Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Reader Request: Alternatives to Teaching English in Peru

Updated: 16 June 2014

While many people who come to Peru end up teaching English, there are lots of other things that you can do.

Many foreigners have set up businesses overseas. There are foreign owned language schools, bookstores, bars, and everything in between. Below are ways you can make money off line. Business Ideas dot net also has a lot of ideas. If you're going to offer products and services you usually have two choices: sell other people's stuff (and get a commission or buy wholesale and sell resale) or sell your own stuff. 

Remember that speaking Spanish will help you greatly if you're trying to start a business in Peru, whether big or small. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to the culture, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Some do it legally and others work under the table. Some countries make it super easy to start a business, others have a high investment requirement and lots of paperwork, which is why people work under the table. Chances of getting caught are often slim though. If you're looking to make money online, check out the article I wrote about making money online.

Art: Sell what you create or teach classes. Check out what Anajali does.

Audio Recording: Someone needs to record their voice so that students can learn. Check out what Audio ESL does.

Babysitting Service: Charge a monthly fee, annual fee, and / or a booking fee in addition to an hourly fee.

Baby stuff: One mom started Chubby Cherry, her own cloth diapering company.

Bake: People love homemade goodies.

Bar: There's no doubt that English teachers like to drink. If you're going to set up a bar, you'll have to go the legal route though. Look at what Old Pub and Wolfhound have done. 

Beauty: Hairstyles, makeup, and more. Check out what Magik Aroma and Seoul Brow do.

Bookstore: There's always a demand for English books. Look at what Confederate Bookstore and What the Book have done.

Childbirth Educator: People are always having babies and you can help them learn about the options available to them. Look at what Tender Embrace Birthing does.

Children's Classes: Music, dance, crafts, are all great activities for kids. Look at what Mini Mingle Seoul did.

Clothing: You can cater to kids or adults. Look at what Ady's Lab and BiuBiu do.

Cook: People always miss food. If you can cook you could try catering or even shipping ready to made meals. Look at what 6th Floor Cafe, Gringos Burritos, Hummus in Korea, and Mediterranean Food in Korea do.

Cooking classes: Teach people how to make the local dishes. Look at O'ngo.

Course Book Writer / Materials Writer: You can try to approach big name publishers (like Longman, Oxford, Cambridge, or MacMillan), local publishers, or chains.

Crafts: You could sell items you've made or teach people how to make things. Take a look at what Bows and Petals and the Lovely Nest do.

Dance: Teach dance classes. Look at what Eshe Belly Dance does.

Doula: Doulas have been proven to help women in labour. More and more families are hiring them. Look at what Belly Bliss Korea does.

Ebook: Write an ebook, You can even set up an affiliate scheme. Look at Speak From Day 1 for an example. 

Editing / Proof-reading: Although getting a position at Oxford or Cambridge University Press might be difficult there are plenty of local publishers that would welcome a native speaker to help them out.

EFL / ESL Examiner: IELTS or Cambridge examiner. Recruitment information packs for applicants can be downloaded from the British Council and the Cambridge website.

Exam Writer: Someone's got to write the exam questions, so it might as well be you. Cambridge, IELTS, Michigan, and TOEFL are the big exams, so try contacting them for more info.

Facebook: Creating fan pages or writing content for them is possible if you're good with words.

Food: Sell items that expats want, like cereal, cheese, or chocolate. Look at what High Street Market and Fat Bag do. You could also export local foods like Afex Peru does.

Foreign exchanges: Help foreign students who come over to study. Check out what CCCAsia does.

Foreign goods: Although iherb is pretty reasonable, you could sell other items, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, etc.

Group classes: They could be in your home or you could rent out a small office.

Homestays: People who host students in their homes can be paid pretty well. You will probably also have to cook for them and may have to do their laundry.

Hostel: Open up a hostel. Look at Hostel Trail in Ecuador.

Interior Decorating: From giving advice about major revamps to the little details.

Language Institute: You could open up an English institute or better yet, open up one that teaches the local language to foreigners. Look at what El SOL does.

Magazine: Start an English magazine.

Newspaper: Start an English newspaper.

Organise classes: Find a teacher and a venue and organise a class. Charge people a registration fee for your services. Some people have organised CPR and first aid classes and charged $20 for the registration fee which is in addition to the teacher's and venue's fees.

Photographer: Many people want a professional photographer to capture moments such as an engagement, wedding, birth, or their children. Look at what Angela Ko, Greg Samborski, Ilze Louw Photography, Landi G. Photography, Matthew Theron, Teeny Tiny Images, and Wonderlust Photography do.

Private Students: Try to find a niche, whether it be teaching kids, Business English, exam prep, etc. Look here to find out how to teach private students

Property, see rental income.

Recruit Teachers: Check the local laws and immigration requirements. Your best bet might be setting up a business back in your home country. You'll have to establish contacts and might have to make guarantees (recruiters often promise to replace a teacher for free if they leave within six months). Most recruiters can earn up to one month of the teacher's salary for each teacher they place. Look at what Say Kimchi Recruiting and Teach ESL Korea do.

Rental Income: Houses in other countries may be cheaper than at home.Put the full downpayment on a property, keep it mortgaged, and use an agent to manage it. Buy a couple properties since it's better to have 4 properties with the tax advantages and rise in value than tying all your capital up in one property that just generates rent with no expenses to offset the income. Dmocha from Dave's ESL Cafe says that you may be able to get tax breaks for property as far as interest, improvements, and agent's fees go. Look at what Apartment Club Peru does.

Sell stuff: One mom started selling Moby wraps, another started her own cloth diapering company, and others buy clothes from resale shops and sell those.

Sports: You can teach classes, such as yoga.

Subbing: Contact schools and ask to be put on their sub list.

Teacher: Teach other subjects like martial arts, visual arts, drama, sports, yoga, meditation, photography, childbirth education, or school subjects. The possibilities are limitless.

Teacher Training: If you've got the quals and experience try contacting intensive TEFL course providers. Some may have weekend courses or may need trainers during the breaks. Check out what Kagan Korea does.

Toiletries: Natural soaps, butters, and oils are in high demand. Check out what Frida's Little Soap, Linger Longer Handmade Soaps, and Soap Tree do.

Tour Guide: Being an English tour guide is a good way to earn extra money during the high season. You can give tours when you have time. You can have set prices or do free tours with donations like Guided Bucharest and Guided Brasov.

Translating: Contact local businesses and offer your services or put an advert up on Craigslist. Here's a list of where to advertise your translation services.

Traveling with students: Organise trips for students. They can be daytrips to local places or even longer trips overseas. If you get enough students together, you could take them back to your home country for a vacation where they could study and learn about the culture first-hand.

Workshops: Lots of publishers offer training sessions so contact publishers and ask if they can put you on their list.

Writer: Write a book or article, online or in print.

The Ultimate Peru List recommends:


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