Study Abroad in Santiago with IFSA

IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Santiago

Program Overview

MAXIMUM CHOICE AND IMMERSION IN THE CAPITAL CITY

Learn among like-minded advocates and leaders in bustling Santiago, in the foothills of the majestic Andes Mountains. Explore a sophisticated city, emerging as a major economic and cultural center in Latin America, as you follow your penchant for business, politics, law, or social justice.

Designed so you can live like a Santiaguino, this program allows you to learn local customs from a carefully selected host family and learn alongside Chilean peers. Ideal for pre-law, political science, international relations, and business majors, with the freedom to choose classes from three of Latin America’s top universities: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile,* Universidad de Chile,* and Universidad Diego Portales. (*Some classes available in English).

Hoping to get closer to Santiago’s issues and challenges? Community-based learning opportunities make it easy to do that – and deepen your understanding of Chilean people.

Thinking ahead to life after college? Add a resume-enhancing internship or directed research for a great window into career possibilities, plus experience employers will value.

Communicating in the local language is key to cultural learning. That’s why you can also team up with a language partner for conversational practice and work with academic tutors throughout the semester.

Details in a Glance

Application deadline

October 15

Minimum GPA

2.50

Credit load

15

Housing

Home Stay;Host Family

Instruction language

English;Spanish

Prerequisites

4 semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent
What does this mean?

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Academics

Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Santiago is pre-approved at your institution, you’ll find classes recently taken by other IFSA students.

We offer semester study on the IFSA Chilean Universities Program in Santiago, where you’ll take classes alongside local students at up to three different universities: the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de Chile and Universidad Diego Portales. To complement your learning, we offer IFSA elective classes specially designed to increase your language skills and facilitate engagement in the local community. These classes, taught in Spanish by local professors, are intended to provide you with an understanding of the events and issues that make Chile what it is today.

Advanced Spanish I or Advanced Spanish II

While in Santiago, you can opt to continue your Spanish language study. A mandatory pre-arrival language assessment will determine your appropriate language level. Based on your score, IFSA may require you to take a Spanish language class to support your academic success in Spanish-taught, direct-enroll classes. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Directed Research

This option offers the chance undertake field research on a contemporary issue of your interest. Students interested in doing any research in Santiago must take this course and meet the following criteria: advanced Spanish proficiency, a research topic related to an available local faculty guide, and completion of the academic research project form. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

International Internship Seminar

All internships include participation in the International Internship Seminar, which uses a blended learning framework with online and in-person components. Online modules provide structured opportunities to reflect on the practical experience of the in-person internship in Santiago and further develop the professional skills needed for a successful transition from undergraduate coursework into a career or graduate school. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

To complete your course load alongside Chilean students at our local partner universities, you can explore their online course catalogs. You can choose to take all your classes at one university or select a mix from all three. Keep in mind that these listings are subject to change.

Universidad de Chile (UChile)

Browse through classes offered in previous semesters.

  • You can browse by Primer Semestre (U.S. Spring) and Segundo Semestre (U.S. Fall).
  • Courses listed are not guaranteed to be offered for your time abroad, but this will give you a good idea of what can be offered.
  • All course schedules are provisional until you arrive in Chile.

View the list of all majors offered at Universidad de Chile.

  • Select a major (carrera) of your interest.
  • Scroll down to the middle of the page for the “Programa de Estudio” and corresponding courses.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUCC)

Access PUCC’s online course catalog from the previous semester.

  • You can browse by Primer Semestre (U.S. Spring) and Segundo Semestre (U.S. Fall).
  • You can narrow down a search by “Escuela.”
  • You will work with IFSA resident staff on a pre-arrival registration process, but all class schedules are provisional until you arrive in Chile.

View the list of all majors offered at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

  • Click on a major (carrera) of your interest.
  • Select the most recent year.
  • This malla curricular (degree plan) will show you a list of courses required for that major at the university.

Universidad Diego Portales (UDP)

  1. Click here to access Universidad Diego Portales’ online course catalog.
  2. Click on the Facultad in which you are interested.
  3. On the top, left-hand side of the page, click on the link for the “Escuela” to see course listings.
  4. Under Carrera, click on the subject (i.e. Historia)
  5. Click on Malla Curricular to see the core classes for each major. UDP also offers elective classes which you will be able to see during the program orientation in Santiago.

