Natural beauty, great food and wine, and friendly people – Chile has it all. The New York Times even put this country #2 on its list of “Places to Go in 2017,” and it’s not hard to see why. What you may not know, however, is that Chile is also a great teaching destination, with flexible requirements for teachers and plenty of demand to teach adult professionals. Whether you choose to get TEFL certified right in Santiago, or take an online TEFL course before you go, here are 10 reasons you need to teach in Chile in 2017!
1. The gorgeous and geographically diverse landscape
Chile’s slender shape makes it a country with wildly diverse landscapes. It stretches over 2,670 miles north to south, but is only 217 miles at its widest point! That makes for a whole lot of coastline, with beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean for swimming and surfing. If you tire of the beach, the Andes Mountains also line the country from top to bottom on its east side, so skiing and hiking are easily accessible, too.
Further speaking to its diversity is the fact that even though Chile has the driest spot on earth, (the northern Atacama Desert) there are glaciers in the southernmost portion of the country! If you want to teach in a place that has the best of every world, Chile is the place.
2. The wine
This is Chile’s time for great wine production. The history of Chilean wine starts with French immigrants who populated the country and shared wine growing techniques with local Chileans, but since then the industry has come into its own. One popular Chilean wine grape is the Carmenère, which has notes of spicy berries, black pepper, and bell pepper, but Chile also produces well-known wine varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Plus, while living in Chile, you’ll get to enjoy these amazing wines at a much lower price than those imported from other countries.
3. Easter Island
This isolated island is over 3,000 miles away from the mainland, and if you can get there, you will definitely feel like you’re in another world. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Polynesian cultures created these iconic statues that remain standing today. Even if you’ve seen them in pictures, in real life these massive structures are completely overwhelming—and worth the journey.
4. Generous & friendly people
When compiling a list of the great things about many South American countries, the friendliness and hospitality of the people always come up. Chileans place a high value on traditional family life and on community. They are known for being sociable, generous, and welcoming to foreigners. Don’t be surprised if a Chilean family you share small talk with a the local market invites you over to their house after to continue the conversation!
The largest city in Chile, Santiago is also the place most teachers seek jobs. In addition to teaching opportunities, Santiago is simply a great place to be. It has maintained a local feel, without hordes of tourists. In the daytime, you can relax or have a barbecue in one of Santiago’s parks, and by night the nightlife is fun and varied. The location is also fantastic – you can be at the beach or mountains in about an hour, and wine country is a short drive south. Overall, in Chile’s cosmopolitan capital, you can find vibrant art, culture, and food… a real big city experience in the heart of South America.
Bridge offers its classroom-based TEFL certification course, the IDELT, in the heart of Santiago, and graduates are often hired to teach English with Bridge at the very same center right after certification!
6. The high standard of living
Chile usually ranks highly among Latin American countries in terms of having a strong economy, high standard of living, and low level of poverty. The roads are well maintained and government corruption is minimal. Living in Chile, you’ll find all the conveniences of home and won’t have to let go of some of the products and things that you are accustomed to from back home. It’s also fairly inexpensive to live here, and you might end up saving some money!
7. Outdoor activities
If you love the outdoors, Chile will be heaven. All kinds of sports and outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, swimming, and skiing, will be easily accessible to you from many points of Chile. You can even explore the Andes Mountains and surf on the Pacific on the same day! The gorgeous backdrop, like in the above photo in Torres del Paine National Park, only adds to the beauty of the adventure!
We mentioned Santiago earlier, but Chile is so much more than its capital city. One of the most popular and loved places in Chile is the colorful, hilly port city Valparaíso. Lonely Planet describes Valparaíso as “syncopated, dilapidated, colorful and poetic.” With color and street art adorning the avenues and architecture, Valparaíso is an experience for all the senses. It is a city that has been an inspiration for poets and which manages to charm more visitors every year.
9. The Cueca
This is Chile’s national dance, and it is widely performed during September, which is when Chile’s National Day takes place. There are about three different kinds of Cueca, but they all are said to represent the dance between a rooster and a chicken before mating! Watch a video of Cueca dancing here.
10. Torres del Paine National Park
In the south of Chile is Patagonia, a sparsely populated region with deserts, grasslands, and the Southern part of the Andes Mountains. It also includes the 600,000-acre Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, complete with icebergs, lakes, mountains, and wildlife. The rugged and beautiful park attracts thousands of visitors every year, and is one of the top outdoor locations in the entire world. Looking at the photo above, who wouldn’t want to visit such a pristine and magical place?