Volunteer Teach in Chile - (past program)

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from WorldTeach.

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About

WorldTeach has been working in Chile since 2003. Currently, we partner with Fundacion Educacional Oportunidad, who funds the majority of our yearlong program in Chile. Our volunteers are placed in the remote Elqui Valley, where they serve as teachers and co-teachers teaching English in Chilean elementary and middle school classrooms. Volunteers live with host families or in a group house with other volunteers.

With our year-long program, you can also become TEFL certified to earn credibility and give you an edge in the ESL teaching job market. While certification usually costs about $1,899, with WorldTeach you can become certified for only $350 while also gaining priceless in-country teaching experience.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 15 reviews
  • Benefits 9.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 9.4
  • Safety 9.3
  • Instruction 9
  • Support 8
  • Value 7
  • Academic Rigor 8
  • Job Assistance 6
Showing 1 - 15 of 15
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Delaney
10/10

Chile - WorldTeach - Ministry of Education - English Opens Doors

Time of my life and great experience to live and work abroad! Would highly recommend this type of program for anyone looking to take-off and start in a new country. If you take advantage of all the programs have to offer, like optional Summer/Winter programs you will ensure a better experience by seeing more of the country, volunteering with other groups and learning different dialects/slang from different regions.

How can this program be improved?
This program is not currently active, but I think English Opens Doors still exists.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kate
9/10

Experience of a lifetime in Chile!

I attended the English Opens Doors Program with WorldTeach and the Ministry of Education in Chile during the 2007-2008 academic year. Teaching in Chile was a wonderful experience! The guidance, support and structure of the WorldTeach program was extremely helpful, and the organization is very professional. I have recommended teaching abroad with WorldTeach to many of my friends and colleagues. I would recommend this organization over and over again! It was truly a wonderful experience to volunteer abroad, and were I to do it again I would most definitely go with WorldTeach!

How can this program be improved?
The program could include more pre-travel in-person training. Training could include language instruction, as well as cultural competency training.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Heather
10/10

Incredible Year with Lasting Effects

My decision to join WorldTeach Chile was to see if I wanted to continue on the teaching track and do so in a part of the world I had yet to visit. However, I got so so much more out of the experience than I could have ever expected. South America was a relatively "scary" place in my mind before I arrived and having WorldTeach as a support and structure really made diving into it much a much less nerve racking feat. My year as a volunteer teacher in a suburban public K-8 school and living with a host family was one of growth, reflection, and learning. The most valuable part of the experience were the deep connections with other humans I made whose influences continue to resonate with me today.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
B
7/10

Good program

Different classroom culture that I didn't feel prepared for - but I think that's part of the culture shock. It's also difficult finding a host family that you're a good fit with. However, the experience overall was great. Difficult, but great overall.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Chris
10/10

WorldTeach is amazing

The training is top-notch, the in-country support (via a Field Director who knows the country better) is priceless. They took a dozen of us from zero to Competent Teaching in 2 weeks. I can't imagine having done it any other way.

(Actually, I can, because we worked alongside volunteers from other programs who didn't have WorldTeach support, and they had a really hard time.)

A+++++

How can this program be improved?
For WorldTeach itself, I really can't think of anything.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Abby
9/10

WorldTeach

I would recommend teaching abroad as a volunteer if you already have successful work experiences to build on. You will need to already know how to take initiative and make plans with little guidance. You will also need to know how to prioritize tasks, and be able to build positive interpersonal relationships. I would give this advice of already being prepared probably for any program.

How can this program be improved?
I think I could probably have used some training in receiving feedback. But there were a lot of really great people and everybody was doing their best.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Stephen
9/10

Chile Program a Gem

The Worldteach program in Chile was a very good choice. Worldteach provides effective in-country support and the experience of living with a host family and working in a public school was well designed and very important for my professional career.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gretchen
9/10

WorldTeach Chile is fantastic!

WorldTeach Chile prepared me well for my assignment with a month of in country training that included leveled Spanish classes, cultural lessons, and preparation to teach in a student centered classroom. Once with my host family, I was living in Concepcion which was six hours away from our program director in Santiago. However, I was well supported by other teachers at my school and my family took good care of me. My program director checked in every few weeks, visited to make sure all was well, and was readily available when I needed help. Overall, the program was well run and I gained valuable skills in Spanish, teaching, and living abroad that I still use today. I was eager to live in another country, but appreciated the structure and support of this program from correspondence before we left to prepping us for reentry into the US. I highly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?
It might have been nice to have the option of switching family or living situations in the middle of the year.
Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for leaving this review. In regards to your comment about switching living situations, WorldTeach only moves volunteers if they do not feel comfortable or safe in their housing. Sometimes it is very easy for the volunteer to form a strong connection with the host family, but other times the volunteer must put themselves out there to surpass the simple landlord/boarder situation.

