Teach English in Chile?
English is one of the most popular languages in the world. It has become the official language in more than 53 countries, which has created a huge demand for more and more people who are fluent in the language. Around 840 million people speak English out of which approximately 335 million speak it as a native language and around 550 speak it as the second language.
The global academic, corporate and even the entertainment sector uses the English language as the main tool for communication. That is why the non-native countries are now becoming more aware of the importance of the language and are taking measures to ensure their younger generation has a better grip on it.
This has created a great world-wide job market for native-English teachers who are preferred in non-native countries.
Why choose to teach English in Chile?
Chile has the most developed and advanced economy in entire South America, which alone, is a great reason to teach English in Chile. But to tell you more in detail, here are a few other compelling reasons why you should teach English in Chile.
- Demand is high – Chile offers the biggest job market for English language teachers on the entire continent. People in Chile are keen on learning English majorly due to the fact that the country’s relationship is getting better and stronger with the USA. People of all age groups; students as well as professionals are taking up additional English classes. Due to this increasing interest, a lot of job opportunities are opening up for English language teachers.
- International experience – Teaching English in Chile will, of course, be good for your resume as the opportunity will give you international teaching experience. Firsthand experience of teaching English as a Second Language can open up more doors for you. also, teaching abroad can expose you to new people, cultures, and lifestyle which is great for personal as well as professional growth.
- Some institutes offer training programs – The transition from your homeland to Chile as an English Language teacher can be smooth because most of some institutes offer their teachers a training program. These programs will help you understand how to teach in Chile and which guidelines you need to follow when it comes to teaching material and methods. Simply put, the training programs will help you become better teachers, which is great for your professional growth.
What are the visa requirements to travel as an English teacher to Chile?
Here are a few ways you can enter the country and start teaching English:
- Tourist visa – If you just want to get familiar with the lifestyle in Chile or the work environment before you make the big decision to move there then you can visit the place with a tourist visa.
Some of the countries, like Canada, the USA, New Zealand do not require a tourist visa to enter Chile if the stay is less than 90 days. Citizens of these countries are given a tourist card, which they need to show while exiting and that is why you should carry the card with you at all times.
People of other nationalities applying for tourist visa would need to submit the following original documents;
- A visa application form (filled by the applicant)
- A return ticket to Chile
- Passport and a copy of the passport (make sure the passport is valid)
- Proof of employment or pay slips dating back to at least 3 months
- One passport sized photo (you are required to write down your full name at the back of the photograph)
- If you are visiting someone in Chile, then you would need to submit an invitation letter from that person. Otherwise, you hand in proof of a hotel reservation where you will be staying.
- Visa fee would vary depending on the country you are applying for the visa from
If everything turns out to be fine, you will get a call for visa approval and then you will just have to go and pick up the passport from the consulate.
- Short term visa – A short term visa is valid for 1 year and it takes up to 4 weeks to get approved. This type of visa usually caters to students, interns, volunteers who want to come to Chile for short assignments or for those who want to visit their families. You will need the following documents to apply for a short term visa;
- Visa application form (completed by the applicant)
- One passport sized photograph labeled at the back with your full name
- Original passport as well as a photocopy (make sure it not expired)
- A police clearance certificate
- A document explaining the reasons behind applying for a short term visa
- Medical report
- Proof of funds such as a bank statement, to show that you can afford your stay in Chile.
- Work contract
- Before you apply for a work permit, your employers would need to personally go to the Chilean Department of Foreign Affairs to get the signatures notarized. Similarly, you will also have to go down to the Chilean consulate and sign the work contract and get it notarized. Contracts have to be signed at the consulate otherwise the signatures will not be accepted. Moreover, to save time, you should also pay the fees before you go to the consulate. The contract between the employer and you has to be in accordance with the Chilean law.
To apply for the work permit you will need all the documents that are required for the short-term visa application.
What qualifications do you need to teach English in Chile?
