My advice to new expatriates coming to Chile has been, and remains, that people should spend six months in Santiago (or at a bare minimum three months) prior to moving along to their final destination. The reason for this is primarily two-fold: (1) you will not understand how Chile works or get a feel for life here, either in terms of economics, culture or political activism, unless you live a while in Santiago and (2) you will have an opportunity to go to language school by living in Santiago.

My favorite language school is, and has been ever since I completed advanced language training in Santiago, the Goethe Institute downtown (which lasts three or four months). Visit the site and check it out. Today I saw another school that is near downtown also, the Escuela Bellavista which has a banner hoisted on their building that says “Spanish Courses” and evidently they have 21 years of experience. I have no idea how their school is compared to the Goethe Institute but it would be worth checking into. Look at their website.