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Moving to Santiago in April... Hi
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Moving to Santiago in April... Hi Reply with quote

Hi, I’m moving to Santiago in April to work with BridgeChile, teaching English. I have a few questions, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of clothing do I need? What is too expensive or difficult to find in Chile? How about in terms of extreme weather?

Within Santiago, which are the safest neighborhoods, also taking into account cost? Where are the fun and cute areas?

Does it make sense to start a Chilean bank account? Or should I use my American account?

Do you recommend a pay as you go plan for cell phones? Can I use my Galaxy S3 there?

Where do the expats hang out? Can you recommend a nice café, market, bar to check out?

Are there any tricky rental agreements I should be aware of? Anything that foreigners should be wary of?

How is the healthcare system overall? What is the first step I should take should I get sick?

How is the water? What should I do to ensure my water is safe?

Any other tidbits are greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you’re still in Chile, perhaps we could meet for a drink or some tea once I arrive.

Sincerely,
Lauren
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chica88



Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just don't know why more people are not responding.
When I came across this information I wanted to post it - you may find it helpful.

Cost of Living

Compared to other Latin American countries Chile is not a cheap country. Nevertheless, most of the main groceries, services, public transport, bus tours and simple restaurants are lower priced than in the Industrial countries. Fruit and vegetables are a lot cheaper, especially when sold on the street. Industrial goods are mostly imported and therefore more expensive than in Europe or North America.

Sample costs for restaurants, Cafés etc.:

1. Mineral water, Coca Cola 0,3 l: 0,90 EUR / 1,25 USD
2. Coffee (Espresso): 0,80 EUR / 1,10 USD
3. Draft beer 0,5 l: 2 EUR / 2,70 USD
4. Sandwich: 2 EUR / 2,70 USD
5. Lunch special: from 3,50 EUR / 4,50 USD
6. Dinner (3 meals and wine): from 10 EUR / 15 USD


Sample costs for shopping in supermarkets:

1. 1 Liter milk: 0,70 EUR / 0,90 USD
2. 1 Pound butter: 1 EUR / 1,45 USD
3. 400 gr noodles: 0,70 EUR / 0,90 USD
4. 1 kg apples: from 0,50 EUR / 0,75 USD
5. 1 kg avocados (Paltas): from 3,30 EUR / 4,50 USD
6. 1 kg tomatoes: 0,70 EUR / 0,90 USD
7. 1 lettuce: 0,40 EUR / 0,55 USD
8. 1 kg white bread: 1,35 EUR / 1,80 USD
9. 1 kg cheese: from 4 EUR / 5,50 USD
10. 1 kg beef: from 4 EUR / 5,50 USD
11. Mineral water / Cola 500 ml: 0,45 EUR / 0,65 USD
12. Mineral water / Cola 2 l: 1,2 EUR / 1,65 USD
13. 1 bottle Wine 0,7 l: from 1,75 EUR / 2,40 USD


Other sample costs:

1. Metro/bus ride: 0,50 EUR / 0,75 USD
2. Taxi (per km): 1,30 EUR / 1,80 USD
3. 1 Liter gas: 0,65 EUR / 0,80 USD
4. Long distance bus tour (500 km): 9 EUR / 13 USD
5. Accommodation in Hostel, per Person: from 9,50 EUR / 14 USD
6. Accommodation in three star hotel (double room): from 35 EUR / 45,50 USD
7. Internet-Café per hour: 0,50 EUR / 0,70 USD
8. Ticket at movie theatre: 4,50 EUR / 6,40 USD
9. Newspaper: 0,60 EUR / 0,90 USD
10. 20 cigarettes: 1,90 EUR / 2,50 USD


Budget per month

The following overview will help you to estimate the costs of living for students in Santiago de Chile. Only basic expenses for rent, food and transport have been taken into consideration. The currency conversion for USD is based on the current exchange rate.



