Moving to Santiago de Chile?
Housing and Education in Santiago
Moving to a new city feels much more real once you have scouted out where you are going to live, and — if you have a family — which schools your children will attend. The information below should help you with both decisions before you move to Santiago.
Head East for High-Quality Property
In the 2017 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Santiago ranks 67th, with a lower cost of living than many other South American cities. While this may be a draw for many expats, be aware that there is a huge divide in the quality of property between the east and west of the city.
The eastern half of the city is significantly wealthier and is the area where almost all expats settle down. The highest standards of private and public facilities exist here, and the area is well connected by public transportation to the main city center. Prices here can be exorbitant, though, so do not assume everything in the city will be cheap.
Housing Districts in Santiago: Which Block Is Best?
The center — Santiago Centro — is where students tend to live, due to the cheap prices and lower quality of the apartments. Usually, prices increase the further out from the center you look. Providencia is a favorite amongst expats, due to its green neighborhoods, quiet streets, and fairly central location. Prices are moderate here.
For something more upmarket, the districts of Barrio Alto are the most popular. These comprise of Las Condes and Vitacura, and are undoubtedly the best and safest neighborhoods in Santiago. However, they are located on higher land, towards the mountains, and are less well connected by public transportation.
The district of Bellas Artes, just north of the city center near the Santa Lucia hill, is also a pleasant and popular area with young professionals. It should be noted, however, that there is a lot of pollution in this area of the city, which could have a negative impact on your quality of life.
House Hunting: Where to Start?
The best way to find somewhere which suits your needs is to speak to any contacts you might have in Santiago. Word of mouth can often be the most reliable means of discovering a potential home. However, if this is not possible, try the following methods:
- Homeurbano offers residences for rent in Santiago.
- Contact Chile offers furnished apartments for rent.
- Soledad Vidal Propiedades, although this is only available in Spanish.
- El Mercurio newspaper has useful listings, if you are able to speak Spanish.
International Schools in Santiago
If you would prefer to send your child to an international school, your best option is the International School Nido de Aguilas (Eagle’s Nest). This is the oldest international school in Santiago. It has a strong academic reputation, plenty of social activities for families, and is a great place for you to meet other English-speaking expats.
An alternative is the Santiago College, a Judeo-Christian school which focuses on providing bilingual education. Application forms can be found on their website.
Santiago: Home to Chile’s Top University
Santiago has a number of well-established higher education opportunities. The Universidad de Chile (UCH) has roots dating back to 1622. It is now the country’s main university and ranks fourth out of all public universities in Latin America according to QS University Rankings 2016. The Universidad Pontificia Católica de Chile (PUC), a private university, also has an excellent reputation. It is a modern university with extensive facilities, and the majority of their courses are in English.
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