Teach English in Chile

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How to Begin Teaching in Chile

Soaring peaks meeting rushing rivers

It is essential to go with the flow and enjoy the slow place.

Although Chile geographically has a small width, this long narrow strip of land stretches from the snowy heights of the Andes mountain peaks right down to the Pacific Ocean. Despite the distances involved, Chile is easy to get around and explore. The key word to describe Chile is nature, nature and more nature, and for this reason it is a hiker's-paradise. Chile’s geographical landscape contains mountains, the arid Atacama Desert, volcanoes, fertile valleys and lush forests, as well as glacial fields. Basing yourself in Chile means that if you want to travel to its neighbouring countries, you can easily cross its 300 km width and visit Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The official language of Chile is Spanish. It is highly recommended that you learn some basic Spanish before arriving in the country, so that you can get around and communicate.

The people of Chile are also easy to get along with. In this country, it is essential to go with the flow and enjoy the slow place. A favourite Chilean pastime is to have long lingering meals and table conversation. Chilean wine is also worth savouring and exploring, as Chile has one of the largest wine productions in the world. There are many large and small vineyards to visit. Another pastime, that occupies a place in Chilean hearts, is football. Chile has had a long and distinguished association with the FIFA World Cup. This sport brings out Chilean’s passion. It permeates into everyday life, with Chileans practising the sport all over the country. 

Cuasimodo is a unique religious ritual that Chileans celebrate on the sunday after Easter each year. This ritual dates back to colonial times and takes the form of a procession of huasos (cowboys) as well as priests who bring holy communion to people who were too old or ill to attend mass. Today the procession includes carts, bicycles and motorbikes.

We are not alone! This is certainly a strong belief in Chile, as it is one of the only countries on each that has a government-supported UFO research organisation. There have been a lot of UFO sightings in the last 20 years, so much so that in 2008 a 19-mile UFO trail that runs through the Andes Mountains. It is believed that the plateaus on top of the mountains make excellent places for UFOs to land.

The biggest fireworks show in South America takes place in Chile, the town of Valparaíso to be exact. As part of it’s New Year’s Pyrotechnic Festival in 2007, Valparaíso set a new world record for the most fireworks exploded in one night, 16,000!

Believe it or not, penguins are a common thing to see in the country. The Seno Otway Penguin Colony based in the south of the country is a place where you could be lucky enough to see one.

Teaching Opportunities

Chile seems to be the place for emerging TEFL opportunities in Latin America. There are many varied teaching options available. These include language institutes, high schools and colleges. Business English is also in high demand, with company employees taking private or group classes. The capital city, Santiago, is the political, economic and cultural hub of the country, so many of the opportunities are situated here. There are, however, some opportunities in the Patagonian south. Many adults are also learning English for their careers or for travel.

Due to the competitive nature of this market, it means that employers have many candidates to choose from. That is why a 120-hour TEFL certificate is highly recommended, if you are considering working here.  Jobs can be found through agents when searching from abroad or within the country, for those wishing to work in high schools and colleges. When finding a contracted job, although there are few benefits attached to it, under Chilean law you are entitled to 3 weeks paid holiday. The cost of living is high here and your salary will allow you to live, but not to save. To combat this situation many teachers give private classes.  

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
BA/BS required6 - 12 months March - August Tourist visa convert to work visa Business professionals, children 415,250 - 519,000 CLP (496 - 620 GBP) 210,000 - 777,444 CLP (250 - 930 GBP)
BA/BS required
March - August
Tourist visa convert to work visa
Business professionals, children
210,000 - 777,444 CLP (250 - 930 GBP)

Your TEFL journey starts here! Fancy teaching English as a foreign language around the world?

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