In Santiago, seize the opportunity to pursue your varied academic and linguistic goals while examining and immersing yourself in contemporary Chilean culture.
Through direct enrolment at three outstanding universities, studying abroad in Santiago gives you access to an exceptional range of disciplines and courses, all of which are taught in Spanish. And with homestays, volunteering and internship opportunities, and a variety of structured activities and excursions, you’ll enjoy a unique academic and intercultural experience in Chile.
Study abroad in Santiago and you will:
Take a wide range of direct enrollment courses at three prestigious universities
Explore contemporary Chilean reality through innovative CIEE courses
Take two, long weekend study trips—one to the dramatic and visually stunning northern-most region of Chile, and another excursion to the indigenous and historic south of the country
Enjoy cultural and educational activities such as Chilean movie night, hikes in the Andes foothills, and an urban bike tour with Chilean student ambassadors
The CIEE Difference
In addition to a variety of CIEE area studies electives in Chilean society, language and human rights, choose from myriad direct enrolment offerings in disciplines including: Art, History, International Relations, Communications, Philosophy, Journalism, Literature, and Law.
Enjoy visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in Santiago and its environs. Past activities have included a tour of the city of Santiago, visits to Pablo Neruda’s homes, bike tour of historical neighborhoods, and guided tours of local museums. There are also two weekend study trips each semester, to Valparaiso and La Serena involving hiking, biking, vineyard visits, rodeos and constellation tours.
Volunteer and Internship Opportunities
Non-credit volunteer and internship options are available, primarily in social service organizations and NGOs. You can volunteer with organizations involved in social policy, community service, and education. For advanced Spanish speakers, CIEE can arrange non-credit internships at both private and public institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations.
Total recommended credit for the semester is 15–18 semester/22.5–27 quarter hours, and for the year is 30–36 semester/45–54 quarter hours.
CIEE course contact hours vary from 30–60 hours and recommended credit varies from 2–4 semester/3–6 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated. University course contact hours vary and recommended credit is 3–4 semester/4.5–6 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated. During the semester, all students must be enrolled full-time with a minimum equivalent of 15 semester/22.5 quarter hour credits.
During the semester, study abroad students enroll in four to six courses, including a maximum of one CIEE course and one Spanish language course. Students may also enroll in the CIEE elective course. The remaining coursework must be direct enrollment courses at any of the three Chilean universities.
Chile is a long and narrow country, bordered on the east by the Andes and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Santiago, 60 miles from the coast and the fifth largest city in South America, is home to over six million inhabitants. The capital city of Chile, Santiago, is both modern and dynamic. While the always-visible, towering snow-capped Andes dominate the city, Santiago itself dominates the political, economic, and cultural life of the country.
Where You’ll Study
Study abroad students can take courses at the following institutions. Read more detailed information on the following page.
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
PUC is one of Chile's oldest universities and one of the most recognized educational institutions in the country. It was recently ranked the second best university in all of Latin America. PUC is a leading institution in Chile, the capital of Chile, the PUC is an urban, multi-campus private university with partial public support.
Universidad de Chile
Founded in 1842, the Universidad de Chile is the country's preeminent public university with more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a faculty of 5,000. Known as "La Chile", it was recently ranked the fourth best university in all of Latin America. It offers a wide range of courses at 13 faculties located at campuses throughout Santiago. It is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in the Americas. The university has produced some of the country's greatest luminaries, including two Nobel laureates (Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral) and twenty heads of state, among many others. The modern CIEE Study Center, located on the University campus, has students meetings and study areas, classrooms, a computer lab, and wireless access.
Universidad Diego Portales
The UDP was founded in 1982 and is one of the leading private universities in the nation. Adhering to high standards in teaching and research, the UDP now enrolls over 12,000 undergraduate students each year. CIEE Students may take direct enrollment courses at the School for Social
Housing & Meals
Housing, three meals per day, and laundry services are included in the study abroad program fee. Students are responsible for housing and meals during the breaks.
Students live in private Chilean homes. The homestay is essential to the student’s learning process and integration into life in Santiago. The opportunity to live with a Chilean family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, it also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses, and practicing their Spanish language skills.
Founded in 1992, the CIEE Study Center in Santiago provides a supportive environment for study abroad students to directly enroll in three of Chile’s top universities. Given the array of disciplines and courses available to participants, the program is suitable for undergraduate students from a variety of majors with strong Spanish language skills. All courses are taught in Spanish.
Chilean universities convey knowledge through different strategies and methods; innovation, design, participation, memorization, and expositive lectures are part of the in-class academic culture. In most classes, a great deal of emphasis is placed on note taking. It can take a while to learn how to study effectively in the Chilean system, especially in terms of acquiring reading material and understanding professors’ expectations. Chilean classmates are often an excellent source for help. Average class size is 20 to 30 students.
The atmosphere of the two host universities is quite distinct in terms of socio-demographic backgrounds of the student bodies, their political leanings, size of classes, and infrastructure. The opportunity to enroll in more than one Chilean university is quite unique and provides insight into the diversity of the Chilean educational system.
The first semester of the Chilean academic year begins in March and ends mid-July, and the second semester begins in mid-July and ends in mid-December. A year-long program of study in Santiago can begin either during the North American fall (academic year program) or spring semester (calendar year program). Academic year students who begin their study during the North American fall semester have a two-month break between semesters and are encouraged to travel in Latin America. There is a break of about two weeks between the spring and fall semesters for calendar year students. Students may also choose to spend a second semester at the CIEE Study Center in Valparaíso, Chile.
Nature of Classes
CIEE courses are with CIEE study abroad students only. Participants also enroll directly in host university courses and take classes with Chilean students.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
Students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Chilean society.
Assessment for the CIEE course is based on class participation and writing assignments. In regular university courses, students are treated the same as Chilean students. Final grades are usually determined by a combination of written and oral assignments and a final paper or examination. The Chilean grading scale goes from one to seven, with four being a passing grade. The CIEE Study Center office in Chile converts grades and credits to the U.S. system according to a standard scale.
Grades for Semester I (North American spring) should arrive on campus by late September, and grades for Semester II (North American fall) arrive by late March. Graduating seniors, or others concerned about the timing of receiving grades, need to take this into consideration when choosing this program.
Language of Instruction
The CIEE courses are taught by local faculty with postgraduate degrees (M.Sc., M.A., and Ph.D.). All other courses are taught by faculty from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de Chile, and Universidad Diego Portales.