Teach English in Ecuador… For Nothing

So yesterday I had another interview for another job to teach English in Ecuador.

This time, it was at Inlingua, quite a famous language school with about 300 centers in about 30 countries. Sounded good to me. The interviewer was a really nice person, Johny was his name. We were talking for quite a while about this and that, when he finally asked me the ultimate question: Okay, you want to teach English in Ecuador… What is your salary expectation?

My salary expectation? Well, in Germany, where I tutored before, I was charging 20 euros per hour, which is about $25. So, I was looking straight into his eyes when I said this, considering that Ecuador is not Germany and Germany is not Ecuador, I expect to get about $15 per hour?

Clearly, judging by the way Johny looked at me, I was being completely delusional. So he filled me in (out of pity, I suppose).

Apparently, if you plan to teach English in Ecuador, you can expect to get $4-5 an hour. Sometimes even $3. That is, if you have no teaching qualifications, like TEFL, and no English degree.

So just when I thought things were starting to look brighter as I’ve been proudly holding my degree in English for the last 2 months (proud graduate), he said in my case he could pay me no more than $8 anyways. Hardly any classes given in the main office, he adds. Students all over the city, he mentions. City (Guayaquil) is huge and dangerous, he reveals. Travelling expenses all covered by me, he attempted to make it better. Take a bus, he suggested. Or maybe not, he said, after thinking for a few moments.

A lot of people, specifically from the U.S., come to Ecuador to teach English. And while they do admit that you can only earn very modest money with this job, you have to know that the living expenses in Ecuador aren’t that modest.

If you want to be shopping at a normal supermarket where meat and fish don’t stink and there’s no rat poop on the floor, a job as an English teacher¬†simply won’t cut it.

Another thing: language schools don’t really offer a stable 8-hour working day that we’re used to in Europe. So it’s not 8×8=$64 every single day. Instead, expect to get about $25, at most $35, a day. And then imagine paying for rent, shopping for groceries, covering other expenses that, hopefully, include your Spanish classes, socializing, and also trying to explore the country on the weekends (which is so astonishingly beautiful, that it eats you alive knowing that you haven’t seen certain places). Sounds a bit tough to manage on your own.

So hurray to boyfriends with jobs!

PS. I didn’t take that teaching job at the end. Instead, I just started my own blog.

Would you teach English in Ecuador?