Linda, from the United States writes:
My daughter, Emily, taught at EducaUC in Chile with the TeachingChile program from July through November 2010. This had been a long-held dream of hers to teach English in a Spanish speaking country and to immerse herself in their language and culture. After researching many options she decided to apply to the TeachingChile program. Although Emily is a mature young woman who is very independent, I am like most parents in wanting to know a bit more about her plans of living and working in a foreign country that is six thousand miles away.
I was impressed by the testimonials that I read on the TeachingChile website from previous participants in the program. It was also reassuring to me to note that the directors of the program resided in Santiago and personally oversaw the placement of the teachers and their orientation to the country and to their positions. Other companies that Emily had checked into were based in the U.S. and served as "middle men" who screened applications and connected potential teachers with a government run program in Chile.
While those companies may be great, they did not allow a participant to know in advance specifically where they would be placed in the country until they arrived. With TeachingChile you knew your placement before arriving. Also, when you called or emailed to ask questions you were connected directly with either Bruce, the director, or Andrea, the program coordinator. This personal relationship and involvement with their teachers helped me to feel very comfortable about sending Emily off to Chile.
Her experience with the TeachingChile program proved to be everything Emily had desired. Her homestay in Rancagua was a perfect fit for her, and she loved the school, her students, and fellow teachers. I believe the fact that Bruce and Andrea personally select and place their teachers helps ensure that a "good fit" is much more likely. A teacher is not randomly placed and that is a huge difference between TeachingChile and other similar programs.
The TeachingChile program lived up to all of my daughter's expectations in terms of helping her acclimate to a new country and culture, as well as connecting her with a great group of fellow participants in the program. Bruce and Andrea provided wonderful support every step of the way. As her semester drew to a close, Emily developed a lingering cold that eventually turned into a serious case of pneumonia that resulted in her being hospitalized for a week.
I was unable to travel to Chile myself because of my own health issues at the time, but Emily's boyfriend, Jeremy, flew to Chile to stay with her. In the interim before he arrived, Bruce called me multiple times a day to update me on Emily's condition and helped to oversee her care. Bruce met Jeremy at the airport and had pre-arranged all his transportation to get him to Rancagua, where Emily was staying.
There are simply no words to convey how thankful our family is for Bruce and Andrea. It was like having extended family on the ground in Chile who cared deeply for our daughter and her well-being. This personal involvement was what I instinctively felt when I had talked with Bruce while Emily was applying for the program, and during Emily's health crisis this proved to be absolutely true. There is no greater fear as a parent than having your child seriously ill so far from home, being unable to get there yourself, and having to rely on others to care for her. I can honestly say that Bruce and Andrea were answers to our prayers. At one point they simply cleared their schedules of all appointments so they could attend to Emily and communicate with us back in the U.S.
The one thing I know for certain is that this response is not unusual for Bruce and Andrea. They are extremely caring, compassionate individuals who direct a quality program with great personal integrity. If your child is considering applying for TeachingChile and you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss with a fellow parent, I would be happy to communicate with you. I am now the biggest parent fan for TeachingChile because I have personally experienced what sets them miles apart from any other teacher placement program in Chile.
Lyndsey, from United States
“First of all, thank you Bruce and Andrea for providing such an amazing level of support through TeachingChile. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind figuring things out on the fly and was a bit hesitant to coordinate my overseas experience through an organized program.
My first conversations over the phone with Bruce gave me a positive feel for the benefits of the program but it wasn't until I arrived in Chile that I realized the program was worth it's weight in gold. From the incredibly helpful and comprehensive welcome packet I received upon arrival to assistance with many un-foreseen issues that surfaced, the TeachingChile program was nothing but a blessing and a lifesaver and truly has enhanced my experience as an ESL teacher in Santiago, Chile.
I would recommend the TeachingChile program to anyone without a single hesitation and I have recommended it to several people already. In addition to the support and organization of Bruce and Andrea, it also has been terrific to meet and become friends with the other program participants. It's like having an instant network of friends who can relate on the same level due to the shared experiences- it's fantastic."