Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Graduates of all University Consortium for Catholic Education (UCCE) programs are eligible to apply.
Q: What is the application process timeline?
A: The application will be available beginning Monday, November 4, 2019 and completed applications must be submitted by Tuesday, January 7, 2020. Applicants will be selected for video conference interviews based upon the strength of their application, recommendations, and profile. Final selections will be made by February 3, 2020 and notifications sent out soon thereafter.
Q: How are candidates selected?
A: A ChACE selection committee composed of former ChACE teachers and other members of the ACE team participate in the application review, interview, and selection processes.
Q: How long is the ChACE program?
A: The program is approximately 18 months long, beginning with an orientation at the University of Notre Dame in July and ending around Christmas of the following year. During this time, ChACErs have various teaching and extracurricular responsibilities with the school, but there are various breaks throughout the year when they can travel regionally 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 the University of Notre Dame. Approximately one week after the orientation, the ChACE cohort 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 to begin working at the school, Saint George's College, 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 the school 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 at Saint George's College in Santiago, a preK-12 school operated and run by the Congregation of Holy Cross in Santiago, Chile.
Q: What subjects do ChACErs teach?
A: ChACErs teach English to classrooms of approximately 20-30 students, depending on the age level. Based on the needs of the school, ChACE teachers usually teach students at one or more age levels, ranging from 1st grade through 12th grade.
Q: What are the other responsibilities at the school besides teaching?
A: In addition to their teaching responsibilities, ChACErs are expected to be involved with the Saint George's school community through activities like campus ministry, athletics, and service projects. Additionally, ChACErs are expected to engage the broader school community in meaningful ways. ChACErs sign a full-time employment contract with their schools.
Q: Where do ChACE teachers live?
A: During the intensive Spanish language immersion pre-program in Ecuador, ChACE participants live with host families. Then, during their first three months in Santiago (approximately October through Christmas), ChACE members live with host families from Saint George's College. After this, the ChACE cohort moves into an apartment located in the Las Condes neighborhood in Santiago, where they live for the duration of the program.
Q: Do ChACE teachers need to pay taxes?
A: While in Chile, Chilean taxes are automatically withheld from each pay-check Additionally, the U.S. Government requires U.S. citizens/residents to report any foreign income that they make while abroad, which is subject to U.S. income tax.
Q: Do ChACE teachers need to pay for their flights?
A: ChACE covers expenses for three flights within the course of the program: (1) flights to Quito for the pre-program language immersion; (2) the flight from Quito to Santiago in late September; and (3) the return flight at the end of the program. 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, with lunch (often) 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 utility costs for the apartment are the primary expenses of ChACE members. ChACErs receive a salary (approximately $1,400 per month) from Saint George's to pay for these and other expenses.
Q: Do ChACErs need to get a visa in order to travel to Chile?
A: Yes. This is an important process that takes place after applicants have been accepted. The cost of the visa 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 in more detail how this process works.
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. When traveling and living abroad, ChACErs should be aware of major events in the country and U.S. Government announcements pertaining to that region. Remember to travel smart, as ChACE teachers are likely to stand out to the locals.
Q: Do ChACE teachers have time to travel?
A: Absolutely! There is time to travel during the weekends of the pre-program language immersion program and while in Chile. Participants also have approximately 6 weeks of vacation during the Chilean summer (January-February). Additionally, there is a 1-2 weeks of 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. Michael Szopiak 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 graduate-level 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 courses are online and interspersed throughout the following year.
Q: Can ChACE teachers return to the US for special events?
A: Yes, although 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 wish during the breaks in January/February and July, but will be expected to remain in Chile for Christmas of their first year.