Teach English in Chile
After your flight lands in the capital city of Santiago, imagine snowy mountains surrounding the city to the east, pristine beaches to the west, the Atacama desert to the north, and the famous Torres del Paine, Patagonia in the South. This uniquely positioned country truly is a diverse gem, with so much to offer the short-term traveller to the long-term expat who wants to mix-it with the friendly and easy-going Chilean people who are known for their sense of humor.
Chile also has the fastest growing economy in South America with a rapidly developing population in both workforce and education levels, so there is a huge demand for ESL teachers. If you feel like exploring some more, then you’re a close flight or bus ride to Argentina and Peru. Now is a great time to visit South America as a brand new graduate and teach English in Chile.
Santiago is the capital city of Chile and is the largest city in the country. It is a bustling metropolis with a population of over seven million people. Santiago is known for its stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant arts scene. Here are 5 things to do in Santiago:
- Explore the historic center – Santiago’s historic center is home to many of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Plaza de Armas, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Palacio de La Moneda. Visitors can stroll through the streets and soak up the city’s colonial architecture and history.
- Take a walking tour – Santiago offers a range of walking tours that provide insight into the city’s history, culture, and architecture. Options include free walking tours, food tours, and street art tours.
- Visit the Central Market – The Mercado Central is a must-visit destination for seafood lovers, with numerous stalls selling fresh fish, shellfish, and other seafood delicacies. Visitors can sample ceviche, grilled octopus, and other local specialties, or just soak up the lively atmosphere.
- Ride a cable car to the Parque Bicentenario – This modern park is located in the upscale neighborhood of Vitacura and offers beautiful views of the city skyline and the Andes mountains. Visitors can take a cable car ride over the park and enjoy the green spaces, lakes, and sculptures.
- Enjoy the nightlife – Santiago has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues. The Bellavista neighborhood is particularly popular for its bohemian vibe and lively nightlife, with many bars and clubs offering live music and entertainment.
Valparaiso is a port city located on the central coast of Chile. It is known for its colorful and eclectic architecture, which has earned it the nickname of “The Jewel of the Pacific”. Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its steep hills, winding streets, and funiculars that transport visitors up and down the city’s hills. The city is also home to many museums, art galleries, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for tourists. Here are 5 things to do in Valparaiso:
- Ride the Funiculars – Valparaiso is famous for its colorful hills, and one of the best ways to explore them is by riding the city’s funiculars. These historic cable cars climb up and down the steep hills and offer stunning views of the city and the ocean.
- Walk through the Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion neighborhoods – These neighborhoods are some of the most picturesque and charming in Valparaiso, with winding streets, colorful houses, and stunning street art. Visitors can explore the numerous cafes, shops, and galleries that line the streets, or just soak up the atmosphere and views.
- Visit La Sebastiana – This museum is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who once lived in the house. Visitors can explore the eclectic collection of art, antiques, and curiosities that Neruda collected, as well as enjoy the beautiful views of the city and the sea.
- Take a boat tour of the harbor – Valparaiso’s harbor is one of the busiest and most important in South America, and a boat tour offers a unique perspective on the city and its history. Visitors can see the fishing boats, cargo ships, and naval vessels that ply the harbor, as well as enjoy the beautiful views of the coastline.
- Try the local seafood – Valparaiso is famous for its fresh seafood, and there are numerous restaurants and seafood stalls throughout the city that offer delicious and affordable dishes such as ceviche, fish stew, and fried seafood platters.
Patagonia is famous for its pristine wilderness and is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Some of the top attractions in Chilean Patagonia include Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to stunning mountains, glaciers, and lakes. The park offers hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, as well as opportunities for wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Here are 5 things to do in Patagonia, Chile:
- Hike the Torres del Paine National Park – This world-famous national park offers some of the most spectacular hiking and trekking in the world, with stunning views of glaciers, lakes, mountains, and wildlife. Visitors can hike the iconic W Trek or the longer O Circuit, or explore the park’s numerous trails and campsites.
- Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier – This massive glacier is one of the most famous and impressive in the world, with towering ice walls and stunning blue hues. Visitors can take boat tours or hike on the glacier itself, or simply enjoy the views from the nearby boardwalks and viewpoints.
- Explore the Marble Caves – These stunning natural formations are located on the shores of Lake General Carrera and feature intricate patterns and colors in the rock formations. Visitors can take boat tours or kayak through the caves to see the formations up close.
