Securing a job teaching English in Chile involves understanding the country's educational demand and preparing accordingly. To successfully find a teaching position in Chile, follow these steps:
- Obtain TESOL Certification: Ensure you are TESOL qualified, as this is a key requirement for most English teaching jobs in Chile.
- Research and Apply: Look for job openings in schools, language institutes, and businesses. Online job portals and ESL teaching websites are good resources.
- Prepare Documentation: Have your resume, TESOL certificate, and other relevant documents ready for applications and interviews.
- Visa Requirements: Familiarize yourself with Chile's visa requirements for foreign teachers and ensure you meet them before applying.
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Chile is a popular destination for teaching English due to its relatively accessible requirements set by employers. To teach English in Chile, the primary requirements include:
- TESOL Certification: Holding a TESOL certification is essential for most teaching positions in Chile.
- Language Proficiency: A native-level proficiency in English is typically expected for English teaching roles.
- Educational Background: While a university degree is not always mandatory for securing a teaching job in Chile, it is preferred by some employers and can enhance job prospects.
- Teaching Experience: Prior classroom experience is not a prerequisite in most cases. However, having some teaching experience on your CV can significantly improve your chances of securing a more desirable position.
Overall, the requirements for teaching English in Chile are comparatively moderate, making it an accessible option for many aspiring ESL teachers who meet the basic qualifications of language proficiency and TESOL certification.
In Chile, the primary employers of foreign ESL teachers are private language schools, which are prevalent in urban areas, especially in the capital city, Santiago. Santiago, home to about 40% of Chile's population, is the hub of the TESOL job market, offering numerous opportunities for teachers, particularly those just starting their careers. After gaining experience in Santiago, teachers often explore opportunities in more diverse locations, including coastal resorts and ski towns, which are highly sought after for their unique settings.
Another significant employer is the English Opens Doors Program, a government-sponsored volunteer initiative that places foreign teachers in public schools across Chile. To qualify for this program, applicants should be native or near-native English speakers, typically aged between 21 and 35. A bachelor's degree is required, along with financial readiness to cover flights and living expenses. Participants in this program benefit from free housing, meals, health insurance, internal transportation in Chile, Spanish language classes, and a monthly stipend of around $100. This program offers a more authentic local experience and is ideal for those seeking cultural immersion while teaching English in Chile.
For those looking to teach English legally in Chile, understanding the visa requirements is essential. There are two primary visa options:
- Subject to Contract Visa: Costs approximately $600. This visa is tied to your employment contract and is typically sponsored by your employer in Chile.
- Professional Visa: Priced around $470, this visa is suitable for professionals, including teachers, and requires proof of relevant qualifications.
It is advisable to regularly check the Chilean Embassy's website for the most current information on visa requirements and application procedures, as these can change.
An alternative, though less stable, option is to work under a 90-day tourist visa, which is issued upon arrival in Chile. However, this approach necessitates leaving and re-entering the country every three months to renew the visa, which can be both inconvenient and time-consuming. For a more secure and long-term employment situation in Chile, obtaining a work visa is recommended.
Applying for English teaching jobs in Chile can be approached in two main ways:
- Online Applications: Many language schools in Chile advertise job vacancies online, allowing potential teachers to apply and interview from their home country. This method often involves the employer assisting with organizing a work visa prior to departure. Websites of private language schools, ESL job boards, and TESOL job placement services are useful resources for finding these opportunities.
- On-the-Ground Job Search: Alternatively, traveling to Chile and searching for jobs in person can offer a broader range of options. This approach allows you to personally visit schools, assess their locations, and discuss contract details before committing. Initially, you would enter Chile on a tourist visa, which can be converted into a work visa after securing employment.
It is important to note the peak hiring seasons in Chile, which are typically from February to March and July to August. Timing your application or arrival to coincide with these periods can increase your chances of finding a teaching position.