Volunteer at a Children's Home
These children’s homes are places that care for children who are survivors of some sort of abuse, e.g. children who have suffered from domestic violence. The staff provides care and support, working together with the children to analyze their problems and help them in their daily routines. The goal is to reestablish the children’s violated rights to reunite them with their families. During their stay, the children are treated with utmost attention so that their state of health improves and they can develop at their fullest potential. Volunteers support teachers and staff in supervising the children, facilitating activities and games, helping to prepare and serve meals, etc.
Volunteer at a Kindergarten
The kindergartens and day-cares where our volunteers work are dedicated to the education and care of children in their early development. Most of the time the children come from low-income families but we also work with kindergartens where children typically come from intact dual-earner families. Volunteers work with professionally trained teachers in supporting the children’s education and teaching them different subjects such as numbers, colors, simple words in English, etc. Volunteers might help in looking after the children, preparing educational activities, organizing events with the parents and preparing meals for the children.
Volunteer with At-Risk Youth
The volunteers work in children’s homes with at-risk children and adolescents, some of whom have been in trouble with the law or are a part of the court system. Many of these homes work directly with the government and serve as receiving centers as well as rehabilitation centers. The SENAME (Servicio Nacional de Menores) often oversees these organizations. The aim is it to take in youth ages 6-16, rehabilitate them, help reintroduce them into society, and help them overcome traumatic experiences. Volunteer tasks can include creating workshops to carry out with the youth, supporting staff, assisting the teachers in the personal development of individual youth, assisting with educational activities such as homework/tutoring, cultural excursions, etc.
*Volunteers for any of these programs must have functional Spanish and the flexibility, patience, and energy needed to work with children.
The women’s shelter takes care of girls and young women who have survived domestic violence. Often times these women arrive with babies or small children to seek refuge. For the children, life in the shelter is kept as normal as possible. If the mothers are employed, we help them maintain their jobs and make sure the schooled-aged children continue to attend school. The younger children are looked after by on-site teachers. Particular attention is given to the girls/women who have experienced very traumatic situations. Gaining back the women’s dignity and meeting the children’s basic needs are important goals for the shelter.
Volunteers assist the shelter by helping to watch over the children, assisting with meals, and generally supporting the mothers and children in their growth, recovery, and rehabilitation.
*This shelter only accepts female volunteers. Volunteers must be flexible, compassionate, and creative.
This program was created to help the dogs and cats that are abandoned on the streets and struggling to survive. Many of the dogs are desperately awaiting someone to adopt them who will care for them in a loving manner. Help is always needed in this project for the protection of animals. Volunteers may help in one of the following areas: in a temporary rescue shelter where ill and abused animals are received for short-term care; in an organization that takes care of old dogs; in a home for cats; at a vet, or in an initiative that feeds and looks after animals that remain living on the streets. Volunteers may work in each area; the organization always checks where the most support is needed.
This well-regarded foundation receives children from the age of 2 years up to adolescence and adulthood. Most of the patients suffer from brain paralysis, down-syndrome, autism, visual disorders and other disabilities. They have 20 specially trained horses and a groomer that takes care of them. Since its conception, the institution has relied on volunteer support to keep their doors open! Volunteers are in charge of patient security on the horses, and in supporting them throughout their therapy. They may also help the certified therapists with their daily work.
To participate in this program volunteers must be caring, responsible in their contact with patients and animals, and comfortable in working with disabled individuals, many of whom are children.
The working hours of this project are Tuesday- Friday from 3 pm until 6.30 pm and on Saturday from 10.30 am until 1 pm (optional).
*The horses are only used for therapy and are not available for volunteers to ride!
Physical Therapy Internship
ELI partners with some great organizations aimed to help children with disabilities, athletes and individuals offering unique opportunities for internships for professionals and advanced students of Physical Therapy.
Interns in these programs have the opportunity to assist therapists during the sessions, assist with the implementation of rehabilitation programs, and observing the forms of care and treatments applied to children and young people with various forms of disabilities or injuries.
Public Health Internship
ELI partners with health programs aimed at improving the health situation of Chilean families. Volunteers with these organizations can work on a variety of issues including: education, promotion, prevention and treatment. Participants will assist staff both in and out of the clinic. This is a great opportunity for people who want to participate in health campaigns and health outreach programs.
Medical Shadowing and Medical Spanish
This Medical Shadowing program is for medical students and other healthcare professionals who would like to become a part of a new medical environment and learn Spanish. In addition to observing the procedures and processes of medicine, participants are encouraged to compare the similarities and differences in the medical field between Chile and their home country.
The program is divided between the Spanish course and the Medical Shadowing. The Spanish course consists of ten or twenty lessons per week. You are required to take private lessons to ensure that your teacher can adapt the lesson to the requirements of the program (medical vocabulary). During two to four mornings per week, you will participate in the Medical Shadowing.
