By law, there is a limit on how much can be paid per year in state schools so the difference between a fully private school and a non-subsidised state school is still quite important. The fees in private education vary from one school to another but all of them are between US$200 and US$4000 per month, not including the enrollment fee. Some schools ask for a yearly fee instead and it can be also be between US$300 and US$3000, you should always check with the school to find out what’s included and how to pay.
Private school education is sought-after and it is said to be better quality than state schools, but some reports prove some state schools to be as good quality as private schools.
The education system in Chile has gone through some changes in the past few years, moving towards a more private system. This has provoked controversy as evidence suggests data has been provided to make private schools look better than they are, instigating the closure of state schools to help develop the private system.
When looking for a private school in Chile, there are all kinds of them, as in any other country. You can find religious schools (especially Catholic and sometimes Jewish or other religions), international and foreign schools and single sex schools.
Private school curriculum
The curriculum followed depends on the school. Although the Chilean government has a standard curriculum for all schools, international and foreign schools may also include some curriculum of their own. Preparing for language and international exams, or including subjects related to the culture of the language taught are popular. Some of these private schools also have social programs to help develop the local community.
With this in mind, you will want to consider the languages taught and the content of curriculum when choosing a school.
In order to accept new students, some schools do written tests and interviews checking the maturity of the student and their motivation. You should ask for information before applying so that you can prepare your children for the entrance evaluation.
Remember the school year starts in March, so usually you must apply from July to December, depending on the school. Check with them so you don’t miss the application deadline.
Most international schools are located in the central area of the country or in the larger cities (many of them are in Santiago). Some can be found in the major cities of the northern part of the country, the southern part, being almost uninhabited in comparison, has hardly any private schools.
The following are some examples of international schools in Chile:
- The British School in Punta Arenas: www.britishschool.cl/ (Website in English and Spanish).The adress is Waldo Seguel 454, Punta Arenas, Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic. Telephone/Fax: 56-61-223381. They accept pupils from ages 3 to 18.
- The Grange in Santiago: www.grange.cl/ (Website in English and Spanish). They accept pupils of all ages. The address is: Príncipe de Gales Av. 6154, La Reina, Santiago. Telephone: (0)2 277 0946
- The German schools in Chile have a website with information for each school: www.dschile.cl/
- Lycée Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Santiago, part of Alliance Française: www.lafase.cl/ (website in French and Spanish). The address is Luis Pasteur Av 5418, Vitacura, Santiago. Telephone: (56/2) 2827 8200 - Fax: (56/2) 2218 3287. They accept pupils through all compulsory education stages.
- The American School Nido de Águilas in Santiago: www.nido.cl/. Nido de Águilas (Eagles’ Nest) accepts pupils of all ages, depending on the vacancies per grade. The address is: Av El Rodeo 14200, Lo Barnechea, Santiago. Telephone: (562) 2-339-8100 Fax: (562) 2-339-8108.
- The American School in Puerto Montt: www.americanschool.cl/ accepts pupils up to the fourth year of middle school. The address is Volcán Michimahuida St. 301, Volcanes Valley, Puerto Montt. Telephone: 56(2)383364, Fax: 56 (2) 383375.