Posted by Che King 8 months 4 weeks ago
I would have to say that living with a family is definitely the way to go!
Depends on what your comfort level is and on your personality as well. If you feel you can easily meet people outside of the family, then living independently might work for you. One of the things that made my experience a good one was the fact that I met people, and met friends outside of the program. Many of the volunteers who I know who lived independently had a hard time meeting people and getting a good Chilean experience. I personally stayed with a host family for two volunteer services and it made it alot easier for me to integrate myself into the culture and learn things I otherwise may not have learned living alone. I would say take a hard look at what you want from your experience in Chile, how long will you stay, and how you expect to experience the things you want to experience if you choose to live alone or with a family. I think there can be pros and cons to either situation. Good luck deciding and being a part of an overall great program! My advice is to always stay positive no matter what you decide.
Thank you so much! What do volunteers usually do after the program? Do they stay in Chile?
While EODP will provide you with some funding if you live alone it probably will not cover rent entirely. So, financially, living with a host family is the superior option.
I would also agree with what Christine wrote, a host family is a helpful way to integrate into your community. This is extremely valuable.
You are guaranteed your own bedroom in a host stay, which can serve as your own private place.
Overall, I recommend a host stay.
Most people live with a family and I think that's the point of the program. I probably wouldn't live independently, even though I had a bad experience with my family. It depends a lot on what city you get sent to, and you don't know that information until it's already too late to make any big decisions. I would say that you take the risk and live with a family- and just hope it goes well, or change asap if they are bad. My experience would have been much better if I changed families asap rather than waiting.
While there are benefits to both options depending on what your needs are, we highly recommend choosing to stay with a host family. Living with a host family will allow the volunteer to learn about Chilean culture and to integrate into the local community in a more authentic way. This experience will also help volunteers learn/improve their Spanish through a completely immersive experience.
We match volunteers to their host families using preference information the volunteer provides on their application (non-smoker, vegetarian etc.) as well as information obtained from the host family during their Program interview. Program staff will do their best to match these preferences, although in some cases, it may not be possible.
If a volunteer would choose to live independently, the English Opens Doors Program will provide the volunteer with the same stipend money that a host family receives in addition to their volunteer stipend. However, it is likely that volunteers would need to supplement their stipend with personal money to cover living and daily expenses.
Thank you very much for your reply. I have another question. What do volunteers usually do after the program ends?
Thank you again for your question!
In terms of what volunteers do once they complete their service, the answer varies. Many volunteers choose to stay in Chile/South America to travel and/or work after their volunteer service. 20% of our volunteers who participated with us for the 2016 academic year have applied to volunteer with us again in 2017. We also have volunteers who have returned to their home countries to pursue work and/or high education opportunities. Thank you again for your inquiry and interest in our program!