Teaching English in Brazil : )

Hi everyone : ) Tudo bem? : ) My  name is Joselicé. I was adopted from Brazil when I was three, and I have been living in the US ever since. I have been looking for au pair jobs in Brazil for awhile now, to no avail, so I am seriously considering teaching English in Brazil. : ) I would like some advice on the best way to go about getting a teaching job. Should I wait till I am there and network and visit as many schools as possible or should I get a job before I move there? I am also wondering which schools are the best schools to work for while I build a clientele to start private tutoring. Any advice or thoughts are welcome, thank you so much. : )

Tchau! : )


Hi Joselicé,

Wait until you get to Brazil and decide exactly where you're going to live, then find the nearest schools to you. Getting hired as an English teacher is as simple as walking into any of the numerous private language schools in the country and writing a test that a 12 year old in the USA could pass. You'd walk out with a job and would probably be asked to start the next day if possible. This has been my own personal experience in a number of different cities where I've lived in Brazil and where I was hired at the very first school I applied. In fact in São Paulo I got two jobs on the same day. That's no problem, the problem is trying to survive on the low pay that teachers receive.

In schools like CNA, CCAA, FISK and the others you will likely be paid around R$25 per hour of actual teaching time. You won't be paid for class preparation time, correcting homework or anything else with the possible exception of time spent supervising special activities. In most cases the schools hire teachers as "service providers" so they don't have to pay other benefits such as holiday pay, bus fare to and from work, etc., that are required for regular employees.

I would recommend starting out with one or two schools to get as many classes as you can possibly give in a day. Begin recruiting private students using a personal website, pamphlets, community newspaper ads, etc., and as you build a student base then cut back on the in school teaching as you fill your day with private students who will pay you more than the schools do. This will take time, several months, but in the long run it's worth the effort and wait.

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

Wow, that is so exciting to think about! : ) Thank you so much. What would be your advice since I don't have a place secured yet~ I have considered participating in one of the many volunteer opportunities I have researched and then networking for a teaching job in my free time... I have heard that more people buy in Brazil than rent and that it is very difficult to rent an apartment in Brazil unless you own two properties or if you have a co-signer; is that true? I am trying to figure this out beforehand so I don't get myself into a situation, thank you for any and all thoughts or advice.



More people rent than purchase here in Brazil and depending on the part of the country homes can be very expensive, rents too.

In some cases yes, a rental will require a guarantor (fiador) to sign the rental contract, that must be a Brazilian who owns property. (no requirement for two) In most cases that's not required, but rather a deposit of two month's rent is paid instead.

Chances are greater of finding a rental that will accept a deposit and not require a fiador if you rent directly through the property owner and not through a realtor. That is a matter of strolling through an area where you'd like to live and look for rental signs, ask people, and making phone calls when you find a sign.


All of your advice is so helpful, thank you so much. : ) I am still hoping to hear back from a family looking for an au pair/nanny but teaching is definitely my backup option. Thank you so much again! : )

Tchau! : )


I replied to an advertizement here in Manaus they were seeking native speakers for English. Although I have no background in teaching, I am now teaching classes in Manaus at an English school.  I am honing my presentation and teaching skills at the same time and they have a methodology they are training me in as well.  They are a relatively new school here and are looking for more native speakers. Again that depends on where you want to live in Brazil and such. Having lived so long in the US be prepared for a culture shock, If you come here to teach it is not as you might imagine from the photos and such, it is definitely 2nd world if not 3rd world.  If you are a Brazil citizen that is a plus for you, If not some schools may sponsor you for your visa, but it is an expense and many will not do it. Contact me privately if you want more info.

Hello there : ) Thank you for your response. I was born in Brazil and given up for adoption at a young age. I was adopted from an American family when I was three and I have been living in the US ever since. I have been under the impression that I am a Brazilian citizen with dual citizenship until I was told recently that I may not be so I need to check with the Brazilian Embassy in Boston, MA. To answer your inquiry, I am looking for a job in my hometown of Belo Jardim but anywhere in Brazil will be amazing, just to be in Brazil will be amazing. : ) Thank you again for your thoughts and response, I appreciate it. : )

Tchau! : )

Hi Joselicé,

Do you know anything about Belo Jardim - PE? It's a really small town in the interior of Pernambuco. It's highly unlikely that you're going to find work of any kind there. You might even find it difficult to get a job in the state capital Recife which is quite some distance from your hometown.

I assume the places you go, looking for a teaching job, will want to be assured you have the correct visa, work papers, etc?  Correct?

If you are not a Brazilian Citizen you may have a problem the only way to get a Visa will be have a school sponsor you,  that is you get a contract with them and they make arrangements for a work visa. You may have to pay the costs associated with this. The second If you aren't a citizen  is to be married to a Brazilian and be eligible to live and work in Brazil.  You really need to check that if you intend to come
Manaus is a growing market there are many foreign companies here and many that are training employees in English. However your best prospects are Rio, Sao Paulo, and Manaus the demand is highest there. If you have any Teaching experience or documentation and Certificates in Teaching English, that is a really big Plus. You could command a higher salary with those with more prestigious schools . William is right on the starting salary per hour R$25 (teaching hours only)  how ever in the bigger cities with documentation you could command a higher starting pay or a raise after training in their methodology.

