Can you give us some advice on teaching in Bolivia?

Ms. Bravo & her wonderful 6th graders at Escuela Bilingue Jose Vasconcelos

Ms. Bravo & her wonderful 6th graders at Escuela Bilingue Jose Vasconcelos

Dear Bolivia Bella (expats and teachers in Bolivia feel free to respond to this as well), my husband & I would like to spend a few years in Bolivia but are not ready to retire. We spent 2 years in central Mexico where I taught in a bilingual school & he (Armando Gutierrez Bravo) managed an organic ranch with a winery.

Could you give us some advice or suggestions about working in Bolivia? We would like to avoid La Paz if possible.

Thank you,

Katherine Kelly Bravo

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Feb 13, 2013
Thanks for writing us

Hi Katherine. I'm not a teacher myself, so I've posted your question through our blog (see the green "What's New" tab on your left) as well as our Facebook Group (some members are/were teachers in Bolivia) and it will also post on our Facebook Page and Twitter.

The first thing you need to know is whether or not you can find a job in Bolivia as a teacher. Do you want to teach in Spanish, or do you plan to search for jobs only at the (limited amount of) bilingual schools?

You also need to know if you can afford to live in Bolivia on the salary you might be offered. If you have no additional source of income, other than your monthly paycheck, then teaching at a Bolivian school, where the salaries tend range from $300-$700 a month, might be out of the question for you.

You should also factor in costs for immigration and residency, which you would have to request within 30 days of arriving.

You can post questions about Living in Bolivia in our expat forum as well. There, you can gather information about costs of living, specific cities you might consider, etc.

One of the most important things you need to know is that if you plan to request residency and/or work in Bolivia, you cannot enter on a tourist visa. You would need to enter on a specific purpose visa. See more about residency and visas here.

If you like organic farming, you might consider Eastern Bolivia or the central valleys. In Santa Cruz, for example, you could feasibly live slightly outside the city on a perfectly nice piece of good agricultural land and still work in the urban area.

You could also consider supplementing your income by offering private English classes or tutoring for private school students.

If you have never lived in Bolivia before, you might consider making a reconnaissance trip (did I spell that correctly?) to be very sure this is a country in which you'd like to live. You should take into account and pay very special attention to the current political and economic situation prior to definitively moving here. You can start by getting the news about Bolivia.

Hope this helps! Feel free to respond in the comments section below. If you need a very in-depth analysis for your particular situation we offer that service, but let's see if we can get some additional opinions from others.

Cheers and thanks for the cute picture!

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