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The country of Chile stretches from the stark Atacama Desert near the Peruvian border, through the lush vineyards of the central region, south to the frozen fjords of Patagonia. Its capital, Santiago, nestles in a valley at the foot of the Andes. The four-week training course includes 140 hours of classroom time and, and a minimum of 6 hours of observed Teaching Practice with local EFL students. The Training Center is conveniently located in Providencia, an upscale neighborhood of tree-lined residential streets, high-rise office buildings, and plenty of shopping and restaurants. The Center is only a few blocks from the city's sparkling metro system, and a five-minute walk from Suecia, a five-block hotspot hosting dozens of restaurants and nightclubs. The Training Center's modern facilities include 17 fully equipped classrooms, central air-conditioning and heating, a library of teaching materials, plus access to fax, phone, e-mail and the Internet. Trainees have the full support of the administrative staff, who can help new teachers get settled in Santiago by recommending medical services, housing, restaurants, activities, and explanations of how things work in the city. The Center can also arrange language-tutoring exchanges, trading your English classes for Spanish instruction. We highly recommend this tactic!
The TESOL Certification Program includes:
The following are not included:
No specific qualification is needed.
Housing: During training, accommodations in a shared apartment or home stay are available.Santiago home stay families open their middle-class, often single-parent, households to our trainees. They may or may not have children living at home. All host families live in attractive homes in safe neighborhoods. In your host family's home, you will have your own bedroom and either a shared or private bathroom. You will be given a key to the house or apartment and are free to come and go as you please (though, as a guest living with a host family, you should be sure to respect the routine of the people you are staying with). Host families provide breakfast and dinner, and enjoy spending time during meals chatting with students - typically, home stays provide an excellent way to get to know the local culture and language. After training, you will most likely rent a room in an apartment or house with other students or Chileans. Some employers will provide a room for you, either shared or single (usually in an apartment with other teachers) and provide you with a monthly stipend.
Food: Chilean cuisine varies with the ecosystem as one travels north to south and from mountain to sea. The wide range of international cuisines available in Santiago adds yet more choices. Try a pastel de choclo (a pie of chicken, corn, onions, and olives) on a hot day by the coast, or kuchen (a fruity flan of German origin) from the cold south. A wide variety of beef dishes (often served with eggs), along with various soups and stews (chupes and curantos), are also available, as are perhaps the world's most delicious avocados. It should come as no surprise that a country with over 25,000 miles of coastline enjoys an abundance of seafood. From ceviches of clams or sea bass to caldillo de congrio (eel soup) to ostiones a la parmesana (scallops broiled in butter and cheese) to chupe de locos (abalone bread pudding), Chilean chefs and home cooks are masters of their aquatic cuisine. Wine lovers will be familiar with Chile's world class offerings, and others enjoy licuados (milk shakes, often with fruit), juices, and teas. Pisco, a Chilean brandy, is popularly consumed in a pisco sour with sugar, lemon juice, and egg whites. Santiago breakfasts tend to be small and simple: a cup of coffee or tea and maybe a slice of toast or a fruit.Lunch is traditionally eaten between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM and many restaurants offer a menú. This is a set lunch of two or three different options that will consist of a soft drink, bread, salad, a main dish and desert, and is quite inexpensive. A regular menu is also available from which you can choose, but it's more expensive. Many people in Santiago and Chile enjoy once, or tea, allowing them to hold off until supper which is usually quite late -- if you go out to eat before 10:00 PM the restaurants will be nearly empty. The maximum tip given by most Chileans at a restaurant is 10%.
Work visas: Visa requirements vary widely by location. In many countries, participants enter on a tourist visa and the hiring school will help sponsor a work visa after being hired. In Ecuador, we obtain a Cultural Exchange visa for our TESOL Plus participants, which is unique to that country. In Asian countries, work visas are commonly obtained. In Costa Rica, most schools do not want to go through the bureaucratic, lengthy process to obtain a work visa, so the common practice is for teachers to do a "border run", or leave the country for 72 hours every 90 days in order to stay there legally. Most people there look forward to their border runs as a travel opportunity! Many schools in the Czech Republic and Russia will sponsor their teachers for a work visa. However, it is difficult for non EU citizens to obtain work visas elsewhere in Europe. Most schools do not want to go to the trouble to obtain them, as it is a lengthy process, and in fact, if a school sponsors you for a work visa, you would typically need to fly back to the U.S. and go to a consulate here to get the visa, and then return to Europe. Most people do not want to go through the hassle and expense of doing that. The common practice is for schools to hire non EU citizens for "cash-in-hand" positions, and most people just overstay their 90 day tourist visas. Many non EU citizens are in Europe teaching, and being a native English speaker along with a TESOL certificate (after you complete the four week course), makes you quite marketable. (top)