Teach English in Panama

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How to Begin Teaching in Panama

One of the World’s Foremost Destinations for Adventure Travel

There is a steady increase in business and tourist opportunities.

When thinking about Panama, the first image that might come into your head is the Panama Canal. Although part of your stay here might mean touring this feat of engineering, there is much more to Panama than this.  Panama is flanked by the still waters of the Caribbean, and crosses over to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. For anyone who loves the great outdoors, then Panama is for you. Being one of the world’s foremost destinations for adventure travel, it is possible to enjoy windsurfing, snorkelling, treks into the rainforest or through the 3 national parks that grace this country. The tropical climate, however, means that you will face quite a lot of humidity.

Within Panama City there are many places to explore and savour. There are several national parks, one of the favourites being the Metropolitan National Park, where you can take a leisurely stroll. Casco Viejo, the old part of the city, is also another popular destination with visitors, which sees perfect examples of French, Spanish and American colonial architecture dating from as early as 300 years ago. The language of Panama is Spanish and having some basic knowledge of the language will help you to orientate yourself, and aid your job search.

The real meaning of the word Panama means “abundance of fish”. It is said by some that Panama derives from the indigenous name of an abundance of butterflies, however the official interpretation is that its mean “abundance of fish”. In its origin, Panama was a place that attracted many different tribes that settled there for reasons of natural resources and protection. To this day, the country is regarded for its riches and resources.

The Panama canal is known all around the world. The earliest known reference to the canal comes from the canal through Panama was made by Charles V the King of Spain. On a voyage in 1534 the King has devising a route that would make his journey from Peru and Spain as seamless as possible. Thomas Jefferson himself recommended the route via the canal to the Spanish in 1788.

Panama has a well long and interesting history. The indigeonous people had long established villages before the arrival of Spanish and European explorers. Panama for a time was a colonial settlement being part of Columbia, this was an area that many competing countries wished to control. However, today the country is an independent state in it own right with a full constitutional democracy.

Teaching Opportunities

Due to Panama’s new trade relations, there is a steady increase in business and tourist opportunities.  This means that there is a high demand for native EFL teachers. Typical students include business professionals, adults and university students. As in other countries in this region, in order to find EFL work, you need to arrive in the country and then search for opportunities. These opportunities exist, but they can be extremely difficult to find online.  This is also the case when trying to find detailed information about Panama to aid your decision about whether to live here. Generally, there is a high possibility you will be hired if you decide to take the risk and come to the country.  It is also possible to search for the addresses of potential schools in Panama, while in your home country, and approach these schools once you have arrived in the country or through email before you leave.

This means that you will need to provide your own flight, and have enough money to support yourself for the first 4-6 weeks of your stay in Panama. Many employers also prefer that you have a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Panama City has the best opportunities and the highest salaries. Outside of this city, the salary can reduce substantially.  

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
Not required 6 - 12 months March - August Tourist visa or work visa Business professionals, children 700 - 1,000 PAB (185 - 620 GBP) 800 - 2,500 PAB (250 - 1,460 GBP)
March - August
Tourist visa or work visa
Business professionals, children
800 - 2,500 PAB (250 - 1,460 GBP)

Your TEFL journey starts here! Fancy teaching English as a foreign language around the world?

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