Information for Latin American placements
Please read this general information relating to English Language Assistant placements in Latin America.
Am I eligible for a placement in Mexico?
To be a Language Assistant in Mexico, you must:
- fulfil the general eligibility criteria
- have B1-level Spanish
- be aged 30 or under at the start of your post
When will I start my placement?
Posts in Mexico will run from early September 2020 until late June 2021.
Assistants should expect to arrive in Mexico at the end of August to attend a week-long mandatory induction course ready to begin their placement the following week.
The dates of the induction have not yet been confirmed for 2020, however, in 2019 this took place during the week of 26 August, and it is likely that the 2020 induction will take place at a similar time. Confirmed dates will be passed onto the successful candidates once they have been made available.
Will there be an induction course?
All candidates going to Latin America will be invited to attend a one-day pre-departure briefing in London in June. Whilst the date is subject to change; it is expected to take place during the week beginning 22 June 2019. You will be expected to cover your own travel costs to and from the briefing and successful candidates will be contacted in due course.
A week-long, mandatory induction course is normally held at the British Council office in Mexico City at the end of August. Accommodation will be arranged for you, but you will be expected to cover the costs of this yourself which are approximately MXN $260 per night for a shared room (breakfast included). You will also need to budget a small amount for food each day, although lunch will be provided for the entire duration of the induction sessions.
British Council Mexico will provide successful candidates with further details of the induction course before you travel.
How many hours will I work per week?
Language assistants in Mexico can expect to work approximately 14 hours per week. Some institutions are able to offer additional hours if requested.
Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable and working pattern can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to.
How many posts are available in Mexico?
Every year there are approximately 22 posts available in Mexico. Candidates may be placed on a waiting list as places are extremely competitive.
What type of institution will I be working in?
All placements will be in universities and upper secondary schools where your pupils will likely be young adults or teenagers.
How much will I be paid?
The monthly allowance has usually been around MXN $8,000. Areas such as Mexico City, Cancun, La Paz, Bacalar and Cozumel have a slightly higher cost of living, and assistants in these areas may find they will need to supplement this monthly allowance to maintain a comfortable standard of living.
Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of language assistants and this amount should, therefore, be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.
If you apply to Mexico please be aware that previous assistants have experienced delays when receiving their monthly pay. As a precaution, if you name Mexico as a preference you should ensure that you have access to alternative funds throughout the year.
Will I need a visa?
Yes, assistants going Mexico will have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa which they will exchange once they are in Mexico for a Temporary Resident Card. This will be valid for one year.
Our educational partners in Mexico, SEP, will provide you with a letter in order to do this and you will be informed when you should begin visa proceedings. You will apply online, but should be aware that all candidates will be required to visit the consulate in London in order to attend a visa appointment. You will need to be in the UK at least two weeks prior to departure in order to collect your visa from the London consulate.
At this stage, applicants should check the expiry date in their passport and ensure that your passport will not require renewal until at least six months after you will return to the UK. If necessary, we strongly recommend that you apply for a new passport immediately or you risk delaying your visa process.
You will be required to provide a copy of your birth certificate and a colour copy of the photo page of your passport in order to begin visa proceedings. Please ensure that you have these prepared and will be able to provide this quickly when requested in April/May time.
Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice, and that we cannot be held responsible for any changes to the visa process.
What holidays will I have?
In Mexico the academic calendar runs from August to July. Typically, assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution.
Holidays often vary by region and sometimes institution, however as an indication, it is likely that you may receive:
- the last two weeks of December
- a break during Easter.
Please note that these dates are not confirmed, but have been provided to help give you an idea of what the academic calendar may look like. Your institution will give you full details of your term dates when you begin your post.
You may also wish to view this calendar of national holidays in Mexico as an indication.
Where can I go?
The location of the posts in Mexico vary from year to year, depending on the needs of the host institutions and on a range of other factors. Therefore, it is not possible for applicants to select specific regional preferences within Mexico and you should be prepared to accept a post in an area that you may not have considered.
However, you will have the opportunity to put forward your preferences. When completing your application you will be asked to rank the following criteria from 1 to 12 (in order of preference):
- near an indigenous community
- coastal region
- tourist area
- mild temperature
- lack of other foreigners
- close to other language assistants
- historical area
- industrial area
- good transport links
- humid temperature
- near other foreigners
- other (please specify in the 'reasons for preferences' section of your application).
I've worked as a Language Assistant in Mexico – can I apply again?
If you are currently working as an English Language Assistant in Mexico, you can apply for a consecutive year. For more information and to find out how to apply, please see our returning applicants guidance page.