Santiago is one of the liveliest and most globally connected cities in South America, and therefore, there are more than a few exciting places to seek teaching jobs in Santiago. A beautiful mixture of colonial and modern architecture nestled between the stunning Andes Mountain range and sprawling beaches of the Pacific, you could hardly ask for a more perfect environment to live and work than in Chile’s capital. Whether teaching English at a language institute or seeking full time employment at an international school, there are opportunities for almost anyone to teach abroad in Santiago.
Teaching in Santiago
There are a few different routes that international educators interested in teaching abroad in Santiago can take. First is working for private language companies, which provide placements in teaching conversational English to children, employees, or groups of individuals across the city. There are also international organizations which help foreigners set up teaching jobs at language schools in Santiago. It is also possible to find employment as permanent faculty at a private or public school at any level, given the proper qualifications.
Not all teaching jobs in Santiago require a CELTA or TEFL course certificate, but this is certainly a worthy investment if you are planning to teach English abroad. Not only will ESL certification greatly broaden your options of where to land employment, but you will also likely receive a higher salary and/or better benefits from your host school. Prior teaching experience is not always required to teach in Santiago, but again, the higher paying openings are likely to require a greater degree of training and experience.
You do not have to speak Spanish fluently to teach in Santiago – most schools care more that you are a native speaker of English. However, being at least conversationally adept in Spanish will be a huge help in your daily life in Santiago, both in and outside the classroom. If you have your eyes set on Santiago, but only have those few years of high school Spanish education under your belt do not fret – there will be plenty of opportunities to develop your language skills while teaching in Santiago.
Life in Santiago
Santiago was founded nearly 500 years ago and today continues to thrive as the capital of Chile and one of the most influential cities in all of Latin America. From the beautiful 19th century colonial architecture of the downtown area to the increasingly impressive skyline which forms its surroundings (including the Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest building on the continent), those who teach abroad in Santiago will never lack a fascinating urban environment to explore.
Santiago is brilliantly connected by a highly modernized system of freeways and the Metro di Santiago, the most expansive metro system in South America. Individuals who teach in Santiago can also easily access both the mountains and the beach, each only a few hours away, for fun weekend trips with friends. With countless museums, a growing arts scene, and a fun nightlife, living and teaching in Santiago, Chile’s cultural center of activity, is certain to be a horizon-broadening adventure.
You may experience a degree of culture shock while adapting to life in Santiago, but this is expected anywhere you decide to teach English in Chile. Chile’s capital is one of the most vibrant and intriguing cities in Latin America, and it is currently experiencing a great degree of economic growth – which means that teaching opportunities in Santiago are only likely to grow along with the economy.
Salaries & Costs
How much you will make through a teaching job in Santiago depends on the type of position you apply for. Teachers who are working in Chile for a temporary tenure teaching at an international language institute will not receive as good of compensation as those who plan on pursuing full time employment at, say, a private school or company. Salary also depends on your qualifications as an educator and prior teaching experience.
It is safe to say that you will make enough to get by teaching in Santiago. Santiago is actually a fairly expensive city compared to many others in South America, as Chile’s economy is performing quite well. However, costs of living are still cheaper than in most Western countries, meaning that you will likely be able to save up a decent amount of money while teaching abroad in Santiago. But, it all depends on the lifestyle you choose to lead.
Accommodation & Visas
Finding accommodation in Santiago is fairly easy, and most foreign teachers will look into renting out an apartment or a room in a flat. As with every major city there are good parts (which will be more expensive to live in) and bad parts (which may not be as safe). But because of Santiago’s good system of public transportation, your options will be fairly flexible when locating housing in the city. Do thorough research on what neighborhoods feel like the right fit for you, and consult your host employer or institution early on for advice.
You will also likely need to attain a visa if you are planning on living and teaching in Santiago for an extended period of time. Many private companies or organizations will pay these costs for you and help guide you through the process. The Chilean visa policy differs towards different nations – consult GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more information about the rules concerning your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Santiago is culturally rich and historically fascinating city, and today continues to develop on a fast track to significant global influence. It is one of the largest cities in all of South America and an educational, financial, and industrial hub of South America.
Teaching abroad in Santiago is your chance to experience the unique and vibrant Latin American culture of Chile while living and working in a safe and developed environment.