Guaranteed Teaching and Housing Q & A Page

We have Mexico Reps eager to assist you.  Apply now!


Are you looking for a way to gain valuable, practical work experience in a foreign country? To upgrade your resume with International exposure? Do you have an interest in learning about life in another country while making contacts in your field? Do you want to learn or improve your Spanish? Most of all, do you want to live in a country that highly respects, appreciates, and values teachers?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then our Teach English in Mexico Guaranteed Placement Program is a terrific choice for you! We have placed over 700 teachers throughout Mexico.  Are you next?  Our program fee is reasonable and will save you time, stress and money.  There is so much to be aware of about working in Mexico, things only the experts know.  Let us help you!

There are many exciting locations in which to teach throughout Mexico, from beautiful beaches and colonial towns, to traditional mountain villages. You will not find more genuine and friendly people than in Mexico! They are known for opening their hearts to visitors from other lands.  Classes are typically 5 days/15-25 hours a week. Classroom size is typically 12 students for both children and adult English lessons. In some cases it will range from 3 to 25 students.

You do not need to speak Spanish (although Spanish is useful) nor do you necessarily need a teaching certificate.  Some teaching experience is required.  There is a great demand for English speakers with a good command of the English language to teach children and adults. Mexicans study English in school  but unfortunately don’t get the opportunity to converse with native English speakers.  This is where you can make a difference!



This program is best suited for individuals who are flexible and open to new cultures.  You must have a good command of the English language and be outgoing, dynamic, motivated, communicative, independent, flexible, easy-going with a neat appearance.  If you are seeking a unique experience full of adventure, you have found the right program.   **Please note that teaching in Mexico should never be considered as an escape from problems at home.  Put everything in order before considering this experience.

Getting Started

Q: What is the minimum and maximum length of these teaching positions?
A: Schools in Mexico will accept teachers for a minimum of 3 months (except Summer Programs which are shorter) with no maximum. Teachers are in high demand; we can place you at all times of the year. Certain times are better than others so be prepared to be flexible on location if you apply when schools are already in session. The school year is similar to that of the U.S. August/September to May/June.
Q: When can I start?
A: We can place you right away although it is best to apply at least 4 weeks in advance.
Q: Where in Mexico can I teach?
A: We work with many schools throughout Mexico. At the present time we can place you in a variety of different areas.  Rest assured that whichever destination you are placed in, you will have the experience of a lifetime!  Destinations are not listed in any particular order. Other destinations in Mexico not listed here may be recommended depending on the opportunity and your experience. We have also placed teachers in Poza Rica, Puebla, Leon, and San Juan del Rio.
Q: What about work permits and visas?
A: When you are hired, the school will assist you in obtaining a work visa if necessary. It depends on your length of stay.   In most cases you will need a work permit only if a school hires you for a long duration such as 6 to 12 months.  You enter Mexico on a tourist visa and then change to a work visa (FM3)  (again, depending on your length of stay).   It’s important to bring any original diplomas or certificates, plus Apostilled or Legalized copies , along with your resume, to assist in the work permit process. The current fee for a new work permit is approximately US$200.00 depending upon exchange rates.  Renewals cost less. Some schools may assist with the payment of the fee if you stay for the entire year. 


Q: What sort of teaching positions are available?
A: You may be teaching conversational English to children and/or adolescents in public or private schools, language centers, or as a private tutor. You may also be teaching adult employees of major corporations such as PEMEX or employees of local businesses.  It is important to be flexible. Those who are willing to teach both children and adults will have more job opportunities available to them.If you work for a school, they will most likely provide you with a program to follow (text book instruction). If you teach privately, it is your job to ask the students what they want to learn – grammar, conversational skills, verb tenses, etc.  Most will want conversation practice in addition to the basics of the English language.
Q: What level and age are the students?
A: All levels and all ages, children to adults.
Q: If I do not like the school where I am teaching, can I choose a new one?
A: Yes, if you feel that you want to teach at a different school we will assist you. You MUST give your current employer  three weeks notice and other positions MUST be available at the time you want to change jobs. (Depending on your current placement city, other jobs may NOT be abundant. Therefore, it is very important to consider all factors when deciding to switch jobs.)  We will educate you on interviews and provide you with new school contacts,  so that you can interview in person.  Often you can get paid more if you meet the academic director or academic coordinator in person so that they can get a very good feeling for you and your skills. But, it is important to stay with the school that first hires you as long as possible. There will always be “bugs” to work out and it is necessary to give that time.
Q: Will there be other English teachers there?
A: Yes,  you quite often will meet other foreign teachers.  Our local representative will put you in contact with other teachers if you would like. Your rep contact in Mexico will most likely be working as a teacher herself/himself.
Q: Will I receive confirmation of a paid teaching position before I arrive?
A: We guarantee that you will have a job and an apartment or host family within the first two weeks of your arrival in Mexico. However, if you absolutely must have confirmation on everything before you depart, we will confirm this, but it will limit your flexibility to choose among locations, schools, and accommodations.We prefer to allow you some flexibility to choose your school and accommodations once you arrive at your destination.  Our local representative will assist you in every way to find the perfect teaching position based on your skills and experience. You will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodations. (If the airport is a long distance from the city or if your rep is working when you arrive, your rep will explain how to take local transportation into town and set up a place to meet you.) Our representative will educate you on the city  and its education system. He/she will set up interviews for you, prepare you for them, and take you around for appointments at different schools. 

