Frequently asked questions about volunteering in Chile.
Placements are offered across the country – from Arica to Punta Arenas. Each year, different schools apply to have a volunteer teacher, so location placement is based on which schools have vacancies.
During the application process, volunteers have the opportunity to indicate their location preference (such as urban versus rural). Location preferences will be taken into account when making placement assignments, however, the final decision is made based on where teachers are most needed.
You will find out your placement region two weeks prior to the start of the program. Upon arrival in your region, you will find out specific information regarding your city or town, your school, co-teacher, and your host family.
Volunteers will be placed with a Chilean Host Family. Volunteers will have their own bedroom and be provided with three meals per day.
Living with a host family is one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering in Chile. The benefits of living with a host family include the opportunity to practice and improve your Spanish and learn about Chilean culture first hand. As with anywhere in the world, it is important to remember that each family is different and the family you are placed with may not be a ‘nuclear family’.
Access to the internet is not a host family requirement, however, many host families do have internet in their homes. Most schools also have internet access. Internet cafes are also common in Chile. Many volunteers bring their laptops to Chile to use in the classroom and to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Volunteers should expect to spend approximately 25 hours a week in the classroom and another 10 hours each week planning lessons, leading an extracurricular activity, and participating in other English Open Door initiatives, such as preparation for the Spelling Bee, public speaking, and debate competitions.
On average there are 35-45 students per class in Chilean public schools.
Upon arrival in your region, you will find out more information regarding your specific placement. If you have a preference for elementary school or secondary school, make sure to include this information on your application. While preferences are taken into account, placements at a particular grade level cannot be guaranteed.
Depending on the size of the school, some teachers will be required to teach all grade levels. The English level does not vary greatly among the different ages, and some basic materials, such as stamps and stickers, are a hit with all grade levels.
Yes. Upon arrival in Chile, all volunteers will attend a week long orientation in Santiago. Orientation includes information on the Chilean Educational System and classroom management, adjusting to Chilean culture, and microteaching.
Yes! Volunteers are provided with an E-learning Spanish course to be completed while in Chile. The E-learning course will allow you to improve your Spanish and monitor your progress. Living with a host family encourages volunteers to use their Spanish on a daily basis.
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