Once the volunteer is placed, the in-country partner or the WorldTeach Field Director maintains communication with the host family to ensure they are comfortable with the volunteer, and the Field Director does the same with the volunteer to ensure he/she feels comfortable and safe with the host family. Most often times, all parties are content, but if the host or the volunteer is not comfortable with the living situation, the volunteer can be moved. This process is taken seriously by WorldTeach, as we expect our volunteers to be conscientious housemates, and the hosts to provide a safe living environment. If the Field Director finds that either the host is not fulfilling their requirements, the volunteer will be moved.

Thank you again for bringing attention to this very important topic.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sean
10/10

The Experience of a Lifetime

WorldTeach in Chile was, pardon the quiche, the experience of a lifetime. The friends I made are friends to this day. The students I taught keep in touch. The host family remains so much more than just a host family. The life lived remains unforgettable.

Do it already.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lindsay
9/10

WorldTeach Chile

Teaching in Chile through WorldTeach was the best experience I could have hoped for. WorldTeach prepared me to teach and also gave me a community and group of friends to help me while I was down there. My school and host family were wonderful. My living situation in Villa Alemana was very nice. I took the Metro to school everyday, taught 5th grade to seniors in high school. The curriculum was supportive and yet flexible. I felt I had adequate support creating lesson plans. I would highly recommend WorldTeach as a teach abroad program!!!

How can this program be improved?
I would decrease the amount of busy work we had to complete through the program.
Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. In regards to "busy work," I imagine you're referring to the requirements of the Teacher Quality Program. Each volunteer is required to submit a monthly lesson plan and module. This allows professional teaching development, helps ensure lesson plans are being executed properly, and initiates dialogue between the volunteer and his/her assigned Teacher Quality Coordinator so that the volunteer's concerns can be addressed. Since the volunteer is already writing lesson plans for school, this hopefully shouldn't be too much additional work for the volunteer. But as you mention it does require the volunteer's time and planning.
Thank you for bringing this important topic to our attention.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Andrew
10/10

Chile - Immersion

Chile is a very unique country. As one of the most stable countries in South America, the people are what make this country truly special. Santiago provides numerous social, cultural and professional opportunities. I recommend you take advantage of the one of a kind experience this program provides. Living with a family is the best way to get a feel for the country and the only way to learn the language effectively. The teaching program is a challenge for the students as well as the teachers. The success of your classes depend on you, as does what you get back from the program as a whole. I threw myself in headfirst and am still living and working in Chile six years later. You never know what can happen.

How can this program be improved?
The program is very well executed. I think more work should go into investigating the motivations for families to receive students in order to insure that volunteers have a good experience.
Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this helpful review.

In general across the WorldTeach programs, either WorldTeach or the in-country partner is responsible for finding host families for our volunteers. Hosts are interviewed and the home is sited before the volunteer arrives, to ensure that the environment is safe, and that the host's motivations are genuine and not just financial (the host signs a contract and receives a monthly stipend from the in-country partner). Ideally and often times, hosts are connected to the school community where WorldTeach works, and therefore understand the volunteer's work and our mission. Sometimes it is very easy for the volunteer to form a strong connection with the host family, but other times the volunteer must put themselves out there to surpass the simple landlord/boarder situation.

Once the volunteer is in the house, the in-country partner or the WorldTeach Field Director maintains communication with the host family to ensure they are comfortable with the volunteer, and the Field Director does the same with the volunteer to ensure he/she feels comfortable and safe with the host family. Most often times, all parties are content, but if the host or the volunteer is not comfortable with the living situation, the volunteer can be moved. This process is taken seriously by WorldTeach, as we expect our volunteers to be conscientious housemates, and the hosts to provide a safe living environment. If the Field Director finds that either the host is not fulfilling their requirements, the volunteer will be moved.

Thank you again for bringing attention to this very important topic.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Laura
8/10

World Teach Chile

World Teach Chile (Elqui Valley) is great for those who want to teach English in public schools alongside in-country teachers. Definitely for those who enjoy the laid-back, rural lifestyle- and who want to be enmeshed in a country's culture. As someone pursuing a career in international development, I felt I learned a lot from this experience and definitely got the on the ground perspective I was looking for. However, with these perks, do come some challenges- ex. dealing with discipline issues in schools, accepting that schedules do change last minute, dealing with a lot of alone time, surviving winter without heat (pack layers!!). Although, sitting around a bonfire under the stars surrounded by mountains and vineyards really can't be beat!

How can this program be improved?
I would make sure the school schedules/ teacher assignments were more set from the start and provide the volunteers with more training on how to use the curricular resources and materials. It would also be helpful to have a training day for both volunteers and their co-teachers.
Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this very helpful review. Our partner schools sign a contract which outlines the maximum number of weekly teaching hours (25 hours in most countries), and the activities that the volunteer will be involved in. However, the actual classes, schedule, and even subject being taught often change at the last minute depending on the needs of the school. Therefore, a flexible attitude is a necessity!

