Chile is one of the most popular TEFL destinations in South America due to the country’s relatively stable economy and well-developed infrastructure. One option for teaching in Chile is to join the English Opens Doors Program (EODP) which recruits volunteer teachers to work within the state school system across the country. Participants on the program work as teaching assistants in young-learners classes, with ages ranging from 10 to 18 years old.
What do I need to apply for the English Opens Doors Program?
The EODP is a highly respected program that is sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Program. To apply you need to be a native or near-native English speaker aged between 21 and 35, although exceptions can sometimes be made for people outside of this range. A bachelor's degree is also required and you will need to cover your own transport in and out of the country and living expenses. If you have any teaching qualifications and/or international travel experience, this will be taken into account when processing your application.
What does the English Opens Doors Program involve?
If you are accepted on the program you will work in a public school under the guidance of a local teacher. When applying you can specify the location you would prefer, although there are no guarantees that this will be granted. During an average week, you will spend around 24 hours actually teaching in the classroom and a further 11 hours taking part in various extracurricular activities. The students in your class could be anything from 5th grade (10-11 years old) to 12th grade (17-18 years old). For all the current requirements and additional information, please visit the official EODP website.
What benefits does the English Opens Doors Program offer?
It is important to be aware that this is primarily a volunteer scheme, which means that the main benefit is the personal fulfilment you will gain by living and working in a new and fascinating environment. During your stay you will also gain a huge amount of valuable classroom experience that will set you up for future teaching jobs worldwide. While teaching in Chile you will find unlimited potential for fun and adventure during your free time away from the classroom. The EODP includes:
- All housing costs and meals if you choose the homestay option
- A monthly stipend of 70,000 CLP (currently $100 US)
- Week-long orientation course in Santiago
- Free transport within Chile
- Free health insurance
- Free online Spanish course
- No visa fee