First and foremost, you need to be fluent in English and have excellent reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Although a Bachelor’s degree is not necessary, however, having a degree would add more value to your skills and give you an edge over your competitors.
Having a TEFL or TESOL certificate is a must in order to work as an English teacher in Chile. Also, it will open up numerous opportunities for you if you have an official teaching certification.
What are the various jobs available for English teachers?
- English language centers – Getting a full-time job right away might be a bit difficult in Chile. You can, however, find part-time work in one of the many Language centers in the country. You will get to teach English to all age groups.
Language centers start by giving you a few hours of work initially to analyze your working style and then gradually increase the hours as you spend more time working there. The pay is not too high and you might want to take up private tutoring on the side to be more financially stable. Average hourly wage is between $10 to $20 per hour; chances are that initially you will get paid on the lower side of this spectrum.
- Private classes – Private tuitions are completely up to you to find. You can advertise in the local newspaper or online or you can also spread the word through someone you know. There are many students in need of a private English tutor so, it will not take long for you to find work. However, you need to be firm about your payments and should demand it in advance in order to avoid delays. You can get paid up to $30 per hour while working privately.
- Classes in offices – There are many institutes in Chile that hire teachers and place them with different companies where they teach English to local employees. Although, these types of classes pay more than the more regular educational institutions, however, there is a lot of traveling involved. The companies are usually located quite far from the institutes and commute can take one hour or more at times. Also, the transportation expense is not covered by the companies or the institutes. The work timings can also be very odd as you may have to teach before the regular work hours or after, which means your class can be scheduled as early as 7:30 am to as late in the evening as 8:00 pm. Again the average hourly wage is anywhere between $10 to $20 per hour.
- Open Doors Program – Open Doors Program is sponsored by the government which is designed to help the people improve their English. Native English speakers who volunteer are hired for this program and are deployed at various schools throughout the country. Following are some of the reasons why you should work with the Open Doors Program:
- You can get hired by your home country
- Open Doors Program offers a higher salary
- It can help you find accommodation with any of the local families who agree to act as your host. Living with a host family is cheaper than living elsewhere. Moreover, your meals are covered since the families you live with taking care of it.
- You are paid a small monthly amount to take care of your everyday needs.
- Health insurance is given.
- Ride from the airport to the host family is provided.
- Money spent on local transportation as well as teaching material is reimbursed by the institute.
- Requirements to qualify for the program – In order to work with the Open Doors Program, you need the following qualifications:
- You have to be a native English language speaker
- You are required to have an undergraduate degree
- TEFL certification
- You need to be between the age bracket of 21 years to 35 years.
Things to consider before moving to Chile
- Accommodation – Most of the institutes you work with do not provide accommodation unless you are working with the Open Doors Program. Although, finding a place to live might be a daunting experience because of the language barrier, but the good news is that there are plenty of options available. Rent for apartments can range from $200 to $300 per month depending on where you choose to live.
- Cost of living – The overall cost of living in Chile can vary depending on the area you are living in. There are some more expensive areas where the rents and groceries will cost you more, therefore, the trick is to find the right place that can allow you to save money at the end of each month. On average, you may have to spend as low as $650 or as high as $1000 per month.
- Transportation – There is a great bus, train, and metro system in Chile, which is easily accessible as well as affordable. Expats can also travel by taxis or ride-sharing services. Taxi rates start at $0.45 and the after every kilometer it adds $0.97 CLP. If you have someone to share your ride with then the cost can get even lower after splitting it.
- Health care – Healthcare is not that expensive in Chile. Expats who are working can easily afford medical treatments and medicines they might need while living there. There are two segments of healthcare in the county – public and private. Expats would not be able to access the benefits of a public healthcare system unless they have insurance and pay taxes. However, the private sector is good enough and affordable even without insurance.