If a particular course you are looking for is not listed, contact your IFSA Admissions Counselor for more information. Course availability changes every semester.

Direct Enroll Classes in English

While we’ve designed this program to facilitate Spanish language immersion, we understand that there are some specific courses that might be beneficial to your degree plan in English. Classes taught in English are open to you as an IFSA student provided you meet the stated prerequisites. However, prior to arrival you should discuss with your home institution’s study abroad advisor any academic requirements related to study abroad in a non-English speaking location. Featured classes include:

  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Business Intelligence and Database Applications
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Environmental Economics
  • European Union Law and Latin-American Integration
  • Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Investment Law
  • Introduction to European Law
  • Latin American Politics and World Affairs
  • Managing Multinational Corporations in Latin America
  • Strategic Alliances, Mergers, and Acquisitions
  • The Chilean Political Crisis: Tools for Political Analysis

Lab & Field Trip Fees

Please review syllabi and course materials when registering for direct-enroll classes. Certain classes may have a one-off lab or field trip fee disclosed in the syllabus or during the first meeting of the class. These fees are not included in your IFSA program fee. You will be responsible for these fees, whether they are billed and paid by IFSA or billed to you.

As an IFSA student, you may enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and space is available. Additionally, you may enroll in open courses as long as you meet any prerequisites and have the adequate level of Spanish. You can choose to take all classes at one university or a class at multiple universities associated with the program.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Yearlong courses are open only to students who plan on taking both semesters of the course.
  • Some courses are only offered during certain semesters. If a course includes an odd number to denote the semester it will be offered (i.e., I, III, V, etc.), that means it will be offered during semester 1 (corresponds to the U.S. spring semester). Even numbers correspond to semester 2 (corresponds to the U.S. fall semester).
  • Course syllabi may not be available until the beginning of your semester.
  • Fine art, studio art, and music courses may require an audition or a portfolio.

At the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUCC), the following academic restrictions apply for visiting study abroad students:

Architecture

Only 25 non-degree seeking students are admitted to this faculty. There is an internal selection process that requires each candidate to submit a portfolio of their work.

Art

Classes are limited to art majors and students pursuing art degrees. Practical classes require a materials fee for which the student is responsible, ranging from $120 to $175 per class.

Drama

Students interested in practical classes must submit a video of themselves performing in a scene or monologue in Spanish for review and consideration.

Health Sciences 

Students may join theoretical classes in Nutrition, Applied Linguistics, and Physical Therapy as long as they meet testing requirements and have been specifically authorized. Internships in these specific areas are not available to non-degree seeking students.

Marine Biology

These classes are not available to non-degree seeking students.

Music

Students can join musical theory and appreciation classes, though practical classes are not available for non-degree seeking students.

Nursing

These classes are not available to non-degree seeking students.

Physical Fitness

Students must provide their own equipment, which varies depending on the nature of the course or sport involved.

INTERNSHIP

In Santiago, you have the opportunity to participate in a part-time, credit-bearing internship at sites that may include Chilean NGOs, local corporations, or government organizations. Interning in Spanish will build your resume and immerse yourself in the professional culture of Chile.

Working with an IFSA seminar instructor and your on-site coordinator, you will complete an academic paper, earning 3 U.S. semester credit hours. The placement process begins with the submission of the Internship Interest Form upon acceptance into the program, and typically concludes with an in-person interview in Santiago.

Applicants are encouraged to be flexible as IFSA makes every effort to place interns at companies or organizations that match the organization's needs with your skills, experience, and goals, including but not limited to your Spanish language level and communication skills, prior professional experience, and work competencies. Your personal goals are also taken into consideration, so that the internship experience meets your expectations.

Internships may include opportunities to:

  • Observe and implement initiatives to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups.
  • Work on a team to prepare proposals for media campaigns and meetings to elevate awareness on violence against women and the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Examine and source historical archives on humanitarian crimes to understand the context and support efforts to raise awareness and support human rights.
  • Assist and support differently abled children through educational and recreational activities.
  • Participate in projects focused on eliminating the gender gap in social, political, and economic arenas.
  • Coordinate interactive activities to strengthen the relationship between the indigenous community and society at large.