Olá Brasil3,

Iam brazilian who had lived in USA for a few years and maybe I Can tell You something.
As You can see  teacher here in Brasil don"t make a lot money as  in USA, just a litle.  You must have no 1, but, maybe 2 or 3 jobs to survive well.
If You speak portugues is a plus too. But don"t worry if You have no visa, till now I haven"t  see nobody got deportation for teach english here in Brasil.  As somebody asked, If You are brazilian citizen , then  things could be more easy to get a job,for sure. Want to konw how much They pay per month? The averages salary is 1.300, 1500 Reais, and one can not survive in a big city like São Paulo. By the way,  South is a good place to work and live , especiallly Curitiba. 
Here are few. W.site for those wich are looking for job as teacher, to have some ideia. :teachaway.com/teach-in-brazil,http://braziliangringo.com/qualifications-teaching-english-
If You come over I can intruduce to some School here.
We have in Brazil a lot Internacional groups, like Ford, Coke, Citybank,Walmart, Burger King and of course Big MaC, to mention a few, think about IT areas> they need skilled peaple.
Good luck


Thanks for all your help with the questions. I lived in Salvador from March - August of last year. I am considering returning.  Brasil is wonderful and Salvador is special.  My only problem with the country is that it's so suffocating with the worry about crime.  And it's a real worry.  Just saw an article in a paper there that Brasil has 3 of the most violent cities in the world.  Makes one paranoid.


If you can survive through living in DC, you'll be just fine here. News agencies just love to exaggerate everything. It's a country with lots of crime, yes... but if you follow all the safety tips in A Gringo's Survival Guide to Brazil you'll be just fine. I've lived here for over 12 years and in many cities, often some pretty seedy areas and never had any problems. Just gotta be smarter than the bad guys are!!! Which isn't hard.

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

Here's what I read:
http://g1.globo.com/fantastico/noticia/ … aneta.html


Hi there,

I live in Piedade, Jaboatao, which is practically in Recife.  There are several English schools in this area, and most are quite keen to employ English speakers. Just leave your resume at the reception, and you'll likely get a call back for an interview.  After a few days of training, you are ready to start teaching.   

Both schools that contacted me requested that I produce ID, CPF and carteira de trabalho.  None of these are really difficult to obtain as a Brasilian or with a residence permit.

Nothing new Michael, but this ignores the fact that the vast majority of violent crimes, murders are related to drugs, drug dealer killing off the competition, killing those with debts for drugs who won't or can't pay up. Not that any of this is acceptable, but "normal" people who aren't involved in the world of drugs or organized crime aren't at any great risk. Paranoia is not at all necessary, not even here in Brazil

hi IJOSELICE,,,WHERE IS BELOJARDIM,,,,,Consider coming to Vitoria or Vila Velha- Espirito Santo State,,,beaches ,,beautiful e mais barato,,,you can rent a room also,,,Do you know couchsurfing............  cheers Janete  brazilscot[at]hotmail.com

Hey Mike on Brazil!

Did you ever go to Salvador to visit or live. I faced the same criticism of people intil i visited there and discovered my own slice of heaven there. I felt like many things were exaggerated because people watch too much TV or listen to too many rumors. When I went this summer I found that as long as you take the same precautions you would take anywhere else you will be fine. I’m going back in December for a few weeks then again in June of 2018. Let me know how your trip was!

I live in Manaus, and yes there is crime here just as in any big city.  The crimes are usually grab and run on the street usually with the aide of a motorcycle to get away quickly. Don't advertise that you are a foreigner, this usually will attract a criminal. They are under the impression that ALL Americans are Rich. My advise dress and look like a Brazilian but sometimes that is hard b/c I have blonde Hair and most Brazilians are dark haired. I will warn you that you should try to avoid doing things alone such as going to the bank. Usually walking alone/ obvious foreigner / makes you a BIG TARGET so if you can bring a friend. There are numerous robberies every day in Manaus even in Broad daylight on busy streets one of which took place in broad daylight in front of the bank where an owner of a jewelry store was murdered in a robbery. He was walking alone at the time coming back from the bank. Chances are he was being watched for his habits and it was a planned robbery.  No one has been brought to justice for this as yet  and quite likely no one will.  There are some obvious things you should never do, Talking on your expensive cell phone on the street is a sure fire way to get it ripped off from you.  Also never pull your wallet out in plain sight or ever count your money on the street in public you might as well say loudly " I've got money come and rob me" in Portuguese  With the economic crisis unemployment increasing robberies are sure to increase along with drug dealing, selling stolen merchandise, and prostitution.  Take precautions and be safe but don't ever become complacent

My wife is from Brazil, Sao Paolo, we went there in july to meet the rest of her family, the first thing all of her family told me is wear no jewelry not even a watch and to hide my wallet because they can spot a gringo a mile away, and to always watch for someone watching or following! How do you live that way? I was considering retiring there, but maybe Assis(her family lives there) thoughts?

Yeah, I got the same speech when we moved here. Although we don't live in SP, I have visited there several times. Imagine walking around Chicago, Detriot, Flint, Camden (United States) late at night. I bet you didn't get that far with the imagination because you wouldn't do it. Every country has bad places. Avoid the bad neighborhoods and you will be fine.

I've been here off and on throughout the past 15 years and have lived here for about 3 years. I've never had a problem but I am still diligent with keeping aware of my surroundings and not putting myself in bad situations. I am as gringo as you can get and do stick out like a sore thumb. I just try to blend in and live like a Brazilian. 

If you are having reservations about safety my advice is to stay home. I would call your in-law's speech mostly #FakeNews unless you like to hang out in the favelas.

I'm with John and Craig.  I chose a good area to live, pay attention to my surroundings, stay away from sketchy places and areas, don't flash expensive things or money on the street - in short,  exercise the same care I did when I lived in Boston and Chicago.  I love my life in Manaus,  just as I did in those places ... and the weather's MUCH better!  :top:

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