Pinchpenny budget

Pesos

Room Rent
130,000

USD 283

Public transport (2 busses/metro per day, Mon-Sun)
22,800

Breakfast, daily
1.500

Lunch, daily
2.000

Dinner, daily
3.000

Food, total (homemade food, simple restaurants)
195,000

TOTAL PER MONTH
347,000

usd 754



Standard budget

Pesos


Room Rent
160,000

USD 348
Public transport (4 busses/metro per day, Mon-Sun)
45,600

Breakfast, daily (homemade with fruit and egg)
1,500

Lunch, daily (homemade, simple restaurants)
3,500

Dinner, daily (simple restaurant, incl. 1 beer)
6,000

Food, total
330,000

Movie theatre (4 x)
14,000

TOTAL PER MONTH
526,800

USD 1145
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Chile briefly but don't live there now. Weather will be drier than Seattle and warmer but nights could get cool, even cold inside. Don't expect everywhere to be heated. I couldn't tell you about clothing, but it is available so don't go overboard dragging large trunks of it over. Layering is a good idea. I wasn't there in autumn, though.

Cell/mobile SIM cards for pay as you go plans are easily found. Chile is GSM 1900, so if your phone is unlocked and supports that frequency band, it should work.

Bank accounts aren't automatic, so let your current bank know you will be in Chile indefinitely so they don't freak when there is a charge from a Santiago ATM and freeze your account. Your employer should help you establish a bank account in Santiago but you will have to jump through a few hoops first.

More desired neighborhoods include Providencia and above it, La Reina and Las Condes(from downtown as you go east towards the mountains. I lived in Nunoa, (both ns have the ~ above them) south of Providencia and southeast of the central core. It was a good neighborhood, if you like quiet. I needed a bus (plentiful) to get to the subway or a longish walk. The more hippy/bohemian vibe is found in the core neighborhoods.

A great blog written by a gringa (from USA) who has been living for several years in Santiago explores all the lifestyle questions you might have, food, Chilean quirks/slang, etc. and includes photos and humor. Definitely worth perusing before you go.
http://bearshapedsphere.com/
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Housing Hunt Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great info so far! I will definitely be checking on those blogs.

One more quick question. Where can I look for apartments and rooms for rent? I've already found Chilean craigslist, are there any other good recommendations?

Thanks a lot!
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1750
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: Housing Hunt Reply with quote

laurenamster wrote:
Thanks for all the great info so far! I will definitely be checking on those blogs.

One more quick question. Where can I look for apartments and rooms for rent? I've already found Chilean craigslist, are there any other good recommendations?

Thanks a lot!


google comparto (share) departmento (apartment) or arriendo (lease) departmento +Santiago for many sites to pop up.

here's a couple: http://www.compartodepto.cl/metropolitana/santiago-de-chile/arriendo-de-santiago-centro/avisos/l ;

http://search.vivastreet.cl/arrendar-departamento+santiago?lb=new&search=1&start_field=1&keywords=&cat_1=64&sp_housing_monthly_rent[start]=&sp_housing_monthly_rent[end]=&sp_housing_nb_bedrs[start]=&sp_housing_nb_bedrs[end]=&offer_type=offer&searchGeoId=35&end_field=

Probably wiser to wait until you arrive and see what areas you prefer and also to get word of mouth. Perhaps colleagues at your new school know of opportunities. But these websites should give you some idea, anyway. I think I found my room on the compartodepto site (the first listed).
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bearshapedsphere



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Roadwalker, thanks for the shoutout, that's my blog. Site stats are so informative!

I wanted to give a heads' up about the list chica88 found. (where'd you find it, btw?)

it's pretty out of date.

For example, currently a liter of milk costs a minimum of 600 pesos, at 479 pesos to the dollar, that's more than $1.25 a liter. A "pound" (500 grams) of butter is at least 1000 CLP, which is more than 2 dollars. The cheapest bus ride costs more than a dollar, and a liter of gas is well over a dollar at the moment. A lot of the prices are off, by quite a large percent (things are more expensive now, due to prices going up and the dollar dropping, though it's been stable at 479ish for a while. The economy works better when it's at 550, and the Central Bank might do some machinations for that to happen, but that is a) a temp fix and b) unknown. Also, the prices of veggies changes radically throughout the year.

Chile is not cheap. There are shortcuts you can take, shopping at the local feria (Fruit and veg market), living in areas that are perfectly safe but not very gringoey, not going to Starbucks or any of the other chain restos or other businesses aimed towards gringos (several sports bars etc), etc.

