@brianadeckard It was fairly easy to find a job once I got to Chile. There are so many language schools the toughest part is figuring out which ones will help you get a work visa, which ones will pay you on time, which ones will totally screw you over... The best way is to get into the country and talk to some English teachers (which will be just about any foreigner).
That said... YES, it is difficult to make much as a teacher in South America. The typical rate here is between $10 and $14 USD an hour BUT you might only teach three hours a day. If you have the drive you can load yourself up with classes but the best thing will be to find a full-time gig at a school where you might make $1200 a month. You will find that the rent in Chile is cheap-ish at around $400/month but food and everything (except wine! yay!) is on the expensive side. The cost of living is far less expensive in other S. American countries like Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia but I'm not sure what their teaching situation is like.
Their are tons of helpful facebook groups for expats or, if you can brave the snarky assholes, try allchile.net. Lots of amazing people here though, including fellow hairpinner Kulojam (posted above), who I have had the pleasure of meeting after coming here not knowing anyone or anything about the country. So I say try it! And if you need more info feel free to email me at whatsherface (at) hotmail (dot) ca
@klpencil I did this! And for pretty much your same reasons too.
Went to Chile and got my TEFL certification online. Most places will require TEFL/CELTA certification so it's good to have. At least based on my experience in Chile, try to get into a school teaching a regular class because even though jobs with English institutes are easy-ish to come by, you will make barely enough to cover your expenses and probably spend most of your day traveling all over the city to get to your classes. These jobs in schools are highly coveted but your English degree should help a lot! The other option is teaching private lessons, once you've gotten yourself situated and started networking a little. I completely winged it and survived...and am still in Chile over a year later.
You will love it and hate it and will probably find a great (and supportive) community of fellow English teachers in addition to the wonderful locals you will meet. Good luck!!
@ThatWench I'm basically "outsourced" staff and working online for a North American-based company after seeing a job posting on a site for gringos. However, in Chile (where I am) there are so many foreign companies in the technology, mining, etc. areas that it IS possible to find opportunities for English-speakers, though you'll get paid a fraction of what you would anywhere else and will often have to have a good knowledge of Spanish. So until something arises, there's always teaching...which, yeah, kind of sucks in a saturated market (I hated it!).
@shart_attack There is a fabulous expat community here in Santiago. Join us!
@adorable-eggplant Thank you! I highly recommend it. I should also add that there is more wine drinking than probably appropriate but that just comes with living in a country with cheap and excellent wine.
@adorable-eggplant Very true! Best decision I ever made.
Once upon a time a single woman lost her job just days before her 30th birthday. She took an appropriate amount of time to feel sorry for herself before saying "Screw it all!" and moving to South America. 8 months later she still doesn't speak Spanish very well but she has a great paying job, a lovely group of friends and very much enjoys living in this new country. Oh, and she also met an awesome man who tells her how amazing she is every day. The end.
So much great stuff this week!
@Kulojam You can email me at whatsherface [at] hotmail [dot] ca if you want to get in touch...
@Kulojam Yes! Meet-up!!