If the rep is working at the time of the interview that has been set up, the rep will explain how to get to the school from your hotel, apartment, or host family. In some cases there are 5 to 10 schools to choose from, this is why we want you to make your own decision. (If we feel a specific school is perfect for you based on your experience and needs, we will refer you to that particular school.) 

If a job is set up before you arrive, then it is because the rep felt that you were perfect for that job and the school hired you based on your experience and skills. The smaller the town, the more likely a job will be set up in advance since there will not be as many schools to choose from.  And again, if a wonderful opportunity in a particular destination arises, we may offer that to you. Flexibility is your key to success in this program.

Q: What work attire will be expected?
A: In most all cases you are expected to dress clean and professional with long pants or  skirts and shirts with a collar, or blouses. In some of the private language schools you are required to wear a uniform which includes suit jackets for men and skirts and nylons for women. Keep in mind that Mexico, in general, is conservative. No piercing except for the ears. No pierced eyebrows or noses for example. Men should have short hair. It is a good idea for men to bring at least one suit and women to bring at least two suits – you can mix and match.  If you need more, they can be bought inexpensively in Mexico.



Q:How much will I be paid?

A:You can expect to be paid $5 to $10 (U.S. dollars) an hour. Your pay is commensurate with the low cost of living in Mexico. Some towns have a lower cost of living than others, which explains the wide range in pay. (You will be paid in pesos.) Depending on the school and your teaching experience, some jobs may require a training period of up to 2 – 4 weeks. This is unpaid training but it will be very useful for your experience in Mexico and other countries where you may want to teach English in the future.

NOTE: Do not expect to live in the tourist area of resort or colonial cities. If you do, you will be paying American prices which are extremely difficult to afford on Mexican wages. Some teachers have chosen to live in the tourist areas of resort cities but they have paid the extra expenses out of their own pockets and NOT from their teaching salary. Your rep will assist you in finding affordable housing that is clean and comfortable. In addition, you will get a lot more out of the experience by living where the locals live, eating where the locals eat, and night-clubbing where the locals go. Keep in mind that you must live within your budget and that if you exceed your local expenses, it could cause your early departure from Mexico. 

Also,  please keep in mind that if you will be bringing a spouse and/or a child, the Program guarantee of meeting local expenses covers only the teacher participant and not the family.  In this case the teacher must expect to pay more for accommodation, utilities and food than if he/she were alone.  We do NOT recommend you applying for a teaching job in Mexico if you are currently carrying a debt load.  It will be difficult for you to meet that obligation while living and working in Mexico.

 Q:How often will I be paid?

A:This will depend on the school but usually it is every two weeks.  

Q:Will I have to claim my salary and pay taxes?

A: Again, this will depend on the school. If you have a work permit, you will have to pay taxes. In most cases you will need a work permit only if a school hires you for a long duration such as 6 to 12 months.  

Q:Will I get a certification from the school stating how long I taught for them?

A: You may ask your school for this, and they will almost certainly comply, although it is not something that is automatically done. You may also prepare your own attestation of work and ask them to sign it.  

Q:Will I have the opportunity to work extra hours to earn extra money?

A: Yes, we will assist you in finding additional work in schools or private lessons – provided it is available at the time you are seeking additional work. There are some destinations that are very slow during the summer and work comes to a halt.  It is simply too hot for school and it is vacation time.  If your placement is in a small town language school, extra tutoring will likely NOT be permitted since it will take business away from the school.  Every situation is different and we will advise you on this.  

Q:What are the hours of work per week?

A:You will work an average of 15 to 35 hours per week working for a school or language center. You can earn additional income teaching private classes (your local representative can assist you with this if appropriate).  Please note that in small towns, language schools frown on teachers doing private classes since this is their customer base.

