Atacama Desert in Chile.
Atacama Desert in Chile. Photo ©

hbieser, licensed under CC0 1.0 and adapted from the original.

Am I eligible for a placement in Chile?

To be a Language Assistant in Chile, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • hold a UK or Irish passport. Holders of other EU passports are not eligible for a post in Chile
  • have B1 level Spanish

When will I start my placement?

Posts in Chile will run from either:

  • the end of June until late June or
  • the end of August until the end of July.

This will depend upon the university that you are allocated to, and their term dates.

Approximately 30% of posts will begin at the end of July, with the rest starting at mid or end of August. Where possible, and if stated in your application form, our overseas partners will attempt to meet requests for a later start date but only from candidates who have a valid reason, such as university exams. However, there is no guarantee that this will be possible. Individual holiday plans will not be considered.  

Will there be an induction course?

All candidates going to Latin America will be invited to attend a one-day pre-departure briefing in London in June. Whilst the date is subject to changed, it is expected to take place during the week beginning 22 June 2019. You will be expected to cover your own travel costs to and from the briefing. Successful candidates will be contacted in due course.

Whilst the pre-departure briefing is not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you attend as you will be able to meet and talk to former assistants, as well as networking with fellow English Language Assistants who will be undertaking assistantships in the same year as you.

Additionally, induction courses are normally held at most employing institutions in Chile before the assistantship starts.

How many hours will I work per week?

Assistants normally work a maximum of 20 hours per week.  Occasionally you may be asked to work extra hours, which are paid on a pro-rata basis.

How many posts are available in Chile?

Around 35 posts are available in Chile each year. 

What type of institution will I be working in? 

The majority of posts available in Chile are in universities and private language academies. You may also be invited to participate in outreach projects with schools.

How much will I be paid?

The allowance for Language Assistants varies from institution to institution and will be confirmed in your contract. 

The average monthly allowance for the period 2020-21 will be CLP 430,000.

Please note that language assistant salaries are set by the university, who are the employing institutions and are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of Language Assistants. This amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

Will I need a visa?

Yes, assistants going to Chile will be required to apply for a student visa before travelling to Chile. For the last few years, visas for Chile have been free, and we hope that this agreement will continue. However, visa costs for Chile can vary year-on-year, and in some years have cost up to £600. You should take this into account before applying.

Full details on how to apply for your visa will be provided to successful candidates once they have received confirmation of their allocated institution, however candidates should bear in mind the following:

  • You will be required to attend an appointment at the Consulate General of Chile in London. You will be expected to cover your travel costs
  • As part of your visa application, you will be required to submit a Health Report from your GP and an International Child Protection Certificate (£60)
  • These documents will need to be notarised by the Foreign Commonwealth Office at a cost of approximately £30 per document
  • If you receive a positive trace on your International Child Protection Certificate, even for an offence expunged from your record, you are unlikely to be granted a visa for Chile.  

Candidates should not begin any visa proceedings or apply for their International Child Protection Certificate until instructed by the British Council.

However, at this stage, applicants should check the expiry date in their passport and ensure that their passport will not require renewal until at least six months after you will return to the UK. If necessary, we strongly recommend that you apply for a new passport immediately or you risk delaying your visa process.  

Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice, and the British Council cannot be held responsible for any changes to the visa process.

What holidays will I have?

In Chile, the academic calendar generally runs from March to December. Typically, assistants can expect to receive a holiday of approximately four weeks during February.  

During January, although students may be on holiday during this time, English Language Assistants may be required to carry out administrative tasks during some of this period.

It is likely that assistants will not have to work on Christmas Day but will often return to work on 26 December as the UK Boxing Day holiday is not observed in Chile. 

Please note that specific dates cannot be confirmed at this stage but have been provided to help give you an idea of what the academic calendar may look like. Your institution will give you full details of your term dates and any public holidays when you begin your post. Holidays may vary by institution.

Where can I go in Chile?

The locations of posts in Chile vary from year to year. You may state preferences in your application, however we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in your preferred location. You must therefore be flexible and willing to accept a placement in an area they have not listed.

As an indication, in 2019-20, assistants were allocated to posts at universities in the following cities:

  • Arica
  • Antofagasta
  • La Serena
  • Santiago (receives the highest number of assistants)
  • Talca
  • Concepción
  • Temuco
  • Valdivia
  • Osorno

Please note that this list is indicative and may change for the 2020-21 academic year.

I've worked as a Language Assistant in Chile – can I apply again?

Language Assistants in Chile can apply for a consecutive year. 

In order to apply, you should send an email to British Council Chile and copy in languageassistants.uk@britishcouncil.org, informing them of your wish to stay for a second year. This should be submitted by 01 May at the latest.   

However, you will have to return to the UK over the summer in order to apply for a new visa, as this cannot be arranged from Chile.