Want to Teach English in Ecuador?
LanguageCorps in Ecuador
With Volcano Pichincha to the west, and the steep canyon of the river Machangara to the east, Quito is divided into Old and New cities. The Old has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site based on its astounding colonial architecture, while the New thrives in business and shines with modernity.
TEFL Certification Program
The TESOL Certification Program combines TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification with a streamlined set of support services. The intensive, four-week TESOL training and certification course (conducted in Quito, Ecuador) provides participants with professional knowledge and skills in TESOL methodology, as well as teaching practice with local EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students. The 130-hour TESOL Certificate you earn is internationally recognized and will allow you to teach English in any overseas location. During training, the center’s staff provides counsel and guidance on CV (resume) development, what Ecuadorian employers are looking for, and schools that have teaching positions. Teaching positions are readily available throughout Quito, and elsewhere in Ecuador.
The TESOL Certification Program Fee in Quito, Ecuador is US$1,600.
Teacher Certification Dates
TESOL Course Dates 2018
- 15 January – 16 February
- 14 May – 15 June
- 18 June – 20 July
- 12 November – 14 December
TESOL Course Dates 2018
- 14 January – 15 February
- 13 May – 14 June
- 17 June – 19 July
- 11 November – 13 December
To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying two to six months prior to your intended start date. Late placements are sometimes possible; please contact us immediately if you are applying less than two months before your desired start date.
Teaching in Ecuador
Most teachers are placed with private language institutes, private schools, or occasionally University language departments. Most English learners are young adult students and business professionals looking to increase their employment opportunities. This makes them very motivated and eager to learn. There are also opportunities to teach children.
The majority of the teaching positions are to be found in the capital, Quito. Other cities with a high possibility of finding a job are Cuenca and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. And, you may have never heard of them, but if you’re more attracted to smaller towns, Loja and Puyo are worth checking out!
Teachers usually work 20-25 hours a week and often supplement their teaching schedule with private tutoring. Unlike most Latin American countries, 6 month contracts are difficult to find. Typically, Ecuadorian schools offer 12 month contracts. The main reason for this is that it’s common for schools to help their teachers to get a visa. In exchange, they require that their teachers commit to at least 1 year.
There are two main hiring seasons in Ecuador. The first one is February-March, so if you’d like to start your new year with a new adventure, our January TESOL course would set you up perfectly for these hiring months. The other big hiring time is July-August.
Although most schools prefer to interview potential teachers in-person, Ecuador is one of the more flexible countries in Latin America when it comes to hiring people prior to their arrival in the country. A Skype interview in advance is often possible.
A TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate is your first step into teaching English in Ecuador and makes you very marketable as a teacher. A 4-year degree is preferred, but not required.
Wages average between US$600 and US$800 a month over a year, but actual wages can vary considerably month to month. Expenses are quite reasonable, however, with rent averaging US$200-$400 per month, per person. The local currency is the US dollar, so you don’t have to worry about an exchange rate. Considering that utilities tend to be around US$25 a month, while restaurants, markets, entertainment, travel and public transportation are all quite cheap, you should be able to cover all your costs while living in Ecuador. It is less likely that you will be able to save money, although tutoring private students on the side is always a lucrative way to generate some extra income.
Benefits: housing, health insurance and airfare are typically not provided by the employer
In addition to the program and housing fees, you will want to plan for airfare, any visa costs, and personal expenses (meals, local transportation, security deposit and first month’s rent on an apartment once you know where you’re working).
Travel For The Program
Ecuador has one of the most tolerant visa policies in the world, however, you do want to stick to the rules. Most people, including those from the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Africa, automatically receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival in Ecuador which will cover the duration of your TESOL course. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a 12-IX visa, extending your tourist visa another 90 days.
Working on a tourist visa is becoming less common in Ecuador, and we highly recommend that you work for a school that will help you prepare the necessary documentation to obtain a temporary visa. The most common visas to apply to are a Professional Visa (Residente Temporal Profesional) or a Volunteer Visa (Residente Temporal Voluntario). You can apply for a Volunteer Visa from your home country or while already in Ecuador. You need to apply for a Professional Visa in advance from your home country. Bear in mind that you need an actual contract in order to apply for one of those visas.
If you’re looking to settle down longer-term after you have resided under one of the temporary visas for two years, you should apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. In order to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa, you must have lived in Ecuador for at least 21 months, and you may not have stayed outside of the country for more than 90 days during the two years of your temporary visa.