This is not to try to discourage you moving to Chile. You just have to be realistic about what you're getting into, and those costs are a bit deceiving. This chart shows what the peso has done over the past 5 years, for you to get an idea.

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CLP&view=5Y

It's worth a look, and will explain where some of the inaccuracy of the prices is coming from.

hth!
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chica88



Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, thats the only chart type thing I could find.
I just feel bad sometimes when teachers moving to the country for the first time ask questions and theres no response.
Its both confusing and scary to move to a different country of all things.
But, people did come through and give good information, that was nice.
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bearshapedsphere



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chica88, it's not a personal attack, but sometimes letting people google for themselves is better than posting something you took from elsewhere (and you really should give a citation), that you have no idea how accurate the information is.

Anyone who planned their budget on the basis of that outdated info would be in for a very rude awakening. The good news is, though Bridge is not on the high end of the pay scale, private lessons are a burgeoning business here in Santiago.
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derekchile



Joined: 18 Jan 2013
Posts: 13
Location: Valparaiso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: living in chile... Reply with quote

Chile is not cheap, especially if you need to buy electronics, musical instruments, etc. These types of novelty items can be triple the price than if you are coming from the us.

I dont know where you are going to live in Chile....but chile pretty much has four seasons...santiago is reallly hot in the summer time and really cold in the winter. there is no heat in in chile in the winter so you need sweaters and things when you are inside.

It is tough to give you flat our prices of things...it all depends where you live, what city, which part of the city...etc. I live in Valparaiso and I lived in Santiago...overall i have been in chile for two years... please let me know if you have any other questions or you want specifics on a city... good luck! suerte!!!
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Thanks so Much! Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the input, even the contradictory bits. Honestly, I feel better just getting responses and a general idea with regards to my questions.

I will be in Santiago in April, if anyone is there we should meet up for some yerba mate or wine or something.

Thanks again, I will post if I have any further questions.
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: I'm here! Reply with quote

Hey all, I'm here!

It has been awesome so far, everyone has been very helpful and patient.

But some new questions have come up, if anyone has the time.

I have a smartphone from the states, is it possible to unlock (or whatever it's called) here in Chile so I don't have to buy a new phone?

Is there a good place to take (cheap) Spanish classes?

Is Las Condes a convenient neighborhood to live, it seems really far out? I have heard that many BridgeChile students live there, and it will be necessary to commute there often for work. Is this true?

Where should I go to get business cards printed?

Which are the best locations to advertise?

How much could a gringa with a Master's charge for private tutoring?

Thanks in advance for the extra info.
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Sublime



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope the OP is having so much fun that they haven't posted here in way more than a month.

First impressions upon reading the 'cost guide' is that Chile is more expensive than Spain (excluding Barcelona and Madrid).

"pinchpenny budget" $754 a month? Crying or Very sad I've been living in Spain on not much more than half of that budget Shocked
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Been here a little while Reply with quote

So I've been here a little while and am doing fine. I found a nice place to live for a 'reasonable' price and am settling in. Prices are a bit high here, especially food, it has been a stretch on my teacher's salary here. I just found a company that pays much better, so things are looking up on that front. I hope any new teachers here in Chile are reassured by this, as I'm doing well.
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chatnoir



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:59 am    Post subject: Santiago, Bridge English Reply with quote

Hi! Glad to see you have at least a couple of replies, but understand how frustrating it is when you don't get more Smile

I'm also coming to Santiago to work for Bridge this summer. How are you liking it, if I may ask?

Thanks so much
K (Chatnoir)
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laurenamster



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think Bridge is a good start if you want to have a job before you get here. But honestly, unless you work crazy hours, you can't really make ends meet. If you have a TEFL cert, you can find other work. Either way, you will have to find private tutoring jobs. As for Chile itself, I do like it here! The people are wonderful. I will say though, the paperwork and hoops they make you jump through can be really disheartening, so yeah. They love to make you go from office to office to office. Also, the food isn't my fave, but that's just my opinion. Anyways, let me know when you get here.
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