Holidays and Vacations in the South America
International school in South and Central America generally follow the Western education system, in school approximately 180 days a year with summers off, and a Monday through Friday school day. Leisure time is very important to the people in South America. True to the South American culture, the typical work week for an English teacher in South America will run between 20-30 hours a week. This leaves plenty of time for travel and exploration. In addition, there are eleven major holidays celebrated by most places in the region. With Christianity being the main religion of South America, schools are often closed on all the major Christian Holidays. In addition, festivals are very common in South America. While these festivals vary by region, they are often last several days.
Teachers abroad often use their weekends to relax, travel around the country, or explore their local area. Inside a teacher’s host city, a typical weekend could include many of the same activities available in Western countries. For movie lovers, larger cities probably have English speaking theaters, while in smaller cities people often gather at someone’s home for a movie night. Parties and game nights are also popular, as is shopping for unique local treasures. In the middle east you might not be able to buy alcohol (depending on what country you are in and what time of year), so “parties” probably won’t get quite as crazy as they would be back in a Western country.
For other social activities, most cities have many different clubs teachers can join. You can find an American or International Women’s Association in many countries, and this organization hosts cultural and charitable events for female expatriates living in the city. For a more laid back group, the Hash House Harriers is a running/social group in which many expats participate in most major cities around the world, even in English speaking countries. Check them out, but leave your inhibitions at home!