turquoise car in front of pale orange wall with doors
Each country offers a wonderful opportunity to discover the Latin American way of life. Photo ©

Dan Gold used under license and adapted from the original.

Assistants interested in a post in Latin America may choose from three available countries: Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Each country offers a wonderful opportunity to discover the Latin American way of life, as well as plenty of time to travel across the continent.  

Eligibility requirements

  • Only holders of a UK passport may apply to Argentina, and undergraduates studying a dual-language degree will be prioritised for posts 
  • Applicants to Colombia will preferably have studied languages at University level and will have a minimum of six months of teaching experience
  • Start dates vary by country and your availability over the summer, when the majority of placements start, may affect your choices. Ensure that you would be available for the assigned start date and if relevant, the compulsory induction course. You should not apply for a country if you know you are unable to start on the assigned starting date
  • Your knowledge of the Spanish language will be assessed using the details provided in your application in the ‘languages’ and ‘education’ sections. Assistants who take part in a placement in Latin America must have a minimum B1 level Spanish. If it is unclear from your application how you have obtained the stated level, we will contact you directly to confirm this. 

Before applying, consider the following:

How do posts in Latin America differ from those in Europe?

The main difference between a post in Latin America and a post in Europe is the level of responsibility you may be expected to assume when teaching. Assistants in Latin America often have a bit more autonomy in the classroom: approximately 60 per cent of former assistants stated that they would take the role of lead teacher, rather than an assistant. However, your experience will largely depend upon your institution and fellow colleagues.

Another main difference is that nearly all posts in Latin America are at universities or teaching training institutions. Therefore, if you feel you would be more suited to working with young adults rather than children and teenagers, you may prefer a post in Latin America. For posts in Latin America, you will need to be mature, open-minded, adaptable and tolerant.

It may seem obvious, but it is worth remembering that a post in Latin America is further from home and is likely to present more of a culture shock. It may take you slightly longer to adapt to a new way of life. Former assistants often speak of the challenging yet highly rewarding nature of a placement further afield.

How should I choose which country I want to go to?

You may wish to consider whether you would prefer being near other assistants, have a particular interest in a certain type of Spanish vocabulary or accent, and when you would be available to start your assistantship. 

Your experience will depend hugely on the activities you get involved in, the friends you make, and how willing you are to adapt to the way of life of your host country

Do I need to have teaching experience?

Placements in Latin America often demand a greater level of responsibility. Applicants who are most likely to be allocated to their first choice of country will have some form of teaching experience. However, applicants without formal teaching experience will still be considered. It is beneficial, but not essential, to have experience such as offering private tuition, assisting at after school clubs or holding conversation clubs. 

Our overseas partners in Colombia have requested that applicants have some teaching experience. We therefore advise that the strongest applicants for a post in Colombia will have a minimum of six months of teaching experience.

Do I need to do a video interview?

If you are successful in your written application to a Latin American country, you will be required to complete a video interview around a month after the submission deadline.  

You will receive a link via email to complete your video interview. This will last approximately 20 minutes and will consist of a series of questions surrounding your motivations to be an assistant, your adaptability and relevant experience to the role. The video interview is part of the assessment process and will require some preparation. 

If you are a consecutive applicant who has previously completed a video interview, you will still be required to undertake a video interview for the new application to ensure that you are still a suitable candidate for the destination you are applying for.   

What happens if I am placed on a waiting list?

Places are allocated in order of the highest scoring candidates based on video interview assessments. If all posts have been filled, you might be placed on a waiting list. In the event of a post becoming available, the first candidate on the waiting list is contacted. You should be aware that, if contacted, you will have a tight deadline (approx. 24 hours) to decide if you would like to accept a post and should look out for emails and calls from our team.  If, by mid-summer, you are still on a waiting list, you will be offered a transfer to another European country if eligible.

Who will support me in country?

Every Assistant will be assigned a personal mentor teacher at the institution in which they will be working. Your mentor will be your first port of call who can help you with all matters that arise during your assistantship, from teaching advice, to local knowledge and welfare support.

Assistants may be invited to a welcome induction hosted by the in-country partner institution, and occasionally additional training or feedback sessions throughout the year. The inductions may also be carried out virtually. 

Application advice

Latin American countries must be selected as your priority choices. Places are limited and very competitive.  

Posts in Latin America quickly move into the selection and predeparture stage so we recommend that you do not select these countries if you have any doubts when applying. 

EU countries can be selected as a back-up. Given the limited places in Latin America we highly recommend always including Spain as your final choice so that you can be automatically transferred over if you are not successful in your 1st or 2nd choice.  

Argentina is only available for students on dual-language degrees due to it being a course requirement and there being very limited placements, and it must be your first choice. 

You should only list countries where you have a genuine intention of accepting a post, if offered. The allocation and pre-departure process begins much quicker and withdrawals after April can cause damage to our relationships with the in-country partner organisations. 

Candidates who are not initially allocated a place in their Latin America choices will be offered a position on a waiting list to take the place of any withdrawals.  

Applicants who choose a Latin America country can be transferred over to Spain. For this to be possible you should select Spain as your second or third choice as a backup so that we have your preferences on the system. 

 Updated 23/10/2023.