Santiago, Chile

GeoBlue International Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees say that life in Santiago, Chile feels like the US 50 years ago. This city of approximately 6.2 million enjoys cooler temperatures (50-60s most of the year) and a lower cost of living. People in Santiago put in long, 10+ hour work days. On the weekends, they spend their time with family. How do you meet people in Santiago? Take a stroll down Isidora Goyenechea or join a local soccer league.

What type of social life can someone expect in Santiago?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Santiago, they replied:

"Generally fine, but as an expat one must acknowledge that FAMILY to Chileans is the most important thing. So, with large families, they often do not have the inclination or time to meet with others. Unlike in UK, where the cameraderie centres around the local sports club, pub, community activity," remarked another expat in Santiago.

"See earlier comments about importance of FAMILY to Chileans, to detriment of mixing with other persons or foreign nationals. The wealthier Chileans usually speak english as a natural course from their better schooling, past professional experiences overseas, etc. Conversely, the less wealthy masses have little contact with english, making friends with this sector harder. Chilean Spanish is also unique, with a different vocabulary to mainstream Spanish, and spoken very fast with a strong local accent," remarked another expat in Santiago.

What advice to expats in Santiago have about housing?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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