Since 2005, TeachingChile's mainline business has been to recruit and place native English speaking teachers into Chilean schools and universities to teach English for five-, ten- or 12-month terms. However, given the academic calendar in Chile does not perfectly coincide with that of schools in the northern hemisphere, many candidate applicants have asked if TeachingChile could arrange a program with a shorter duration.
In 2008, we piloted a shortened, nine-week program, and with its success, we are now offering it as an established program in the TeachingChile portfolio. The Study Spanish and Work Practicum Nine-Week Program ("Study and Work") provides accepted participants 60 hours of intensive Spanish-language courses in Santiago Chile, plus over 150 hours of volunteer work service in order to obtain real-world conversational Spanish practice skills and to help young Chileans in their local Santiago school and community at large.
Aside from gaining an unforgettable cross-cultural experience, participants will also receive a certificate of completion – both valuable and enriching for the participant's resumé.
The "Study Spanish" Component
Escuela Bellavista is Santiago's most highly reputable Spanish-language institute, located in Santiago's prized bohemian district of Bellavista. Group classes are provided at eight different levels, depending on the participant's knowledge of Spanish. Accepted applicants in our program will receive via email from TeachingChile an evaluation test to help the experienced staff at Escuela Bellavista place them in the appropriate level of instruction. Click here for more info about this language institute.
At Escuela Bellavista, you will receive 60 hours of intensive classes during the first three weeks.
The "Work Practicum" Component
Participants will work in one of eight "colegios" (the Chilean word for schools with students from kindergarten through 12th grade). The schools are located in the Santiago comunas of Puente Alto, Maipu, La Pintana, San Joaquin, Pudahuel and Quilicura. Work responsibilities will include creatively providing recreational activities such as arts and crafts, sports, English classes, and more.
The students that you will be working with are kids that come from low income families with not many opportunities for a good education. Your assignment will be to act as a "big brother" or "big sister" to these young Chileans. The non-profit organization that helps manage this volunteer program is Belen Educa.
More About Belen Educa
Belen Educa was founded in 1999 by the Arzobispado de Santiago with the goal to assist young Chilean from low-income homes in order to have a chance for a better education. Belen Educa’s goal is to offer quality education, where kids have a much better chance for a future, to give possibilities for all families to leave poverty, and to give parents the chance for their children to have the education they deserve.
Belen Educa is a non-profit organization without lucrative funding that has been assisting young children to develop a way of life outside of the streets of Santiago and the surrounding areas.
Slideshow of Kids
To view some photos of kids, one of the school’s director, and other volunteers, click on one of the links below.
Additional Cultural Exposure
Three informational Santiago Excursions will be provided, guided by a local Chilean. Participants can enjoy seeing and learning about Santiago's City Center, Santiago Cultural Neighborhoods, and the Santiago General Cemetery.
Emergency Medical Coverage and Non-Emergency Medical Assistance
Emergency Medical Coverage: This is coverage for those emergencies that most likely will never happen (e.g., breaking a leg, or other serious injury). Accepted program participants are required to provide proof of emergency medical insurance coverage from the time they board the plane through the time they return to their home country. If the participant is not already covered by a policy with their school, work or family, TeachingChile can provide some recommendations for reputable insurance companies that past participants have purchased a policy.
Non-Emergency Medical Assistance:. This includes some of the more common ailments one may encounter (e.g., common cold, flu, ear ache). TeachingChile has an arrangement with a network of four hospitals for all of our program participants to receive a 20% discount for these lower-cost doctor-assisted ailments. Furthermore, a bi-lingual member of TeachingChile staff will assist you in reserving the doctor appointment, accompanying you at the office visit, and any and all follow-up required such as going to the pharmacy to buy the required medication. (The discounted costs for the doctor and any prescribed medications will be paid for by the program participant).
Upon arrival into Santiago airport, participants will need to purchase a tourist visa, valid for 90 days, but renewable throughout the lifetime of the participant's passport. The fee is paid directly to the Chilean government at the airport—current cost is $140 US dollars.
