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Panama Job Listings

A small Central American nation, Panama has among the lowest crime rates in the region and is a hot spot for retirees and tourists from the USA. Probably most famous for its hats and the gigantic canal that provides a connection for sea vessels between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Panama has plenty to offer prospective TEFL teachers interested in exploring a more exotic location.

Naturally, considering its proximity to the sea, mouth-watering fresh seafood is plentiful, a local speciality and something that must be enjoyed whilst there. Close ties to the USA, going as far as the US Dollar being the country’s currency, means there is a strong expat community that you can fall back on and also a large number of fluent English speakers to be found. One obvious attraction is of course the Panama Canal, and it can be truly mind-blowing to see huge container ships making their way down a huge, man-made expanse of water. However, it is said that the best way to truly understand its size and marvel at the engineering is to take it in from the sky, whether by plane, helicopter or even skydiving.

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The great thing is that even if you don’t speak any Spanish, you can feel comfortable in Panama with its large number of friendly locals able to speak English, although it is always recommended to try and learn a bit of the local language to connect further with the local people and enhance your experience. Having two oceans close by means that no matter where you are located in the country it is a paradise for EFL teachers who enjoy spending weekends simply lounging on a beach under the tropical sun, or perhaps indulging in some snorkelling and surfing.

Away from the coast you can venture through rainforests and trek across mountainous scenery. It’s location between two continents means that there is a huge variety of wildlife to be discovered and enjoyed. It is possible to find a job in Panama before arriving, but the reality is that most TEFL teachers land on a tourist visa and start out by looking for any TEFL job they can find.

Although it is possible to change your visa once you have found work, many teachers often choose the simplicity of travelling to Costa Rica for a day or two in order to renew their tourist visa. Language schools offer classes at the weekend as well as afternoons and evenings, meaning it is usually possible to work as much or as little as you like. In most instances, though, the situation will be similar to that found in many South American countries,whereby wages are only moderate and when combined with the average cost of living can mean it isn’t a place to save money, instead providing a great opportunity to experience life.

As in other Latin countries, you can expect your students to be lively, sociable and a lot of fun to teach. Additionally, after starting out, a hard-working and persistent teacher may be able to step up the employment ladder, finding a well-paid position in a bilingual school or local university.

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