DIRECTED RESEARCH

Engage in individualized field research with faculty experts in Santiago on an academic topic of interest. Regular meetings with faculty will assist in the formation and execution of research plans, and they will guide you on how to thoughtfully and critically integrate academic research with experiential learning. You will sharpen your written and oral communication skills through the development of articulate and comprehensive research that is respectful to the sensitivities of the local culture. For more detailed information and examples of previous student placements, contact your IFSA Admissions Counselor.

VOLUNTEERING

IFSA Santiago organizes non-credit bearing volunteer opportunities throughout the semester, usually as one-time activities or events. On occasion, more sustained involvement may be possible. Opportunities vary, but may include helping with after-school programs and arts and crafts workshops for disadvantaged children, playing games with senior citizens at nursing homes, or participating on teams building homes with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility

  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter

Not required.

Language Requirement

Four (4) semesters of college-level Spanish or an Intermediate II level proficiency is required.

Resident Permit Requirement

A resident permit (residencia tempora) is required for all students.

Start your application now by clicking the Apply Now button.

TRANSCRIPT

Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects courses taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.

Excursions

Program Activities:

Activities and excursions are an important piece of your IFSA experience, designed to pull you into the fabric of the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. That said, at times, circumstances beyond our control — including local government regulations and health protocols — could impact our ability to hold these events as planned.

Know that we’ll make every effort to run the activities, trips, and excursions slated for your program. You’ll see detailed examples of previous outings offered during this program below. Keep in mind that the options could look different for your program, and that we cannot guarantee these activities, trips, and excursions.

Activities are optional, but they are included in your total program fee. They vary each term based on availability, but activities may include:

  • City-as-Text: We will use the city of Santiago as the frame to understand socioeconomic aspects of the city, urban sprawl, and the transportation network system.
  • The Military Dictatorship and Human Rights: This activity will provide the political context of Chile during the ’70s and how this influenced the Chile of today. After a lecture on human rights, you will visit the Museum of Memory to understand the military government and its consequences from 1973–1990.
  • Markets of Santiago-Food, Local Culture, and Supply Chain: An expert will address central issues surrounding the importance of food and the challenges of food distribution in a country that spans 4,000 miles in length and where geography affects food variety and availability. To complement the talk, the group will visit the Mercado Central and La Vega Central Market.
  • Pandemic and the Economy: This event will engage you in a discussion about how the pandemic was handled and the effects it has had on the local economy. A guest lecturer will address specific issues around how the population lived through this worldwide event.

Program Excursions:

IFSA excursions are included in your total program fee and though these are optional, most students choose to participate. They vary each term based on availability, but excursions may include:

  • Valparaíso & Viña del Mar Trip: Leave the mountain valley of Santiago behind for a trip to the coastal, maritime communities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Touring downtown Valparaíso will allow for ample opportunity to compare and contrast it with big-city Santiago.
  • Isla Negra Trip: On this day trip, you will get to explore the emblematic site where Nobel Prize recipient and poet Pablo Neruda spent the final years of his life.

Housing and Meals

Housing

Home Stay;Host Family

Meals

All Included

Details

Your homestay will be arranged with a carefully selected host family and located within a typical commute of the IFSA program center. Only one student is housed per family for maximum cultural and language integration. You will have a single bedroom with a bed, shared bathroom, and desk or other designated place to study. Laundry and three meals per day are included. You may occasionally want to buy snacks and eat at restaurants beyond what is provided by homestay families.

Dates and Fees

Term

Term begins

Term ends

Program costs

Application deadline

Spring 2023

March 1, 2023

July 8, 2023

$16,995

October 15

Fall 2023

Late July 2023

Mid-December 2023

$16,995 (estimated)

March 15

Spring 2024

Late February 2024

Mid-July 2024

$16,995 (estimated)

October 15

Term

Spring 2023

Term begins

March 1, 2023

Term ends

July 8, 2023

Program costs

$16,995

Application deadline

October 15

Term

Fall 2023

Term begins

Late July 2023

Term ends

Mid-December 2023

Program costs

$16,995 (estimated)

Application deadline

March 15

Term

Spring 2024

Term begins

Late February 2024

Term ends

Mid-July 2024

Program costs

$16,995 (estimated)

Application deadline

October 15

Program Counselors

IFSA Student Stories