- Food and groceries – On a global level the cost of food and groceries is quite cheap but if you compare the cost to the neighboring South American countries, you might find it to be a bit expensive. However, if you buy sensible and avoid purchasing from the big stores, you would be able to find competitive prices. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper in local markets as compared to supermarkets. Imported stuff is more expensive than local stuff. Being a little mindful of small things can help in saving.
Is it safe to live and teach English in Chile?
Although Chile is quite advanced as compared to its neighboring countries and for the most part, is safe and peaceful. The country is moving towards progression and its economy is rapidly growing. However, despite these positive factors, there is a growing problem of drugs in the country and the usage of drugs among the youth is on the rise and the percentage is already quite high. The government is trying hard to control this issue but it still plagues the society. Due to the easily available drugs, the consumption is high, which can sometimes lead to crimes.
Therefore, you will have to be quite careful and avoid going alone or at odd hours in the more dangerous parts of the city or town where you will stay.
Three cities to consider while teaching in Chile
- Santiago – Santiago is the financial and political hub of Chile. It is the most advanced and highly populated city; which is why most opportunities can be found here. Teachers usually try to look for work in Santiago before anywhere else and for this reason, the competition here is quite fierce and the market somewhat saturated.
- Concepcion – Concepcion is another major city that offers lots of English teaching opportunities. There are many language schools here and you may find it easier to get work here as compared to other smaller cities. Due to a large number of people residing in the city, you can find private students easily as well.
- Puente Alto – It is a beautiful city, which is rich in culture and has a lot to offer. It is also densely populated and hence there are ample work opportunities available here for teachers.
What is the alternative way to get TEFL experience?
If you want to Teach English as a Foreign Language and gain international experience but do not want to leave your hometown and travel abroad then teaching online is your best option. However, you have to be smart when it comes to online teaching. You need to find an opportunity that only promises to pay well but also pays!
One such opportunity is VIPKID – the largest online language school for TEFL teachers. With VIPKID you can keep living where you are and still gain access to students who live abroad as the platform has over 500,000 students from China.
You can get hired by VIPKID and join the team of more than 60,000 TEFL teachers and get the experience you need.
Why choose VIPKID?
Here are a few reasons why VIPKID is the number one online language school:
- It is convenient – Working with VIPKID is convenient. You don’t have to worry about moving to a different country and start your life all over again. You can easily stay where you are and still become a teach English as a Foreign Language.
- International experience – You can gain international teaching experience from the comfort of your house. You can even retain your regular day job and still gain some international experience that will make your resume more powerful.
- Teaching material is provided – When it comes to finding the right and authentic teaching material, VIPKID does all the work for you. You don’t have to worry about the curriculum or finding the relevant teaching material. VIPKID provides you with all that you need to plan your lessons.
- Instant payment method – VIPKID has a policy of immediately paying the teachers at the end of each lesson. You don’t have to wait a month to get paid and the payment is guaranteed.
- The wages are quite good – VIPKID offers pay from $7 to $22, which is the most competitive rate in the market. At this rate and with the number of students available you can earn a lot of money by teaching even just for a couple of hours each day.
- Flexible working hours – You can choose as many classes as you want at the time that works best for you. You are not answerable to anyone for the time or the number of classes you choose.
What do I need to become an English teacher on VIPKID?
VIPKID has a few very straightforward requirements, which are:
- A bachelor’s degree in any subject.
- A year of teaching experience or something similar such as mentoring etc.
- Fluency in the English language.
Chile is a great place to work as an English language teacher. The country is progressing well and its economy is growing fast. The relationship between Chile and the USA is also advancing well, which is why more and more people are interested in learning English there. The country offers a lot of job opportunities for English language teachers. The comparatively low cost of living and beautiful surroundings create a great working environment for teachers. However, if you are unable to move to Chile but still want to gain international teaching experience then VIPKID is the right platform for you. It is convenient, efficient and the largest online language school. You can have access to international students without having to worry about visas and work permits.