As Chile is one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Latin America, it has long been a popular destination for ESL teachers. Jobs can be found in advance via online job boards or by interviewing in person from within the country. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the popular English Opens Doors Program (EODP) that places foreign teachers into schools across Chile on a volunteer basis. Participants on the scheme work as teaching assistants with the aim of improving the English language skills of children ranging from 10 to 18 years old.
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The EODP is a highly respected program that is sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Program. The program is open to native or near-native English speakers between the ages of 21 and 35 (applicants outside this age range are assessed on an individual basis). Applicants also require a bachelor's degree and sufficient finances to pay for transportation to and from Chile, as well as living expenses during their stay. Any teaching qualifications or experience of international travel will also be taken into consideration when applying for the program.
If accepted on the program you will be placed into a public school where you will work under the guidance of a local teacher. Placement areas are decided on many factors so personal preference cannot be guaranteed, although you can specify your preferred destination during the recruitment process. A typical working week involves 24 hours of English teaching in the classroom, plus 11 hours of extra-curricular activities. The students in your classroom could be aged anywhere from 5th grade (10-11 years old) to 12th grade (17-18 years old). For more information please visit the official EODP website.
The main benefit of this program is the chance to live and work in a fascinating environment that provides invaluable classroom experience and a huge potential for adventure and personal development. While the EODP is a volunteer scheme, it does provide some additional benefits for its participants.
- All housing costs are covered if you choose the homestay option
- All meals are also included
- A monthly stipend of 70,000 CLP (currently $110 USD)
- Week-long orientation course in Santiago
- Free transport within Chile
- Free health insurance
- Free online Spanish course
- No visa fee