Classes can be morning, afternoon, or evening. Most schools operate Monday through Friday, although some schools also offer Saturday classes. It may be necessary to work for more than one school in order to have a full-time schedule. For example, you may work 12 hours a week at one school and 10 hours a week at another. This is not uncommon. Full-time for a teacher is 15 to 30 hours a week (in a few cases more). Keep in mind that we have a few teachers who work only 10 hours a week and still make enough to pay local expenses. Their hourly pay is such that they do not need to work more than this to support themselves in Mexico. Again, this is a result of a good hourly wage and the low cost of living in certain destinations. (Some teachers start with a few hours a week to get “warmed-up” and then within a few weeks, are pulling a full load.) Also, keep in mind that there is always some classroom preparation time – grading papers, preparing lessons, etc. – this is on your own time (unpaid).

Q:What about holidays such as Christmas?  Will there be time off?A:Yes, of course. Like many schools in the world, there will be time off during the Christmas holidays.  You will also have a vacation at Easter time, known as Semana Santa (Holy Week).  Both of these holidays are important holidays in Mexico. Be prepared to have some extra money to cover your expenses during holiday times, since each situation is different with regard to holiday pay. 


Q: What kind of support will I have while I am teaching in Mexico?
A: We will designate a local representative in the city where you work or a nearby city. This person will meet with you on arrival, show you to a hotel or guest house that has been reserved. In the case that your permanent accommodations are not confirmed, within the next few days after your arrival he/she will take you around to see available apartments. The rep will also present you to the school where you will be teaching. (Again, if the airport is a long distance from the city or if your rep is working when you arrive, your rep will explain how to take local transportation into town and set up a place to meet you.) Also, if the rep has arranged an interview and is teaching herself/himself at the time of the interview, he/she will explain how to get to the interview from your location.Applicants should be self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit. Once you have arrived and been connected to the place you will work, you should dialogue with the rep about the best way to go about getting private students if that interests you.



Q: Where will I stay?
A: You may either stay with a host family in a single room with full board, share an apartment with other teachers, or have your own apartment with no meals included. It will depend on what is available in the location you have been placed in.
Q: Will my host family speak English?
A: Yes, everyone speaks some English but the level is difficult to say.
Q: How much will I pay for rent?
A: The cost of living in Mexico is inexpensive. We will find your accommodations and you will pay rent by the month. You can expect to pay approximately USD$300/month to live with a host family/single room/full board. It costs approximately US$250 – $300/month to share an apartment with a local person or possibly another teacher, and from US$300-$600 to rent your own fully furnished apartment. In some cases, a housing deposit will be necessary before you arrive to secure the accommodation.There is not a big difference between an apartment that costs US$300 and US$400. For example, an apartment in Xalapa may cost US$300 a month, while the very same quality apartment in Mexico City or Guadalajara will cost US$400 to US$600. Keep in mind that schools in larger cities pay the highest, but it costs more to live in larger centers than it does in smaller areas. 

There have been some cases where teachers find apartments that will cost under US$300.00 per month.  Again, this really all depends on where you live and what is available.  In some instances it may be necessary to stay in an inexpensive hotel for a few days so that you and your rep can look at several apartments and choose one that is best for you, both in price and location.  Your rep will know the area thoroughly.

Q: What will my monthly expenses be in Mexico?
A: Some examples in U.S. dollars:
Maid service once a week including laundry: $20  /week
Phone bill with only local calls:  $18/month
Food and personal care items: $250 /month
Haircut: $5
Transportation ( taxi, subway and bus fares): $20 – $40/month
Entertainment (dining out, movies, museums, theater, etc.): $40-$75/month

  Q:Do I have to pay a housing security deposit?A:Yes, unless housing is included in the teaching position,  you will be expected to pay a housing deposit on your arrival or before you arrive. This fee will normally be the same amount as your monthly rent.  Q:Will my housing deposit be returned when I leave?A:Yes, as long as you give appropriate notice and have not damaged the apartment or have left outstanding phone or electricity bills to pay.  Please keep in mind that we cannot be responsible for return of housing deposits.  Q:What will my accommodations be like?A:All homes and apartments will have electricity, hot and cold water, some will have telephones for local calls. Most are tile floors since that is the norm and much cooler and easier to keep clean than carpet. You will always have your own room, however in some cases where you want to rent an apartment you might have to share the apartment with another teacher to better afford the rent.  Homestays have both shared and private bathrooms.  Q:What will I need to bring from home for my accommodations?A:You should bring a couple of towels. You do not need to bring any sheets, and if you do need to buy them they are inexpensive.  Bring some sink plugs, including a flat one.  Bring a couple of converter plug-ins that converts a 3 prong plug to a 2.   Q:Where will I be able to do my laundry?A:There will normally be a Laundromat nearby. Most people drop clothes off to be washed,  inexpensively,  with the charge being by the kilo.  They will be dry and neatly folded when you return later for them.


