As the most visited island in the southern Caribbean, Aruba isn’t the place for teachers looking for a secluded escape, but if you want to see some of the best Caribbean beaches and enjoy a charming capital city with a small-town vibe, teaching in Aruba is the place for you.
Both certified teachers and TEFL teachers interested in teaching in Aruba will find most of the international and ESL schools located in and around the capital, Oranjestad, though there may be positions in more rural areas throughout the country.
Aruba’s educational system is modeled after the Dutch education system and much more money is designated to the education system than in other Caribbean countries. The system is divided into a primary school system, a segmented secondary school program that includes vocational training, basic education, college preparation, and advanced placement. English study is offered to students in secondary school and college.
Options for teaching in Aruba
Higher education is offered through the Professional Education program, colleges, and the University of Aruba. Certified teachers can find positions teaching in Aruba through these institutions, though positions are competitive, as higher education options on the island are limited. These teaching positions require a degree in a relevant field and relevant professional experience.
There are also a number of private schools that follow the Dutch curriculum. Certified teachers may find a position in these schools more easily.
Though public school classes are typically conducted in Dutch or Papiamento, some schools do place special emphasis on EFL and other languages because many students end up continuing their studies abroad in Europe. English language instruction means that ESL teachers and teachers that can teach other subjects in English are needed.
Teachers with a TEFL certification looking for work in Aruba will find opportunities mostly around the capital city of Oranjestad.
Hiring for teaching jobs happens all year long in Aruba, so though peak hiring times occur for the beginning of the school year in August and September, many ESL institutions and international schools are looking to hire teachers year round. Certified teachers should look for positions around school scheduling.
Qualifications for teaching in Aruba
Trying to find a position teaching in Aruba can be competitive. Teachers from English-speaking countries are generally preferred. A Bachelor’s degree is required for both certified teachers and ESL teachers, but certified teachers will also need to produce a valid teaching license in their state or country of origin and many institutions expect teachers to have a Master’s degree as well. ESL teachers will need a TEFL certification.
Visas in Aruba
A working visa is mandatory in order to teach in Aruba, and even though Aruba is a constituent country of the Netherlands, teachers with EU citizenship may be surprised to learn that they aren’t allowed to work without a visa. Teach Away placement coordinators will work with educational institutions or teachers directly to organize the visa application.
Salary and benefits when teaching in Aruba
The average salary for teachers in Aruba varies, but certified teachers can expect to earn approximately $30,0000 USD per year. This should be enough to live modestly and comfortably on. TEFL teachers’ salaries will depend on how many hours they work per week and whether they supplement their income with private classes.
Some teaching packages include benefits like health insurance, vacation and sick days, and completion bonuses. Flights to and from Aruba are not usually reimbursed, though some schools may offer this incentive to their teachers.
Living in Aruba
Cost of living
The cost of living in Aruba can be more expensive than other Caribbean countries, but it’s comparable to many bigger cities in Europe and the United States. Some things will seem cheaper, but some things, like household utilities, groceries, and taxes may be higher.
Teaching in Aruba is a good opportunity to do some local travel and break even by the end of the contract.
Housing in Aruba
Housing is usually not included as part of a teaching benefits package, although most schools will provide assistance in helping teachers find an apartment before arrival. Rent in Oranjestad can be around $800 USD for a single-dweller one bedroom apartment, but shared accommodation is cheaper, and rent in smaller towns will also be more affordable.
Things for teachers to do in Aruba
Aruba is all about fun in the sun. If you’re located right in the capital, Oranjestad, you’ll still be able to enjoy the many water sports and activities that Aruba is known for: snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rides, parasailing, and fishing.
A quick weekend getaway outside of Oranjestad will expose travelers to more secluded coasts, rugged rocky ledges, and beaches that are untouched by tourism. Arikok National Wildlife Park is a must-see with lava formations, abandoned gold mines, and a variety of cacti. For a really private swim, head north to the natural pool (Conchi) that’s only accessible via ATV, where a small pool of water is hidden among natural rock formations just off the shore.
For the teachers that are interested in snorkeling, Boca Catalina and the Antilla Shipwreck are two sites that aren’t to be missed. The Antilla Shipwreck is what remains of a massive German cargo ship anchored off the island during the Second World War.
Mostly, though, Aruba is known as a place to kick back and relax. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and explore this laid-back Caribbean island with tons of European flair at your own pace.
TEFL Certification for Private School Teachers
Many private schools in Aruba require applicants to possess a TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto’s TEFL Online Certificate can help you become a leading candidate for some of the top Arubian private school positions.
Teach in Aruba
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