“Life as an English Teacher in Argentina” written by – Mike Grimshaw
Attended: EBC Buenos Aires Argentina, in October 2013
Course choice: Recommended
Before I came to Argentina, I, perhaps along with many other Europeans, knew very little about this country aside from the obvious cliches. Everyone knows about Maradona, Messi and (at least in name) Che Guevara, but generally we tend to hear surprisingly little about our companions at the southern end of what is already South America.
The country, culture and people were a complete mystery to me so, armed with absolutely no Spanish whatsoever, I decided to take it on, heading straight for Buenos Aires.
The EBC TEFL Course seemed like a perfect opportunity to gradually embed myself in my new environment and provide a solid foundation for working in the country, whilst simultaneously allowing me to surround myself with the safety and familiarity of native English speakers in the comfortable atmosphere of an English classroom.
My teacher was excellent. We were a very small group, with a girl from Texas and an aspiring teacher from Russia completing the team. Having studied English Language and Linguistics at university in England, I did not feel I had too much to learn regarding the technicalities of the language, but the course was able to combine this knowledge with the practical techniques required in order to transfer it to others. The four weeks flew by, and before I knew it I was a qualified teacher.
So, that’s it then, sorted for life. Well, not exactly. Firstly, November really is not the time to be looking for a job in Buenos Aires. With summer holidays just a month away, the Argentines can smell freedom, and subsequently not a great deal of thought is given to taking up language courses. I was able to find the odd scattered hour, but it was certainly not enough to give my life any structure, let alone to provide the money required to stay alive in a city not too different from its European counterparts when it comes to basic prices (bread, cheese, milk). Needless to say, the summer passed by more as a holiday, and the searing Buenos Aires heat drove me north to Bolivia and Peru.
It’s now August, and I have been working more or less full-time since March.
The work is not particularly well-paid, but providing you can scrape together enough hours it can be enough to sustain a basic lifestyle.
I would strongly discourage Argentina as a destination if you are hoping to profit financially, The economy is a mess here, and if you are after money, go somewhere else. Simple.
But the lifestyle, the people, the food and the general buzz
about the place cannot be compared to any country I had visited previously.
Teaching here has been anything but a breeze, but through my job I have been fortunate enough to meet some very interesting people, learn so much about a rich and previously unknown culture, and broaden my life experience beyond all expectation.
I do not know what the future holds for me, but one thing remains certain: Argentina will always hold a very special place in my heart.
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