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What to Know Before Coming to Chile to Work as an ESL Teacher

1. The Best Time to Search for a Job

Be aware of the peak hiring seasons in Chile. Since it is in the southern hemisphere, they could very well be different from what you’re used to. If you plan to apply in Chile, the best times to apply are in February and July as they come right before the “busy months,” which are from March to December.

If you plan to apply in your home country, you should begin the job search and application process at least two months before your arrival.

At Smooth Talkers, we hire in-person and online. Be sure to take our teacher quiz: and to send your CV and cover letter to us by filling out the form at the bottom of our “Work with Us” page:

2. Visa Details

- Cost: Be aware of the price of the professional visa for your country. You can check the prices on this map posted by Extranjería.

- Diploma Apostille: Obtain an Apostille seal for your diploma. This will give your degree international validation and is necessary in order to send it to apply for the professional visa. This step cannot be done in Chile. Because we only sponsor the professional visa, you need to have any bachelor’s degree of at least 4 years. Contact your university to ask for information on how to obtain an Apostille as it can vary depending on the state and the school. You can find more information here: judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/apostille-requirements.html

- You can work for a year here if your country offers a working holiday visa in Chile. These countries include: Germany, Australia, Austria, Canada, Korea, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, and Sweden. Check with the nearest Chilean consulate to learn about the process to obtain one.

3. How to Receive a TEFL Certification

We recommend obtaining a TEFL certification:

- You can enroll in a TEFL certification course through various institutions such as the International TEFL Academy.

- These courses usually have an online option if you are unable to attend in-person.

4. It Is Not Enough to Be a Native Speaker

Have a strong grasp of English grammar and teaching techniques. You can observe classes and volunteer teach in your hometown.

Smooth Talkers also offers a Grammar Review and Teaching Skills course which you can attend upon your arrival or before online. Learn more about the course here. To inquire about the course, e-mail us at

5. How to Find Housing

Begin searching for living accommodations. Teachers usually share apartments or houses with other roommates. You can find a a large number of listings on different websites and Facebook groups. One we recommend is https://

We also recommend that you book temporary accommodation, such as AirBnb, for the first couple of weeks of your stay so you can see the different permanent living options in-person.

The areas of the city we recommend are Santiago Centro, Providencia, and Las Condes. The monthly cost of a shared apartment varies, but it is usually between $180,000-330,000 (approximately $267-490 USD).

6. What Chile Is Like

Chile has incredibly diverse geography and topography. The Andes run along the eastern border shared with Argentina up until the Atacama Desert in the north, the driest place in the world. As you head towards the south, the terrain becomes more green and lush and you can eventually reach glaciers at the southern tip. Chile is also considered to be one of the most economically stable countries in Latin America, and the demand for English language instruction continues to grow. The largest market for teaching English is with adults, particularly business professionals.

7. Learn Some Spanish

Since Chile is a Spanish-speaking country, it is an advantage to know the language. We recommend studying useful phrases and basic vocabulary before coming here. Once you arrive to Chile, you can further practice Spanish by attending language exchanges and even classes for foreigners.

Smooth Talkers offers Spanish classes as well. Learn more here.

Chile is also known for having a very distinct dialect and lots of slang. You can review a list of "chilenismos" here.

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