Work in Chile
ESL Teachers Needed
If you are a North American traveler or teacher looking for work, dozens of institutes in Santiago, Chile will employ you for your language skills. But to insure success its best to plan ahead: Contact as many of the language schools as possible, five or six months in advance of your planned arrival. Many can be easily accessed via the Internet. Send your resume to those you find most interesting. Make it as professional as you can.
Highlight any English training, including university studies, and teaching experience. Dont forget volunteer work. Include information on traveling, living, and studying abroad, as well as exposure to foreign cultures. Schools want to hire adventurous people, not those easily put off by inconveniences. If you know the language and the culture, flaunt it.
In a letter of introduction explain why you are interested in the position, what makes you qualified, what your future goals are, and how you see your position with the institute will contribute to those goals. Finally, set out clearly, though not bluntly, why the institute should hire you--what position you will fill and why you can do it better than the person whose resume they read next. The idea is to stand out.
The school year starts at the end of March. Dont expect replies until the New Year. Once you receive positive responses, youll have about a week to decide. Some of the institutes have contracts, which are used to justify their sponsorship of your visa. Others hire on the spot. In this case, youll have to leave the country to renew your tourist visa every three months. Paperwork sometimes demands patience but is not usually a problem. The institutes know how to deal with it or get around it.
Most schools have a two- to three-week unpaid training program. Salaries range from 200,000-400,000 pesos per month (approximately $400-$500). You wont be able to afford many luxuries in addition to travel, but its not an uncomfortable wage. Some institutes provide basic insurance; other benefits are rare.
Classes range from one to 12 students. A full-time schedule requires odd hours. Most teachers work split shifts between mornings and evenings. Afternoons are free for catching up on sleep, tutoring (which can be profitable), or other activities.
Santiago has much to offer: rotating monthly museum and gallery shows, opera, classical music, jazz and popular singing, and Latin dancing in theaters around the city.
The hundreds of markets and malls in the city--many of which are hidden in buildings downtown that look like offices--sell everything from artisanal work to Gucci. The pedestrian walks are filled with entertainers--from musicians to preachers to mimes. Parque Forestal, especially around the Museo National de Ballas Artes, is a free-for-all meeting place for amateur jugglers and clowns and musicians every Sunday. In fact, there are so many things to see and do in the city its impossible to know them all. Half the fun is stumbling onto something as you walk along.
The night life in Santiago can only be described as something else. After warming up over a few drinks and maybe dinner, the clubs and dance pubs start jumping around midnight. No matter where you are, dont plan on going home until five or six in the morning.
From simple beer dives to Cuban, Reggae, or Brazilian clubs, every foreign culture and subculture is represented with its own style of food and drinks, dancing, and music. Later, you can press on to the ritzier side of town in Providencia on Avenida Suecia. The locals call it Gringolandia and with good reason--its the place where the professionals hang out. Expect to pay twice what you paid in Bellavista.
Santiago is a city that never ends, that never stops growing. Its a culture of borders and conflicts. Thats what makes it interesting.