- See the penguins on Isla Magdalena – This small island off the coast of Punta Arenas is home to thousands of Magellanic penguins, which can be seen up close during the breeding season from October to March. Visitors can take guided tours or boat trips to the island to see the penguins and learn about their behavior and conservation.
- Visit the End of the World – Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost region of Chile, is known as the “End of the World” and offers a range of outdoor activities and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can hike through the Tierra del Fuego National Park, take boat tours of the Beagle Channel, or visit the charming town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.
Chilean cuisine is a blend of indigenous and Spanish culinary traditions, with a focus on fresh, simple ingredients. The cuisine varies depending on the region of the country, with seafood being particularly popular in coastal areas.
- Empanadas – a type of pastry that is filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. They are a popular street food in Chile and can be found in many cafes and restaurants. The most common type of empanada in Chile is filled with beef, onions, and raisins.
- Pastel de Choclo – a savory pie made with ground beef, onions, and spices, topped with a layer of cornmeal dough. The dish is baked until the crust is golden brown and is often served with a side of pebre, a traditional Chilean salsa made with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
- Cazuela – a hearty soup made with beef, chicken, or pork, vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, and corn on the cob, and flavored with herbs and spices. It is a popular dish in Chilean homes and is often served with a side of rice or bread.
- Churrasco – a type of sandwich made with thinly sliced beef, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and avocado. It is a popular lunchtime meal and can be found in many sandwich shops and cafes.
- Completo – Completo is a hot dog that is a popular fast food item in Chile. It is served with mayonnaise, tomato, avocado, and sauerkraut or chopped onions, and is often eaten as a snack or lunch on-the-go.
- Asado – Asado is a barbecue-style dish that is popular throughout Latin America, including Chile. It typically consists of grilled beef or pork, served with a variety of side dishes such as salads, bread, and grilled vegetables. Asado is a popular dish for special occasions and social gatherings.
Chilean people are known for their warmth, friendliness, humour, and strong sense of community. They are proud of their cultural heritage and traditions and are welcoming to visitors from other countries. Chileans are resilient, as they have overcome significant political and economic challenges in recent decades. They are passionate about sports, music, and literature, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Chileans value education and many pursue higher education to advance their careers and improve their quality of life. Overall, Chilean people are diverse and complex, but share a deep sense of national pride and identity.
- Family – Family is at the center of Chilean culture, and extended families often live together or nearby. It is common for family members to gather for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and baptisms.
- Sports – Soccer (football) is the most popular sport in Chile, and the national team has had significant success in international competitions. Other popular sports include basketball, tennis, and rodeo, which is a traditional Chilean sport that involves horseback riding and herding cattle.
- Literature – Chile has a strong literary tradition, with writers such as Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral winning Nobel Prizes in Literature. Chilean literature often explores themes of social justice, political activism, and cultural identity.
- Art – Chilean art is diverse and encompasses a range of styles and mediums, from traditional indigenous pottery and textiles to contemporary painting and sculpture. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago is one of the largest art museums in South America.
- Festivals and Celebrations – Chile has many festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including Independence Day (September 18th), the Fiesta de la Vendimia (Harvest Festival), and the Fiestas Patrias (National Holidays), which celebrate Chilean culture, history, and traditions.
- Indigenous Culture – The indigenous people of Chile are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage and history. The largest indigenous group in Chile is the Mapuche people, who have a deep cultural tradition that includes music, dance, and crafts, as well as a strong spiritual connection to the natural world.
To teach English in Chile, a degree may be required by some language schools and institutes. An internationally recognised TESOL Certificate is necessary to teach ESL.
To work as an English teacher in Chile, you will need to have a valid work visa. Most schools will help you obtain the correct visa and guide you through the process with visa assistance. Some students will originally enter on a 3-month holiday visa. The process of obtaining a work visa can vary depending on your country of origin, but generally, you will need to provide proof of your qualifications, a valid passport, and a criminal background check. It is important to check the specific requirements for each country and your language school for up-to-date advice.
Teaching English in Chile offers a unique opportunity to experience the rich culture and natural beauty of this South American country while also making a positive impact on the lives of Chilean students. Chile has a strong demand for English teachers, particularly in the education sector, and offers competitive salaries and benefits. The vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and warm and friendly people make it an ideal destination for those looking to immerse themselves in a new culture and language.