Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

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JvG
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Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by JvG » Tue May 10, 2011 4:24 am

I have read the website for English Opens Doors. The eligibility age ends at 35. I am 57 years old.

I like the concept of volunteering at something in exchange for room and board, or at least a cheap fee for volunteering. I could do this for several years. I want to move to South America, but I do not want to burn accumulated investment capital yet.

My Spanish skills at this point are non-existant to minimal. English Opens Doors teaches the volunteers Spanish while the volunteer teaches the children English. Room and board is provided.

It seems kind of short-sighted for the Chilean government to exclude people like myself, who could teach for several years, but are close to retirement.

Does anyone know of volunteering opportunities that last for several years?

It seems strange to want to go into indentured servitude, but not be accepted.

By the way, me knees are weak, so physical work is probably not the best match for me.

I am a college graduate, I have worked for investment companies for over 20 years, but I am tired of it.

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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by admin » Tue May 10, 2011 10:21 am

That is easy. Come to Chile, start a poorly planned business. You will feel like an indentured servant in no time, and if you are lucky you will make just sufficient to cover your living expenses.

Seriously, it would be hard with limited Spanish. There are however a lot of schools that do need English teachers and the like, that really do not have the budgets for a native teacher.

What other things can you do? Perhaps you have a hobby or something that can be put to work in a volunteer situation. More info, and perhaps we can give some better ideas.
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PenquistaDeCorazon
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Tue May 10, 2011 10:35 am

Jv in the whole scheme of things, the room and board that you are being offered will not make or break your plans as if it is just a room it's value will be only a fraction of your total expenses. Even with the room and board you will still have to dip into your savings. So I would probably take the plunge either way and maybe try and get a job teaching English for pay. Any job you get will pay more than the value of room and board at the volunteer teaching job. Remember that foreign retirement pensions are not taxable in CHile if you retire here....

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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by zer0nz » Tue May 10, 2011 11:07 am

JvG wrote:I have read the website for English Opens Doors. The eligibility age ends at 35. I am 57 years old.

I like the concept of volunteering at something in exchange for room and board, or at least a cheap fee for volunteering. I could do this for several years. I want to move to South America, but I do not want to burn accumulated investment capital yet.

My Spanish skills at this point are non-existant to minimal. English Opens Doors teaches the volunteers Spanish while the volunteer teaches the children English. Room and board is provided.

It seems kind of short-sighted for the Chilean government to exclude people like myself, who could teach for several years, but are close to retirement.

Does anyone know of volunteering opportunities that last for several years?

It seems strange to want to go into indentured servitude, but not be accepted.

By the way, me knees are weak, so physical work is probably not the best match for me.

I am a college graduate, I have worked for investment companies for over 20 years, but I am tired of it.

Plenty of English teachers your age working in the english schools, making enough to live on.... had a couple apply for IT jobs with us, we didnt have anything for them, but they are still surviving here with just teaching english

JvG
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by JvG » Tue May 10, 2011 2:28 pm

Thanks for the information.

What I want to accomplish is to be able to provide for my daily living expenses without invading investment capital too much, until it is time to collect social security in less than five years. I probably have a higher burn rate now than I would in Chile. My business is not doing too well. I do investments, and that seems so rigged that I am not comfortable doing it any more.

I will look into the ESL coursework options, and read more about what others here have done. My hobbies include car repair and house rehabbing, but my knees are getting painful. So something like teaching or office work would be in my comfort level. Once I learn Spanish, I would feel comfortable teaching English to business people. I know that I need to learn Spanish, and soon. I was hoping to take the big plunge, and just take the "immersion course" My parents moved to the US from Europe when I was five years old.

I am considering Chile and Ecuador. Ecuador seems to have a lower cost of living, and a fair amount of english speaking expats in Cuenca and Cotacaci. I was thinking of going to Ecuador first, to learn Spanish and keep my expenses low. If my investments do well, I would move to Chile.

Feel free to critique my thinking.... you folks have experience in country, and I am still in the USA.

JvG
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by JvG » Tue May 10, 2011 2:32 pm

I should mention that I would rather not live in the Santiago area. I know that is where most of the more prosperous people live, and it is the main business center. The size of the city, the higher living expenses and the pollution bothers me. It seems like Los Angeles, California, with some of the same pluses and minuses

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cali_chile48
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by cali_chile48 » Tue May 10, 2011 5:51 pm

some language institutes will swap spanish lessons for teaching english lessons. in chile, the best money for teachers is in the north. warmer climate, too.

JvG
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by JvG » Tue May 10, 2011 10:11 pm

Gloria,

Thanks for the thought. I am looking for ways to support myself. I am not TESL certified, but I could take the course. I do not know Spanish very much. Valdivia seems a lot like western Oregon, perhaps even wetter. Please tell me more.

John

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FrankPintor
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by FrankPintor » Tue May 10, 2011 11:53 pm

Valdivia is beautiful, especially in summer. Summer was on a Wednesday this year :mrgreen:

Sorry Gloria :lol: Seriously, though, the damp cold for much of the year would not be good for bad knees. Dry and warm is what you want from that perspective, and that means Santiago (in a well-insulated apartment) or further north.

While you can get a lot further with this forum than with others, you're still going to have to budget time and money for an exploratory trip, over 4-8 weeks, to see what it's really like and if you can deal with it. It will take considerable time and effort to plan the trip, and once there, get set up with internet and phone in the country, make and reschedule appointments with potential employers, travel to the various places you're interested in... I'd guess that most people on this forum have spent several years making trips to Chile before deciding to take the plunge.

Plus, you're at a huge disadvantage without Spanish. "Once I learn Spanish" is not going to happen easily, maybe not even in 1-2 years. In the meantime, very few Chileans speak enough English to hold a conversation, and pointing at things you want to buy will wear thin soon. That might make it sound like a good place to start teaching, but for everyday living it's not going to be easy. And if that's true for Chile, it will be true in spades in Ecuador, where I would expect basic services to be much more unreliable.

I don't want to rain on your parade but it's a big step and needs to be planned accordingly.
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JvG
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by JvG » Wed May 11, 2011 3:45 pm

Thank all of you for the insight.

What I have learned is that without much knowledge of Spanish, formal teaching of English would not be feasable. By the time my Spanish would be up to speed, my (anticipated) investment growth might make working unneccessary. However, for future income, it would still make sense.

Patagoniax has introduced me to some interesting options. Thanks for that.

Warmer climate for old knees.... interesting concept.

Gloria, I looked up rainfall for Valdivia. Portland Oregon gets 36 inches of rain a year. Valdivia gets several times that. !!! I am tired of all the rain here, and I am 70 miles inland. Our coastal city, Astoria, gets about 80 inches. Valdivia seems to get twice what Astoria gets.... Valdivia seems like a nice place to visit though.

So many options, so many choices.

Thank you.

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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by waves » Wed May 11, 2011 4:12 pm

We're moving to La Serena for a few months and also live (currently) in a climate with too much annual rain here on the west coast of Canada (although only 24 inches compared to your 40!). La Serena though....8! Just 8 inches per year!

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cali_chile48
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Re: Too old for English Opens Doors, but like concept.

Post by cali_chile48 » Wed May 11, 2011 8:14 pm

What I have learned is that without much knowledge of Spanish, formal teaching of English would not be feasable.
Not at all. Some language institutes FORBID the use of Spanish while teaching English in their classrooms. The problem with not having a functional level of Spanish is not with the job, it is with everything else that you have to do, like cashing those little checks you''ll be getting.

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