The program follows the schedule: Mondays to Fridays you will participate in a private Spanish course for half of the day in Santiago then spend the other half of the day (only 2 to 4 afternoons per week) immersed in the everyday activities in a hospital or clinic.
The biggest commercial activity in Chile is mining. However, the field of engineering in Chile is widespread due to its strong infrastructure development and expansion in recent years. Therefore many engineering firms are looking for interns, students preferably in their final year and require a minimum stay of three months to ensure they are integrated into the company and its work. Possibilities include: Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, mining and more. All placements will be based on the relevant education and work experience of the applicant.
Business and Marketing
ELI partners with a variety of small and medium sized firms in Santiago looking for interns in the following areas: international business, marketing, entrepreneurship, consulting, internet advertising, web design and online marketing. All internships are made on an individual basis depending on the length of your proposed stay, your interests and availability.
Marketing and Tourism in Wineries
The first vineyard in Chile was planted almost 500 years ago by a Spanish monk. Since then, Chile has become one of the main wine exporting countries in the world. Interns can work in one of several wineries in and around Santiago. Among typical duties, interns lead winery tours and work in the tasting room or the marketing and business development department.
In 2007, Chile finished implementing new criminal procedure code throughout the legal system. The new system is now similar to codes followed in North America and Europe. Interns with this project will work with Chilean lawyers and non profit organizations assisting with research, case preparation, and record keeping. Some past interns with this program have been invited to observe courtroom proceedings. This internship is a great opportunity to gain experience in the Chilean legal system, learn about international and human rights law, and gain first hand knowledge about the effects of country-wide legal reforms.
Media and Journalism
For participants interested on developing their journalism skills in English and Spanish, we have positions available in Santiago in the areas of web writing, journalism, photography and radio.
Participants can work as writers or photographers for online or printed media, focusing on news and cultural stories. Radio and television interns direct their own shows and work independently with the equipment to develop their creative ideas.
Limited positions are available in Patagonia for journalism interns, working with a quarterly magazine in English and Spanish about the people and nature of the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
Marketing and Advertising positions are also available for participants interested on creating commercial relationships between the media and other organizations.
ELI has opportunities for students of architecture and related fields working with private companies and public institution in the design and construction of residential and commercial properties as well as conservation of historical buildings. Participants can develop and collaborate on projects in the area of design for residential and commercial properties as well as participation in international competitions or participate in the current conservations projects.
Our working Holiday program is a great option for someone looking to experience Chile and learn Spanish while covering some of the expenses by working! You won’t receive a salary, but all Working Holiday programs provide free board (all of your meals) and lodging. In some cases, even compensation money. These unique programs are offered in the tourism sector and give you the opportunity to explore Chile and get to know people from around the world!
Placements can be arranged with:
Ski Centers: Possible tasks include helping with ski rental services, selling ski tickets, reception, or helping out in the kitchens.
Surf Schools: Possible tasks include assisting with surf students, maintaining equipment, marketing and sales, translation, etc.
Hostels/Hotels: Possible tasks include reception of guests, assisting with sales of tours and excursions, administrative tasks, etc
Tour Operators: Possible tasks include reception, organizing and guiding tours (horse back, rafting, sightseeing, wine tours), marketing, etc.
Please note that placements with Ski Centers and Surf Schools are very limited and that Chilean seasons are opposite to the USA and Europe (ski season is June- Aug and surf season is Oct- April). Hotel and Tour Operator positions are only offered in Santiago as internships and not as work holiday programs.
Our Farm Stay programs are a great way to escape your everyday life and experience rural Chile. The Farm Stay programs primarily take place on horse ranches, farms with other animals (husky dogs, goats, sheep, cows, etc.), touristy farms, agricultural plantations, zoos, etc. The program sites are usually located in beautiful areas allowing the participants to explore the scenic nature of Chile. Some of the farms are dedicated to tourism and offer horseback rides lasting from a few hours to several days and accommodations for guests in rustic and cozy guest houses. Participants help staff care for animals (grooming, feeding, and training), organize and guide horseback tours, assist with harvesting and planting, help with administrative and marketing tasks, etc.
Cost: The Working Holiday and Farm Stay program cost $915 (for any duration) and include full board (3 meals/day) and lodging.
ELI can customize internship programs in a number of fields and areas. We offer diverse opportunities including placements with national and international companies, a variety of NGO’s, as well as a number of governmental institutions. If you do not see your field of study listed, please inquire! Opportunities are always changing.
Industry Sectors and Business Areas Include:
Agriculture and Forestry
Culture and Arts
Design (Web, Photography, Fashion)
Journalism and Media
* Please note that all internship placements in Chile require a high level of Spanish proficiency and a minimum commitment of 4 weeks.