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Old 06-24-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,462,355 times
Reputation: 3101

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Hello!

I'm considering applying to work as an English teacher in Chile next spring, and I was wondering what the country is like. I've heard that Chile is a developed country, but is that just in Santiago, or is that across the country?
What are the main urban areas besides Santiago?
What is southern Chile like?
Is it affordable for an American to live in one of the main cities? Especially if he is paying off student loans?
Do you like living in Chile?

Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,369 posts, read 7,760,109 times
Reputation: 3552
I first went to Chile in 1971 and attended my last year of high school in a public school in Viña del Mar, a coastal city next to Valparaíso about 90 km west of Santiago . I have visited there many times in the decades since then, and it is a place that feels like a second home to me.

Chile has one of the higher overall standards of living in Latin America, and Santiago has portions of the city that are modern and developed along the lines of what you might find in parts of Europe. The capital city has subway lines and a new bus system (that had serious problems for a long time) and good overall infrastructure, but the air pollution is often poor due to the wall of mountains to the east. Other cities in Chile are much slower paced, and revolve around the local economic resources. Chile still has some tough social problems but you have to give them credit for all the improvements that have been made since I first got to know the place in 1971. They are one of the only countries in Latin America that has made big improvements in overall standards of living and quality of life across the board, not just for certain segments of the population.

Due to the declining value of the US dollar, Chile is not a cheap place to visit or live, but if you can get by without owning a car (pretty easy with good public transit) it can be less expensive than living in many cities in the USA. If you decide to live in one of the smaller cities where incomes are generally lower than Santiago, rental prices will be quite reasonable.

If you are looking to teach English in Chile, try
INSTITUTO CHILENO NORTEAMERICANO DE CULTURA.
They have centers in several cities in Chile and been offering English courses for decades.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:42 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,462,355 times
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Thanks Recycled! Does anyone else have anything to share about Chile?
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I would love to visit Chile. Plus its an upcoming Latin Power (economy wise) now, that is really good!

How are you going about teaching English?
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:55 AM
 
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Chile is one of my favorite countries in the world!! (much to the dismay of my Argentinean boyfriend -- there's quite a rivalry between the two countries)

Santiago, however, is probably my LEAST favorite large city in Latin America. If you can believe it possible, the smog there is worse than LA and the overall pollution to a point of utter disgust. On the other hand, it is a fun city with much to do, great public transit, and a generally warm & friendly population. For other urban areas, check out Temuco or Valparaiso. I've never spent any time further south than the Pucon area (fun little tourist town), but if it's anything like Ushuaia (Argentina's southernmost point) it's going to be green, cold, and picturesque.

In a sweeping generalization, I'd put cost of living in Chile on a par with your average city in the Midwest. No, Chile is not anywhere near as inexpensive as Peru or Argentina, but it's not the sort of place that will break the bank either.

Chile is extremely well developed throughout the country. There are great bus systems even in the rural towns of the lake regions (the breath-taking area where, 40 years from now, I'm already planning to retire), so living car-free is not too difficult, which saves a lot of $$ also.

Downsides to Chile: smoking EVERYWHERE (even in classrooms in some colleges); extremely forward men can make it uncomfortable for US women; heavy pollution in urban areas

Plus sides to Chile: everything else. I love this country!
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:11 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,462,355 times
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Quote:
How are you going about teaching English?


A friend of mine forwarded a website to me. WorldTeach (I hope it's okay to put the link up here) I'll have to look into it more, but they offer the chance to teach English for one year overseas, and the country that interested me the most was Chile. So I've decided that if I don't get a teaching job in my home area this fall, I'll look into this.

Thanks for the responses Recycled and Bichita. It sounds like Chile is mostly what I thought it was.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:25 AM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
3,162 posts, read 10,483,768 times
Reputation: 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Hello!

I'm considering applying to work as an English teacher in Chile next spring, and I was wondering what the country is like. I've heard that Chile is a developed country, but is that just in Santiago, or is that across the country?
What are the main urban areas besides Santiago?
What is southern Chile like?
Is it affordable for an American to live in one of the main cities? Especially if he is paying off student loans?
Do you like living in Chile?

Any information would be appreciated.
Hi Mackinac! I was recently in Chile and I loved it.

Chile is a country with a small population (15 million inhabitants) I found Santiago to be a very neat and organized city, with very good infrastructure, I found Santiago very similar to Mexico city in many things, but more organized and neat, because there is much less population, I also found Chile very similar to Mexico much more than Brazil at least, although Brazil shares a lot of similarities with Mexico as well.

I found Chile a very nice country to live, people is friendly and the south is beautiful, yet small and peaceful, most people in Chile are well educated and respectful, although I'd consider Chile a developing country rather than a developed country.

Regarding the cost of living, I found Chile more expensive than Brazil and Mexico, but less expensive than the United States, so I guess that it would be affordable for the average American.

I loved living in Chile, it was a great experience after being travelling around Brazil, I made really great friends there and my days there will remain forever in my heart!

Something that I found very interesting, is that there is much love towards Mexico in Chile, and we've had a tremendous influence on the country, I wonder why? maybe it is because we opened our borders during the time of Pinochet's dictatorship and received all the Chileans who were fleeing, maybe it is because there are huge amounts of Mexican investment in the country, or because Chile is one of our main trading partners and friends, maybe all these reasons combined

Regards!
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,369 posts, read 7,760,109 times
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Travelling fella, interesting to read your comments. Many of your impressions are similar to my general observations about everyday living conditions in Chile. Did you get a chance to visit the Maule River valley area around Curico and Talca? That's a nice area a few hours bus ride south from Santiago. Just far enough from the big city to find some cleaner air and nice agricultural surroundings, but close enough to the big city to get there and back in the same day if you need to.

Here's a few other reasons why Mexico and Chile have generally close relations. Cancun is a popular vacation destination for people in Chile who have enough money for a trip to a tropical resort. Mexico and Chile have a free trade agreement, so it is easy for businesses to sell to each other between the two nations or conduct business. Chile and Mexico both have major port facilities on the Pacific Coast, which makes it fairly easy for direct shipments between the two countries. People in Chile watch a fair number of telenovelas from Mexico, and also watch a lot of music or entertainment programs from Mexico.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
3,162 posts, read 10,483,768 times
Reputation: 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
Travelling fella, interesting to read your comments. Many of your impressions are similar to my general observations about everyday living conditions in Chile. Did you get a chance to visit the Maule River valley area around Curico and Talca? That's a nice area a few hours bus ride south from Santiago. Just far enough from the big city to find some cleaner air and nice agricultural surroundings, but close enough to the big city to get there and back in the same day if you need to.

Here's a few other reasons why Mexico and Chile have generally close relations. Cancun is a popular vacation destination for people in Chile who have enough money for a trip to a tropical resort. Mexico and Chile have a free trade agreement, so it is easy for businesses to sell to each other between the two nations or conduct business. Chile and Mexico both have major port facilities on the Pacific Coast, which makes it fairly easy for direct shipments between the two countries. People in Chile watch a fair number of telenovelas from Mexico, and also watch a lot of music or entertainment programs from Mexico.
Heya recycled!! Chile is beautiful huh? unfortunately I didn't have the chance to visit the Maule river or Curico and Talca, but I went to picarquin which is a natural reserve about 45 km from santiago and it took my breath away, I can't wait to return to Chile the next year!!
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