Joined: 22 Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
|Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 1:33 am Post subject: Chile: General work/living experience - Onward ticket
I've been in Santiago for two and a half months now, so I'm not an expert, but just wanted to share my experiences as I found these journals helpful before I came.
I came in the beginning of September, and even though September is a month with a lot of féstivos, I was hired by three different institutes within the first two weeks. I have a college degree and majored in English litterature, but besides a little bit of tutoring, no real teaching experience. I think just being a gringo and wearing a tie was good enough. (If anyone was wondering, no one asked to see my college degree.) I work with Polyglot, Interlang, and Impact English, all of whom I like very much. I make between $4500 and $6000 pesos an hour.
My biggest recommendation is just to come with a good amount of money - no less than $2000 - and no commitments. Bridge-Linguatec and Sam Marsalli do a lot of advertising on the internet, but I haven't heard great things about them. In addition, Bridge-Linguatec is now pushing some $1500 training course - stay away from that!!!!!! There are about 55 language institutes in the yellow pages (amarillas.cl - escuelas de idiomas), so just come and start dropping your resume off to as many as you can. Your resume can be in English. You can also send it to them if they have a link on the online webpages. Don't send them anything until you get here though. Find a place and get a cell phone right away, and you'll be all set.
Other topics - I found some family to live with the first month I was here which I thought was such a clever idea - not so. It wasn't a good experience, nor have I heard of a single good experience doing that. Just stay in a hostel or hotel until you find a place. I like Barrio Brasil a lot, Providencia and Las Condes are okay but not as fun and probably more expensive.
Onward tickets - I had boughten a very cheap one way ticket with Delta and they did ask me for my onward ticket. It's a requirement to enter the country. I had boughten one for the cheapest place I could find, which was Mendoza, Argentina. But there has to be some way to get a bus ticket there, even if you're not in Chile, and that will be more than a hundred dollars cheaper. Sorry that I don't know how to do that. So anyway, Delta did ask me for my onward ticket, but the Chileans definately don't care. I remember being worried about them asking me questions about what I was planning on doing here, but had to laugh at myself after strolling through customs.
So, it's overall very easy to just come here and get started, although right now things are slowing down a little - it's mid-November - and I don't think they pick up too much until March. Come in February and you'll probably find yourself making a lot of money in March.
Other than that, I like it here very much, but I fell in love with Argentina and will probably move there pretty soon. The people here are friendly, sometimes too friendly and it's a little superficial. The food is horrible and the music - hope you like cheasy 80's rock.
But I have to say, the whole experience has been really cool, and if anyone tries to make you doubt whether or not you can do it, don't listen to them.
from Detroit, MI, USA
Posted: November 13, 2002