Moving to Chile

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Most expatriates find moving to Chile to be an easy transition. This South American country has a great deal to offer culturally and has produced two Nobel laureates in literature, earning the self-proclaimed title of "país de poetas" (country of poets). Simultaneously, it is a modern, stable and relatively wealthy country that offers expats a great quality of life.

With the sixth largest economy on the continent, large amounts of foreign trade and a dynamic market-orientated economy, Chile is a logical choice for expats. Chile's government has sound economic policies and a keen interest in adhering to Free Trade Agreements, making it a country which is eager to welcome more foreigners and foreign businesses.

Santiago, Chile's vibrant capital, is an incredibly picturesque city. High-rise buildings, shopping centres and sprawling urban developments are set against a brilliant backdrop of the Andes Mountains. The city is a regional business hub; it generates almost half of the country's GDP and is home to the regional headquarters for many multinational companies. Santiago has an extensive transport network and a great subway and bus system connecting all parts of the city from the airport right the way through to city parks, bicycle tracks, sports parks, museums and the Central Railway Station.

Chile has public and private healthcare insurance. Its healthcare standards are relatively high throughout the country, although the private medical facilities in the larger cities are slightly more advanced and refined. There is also a multitude of international schools, offering quality education, located in the larger cities across Chile, particularly in Santiago.

Banking in Chile can sometimes progress on 'Chilean time' - particularly if one doesn't speak basic Spanish. There are some banks that have better reputations than others and banking with the bank which one's company uses can offer many advantages. It is possible to make international transfers but these can take time.

Food in Chile is definitely something expats will write home about. While Chile doesn't have a distinctive cuisine it boasts an incredible variety of dishes. With over 3,100 miles (5,000km) of coastline, seafood is available almost everywhere. Chile is the world's second largest producer of salmon, and yellowtail tuna, oysters and shellfish are also common. There are also many beef dishes and avocado is included in everyone's staple diet. Chile is a large fruit producer and Chilean wines can hold their own on the world markets against those from France, Australia, California and South Africa.

Expat life in Chile is vibrant and fun-filled. With great living standards, beautiful surroundings and a welcoming local population, many expats choose to extend their time there - a sure sign that this South American country is an ideal choice for a home away from home.

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