Hello and welcome,
Many of your La Serena questions will be answered at this website: www.iesa-chile.com
. It is the website for the local expat-Chilean English speakers of La Serena group. This year we have about 70 members, quite a diverse lot. Check out the welcome package on the menu bar.
La Serena has many expats working in astronomy and mining, retirees, tourism, and various small businesses. There are several nicer areas in the city, along the beach, San Joaquin and Cerro Grande among them. We don't have smog, although you may sometimes find yourself in a smoke plume from someone else's heating fire in the winter. Most Chileans I have talked to consider Serena to be more relaxed than Santiago. The town is growing like crazy and housing prices are rising. We get lots of nice fresh produce from the Elqui Valley and environs. They grow lots of cherimoya, mountain papaya, avocados, and artichokes as well as most tree fruits, nuts, strawberries and vegetables. It gets crazy crowded here during summer tourist season.
I don't think we have Malaysian or Indian food available up here, but I would sure love to have it available myself.
I know two of the moms in my daughter's class are psychologists. That's all I can say though; I don't really know what their job market is like here.
That should get you started! Have fun looking into the move, definitely come see Serena sometime (just not in January or February if you can help it).