Teach English in a Homestay in Chile

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  • Overview

    As an English language tutor in Chile, you’ll have the chance to learn about a new culture while living with a local family. Greenheart Travel’s Teach English in a Homestay program gives you the opportunity to teach conversational English for 15 hours a week to your host family, while practicing your Spanish and exploring the area during your free time. As one of the most modern and naturally beautiful countries in South America, you will be immersed in the lifestyle of this dynamic setting during this unique program.

    This program offers:

    • Volunteer tutoring position with a local host family
    • 15 hours per week teaching experience
    • Placements throughout the country
    • Accommodation with volunteer Chilean host family
    • 1, 2 or 3 month placements
    • Rolling start dates twice monthly

    This is a volunteer, unpaid teaching placement designed for deep cultural immersion and exchange. This program is ideal for adults hoping to gain experience in teaching English, teachers planning to travel during their summer break, or travelers seeking to experience full cultural immersion while teaching English abroad.

  • Program Dates

    Start dates

    Start dates listed on the application are available year round on the first and third Wednesday of every month (subject to change). However, we’re flexible, so if you are unable to start on those dates, please contact us directly to see what we can do.

    Deadline to submit application: You should finish your application 2-3 months prior to when you want to go to secure a host family. For example, if you wish to be in Chile by July 1, you must apply by April 1.

    Please note: December-March can be a challenging time to start, because many Chilean families go on vacation. If you plan to start during that time, please apply early to ensure sufficient time to find a host family.

    Teachers should plan to arrive in Santiago by 9:00am to attend the 1-day on-site orientation in Santiago before being transferred to their placement site.

  • Eligibility

    No previous teaching experience or certification is required. We are looking for participants who are open-minded and flexible, as well as meet the following requirements:

    • At least 18-50 years old*
    • Spanish language experience (1 year preferred)
    • Be a native English speaker
    • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
    • Must be a high school graduate – college students and graduates preferred
    • Must have the ability to prepare a private tutoring lesson plan
    • Be in good mental* and physical health

    *Applicants over 50 should first contact a program manager before submitting an application.

    I don’t have teaching experience. How will I know what to teach my host family?

    The English lessons tend to be informal and conversation based. There is no pre-determined curriculum; however participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide you access to a library of resources to help you develop ideas for the lessons.

    Typically families are looking for you to speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.

    Usually you will teach the children in the home but occasionally an adult will request lessons as well. The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program Fees

    1, 2 or 3 month program: $1,450

    Please note, price listed in USD. 

    What’s Included:

    • Host family search, screening, background check and placement process
    • Single-room accommodation with carefully screened host family
    • Two home-cooked meals a day for duration of program*
    • Local office support in Chile
    • 1 day orientation in Santiago, Chile at the start of the program
    • Transportation from Santiago, Chile to the placement location
    • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
    • Comprehensive medical/accident insurance
    • English as a second language teaching resources
    • Culture & etiquette guidebook
    • Resume-enhancing experience as a private language tutor
    • Full immersion Spanish language practice
    • Background check for the application
    • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
    • Access to the Greenheart Club, an online community for Greenheart alumni to find resources, log volunteer hours, and apply for alumni grants and scholarships

    What’s Not Included:

    • Flight to Chile
    • Visa fee for Chile
    • *Meals eaten outside of the host family home
    • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities

    Wondering why you have to pay for a program?

    Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this volunteer project covers the cost of placing you in the program. These fees also aid in providing accommodation, meals, insurance and pre-departure & in-country support to homestay teachers.

  • Accommodation

    Homestay participants live with a local volunteer host family during the program. Host families apply in a similar way to participants and Greenheart Travel will match you based on living preferences and personal interests. Host families are not compensated for hosting and host only in exchange for the English lessons.

    Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    Participants will have their own private room but may share a bathroom and living areas with the host family. Host families also provide three meals per day except on when going out to restaurants. As an English teacher in a homestay, you will be warmly welcomed into a host family’s home, while having the opportunity to explore the region on your own.

    What have past participants said about their host family experience?

    “The first couple of weeks, I’m not going to lie, were pretty rough emotionally. Culture shock is definitely real! I wish I had listened better to Greenheart’s preparation. But now I have more of a routine and I am meeting people and becoming more familiar with the area. My family is pretty darn wonderful. I’ve met the entire extended family and the kids are so sweet and fun. My host mom (Sylvia) is truly wonderful and I mainly look to her for guidance regarding everything! I feel really lucky to be staying with someone like her.” – Lynette Ratham

  • Placements

    Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. You will receive your host family’s contact information prior to departure. Aside from the 15 hour per week teaching commitment, the rest of the time is yours to explore the language, culture and history of Chile.

    It’s important to be flexible in your placement location, as there are families throughout the country, often times in small towns that maybe you’ve never heard of before!

    Placement FAQs

    Can I choose where I will be placed?

    No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you will be placed within that country. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region and we match based on compatibility with the host family.

    Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?

    No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $500 placement deposit.

    What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

    We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If concerns arise one you are in country, we handle them on a case-by-case basis and do our best to resolve issues amicably.

    Can I be placed with my friend/spouse/significant other?

    No. We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.

  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for the Teach English in a Homestay program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in these tutoring positions.

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our Homestay teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands on experience of tutoring their host families. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your homestay program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your full time schedule

    Teach English in a Homestay travelers can sign up for the TEFL course in their homestay application at a discounted fee of $1,045. Just check the “Add TEFL Certification” box when you apply!

    Read more about the course here!

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel has been working in Chile for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager, Connor, who has lived abroad in South America.
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • We try and make our program fees as inclusive as we can. We include things like extensive medical insurance for 4 months (medical maximum of $150,000 and prescription coverage with $0 copay) and accommodation for the entire TESOL course in Hua Hin or Chiang Mai, so you don’t run into any hidden fees down the line.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program. The Greenheart Travel Atlas is a cultural training interactive guidebook alongside five videos where you will find three main topics covered: Personal/Professional Development, Cultural Understanding, & Environmental Awareness.
    • Guaranteed job placement. Take the stress out of finding a job, we 100% guarantee we’ll find one for you!
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoOverseas.com Reviews // GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • Hands on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your contract

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel teachers and alumni!

    Greenheart Global Impact Grants

    Greenheart Global Impact Grants (GIGs) are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A GIG is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.

    Greenheart Alumni Program

    We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!

    Greenheart Global Leaders Conference

    Each August Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.

    5. Submitting Your Documents: Submit your required documents (below) at the link provided.

    6. Skype Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes):  Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    7. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    8. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Chile!

    Required Documents

    • A letter of recommendation (personal or professional)
    • “dear host family” letter introducing yourself
    • A photo album with 5-7 recent photos of you (used for your host family to get to know you)
    • Copy of your passport
    • Completed background check. If you are a U.S. citizen we can provide you a free, online service.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will receive your Greenheart Travel program handbook via email, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.

    Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $300 commitment deposit (which goes toward your program fee also) is due. 

    A visa may be required for a tourist stay of up to 90 days depending on the destination country. Greenheart Travel will provide you information about applying for a visa, but please check with the embassy of your host country to verify, as visa requirements may change.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to us about the program? Set up a time to have a phone call below.


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