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Brazil is home to world-famous beaches (like Copacabana and Ipanema), dazzling celebrations and festivals (particularly Carnaval), and extensive protected landscapes and wildlife (including sea turtles, monkeys and sloths).
The pace of life is slow, and locals are rarely in rush to do anything. This lifestyle rubs off easily and it won’t take long for you to find yourself relaxing at a bar or restaurant for hours longer than you planned.
On the other hand, there’s much more to Brazil than relaxing – there’s no shortage of action-packed activities, especially for those who like to explore nature. Why not trek through national parks and rainforests, spot colourful, exotic wildlife, or dive into surfing, get stuck into rock climbing, or try your hand at horse riding.
The demand for English teachers in the country is also high and seems to be increasing over time. At the moment, the need for English teachers is especially high due to a booming tourism industry and growing international trade.
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£650-£1,000 per month
None officially needed
Cost of living
TEFL certificate needed
120 hours +
Main job types
Private language schools
Private international schools
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The students in Brazil tend to be enthusiastic and keen to practise their English-speaking skills. Unlike some places in the world, you won’t find getting your students to speak English is like pulling teeth!
The locals are also incredible friendly and talkative. So, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to make friends, especially if you’re willing to have a go at adventurous activities or sports.
On top of that, Brazil itself has plenty of stunning natural beauty to explore as well as lots of adventurous activities to try.
The most popular places to teach English in Brazil are Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo. These are all major cities with plenty of students and English language centres.
Rio de Janeiro boasts some of the country’s most famous landmarks, including Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach. The city is one of the most exciting and active in the country with plenty of activities for both outdoor lovers and socialites, such as hiking Corcovado Mountain and exploring the bohemian neighbourhood of Lapa.
Salvador has a growing need for English teachers and is extremely popular with English teachers. The city is perhaps more famous for its cheerful atmosphere and welcoming locals than any particular sights. Though, it is becoming more known for the huge Salvador Carnaval, a week-long festival that fills mile after mile of streets.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America and has plenty of schools, universities and language centres – as well as lots of positions for English teachers. It is more modern than other Brazilian cities, boasting giant skyscrapers and impressive cultural centres along with small, hidden restaurants and an underground bar scene.
TEFL teachers in Brazil are usually paid 20-40 BRL / £4-8.50 / $5-11 per hour at most language centres and 40-60 BRL / £8.50-13 / $11-16 for private tutoring.
The monthly salary for an English teacher in Brazil is similar to the cost of living at roughly 3,000-4,850 BRL / £650-1,000 / $800-1,300. To earn this amount, you’ll usually need to work 20-25 hours per week. And you can expect to earn a salary towards the top end of the scale if you work at a private international school.
The cost of living in Brazil is about 3,000-4,850 BRL / £650-1,000 / $800-1,300 per month. As this is the same as the salary bracket for English teachers in Brazil, you might be able to come away with some savings if you spend carefully, but you’re much more likely to break even.
In Sao Paulo, a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre costs $250-450 per month and an apartment in the centre costs $350-550 per month. A meal at a casual restaurant costs about $7 per person, a coffee costs about $2 and a beer is around $2. A one-way ticket on the subway costs about $1, a cinema ticket is around $10, and a monthly gym membership is about $30. The cost to live in Rio de Janeiro is slightly cheaper than Sao Paulo, and living in Salvador is even cheaper.
The most common type of teaching work in Brazil is working at a private language centre. There are some jobs teaching children, but most jobs are teaching adults before/after work and during lunch breaks. Lots of TEFL teachers start out working for a company that arranges for you to teach various clients and different locations and eventually shift to teaching their own clients privately.
All jobs require candidates to have native-level English, and most jobs require you to have a TEFL certificate, though some may only ask for previous teaching experience.
To work at a private language centre, you’ll usually need a teaching degree and a teaching license. It’s very competitive and there aren’t many job opportunities, but it may be worth the hard work if you are keen to stay in Brazil for a while as these jobs often have lots of benefits.
Most jobs start in February and run until June with a break in August.
To teach legally in Brazil, you’ll need a work visa sponsored by your employer. This can be a long, bureaucratic procedure that lots of schools are reluctant to go through. Your best bet is to find work at a private international school and sign up for a long-term contract.
With it being tricky to find an employer who will sponsor a work visa, lots of TEFL teachers choose to teach illegally on a tourist visa or a student visa. Although this is commonplace, doing so is not a good idea and is at your own risk.
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