Living in Ecuador
Early in the 16th century, Incas controlled Ecuador and used Quito as their northern capital. Unfortunately, in an effort to avoid Spanish rule, an Incan general decided to completely destroy the city in 1533. Modern Quito was built from the ruins, and became a Royal Audiencia of Spain in 1563, separating the administration of what is now (roughly) Ecuador from Peru. You will find that Ecuador is an interesting mix of indigenous and Spanish culture.
Quito is located right in the middle of the Andes (several nearby peaks make stellar day trips), and its central location allows for plenty of weekend sightseeing in the rest of Ecuador. Nearby are opportunities to swim in the warm Pacific waters, visit colorful Indian markets, and witness some of the most magnificent active volcanoes in the world. Within the city itself, a very extensive network of public transportation allows for easy exploration of both the Old and New cities.
The air is thinner at nearly 3000 meters above sea level, so take time to acclimate and bring warm clothes. You;ll be surprised to learn that although located on the equator, Quito nights are chilly (7 C/55 F) year round. Quito natives keep warm through the evening with salsa dancing, which all visitors should be ready to learn.
As families in Quito tend to be large, apartments tend to be rather spacious. It’s relatively easy to find a clean, safe, comfortable place to live (though the electric showers make some people nervous).
The Galápagos islands are a part the Republic of Ecuador and are a bucket-list item for many of us. The Galápagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands that offer a variety of wildlife that is unmatched anywhere in the world.
Almost everyone in Ecuador has a mixed-raced background. The country is a true blend of different cultures with both indigenous practices, European colonial influences, and even some African influences. Furthermore, the different cultures are determined by it’s geography, as the country has many different landscapes and climates. Ecuador has a diversity of traditional dances, although the religious aspect stands out in most of these rhythms. You will get to observe them in the streets during many festivals and celebrations.
Though known for exotic fruits, exquisite seafood, and potatoes, Ecuadorians pride themselves on homemade savory soups and hot sauces (aji). The former include Chupe de pescado, a coastal specialty of fish and vegetables, and Locro (cheese, avocado and potato); the latter tremendous in flavor and spice.
Rice and potatoes (and aji) are typically served with every meal – from lomo salteado (thinly sliced beef immersed in onions and tomatoes) to ceviche (seafood “cooked” in a marinade of citrus and onion).
While vegetarians suffer in rural areas, Quito menus frequently offer a variety of green options. Quito also provides a wide range of cosmopolitan cuisines, from Argentine steak to Japanese sushi. Great food tends to be quite affordable by Western standards, especially if you stick to the menu (set plate meals). These typically include soup, a main course, and dessert, all for the equivalent of US$1.
Empanadas (crispy meat or cheese-filled pastries) and llapingachos (potato and cheese pancakes) make great snacks, but be sure to allow yourself time to adjust to the new cuisine before venturing out to the street vendors. It is also wise to avoid drinking tap water. Ecuadorian spring water, distilled and sparkling, is omnipresent in Quito. Participants are responsible for their own meals, though some meals are included for TESOL Plus participants while staying with a host family.
Ecuadorians, particularly in the central region where Quito is located, tend to be conservative dressers. While it is rare for teachers to wear suits, some of their students will, and certainly many language schools have dress codes that don’t permit jeans or athletic shoes.
When teaching, it´s a good idea to adhere to the local working culture and basic ideas of professionalism. Dress code for teachers in Ecuador is business casual; it’s not advised to wear casual clothing while teaching. Males will find that having a few ties with them can be an advantage.
Western visitors should also note that Andean peoples tend to be relatively small. If you are female and over five and a half feet tall or male and over six feet, don’t count on clothes being easily available.
There are many many things to see and do in and around Quito! Explore Quito’s history and art museums, including two dedicated to Oswaldo Guayasimin, Ecuador’s most famous painter. Relax in Quito’s several large parks, where soccer, basketball, and volleyball matches take place every Sunday.
Hike through the Pasochoa National Park, or travel to the equator at Mitad del Mundo; explore a pre-Inca archaeological site; visit a native village and learn about indigenous Ecuadorian traditions; trek through a local forest reserve to see rare birds, plants, and pumas while learning from naturalists about the fragile ecology and unique biodiversity; or maybe take a stroll around Riobamba and the snow-capped peaks of three volcanoes.
Need more suggestions? Try taking it easy on warm Pacific beaches or taking a trip through the Amazon where you can paddle into the heart of the jungle on a guided canoe expedition; visit the animal market in Guamote; or jump on a train to “Devil’s Noose”.
Off the coast you can dwell the rare plant and animal species of the Galapagos Islands. Cruise by night from island to island, or snorkel in lava grottoes, home to sea lions and seals. Explore mangrove forests and flamingo lagoons. There’s no way to ever get bored in this country!