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Seeking commentary on living/working in Chile

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Seeking commentary on living/working in Chile

1. Posted by trgamble (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

trgamble has indicated that this thread is about Chile

Hello global community! My good friend and I are both considering a dramatic life change. Nothing wrong with the status quo mind you, but I think we both want to travel and explore while we aren't "tied down".

Chile is a target country for both of us, and despite scouring the Internet for hours on end, I can't seem to find too much testimony about another person's experience living and working in that country.

So this is my plea to you all... if anyone is willing share their experience as an ex-pat of another country who is now (or did) live in Chile, we would both greatly appreciate it!

Some of the topics we're interested in are:
- Best regions to live in. We understand this is subjective based on personal preference
- Ease of finding work and types of available work
- Availability of living arrangements. Again, subjective based on where you live(d).
- Exciting suggestions for "micro trips", excursions outside the city, adventures!

Again, I/we thank you so much.

Travel well.

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

I can only give you some limited information I got second-hand:

  • Unemployment in Chile, though not as bad as in neighbouring countries, is pretty bad. Finding a legal, regular job will be difficult if not impossible, unless you have special skills that are in high demand
  • Working illegally is not recommended. Unlike Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, Chile actually has functioning immigration services, and the chances of getting caught are considerable
  • The Santiago region has by far the most jobs. My previous two comments notwithstanding, your chances at finding a job as a teacher of English or in tourism are probably best there. If you're a qualified nurse, I heard that there are special programmes throughout the country

This is not too helpful, but it may be a start. The website of the Extranjería may also be of interest to you.

3. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 7y

I work and live in santiago as an english teacher. English teaching is easy to pick up here, but i´d also say its your only way in. People get jobs here without teaching qualifications, any type of certificate goes along way. In santiago thre´s loads of work, outside not so much. Valparaíso is a really nice city, but small with little work. Santiago is a safe and efficient city compared to other cities in south america, although ugly and with pollution problems in the winter. If you have anymore questions on santiago and english teaching send me a message. Bythe way im nots ure how old you are but i know teachers here well into their 40s who´ve just started teaching.


4. Posted by littlebex (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y


Im English and have been living and working in Santiago for 8 months. I personally think Stgo is a great place to live: its a lot more developed than other South American cities and you can find pretty much anything you could ever want here. Saying that, its smoggy, quite expensive and feels a lot less cultured than other cities (Las Condes where i live could easily be in the US/Europe).

Availability of apartments seems to be pretty good: try looking at portalinmobiliario. The nicest parts of town are the north east of the city. You might have problems signing a contract until you have a residency card.

Santiago, being in the middle of the country, is well located for little trips out. Cajon de Maipo is about 30 mins south of the city - here you can go walking in the mountains, white water rafting, horseriding etc. Valparaiso, about 1 hour west, is an interesting place to visit and there are beach towns all the way up the coast. If you book in advance, internal flights from SCL airport are quite cheap enabling you to get to the extremes of the country. Mendoza, Argentina is about a 6 hour bus ride away

Let me know if you have any more questions!


5. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 7y

Hi littlebex,

I'm planning to do a 6 months backpacking trip around South America come this year end.
Santiago will be my 1st place to touch down. My question is, how easy is it to book buses and connections along the way?

Tentative routes:

-Santiago, Pucon, Bariloche
-El Chalten, Los Glaciares NP, El Calafate, Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine NP
-Torres del Paine NP, Punta Arenas, Magellan Straits, Beagle Channel, Ushuaia
-Valdes Peninsula, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires
-Buenos Aires, Colonia, Montevideo, Salto, San Ignacio, Jesuit Ruins
-Iguazu, Bonito
-Pantanal Wetlands, Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro


6. Posted by trgamble (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Hey everyone... thank you! Your feedback has been very informative so far. If anyone else would like to weigh in, please do. I would love to hear more.