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Latin America
Become an English language assistant in Latin America

Please ensure that you read the supplementary notes for applicants for Latin America (PDF) before you apply.

Why should I choose Latin America?
Posts are available in five countries. Tropical islands, beaches, scenic treks, mountains, rain forests, jungle, rivers, waterfalls, ancient ruins as well as awe-inspiring hectic cities can make a year in Latin America a truly amazing experience.

What are the terms and conditions in Latin America?
Assistants are usually responsible for whole classes in Latin America.  Terms and conditions vary in the different countries. Undergraduates studying Spanish at university and graduates of any discipline with Spanish AS-level, Higher Grade or equivalent may apply. Teaching experience or an interest in teaching as a career are required for some posts.

Dates of appointment*
Academic Year 2014-2015:
Argentina: Mid-March 2015 for 6 months
Chile: Late July or late August 2014 - Late June 2015 (TBC)
Colombia: Late July 2014 - Late May 2015
Ecuador: Early August 2014 - Late May 2015
Mexico: Early September 2014 - Late June 2015

*N.B. The programme in some Latin American countries is currently under review.  Should we be unable to consider your application for a particular country, then we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for another Latin American country.

Please note that you may have to arrive a few days early for an induction course.

The competition for posts in Latin America is high and demand always exceeds supply. A waiting list is in operation over the spring and summer for those not placed initially.

Posts are mainly in universities, teacher training institutions and language schools with a few posts in secondary schools.

The local allowance is sufficient for one person to live on but posts in Latin America require a larger financial commitment than posts in Europe. Before you leave the UK you can expect to pay around £1,000-£1,200 for flights, visas and immunisations. You will also need access to around £1000 (depending on the country) once you arrive in Latin America for initial expenses including mobile phones, deposits for accommodation and rent. For more information, please read Essential Information, Before you go (also given out at interview).

Where can I go?
Posts are available in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico. We recommend that you research possible destinations in Latin America thoroughly before applying.

If you wish to express an area preference, you may choose a maximum of three of the countries mentioned above.

You should be aware of the following before making your country choices:

  • Flexibility regarding location is encouraged to improve your chances of being posted
  • Posts in ARGENTINA are from mid-March 2014. As a result, they're suitable for Joint Honours students who have to spend time in two countries during their year abroad. You may wish to combine this with a first-semester placement in Austria or Germany. The dates for Argentina for 2014-15 are to be confirmed.
  • Undergraduates applying for Argentina will take priority over graduates. If you're a graduate you should be prepared to consider a placement in your second or third-choice country.
  • There is no British Council office in ECUADOR. Assistants will be placed directly at the Catholic University of Ambato with other Assistants.
  • The Mexican authorities are only able to consider candidates who hold a UK passport and who will be under the age of 30 at the time when they intend to take up the post.
  • You'll be informed of the exact starting date around two months before departure. It is not possible to be accepted for any country unless you are available for the full duration of the appointment.
  • You must be in the UK two weeks prior to departure in order to obtain your visa in London.

You will need to be mature, open-minded, adaptable and tolerant for posts in Latin America. You will find that the living conditions and cultures differ significantly from those in Europe. You can find out more about what it is like to be a language assistant in Latin America by reading the case studies from previous language assistants.

Will I be interviewed?
All shortlisted candidates will be requested to attend an assessment day at our offices in the UK in January, February or March.

Will there be an induction course?
You will be invited to a one-day briefing in London or Manchester in late June/early July. Induction courses are held in each country, usually at the local British Council office and at the employing institution.

When will I hear?
You will receive an email from us confirming receipt of your application by early January.
January - March - assessment days held at British Council offices in the UK
Mid April - candidates will find out if they have passed the assessment stage
May/June - you will find out whether you have been allocated to a country immediately or are held on a waiting list
June/July – all countries except Argentina (anytime) - you will find out the location of your post from the British Council in the UK and/or from your host country. Assistants going to Argentina will find out the location of their posts in January/ February preceding the start of their posts in March.
Please also see our lifecycle document for more information.

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