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Teaching English in SA... end of school yea???

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Teaching English in SA... end of school yea???

1. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

ok, so im moving to santiago in august to teach english. I understand that this is in the middle of the school year and i want to stay for some time, but im now getting slightly preocupied as to what will happen when the school year ends. From the information i've been able to find, i think this time runs from december to the end of february, so during this time are there no jobs?? i won't be travelling with much money at all and so will tight for cash and im sure i wouldn't be able to endure such a period of time without an income. Does anyone know what happens then? or better still got some advice. I was thinking i could spend this time wooffing, but ill not be dressed for backpacking so to speak, ill have a bulky suitcase and a laptop bag.

Cheers, any help welcome


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Christian, did you run a reality check on this plan of yours?

The thing is, it's incredibly difficult these days to make any money at all teaching English in SA; for the reasons why, see the other recent threads on the issue. That said, speaking from nothing but common sense I would tend to agree that during summer it will be even more impossible than usual to find enough students to sustain yourself.

3. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Well yea actually, and everything i've read has told me there is ample job opportunities in santiago. You're the first person to say otherwise.

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I must admit that my knowledge is mostly about Argentina and southern Brazil, but since the social/economical situation in Chile is not that much different, I am pretty confident the same will also be true there.

The massive influx of foreign fortune seekers, the dramatic unemployment and income figures and the fact that, especially in the big cities, the level of English has gone up considerably in the last few years, make it very difficult to find students and keep them. You need to bring in assets that really set you apart from the crowd; being a native speaker isn't nearly sufficient these days, at the very least you would also need some formal TEFL qualification, preferably supplemented with earlier teaching experience.

5. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

well experience is always catch 22, but im just about to start on the CELTA TEFL course where you gain about 9 hours teaching experience, its a start. Santiago is currently a rich City in relation to the rest SA, it is experiencing an economic boom due to chile's copper exports and china's lust for commodities. The country and government has embrassed the idea of learning English, especially with the governments campaign of ''English opens doors''. My spanish isn't too bad either, i've just sat for the DELE intermedio and i have previous experience of moving to another country and having huge trouble finding work in Andalucia. SO im ready for the challenge, besides i only have a one way ticket. I have no idea how its going to pan out, but i suppose wwoofing could be a life saver and i have an overdraft that would cover a flight home... or maybe just to spain >D

6. Posted by CasablancaChile (Inactive 43 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Christian,

I'm Chilean and what you say is absolutely right!... I have been lucky to travel all around SA and other countries around the globe, and I can tell you the situation in Chile is not bad at all!

As for you (young foreing guy) not much to worry about. Summer is full of opportunities if you have work visa and you don't mind to work as a waiter, barman or so, then you will have no problems at all. Since you arrive in August, you will have 5 full months to find it out, plenty of time to look for a job. I do recomend you to try chance in Vina del Mar (near Valparaiso) just 1 hr from Stgo to the coast. That city gets crowded in summer time, and english speaking personnel is much appreciated.

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you need any advice!


7. Posted by BR-UNO (Inactive 31 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hey Christian,
Check Craig List for job offers and on this website you find lots of volunteer work all over south america
Good luck!
Wish you a nice trip!

8. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1028 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Volunteering to teach English, In My Opinion, is ridiculous. If you came to volunteer, there are many things you can volunteer for. Teaching English is just a con for 'packers to think that they are making a difference....Still, you wanna, go to. The rest of you, it is one item in a limited cache to make travelling actually pay for itself.

If the school year is over...and this is can always try Berlitz...Berlitz doesn't even need a certificate of any kind as they have their own (entirely simplistic, and to my mind, mostly ineffective) technique. But there are hundreds of schools out there that do not subscribe to a school semester...They finish one, and they start another. Thousands of workers know that the dollars are coming from the English and they know that knowing the language will help them get those dollars to survive....Most schools(Yep, I am going to say MOST schools) go year 'round.

I spent a year in Colombia last year. Walked into a Berlitz as a lark and was teaching in a week....I had dozens of offers from other schools....Dozens from local folks willing to pay me independent...Only my apathy and lack of drive kept me from cashing in on these offers. Your language is a GIGANTIC comodity. You can find work with it...


9. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Don't worry mate, I'm doing a CELTA course now and I'll be going to WORK not volunteer in Chile. Anyway, thanks for the info on Colombia, Im seriously considering moving to colombia at some point in the future to teach English and i had previously thought it was difficult.....


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