Many schools that we partner with function quite differently than the schools where our volunteers were educated in their home countries. It is easy to arrive with certain expectations of how a school should be managed, judging by our own personal experiences. However, it is necessary to recognize that these processes cannot be compared across cultural and international boundaries.

Your idea about a training day for volunteers and their co-teachers is a great idea! It has been initiated in some communities, and we hope to further strengthen this early communication between volunteer and co-teacher.

We are constantly striving to further develop our Department of Education, so thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention about better utilizing the curricular resources.

Thank you so much for your time and helpful comments!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gaby
9/10

Living La Vida Chile

WorldTeach and Chile are two excellent choices! Chile is a beautiful country to call home base while experiencing South America. WorldTeach is the best program and provides you with so much support!!

How can this program be improved?
Teaching in Chile can be difficult, I would suggest WorldTeach provide more real life experiences during training to better prepare teachers.
Response from WorldTeach

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review. As we know, teaching is very difficult, in any part of the world. There are many uncontrollable factors such as student behavior, lack of resources, external interruptions, that become the norm in teaching, especially in many of the underserved communities where WorldTeach volunteers work. In order to prepare volunteers for these difficulties, we hold a teaching practicum during orientation so that volunteers quickly see the environment that they will be working in. The only true way to conquer these obstacles however, is to work within these circumstances each day, learning how to overcome them and improve them.

Thank you again for your time and your helpful comments.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sharon
10/10

Teaching in the Tomato Capital of Chile

I was a volunteer in Limache, Chile in 2010. I had a great Field Director named Allyson Caudill who was always there to support me. My group of volunteers varied in age from 24-years-old to 63-years-old. I was the oldest one in our group. We lived together for a month in Santiago and trained there. It really helped us to get to know each other. During our volunteer year, we helped each other and visited each other. It was great!

I stayed with a Chilean family who had two daughters, and they were like sisters to me. My host mother, Pilar, was the nicest person and fed me well. The town was small and the farms around it produced delicious tomatoes. The tomatoes were well known for their flavor throughout Chile.

My school was not the most modern, but I was given my own classroom. The teachers were friendly and included me in their social activities. It was a great experience. I give WorldTeach my highest recommendation.

How can this program be improved?
I think that the hotel where we stayed in Santiago, Hotel Londres, should be changed. The hotel is old and needs to be refurbished. I also had someone try to break into my room when I was there.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Allison
10/10

Excellent Experience

My passions for teaching and traveling were widely awakened when I became a WorldTeach volunteer English teacher in Chile in 2009. Before we received our teaching assignments, about 20 other volunteers and I received incredible training in not only best practice communicative approach teaching, but also in the culture of Chile. The amount of support that we received pre-departure and in-country were phenomenal.

After three weeks, we had to leave our comfort bubble of the training in Santiago and we embarked on our own individual teaching assignments in various rural towns in the eighth (Bio-Bio) region of the country. We all lived with host families who were incredibly welcoming and warm. My home was just a few blocks from my school so I could easily walk there and back. It was a very safe town (like most of Chile) and the locals treated me like I was a rock star. It was winter when I first arrived, and the south/central part of the country can get wet and cold. If I didn't have a scarf on, without a doubt, someone would wrap a "bufanda" around my neck for fear I would catch a cold. I didn't even have to miss my mother with a town like that!

Teaching had its immense triumphs and challenges. I taught 5th through 8th grade. I had experience working with adult immigrants, so this was a new realm. I had to spend a lot more time on classroom behavioral issues than I was used to, which can be challenging in the communicative approach (English only in the classroom). The English level was very minimal. I taught introductions, emotions, numbers, the alphabet, days of the week, etc. I had about 15 students at a time. There were about 8 classes each meeting twice weekly, so I made about 4 different lesson plans a week. I had to create my own material, but I had complete control over what I wanted to teach.

The experience set a foundation for my educational career. I would definitely recommend WorldTeach to someone that is looking for a teach-abroad experience. My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer.

How can this program be improved?
One of the challenges of working with this program was trying to adapt to the unpredictability of it. I didn't know the town I would be teaching in...until the day I met my host family. Also, there were times when I would have to go to impromptu meetings at the school in which I was completely unprepared. I once had to give a speech in front of a town hall meeting that I had no idea about until they introduced me. There also was a lot of instability in public education in Chile, so somedays I would be on my way to work, and my host family would tell me that the teachers were on strike, so there was no school. It was frustrating, but it was something I had to adjust to.
Yes, I recommend this program

About WorldTeach

WorldTeach was founded in 1986 by a group of Harvard students who were motivated by the desire to promote local education initiatives in places where teachers and resources were lacking. Today, we continue to provide opportunities for individuals to...