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south america

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by happygreenfrog, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Having worked overseas for 7 years, I've had S. America high on my list of preferable locations YET confess that during that period there have only been a small number of opportuities in my area of expertise. An agency did confess it was an expanding market there so one must wait and see. It would be an exciting challenge to be appointed to help develop a new school in the region, rather than something to fear.
  2. johnnersco

    johnnersco New commenter

    I know a modicum about teaching in Colombia. As with any place it has safe areas and very unsafe areas. Have you thought about whereabouts in South America you would like to teach. As another poster pointed out, it is a huge place and there are big differences between cities, regions and countries.
  3. It's all relative...yes, most of South America is more dangerous than most of Europe. However, some people seem to be fine with living with eyes on the back of their heads. Ok, this might seem like an exaggeration, but some people just rather not bother. It really is all about what you feel comfortable with. There are many things to think about when mulling over this issue. For this post, I am concentrating on personal safety/bodily harm.
    South America is a remarkable place; each country exhibits a myriad of pleasures to behold. But I must add that after living in the US, Central and South America, Europe and Asia, life in this part of the world is not easy. I am often torn between my love for the region and my distaste for the things that I see on a regular basis.
    Here is my ranking from 1-10 of countries in South America in regards to safety based on 35 years of personal experience, with 1 being super safe and 10 being uncomfortably unsafe. For the sake of comparison, think of a score of 1 for a friendly, medium sized city in Europe (perhaps Munich) and a score of 10 for the most horrible crime ridden place you can imagine - the stuff of Hollywood films, really. This ranking pertains to major cities (Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia, Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Quito, Guayaquil, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Bahia...) and travel to major sites outside of these cities. I am only including countries that I have quite a bit of experience with.
    Venezuela: 7
    Colombia: 4
    Ecuador: 5
    Peru: 4
    Chile: 2
    Argentina: 3
    Uruguay: 2
    Brazil: 6
    Having said all of this, I love South America and can honestly say that I would like to make it my home again someday.
    Good look.
  4. thanks for replying with so much info, do u happen to know anything about costa rica?
  5. Had enough of South America? Another day... another continent?
  6. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Tricky to have an overview to the safety of places one hasn't been to but seen on the news or in film, so the rankings above are very interesting. I spent 4 years in Saudi, and though cautious was perfectly safe, yet before I arrived one would have thought differently. It all depends on the support you receive from locals, your own wanderlust, and how you choose to immerse yourself in the city. South America really appeals, but alas the only job I've seen here this summer does not appear to desire my particular talents.
  7. i know they will delete this but try elite education international, they are expanding to south america
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Generally regarded as very safe. No army, just a rather keen police force. The government encourages gringos to immigrate. CR has more remaining virgin land and therefore better wildlife-spotting opportunities than any of the Central American republics. The British School has a good rep. Lincoln, the American school is also pleasant. San José is sprawling and untidy but has some great restaurants.
  9. tica

    tica New commenter

    Costa rica is a great place to live and work. People are wonderful and the students a delight.(there are more schools than the ones mentioned by mainwaring) Unfortunately, owing to its popularity with tourists from the US things have become increasingly expensive and teachers' salaries have not really kept pace. It is possible to live well and travel but it is difficult to save if that is something you want to do.
  10. Agree with most of comments about Costa Rica, but disagree that it is "very safe": I've been mugged twice, once at knifepoint in broad daylight on a main street. I think if you go everywhere by car it is a lot safer, but a country in which nearly every building has bars, and there are security guards (with batons or even shot guns) EVERYWHERE, is clearly not "very safe".
  11. johnnersco

    johnnersco New commenter

    I would say that I have felt more unsafe in Swansea or Gravesend on a Friday or Saturday night than I have ever felt in Latin America (including Bogota). Of course this may be to do with being a lot older (rather than mature) now.
  12. johnnersco

    johnnersco New commenter

    If you are expanding your search to all of Latin America, then consider the alphabet school in El Salvador. If you are careful, El Salvador is safe (and more cynically) the school will look good on your CV.
  13. cdmoore28

    cdmoore28 New commenter

    Britain can be pretty rough in parts and even more son in city centres on Friday and Saturday nights. Manchester, my home city, is no exception. But, I must disagree with your comparison with Bogotá.
  14. johnnersco

    johnnersco New commenter

    Hi Sirwhale.
    If you were refering to my comment, it is is based upon personal experience. However, I do know that some of my colleagues have been mugged here. On the other hand, Bogota is much safer than it was ten years ago. When was your experience of Bogota?
  15. I agree that Bogota is much safer now than 10 years ago. However, if you are looking at homicide and violent crime rates, Bogota (and most of Latin America - including El Salvador) boasts much higher higher numbers in these categories than any UK or European city. I am aware that much of this crime occurs in lower socioeconomic areas and that Bogota is much bigger than most cities in Europe; however we are still looking at a more dangerous place than UK.

    I think you can compare perhaps Moscow or Washington DC at the worst of times with Latin America, but aside from those and a few other cities, Latin America, with few exceptions, continues to be much more dangerous than UK/Europe/USA.

    Having said all of this, I rather live in Bogota than London/Manchester/Paris/New York...I am presently in SE Asia but plan on returning to South America in the not so distant future.
  16. Thanks for the advice!
    I'm looking to apply to some good Bitish International Schools in South or Central America. Which are the good ones with good packages and good reputations?
    Many thanks.

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