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Excerpted from the Chile Career Guide

Cost of Living

When comparing average expatriate costs of living, life in Santiago is 51 percent cheaper than in New York City, while the same life standards in Valparaiso, the second-largest urban area in the country, can be up to 61 percent cheaper then those of New York City.


An average student budget room in Santiago rents for between 200,00 and 250,000 CLP monthly, while a slightly more upscale one can be had for approximately 320,000 CLP. Comparto Depto is a popular website (available in Spanish, English and other international languages) for those searching for a room to rent.


Chile has a modern highway network reaching Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. However, it is advisable to confirm whether the mountain passes are open during winter.

Medical Care and Health Insurance

Chile has a nationwide network of public hospitals and a host of private clinics in the larger cities, many of which have been rated among the best health centers in the region. Public hospitals and emergency services are obliged to assist anyone in need of emergency care.

Work Schedules and Holidays

Chile's work week is 45 hours, reduced from 48 hours in 2005, except for workers who have more than one employer; managers, administrators and all individuals who work without direct supervision; domestic workers and other professions in which work is performed outside the workplace. The hours of work must take place over five days in a week.


All taxes are levied at the federal level; there are no municipal, provincial or regional taxes apart from the Municipal License for business activities. Foreigners are taxed on Chilean-sourced income during the first three years of residence.

Social Security and Pension

Social security coverage is mandatory for employees who have entered the labor force since 1983. It used to be voluntary for the self-employed but mandatory coverage has been extended gradually to independent workers in recent years.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the Chile Guide.

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