Be aware when choosing to study Spanish in Chile that whatâ€™s known as Castellano chileno is not what you may have learned in high school. Spanish in Chile has been influenced by many Mapudungun and Quechua words (like gua-gua for baby instead of bebe). Also, Chilenos tend to use a lot of slang (poto for buttocks) and eat the s on the end of words, so there may be a lot of â€śotra vez, por favor?â€ť (â€śOne more time, please?â€ť) when speaking with the fast-talking natives. But, go for it, take the Castellano chileno challenge. You might want to check out a guide for slang first (joeskitchen.com/chile/culture/slang.htm).
Test your Spanish level at ABC Spanish Schoolâ€™s website (spanish-schools.com.ar) to see what level you would place in their Santiago school. If you donâ€™t have a lot of time to devote to school, invest $260, take the Crash Course -six classes a day for five days- and donâ€™t miss out on the school activities, like visiting Pablo Nerudaâ€™s houses.
Smack in the middle of Chileâ€™s lake district, the PucĂłn Center of Languages and Culture (languagepucon.com) really emphasizes learning Spanish through immersing yourself in the culture, i.e. getting out there and conversing with people, like the woman selling homegrown vegetables. A prime example is one of the mixed learning programs the PucĂłn Center offers; a 10-week Spanish and work program that has you spending two weeks in Spanish classes and two months working on a horse farm ($1,052 with meals and housing included).
Other School pages in Chile that may be of interest: Bellavista Schools, Coyhaique Schools, Las Condes Schools, Providencia Schools, Santiago Schools, Studying Spanish in Chile, PucĂłn Schools and Providencia Schools.