Chile stretches across more than half of South America’s coastline to the Pacific Ocean. Right from the cold mountain peaks in the south to the world’s driest desert in the north. In the countryside, Chileans like the quiet and rural life, but in the larger cities where most people live, there is plenty of life and energy.
Among the South American countries, Chile is the most developed and economically stable, and Chileans live a very European lifestyle. The population is very homogeneous and there are no particular minority groups. Chileans are a welcoming people and they are eager to share their culture. They are also a proud and polite people – dignity is a great virtue in Chile.
As a country that begins with letter C according to Trackaah, Chile differs in several respects from the other Latin American countries. Women in Chile are fairly equal to men and well educated, but in return Chile is more conservative than many of its neighbors. Catholicism plays a major role in Chilean society, but Chileans are also very tolerant of other religions.
- CAPITAL CITY: Santiago
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- CURRENCY: Peso (CLP)
- AREA: 756,096.3 km2
- POPULATION: 18,006,407
People and community
Most host families in Chile live in the city or near urban areas. Chileans are very family-focused, and children are brought up to have great respect for their parents. They not only live several generations together, but also gather on special occasions and social events. Therefore, it is also a nice thing if you get your plans and decisions approved by your host parents.
According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, the school year runs from March to December. The school days start at 08:00 and continue until 17:00 from Monday to Friday. You will probably need to attend a private school or a supported private school. You can expect that no matter what school you are placed in, it is a rule that you wear school uniform. It is normal for you to have about 10-13 subjects with your Chilean classmates.
The official language of Chile is Spanish, but some people also speak English, German or Mapudungun, which is the language of Mapuche. If you have a basic knowledge of Spanish, it will be useful for you. You can attend language classes provided by AFS, and the local volunteers may arrange an independent language course for you during the first few months.
Breakfast is often very light, while lunch in Chile is the main meal. It can include meat (beef, lamb, pork or chicken) or fish with rice or pasta and vegetables, soups and salads. In the afternoon you can enjoy an onces : tea or coffee with bread and butter or jam and cake. Some families eat late dinner, which contains the same foods as lunch. A large variety of different fruits is available all year round.