Teach English in Panama2018-08-16T23:47:01+00:00

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Amongst many other things Panama is a meeting place. As the southernmost country in Central America, Panama bridges the gap between North and South America. The Panama Canal introduces the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Between the two coastlines, lush tropical rainforests meet modern and thriving cities. Within Panama City, the historical beauty of Casco Viejo and the Old Panama Ruins co-habitate with cosmopolitan bars, restaurants and shopping. North meets south, old meets new, nature meets civilization, in one of the most exciting and unique destinations in Latin America.

Teacher Training

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TESOL Certification Program

The four-week training course in Panama includes 130 hours of classroom training, as well as 10 hours of assessed teaching practice. The course is conducted in our Panama City TESOL training center, which offers modern, comfortable facilities in a convenient downtown location.

The TESOL Certification Program Fee in Panama City, Panama is US$1,950

Optional accommodations are available with a local host family for approximately $800, which includes 2 meals per day.

The following are not included:

  • Round-trip airfare to host country
  • Personal expenses (meals, entertainment, local transport, living expenses, and personal shopping)
  • “Upfront” costs following the training period, such as apartment security deposits and first month’s rent
  • Visa costs and fees
TEFL Certification in Panama

Teacher Certification Dates

Program Dates Panama

TESOL Course Dates 2018

22 January – 16 February
19 February – 16 March
23 May – 19 June
25 June – 20 July
23 July – 17 August

TESOL Course Dates 2019:

21 January – 15 February
18 February – 15 March
22 May – 18 June
24 June – 19 July
24 July – 20 August

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 Panama

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Teaching Jobs

Opportunities to teach ESL abound in Panama. For many teachers, jobs await at any of the numerous private language schools throughout Panama City. Others may find themselves teaching classes conducted in the offices of corporate clients, or in one of the tourist zones like Bocas del Toro. Regardless of where you find yourself working, your students are likely to be eager and highly motivated to learn. After all, most of your students will work in the tourism industry, and will want to learn English for career advancement, as well as personal development. For this reason, English teachers often teach evening classes and sometimes weekend classes as well.  There are also opportunities to work with children, although these schools often require a teaching degree.

Many teachers in Panama also work as private tutors, which is always a lucrative way to supplement their income.

Hiring happens mostly face to face in Panama and the majority of the teachers are hired between February and March, and July and August. Most teachers work 25-30 hours a week and contracts are typically between 6 and 12 months.

Hiring Process

Although not completely impossible, it is very difficult to find an ESL teaching job from outside of the country. We recommend that you start you job search while in Panama. You can personally visit the language schools, or call to ask for an interview. Of course you can start doing your research while still back home.

A TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate is needed for teaching ESL in Panama. It makes your very marketable as a teacher and it will help you make a higher salary. A 4-year degree is strongly preferred, but not required. Having a business degree can be helpful when teaching in a corporate settings.

Financial Expectations

Teaching ESL in Panama enables you to support yourself financially while living abroad. The average monthly salary is $700-$1000 per month, depending on the location, school and amount of hours that you will work. The cost of living is comparable and if you expenses are on the lower end while your salary is on the higher end, you might be able to save some money. Pleasant and inexpensive accommodations are abundant in Panama City.

Benefits: airfare, housing and health insurance 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).

Visas

Travel For The Program

Most people, including those from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe, automatically receive a 90-day tourist visa when entering Panama. This covers the duration of the certification course.

Short-term Teaching

In Panama, just like most of Latin America, the most common practice for teachers is to work on a tourist visa and get paid under the table. In order to stay legally in the country, you will have to ‘hop the border’ every 90 days to get a new stamp in your passport. Most teachers take this opportunity to make a trip Costa Rica. Work visas are very uncommon and require higher qualifications. Sometimes international schools will sponsor their teachers for a work visa.

Living in Panama

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Panama

Amongst many other things Panama is a meeting place. As the southernmost country in Central America, Panama bridges the gap between North and South America. The Panama Canal introduces the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Between the two coastlines, lush tropical rainforests meet modern and thriving cities. Within Panama City, the historical beauty of Casco Viejo and the Old Panama Ruins co-habitate with cosmopolitan bars, restaurants and shopping. North meets south, old meets new, nature meets civilization, in one of the most exciting and unique destinations in Latin America.

Panama’s history is a rich one. Prior to conquest by the Spanish, it was home to advanced indigenous peoples (including some of the first pottery-making villages in the Americas). As a part of the Spanish empire, it served as a key link in the silver trade. After a colorful 300 years of Spanish rule, independence from Spain was declared and peacefully achieved in 1821. Panama then voluntarily became a department of Colombia, which it remained (despite several secession attempts) for 80 years. Independence from Colombia was realized in 1903, with the support of the United States – given in exchange for sovereign rights to a zone of roughly 500 square miles, which would become the Panama Canal. The US later returned the Canal to Panama, although not before invading the country to remove the dictator Noriega. All of this and more in a country about the size of South Carolina, with a current population of just over 4 million.

The history hasn’t managed to interfere with the natural beauty though, and Panama offers some of the best eco-tourism in the world. The Bocas del Toro archipelago and San Blas Islands tempt visitors for snorkeling, and its rainforests are home to an incredible diversity of life (including numerous species found nowhere else).

Panama-Overview

Italian Culture

Panama is a melting pot of African, Native Panamanian and European cultures. The country is mainly Roman Catholic and family is a very important value for Panamanians. Although nowadays younger women do tend to go to college and have a job before they have children, there is still a bit of a machismo culture and the division of roles between male and female is quite traditional. With all its cultures, Panama has a wide and rich music history which is an important component of everyday life.

Panamanian cuisine takes influence from the continents it bridges, and its diverse populations, culminating in dishes that are unique and rich. Rice and corn feature prominently, along with local fruits and vegetables, seasoned with numerous local herbs. Dining out is inexpensive, without sacrificing quality, and fresh ingredients for cooking abound. If you need a break from the local cuisine, Panama City is home to countless restaurants, offering its residents a taste of cuisines from around the world.

Personal appearance is important for Panamanians. When teaching, be sure to adhere to the local working culture and basic ideas of professionalism. Business Casual is a safe bet.

Recommended Travel

Panama offers some of the best eco-tourism in the world. The Bocas del Toro archipelago and San Blas Islands tempt visitors for snorkeling, and its rainforests are home to an incredible diversity of life (including numerous species found nowhere else). Scuba diving, hiking, zip lining, and other exciting activities take advantage of this wealth. Of course, if you don’t care to venture into the wild, Panama City offers its own attractions – not the least of which is the Panama Canal, a true marvel of engineering.

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