Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Graduates of all UCCE programs are eligible to apply.
Q: What is the application process timeline?
A: The application will be available beginning in late November and competed applications must be submitted by January 9th. Applicants will be selected for Skype interviews based on the strength of their applications and profile. Final selections are made by February 1st and notifications sent out soon after.
Q: How are candidates selected?
A: There is a ChACE selection committee composed of members of the ACE team and former ChACE teachers who participate in the application review, interview, and selection process.
Q: How long are ChACE teachers gone for?
A: The program lasts approximately 18 months (from July until Christmas of the following year). During this time, ChACErs have teaching responsibilities with the school, but there are various breaks throughout the year when they can travel or return home at their own expense.
Q: What do ChACE teachers do during that time?
A: Beginning in early July, ChACErs participate in an orientation experience at Notre Dame. Approximately one week after the orientation, the group departs for Quito, Ecuador for an intensive Spanish language immersion instructional program. During this time, participants live with host families, participate in daily language instruction, and also have the opportunity to go on various travel excursions. At the end of September, ChACErs travel to Santiago, Chile. Participants then begin working at their schools for the last couple of months of the school year assisting in the classroom, campus ministry activities, and special projects. At the beginning of January, participants go on mission trips with their schools for 1-2 weeks. After these, ChACErs are free to travel until the last week in February. At that time, they begin teaching full-time for a full school year which ends in the middle of December.
Q: Where do ChACErs teach?
A: ChACErs teach either at Saint George's College in Santiago.
Q: What subjects do ChACErs teach?
A: ChACErs teach English to classrooms of approximately 20-30 students, depending on the age level. Although this varies based on the needs of the school, cohorts usually teach students at one or more age levels varying from 1st grade through 12th grade.
Q: What are the other responsibilities at the school besides teaching?
A: ChACErs are expected to be involved with the school communities through activities like campus ministry, athletics, and service projects. ChACErs sign a full-time employment contract with their schools. Additionally, ChACErs are expected to engage the broader school community in meaningful way.
Q: Where do ChACE teachers live?
A: During the intensive Spanish language immersion pre-program in Ecuador, the ChACE cohort lives with host families. For the first three months in Santiago, (approximately October through Christmas), ChACE members live with host families from Saint George's. After this, they move into apartments located in the Las Condes neighborhood in Santiago.
Q: Do ChACE teachers need to pay taxes?
A: While in Chile, Chilean taxes are automatically taken out of each pay check. Also, the US Government requires that ChACErs pay taxes on any foreign income that they make while abroad. This means ChACErs will need to report any income they make in Chile and pay taxes on it in the US.
Q: Do ChACE teachers need to pay for their flights?
A: The Flight to Quito for the pre-program language immersion, to Santiago in late September, and the return flight at the end of the program are included in participation. Any additional flights are not covered by the program.
Q: What are ChACErs' expenses?
A: During ChACErs' time in the pre-program language immersion, two meals are provided by the host family. Lunch is at the expense of the ChACE teacher. Additional costs for travel, food, etc. are the responsibility of individual participants. ChACErs receive a stipend to help cover the cost of their time in the pre-program, for things such as health insurance and other incidental costs. In Santiago, rent is covered by the host family and then subsidized by the school. Accordingly, transportation, food, and utilities from the apartment are the primary expenses of ChACE members. ChACErs receive a salary (approx. $1,400 a month) from Saint George's to pay for these and other expenses.
Q: Do ChACErs need to get a Visa?
A: Yes. This is an important process that takes place after applicants have been accepted. The visa cost itself is covered by the program. Additional costs from vaccinations, doctor’s appointments, etc. are the responsibility of individual participants. Once accepted, the program director will explain how this process works in more detail.
Q: Is Chile safe?
A: Chile is one of the safest countries in all of Latin America. Santiago is a very modern city with all of the amenities that one would find in the United States. However, when traveling/living abroad, ChACErs should be aware of major events in the country and US Government announcements pertaining to that region. Remember to travel smart, as ChACE teachers will most likely stand out to the locals.
Q: Do ChACE teachers have time to travel?
A: Absolutely! There is time to travel during the weekends in the pre-program language immersion program as well as in Chile. Participants also have approximately 6 weeks of free time during the Chilean summer. Additionally, there is a one/two week winter vacation during July, along with another full week of vacation in September.
Q: Do ChACE teachers need to be able to speak Spanish?
A: Speaking Spanish is not a program requirement, though it is certainly helpful. All participants will have to take at least six weeks of intensive Spanish classes in the pre-program at a language school. If further classes are required or desired, teachers may find help upon arrival in Santiago.
Q: Will ChACErs have health insurance?
A: ChACErs will have health insurance through Saint George's while in Chile. ChACErs are responsible for acquiring international coverage from August through the end of October of their first year before school health insurance begins. There are a number of different policies available online and the program director can assist anyone in need of guidance in this area.
Q: What kind of support will ChACE teachers have there?
A: There is a faculty liaison at the school who helps to facilitate the transition and a full-time contact in Santiago, Esteban Montes, who coordinates all the Notre Dame programs and activities in Chile. In addition, there are people at Saint George's (including former ChACE teachers) available for professional or personal assistance. Matt Rhodes directs the program from Notre Dame and is available to assist ChACErs at any time.
Q: Do ChACE teachers take classes while teaching?
A: ChACE teachers are not required to take classes while they are in Santiago. All ChACE teachers are eligible to participate in the English as a New Language (ENL) Program through the Alliance for Catholic Education at a reduced tuition rate. ENL is an 18-credit curriculum to prepare teachers to receive an ENL Teaching Certificate. ChACE teachers enrolled in the program take six required courses. The first two take place during the summer before departure. The remaining four are interspersed throughout the remaining time in South America.
Q: Can ChACE teachers return to the US for special events?
A: Yes, though these need to be arranged well in advance through Saint George's if there will be time away from school. ChACE teachers are free to travel as they like during the breaks in January/February and July, but will be expected in Chile for Christmas of their first year.