experience on how to teach in a real classroom. Also, my instructor was very helpful in guiding me through the class.

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?

My TEFL training has helped me become more organized in giving lessons and it gave me confidence in teaching in a classroom.


Which country did you decide to teach English in and why?

I decided to teach English in Peru is because I wanted to feel honor in helping the people of the country my parents came from. Peru is also a country where I’m accustomed to the personalities, cultures, and lifestyle.

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?

Three years total, with a few months spent back in New York trying to figure out how to get back to Peru. I plan to be here till June and then return again in December.

How did you secure your English teaching job?

By having experience with English students in a classroom (my practice teaching) and being TEFL certified.

What school, company, or program are you working for?

I work for El Tulipan in Miraflores, which is a neighborhood of Lima, Peru.

How did you get your work visa?

I don't have a work visa, like most English teachers in Peru. I'm here as a "tourist" and get paid cash every Friday.

Tell us about your English teaching job!

Every week is different with work hours. The hours can vary from 8 hrs a week to 15 hrs. I'm paid by the hour 20 soles and receive payment every Friday.

The type of school I work for is a school for learning many kinds of languages. I'm not able to save but I do break even with my living expenses. I have students that range from ages 14- 40, from basic English students to business professionals.

I'm able to receive vacation time by giving them a week notice in advance. If you like to teach (like me), this job is very fulfilling and gratifying .

How did you find somewhere to live?

I'm living in a hostel nearby my school. I'm ok with it since its in a great location with affordable rates.

Life as an English teacher in Peru





Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc.

I live in Peru, in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean.

The Peruvian population is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians.

The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. Public transportation is great if you're taking the new mass transit system called the "Metropolitano" otherwise you will be traveling on buses and taxis, that produce major pollution.

A busy nightlife exists here but I'm not the biggest fan since I surf every morning. There are many social activates to enjoy if you're a surfer like myself or if you're into hiking, going to art galleries, or just going out for a movie. Peruvian here is amazing and is probably ranked probably top 3 ethnic styles in the world (or at least it should be).

I'm an active member of  the Lima expat community, which is larger than I expected. The dating scene can be difficult with Peruvian locals if you don't speak Spanish but there are many Europeans in Lima for those who want to date while abroad.


What are your monthly expenses?

On a daily basis, I probably spend about...
Rent/utilities - $9 a day
Food - $4 a day
Social activities - $7 a day
Transportation - 50 cents a day (or less!)
Phone/communication - I have a prepaid cell phone, which is how most teachers in Peru purchase their phones

How would you describe your standard of living?

As an English teacher in Peru, I have a high standard of living. I earn little but I eat well.

In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?

$300 USD a week ($ 1,200 USD a month)


What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?

I would definitely recommend teaching English in Peru!


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