The program fee includes all housing. Program participants will be lodged together. The location is very central, a safe area in the Comuna of Santiago, and near the crossing of two subway lines, the popular and famed Barrio Brasil, plus more.
The program fee includes the following meals prepaid.
Breakfast: Provided seven days per week. Includes toast with butter and marmalade, coffee and tea.
Lunch: Provided five days per week during the work practicum period by the school.
Dinner: Provided five nights per week. Includes a salad, a wide choice of delicious home-cooked Chilean meal entrees, desert, and fruit juice. (Alcoholic beverages are at the participant's cost).
Participants with strict dietary constraints or prefer a vegetarian diet will be responsible for their own meals. Program discounts are not provided for those that have special dietary constraints.
Communication with Family and Friends at Home
Cell phone. The program fee includes a prepaid Chilean cell phone for each participant, which will be waiting at the check in of their housing. Additionally, at least one week prior to departure from your home country, TeachingChile will email you the international dialing instructions for you to give to your family and friends on how to reach you. We know it is important for you and family to have contact.
Internet. Your lodging is WiFi-enabled should you decide to bring your laptop and use email and/or SKYPE to contact family and friends. Alternatively, should you decide to leave your laptop at home, the lodging has internet-connected computers for your use free of charge.
Emergency number to reach you. Should someone need to reach you and they are not successful at the above two options, they can reach TeachingChile at our U.S.-based telephone number 24-hours per day, seven days per week at 1-720-221-3831. This U.S. telephone number routes the call to Chile at no international toll charges to the calling party.
Additional Costs to Participants
In addition to the program placement fee, participants will be expected to pay for roundtrip air travel from country of origin to Chile, all transportation costs within Chile, two evening meals per week, lunch every day per week, and other incidental expenses, proof of medical insurance, and a visa (if applicable). For an idea of the cost of living in Chile, click here.
Summary of Program Offerings
Accepted participants will receive the following, prepaid and pre-arranged:
45 hours of intensive Spanish-language classes to be taken over the course of the first three weeks in Chile plus 24 hours of intensive Spanish practice during the same three first weeks,
a comprehensive "Chilenismos" dictionary, defining in English all of the unique colloquial Spanish words used in Chile,
150 hours of pre-arranged volunteer work, providing participants an opportunity to practice their Spanish-language skills and offer teaching and role model assistance to Chilean youth within Belen Educa’s network of schools,
welcome lunch and orientation with program managers,
housing for the duration of the stay in a centralized location in Santiago, WiFi enabled, computers available for internet access, cable TV, shared kitchen,
breakfast provided seven days per week,
lunch provided during the period working at Belen Educa,
evening dinner meals (five per week, Monday through Friday),
three Santiago excursions, guided by a local Chilean host,
airport transfer from Santiago airport to the prepaid lodging location,
prepaid Chilean cell phone waiting for you at your housing location; (we will email you your private Chilean phone number with international dialing instructions for all of your family and friends to have one-week before you board the airplane to Chile),
experienced and bi-lingual coordinators to provide 24-hour support and services during your stay,
bi-lingual medical assistance that you might need during your stay, which includes assistance in reserving the doctor's appointment, accompanying you to the doctor's office and subsequent pharmacy visit to purchase any necessary medication, and
discounted airfare and emergency medical insurance coverage available for purchase through an agreement with STA Travel,
pre-departure information to ensure you are prepared for your trip including visa advice and other recommendations to be sure you are properly equipped,
a 20% discount for a two-month health club membership, Gimnasio Pacific Fitness Club.
Send an email to [email protected] Or call the program coordinator, Andrea Rodriguez, at this USA telephone number +1 801-415-6818.
How to Apply
The application process is in two parts:
- A short, simple and informal telephone conversation in Spanish with a TeachingChile staff member.
- Your submission of a completed application package with answers to four essay questions.
All email and telephone correspondence with TeachingChile will be in English except for one short pre-scheduled phone conversation in Spanish.
To apply, see the application instructions on our website.