Into the wild in Chilean Patagonia
Spending 3 months or more of a Gap Year in Chile is an amazing opportunity for anyone who loves the wilderness. Coyhaique is surrounded by spectacular, jagged mountains and you will have plenty of chances to hike, bike, camp, ride and kayak. Not only will your Spanish take off but you will also form incredible bonds with your local host families who give you a taste of real Chile rather than a tourist's view of the country.
Your role is to help teach English in selected primary and secondary schools in this friendly town of around 50, 000 inhabitants. English is important to the local economy, yet little is spoken. If you prefer it is also possible to volunteer in the local children's home. We can also arrange locally a three-day camping expedition through rugged, unforgettable landscapes and every volunteer undertakes the intensive 10-day Spanish course on arrival.
'I loved being in a part of the world where the beautiful scenery and people's attitudes made me feel relaxed and at peace.' Becky Pini
What will I do in Chile?
- Teaching: Teach in primary and secondary schools and take on an excitable class of your own! Read our blog for more information.
- Sports coaching: Bring extra curricular activities to your children with football and other sports being particularly popular. Read our blog for more information.
- Get outdoors: Spend your weekends and free time exploring these stunning surroundings. Get involved in trekking, rafting, glacier hiking and so much more! Read our blog for more information.
Getting thereOur representatives will meet you at the local airport (Coyhaique is about 2,000 kms south of the Chilean capital, Santiago), sort out your paperwork and lodgings with a Chilean family - and then run your Spanish course. This introductory Spanish course is suitable for all levels and focuses on the use of Spanish in local day to day practical solutions.
Jacqueline and Ian
The British couple have lived and worked in Chile for many years with their young family. They live just outside Coyhaique, where Ian runs his consultancy in Outdoor Education and Conservation, and Jacqueline is a Primary teacher who also runs the Spanish course, so you’ll see a lot of her from the start.
'The family is so welcoming and look after me really well.' Ceri Broussine 2007
Volunteers are usually placed with a family on their own, although other Oyster volunteers will be close by.
This is challenging at first but works well in practice and is fantastic for your Spanish. You'll soon feel part of the family - these are really friendly people. They'll give you breakfast, lunch and dinner (a minimal affair in Chile) and show you the Chilean way of life.
Cost and what is provided
A three month placement in Chile costs: £2595, excluding flights or £3765 including flights to Coyhaique, Patagonia Chile from London
What is Provided?
- Phone or face-to-face interview and informal briefing
- 1 or 2-day pre-departure course covering medical, safety and placement advice
- Details of visa requirements
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst away
- Finding you a suitable teaching placement and host family in Chile
- Optional - flight from London with flexible return date (modest fee levied by airline for date changes). Total price including flight £3765
- ATOL Financial Protection (as long as we book your flights)
- Introductory course of 10 intensive Spanish classes suitable for all levels
- Our staff in Chile can arrange a 3 day camping expedition in magnificent Patagonian scenery (£350 extra- min 4 people)
- All food and accommodation for the duration ofyour time in Coyhaique
- Met at Coyhaique airport and taken to accommodation
- Assistance and support from our representative whilst on your placement including regular social 'meet ups' and trying a typical Chilean asado - BBQ.
- Assistance and support from our representative Jacqueline in Coyhaique including social meet ups
- Free access to InterHealth's Travel Health Advice Service
- Free myTsafe secure document storage account - worth £39!
What do I need?
- A passport valid for 6 months beyond the end of your placement
- Insurance – we can recommend you a policy (approx £161 for 4 months)
- Cost of changing your return flight if you need to (approx £30).
- Pocket money – eating out, telephone cards etc – recommend £20pw max
- Warm outdoor clothing
- All home country travel costs (to airport and to interview if face-to-face).
- Organising and paying for independent travel including return to local airport.
- Renewing visa after 3 months (US$100 approx)
- Independent travel costs
One more thing...
While you're down there, see if you can continue on down to Punta Arenas and do a boat trip back up the fiords.