Why Choose Us?

Q: What makes your program better than other work abroad programs?
A: We only offer a program  EXCLUSIVELY within Mexico. Other companies that offer programs in multiple countries cannot give the attention to one country that we can. Mexico is our expertise and we travel there at least a dozen times each year to visit schools, check on our reps, and get feedback.  We are always looking at ways to improve the program and make adjustments based on  feedback.  Secondly, we have the best reps! All of our reps are hands on and genuinely enjoy assisting participants, watching teachers get as much pleasure from living and working in Mexico as they do.
Q: Can’t I just go on my own and get a job and find my own housing? I have heard that people have done this.
A: Yes, of course you can,  but the time and money you may spend while looking for a job and housing could well exceed the cost of this program and you would not get any of the wonderful benefits included with the program.  In addition, your rep knows which schools are reputable – the ones that will pay you as promised when they hired you. And if you were to have a problem with the school, your rep is there to intervene.  If you went on your own,  you run the risk of working without getting paid.  It can happen. Your rep is also there to assist with necessary permissions  to stay legal in Mexico.  Striking out on your own, you take the risk that you will not get the necessary paperwork to be legal while in Mexico.  There is a specific procedure to follow and not all schools assist with this process.  There are Immigration crack-downs in various areas from time to time.   If you still wish to try it on your own we can offer some basic assistance for you with our Do-it-Yourself Program but be prepared to bring along plenty of money to tide you over while you search for a home, a job, and then wait for the offer and the first paycheck.Interview Notes by Author of the great book – Head for Mexico

Here is a short interview with Mark Farley,  former Program Director of the Guaranteed Placement Program which provides participants with a guaranteed job, access to a personal representative for up to a year, arranged accommodations in the area where you teach, teaching materials, and a few other helpful items.

DA: Mark, aside from the things listed above, how else are you qualified to offer assistance and advice to prospective teachers?
MF: I have taught in Mexico on and off for eighteen years and our company (InternetWorks) is in the 6th year ** of providing information and resources for those interested in teaching English in Mexico.**Webmaster note:  Program now in 10th year.

DA: Based on your experience what do you consider to be the most important characteristic of a successful EFL teacher?
MF: The most important quality a teacher should possess is enthusiasm. The teacher should be motivated to teach and have an intense desire to help others learn. It is also important to know grammar and to know how to present the material in a fun and exciting way.

DA: So what do you think are the minimum requirements for a successful teacher?
MF: You should have classroom experience. You should be confident and outgoing. If you’ve never presented material to a class, then you may find yourself freezing up. Schools in Mexico are looking for outgoing, motivated individuals who can take control of a classroom. Some schools have even suggested receiving drama students or theater majors, as they can be lively and they know how to communicate to an audience. This is not a job for the shy or quiet. If you have never taught a language before, it is a good idea to volunteer at a local literacy or ESL program. Schools in Mexico are looking for teachers with at least some teaching experience. Having a BA is important too if you plan to teach for more than a couple of months. It is a necessary requirement to obtain the work permit, along with other items.

DA: Are there personality types that might not be happy or effective as teachers in Mexico?
MF: Yes, again, if you are shy or introverted, then teaching English is definitely not for you. You must be a good communicator. Keep in mind what I said earlier – some schools have even requested theater majors. If you have a hard time getting your point across or being heard, then you are probably not a good candidate for teaching English in Mexico.

DA: How do you feel about the recent trend toward online TESL and TEFL certification courses?
MF: I feel that these can be effective if they are coupled with actual classroom experience. If the student can take what he or she learns online and apply it in an actual classroom setting (again, possibly volunteering for a literacy or ESL program), then I feel this can be beneficial for an actual teaching assignment. Live experience is always necessary as I have seen a few inexperienced teachers freeze up and have to return home as they were just too frightened or too shy to teach.

DA: What one piece of information would you offer to a prospective teacher?
MF: My advice to others interested in teaching in Mexico is to treat this as a serious endeavor. If you go there expecting to have a full-time vacation you will be in for a big surprise. Schools are serious about providing their students with quality teachers who handle the job with professionalism. Showing up to class like you are dressed for the beach is a good way to lose your job.

DA: Any other warnings for these folks?
MF: I would warn prospective teachers that teaching in Mexico is not as easy as they may think. It takes dedication, patience, flexibility, cultural sensitivity, and a lot more. It is not for everyone, and not everyone has all the necessary qualities to be successful.

There you go. Mark offers a good overview of some of the more important considerations regarding teaching in Mexico.