Santiago, Chile

IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Santiago

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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 two of Latin America’s top universities: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile. 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 at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: April 15
Spring: Nov. 1

Minimum GPA

2.50

Credit load

15

Housing

Single Room Option, Homestay

Instruction language

English, Spanish

Language prerequisites

4 semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent. Learn More.

Visa required?

In some cases. Learn more.

Apply Now

Academics

We offer semester study on the IFSA Chilean Universities Program in Santiago, where you’ll take classes alongside local students at two different universities: the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile. 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
Language of Instruction: Spanish
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
Language of Instruction: Spanish
This class offers a unique opportunity for students to delve deeply into host context research projects. Students will be guided through projects that are both feasible in the study abroad context and relevant to their broader intellectual interests. The class is structured through regular individual meetings with a faculty mentor to discuss the formation and execution of a research plan and, depending on the specific project, the possibility to conduct field- or internet-based research. At the end of the semester, students present a formal research paper. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

International Internship Seminar
Language of Instruction: English
All internships include participation in the International Internship Seminar, which covers 15 hours of online asynchronous Canvas modules to provide structured opportunities to reflect on the practical experience of the internship, learn more about your host country’s business culture, and further develop the professional skills needed for a successful transition from undergraduate coursework into a career or graduate school. Plus, you will engage with an online global cohort of IFSA internship participants, gaining exposure to business cultures around the world. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

CHART Your Course
Find the classes you need fast with CHART. Our easy-to-use tool shows you classes recently taken by IFSA students.

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 both. 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.

If a particular course you are looking for is not listed, contact your IFSA Enrollment 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 classes 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. Since class offerings change from term to term, check with your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for class availability. Previously classes have included:

  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Environmental Economics
  • Latin American Politics and World Affairs
  • 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.

Can I take my classes in Spanish?
To enroll in our Spanish-taught classes at this program, you must have a specific language level. Please visit our Language Requirements page for more details. If you have questions about whether you qualify, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor.

Class Restrictions
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.

INTERNSHIPS
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 on a contemporary issue 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 Enrollment Counselor.

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) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required. An internship site may request a reference letter before placement is finalized.

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

 

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 classes 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

Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are a selection of activities and excursions from previous terms; options may vary for your program. Due to the seasonal nature of many of program activities, we cannot guarantee a specific activity or excursion will be available in a given term or program.

Activities

  • City-as-Text: The city of Santiago will be used as the frame to understand the history and socioeconomic aspects of a port city, including the transportation system and street art.
  • The Importance of Memory in Chile: A visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago provides visibility to the human rights violations committed by the during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
  • Valparaíso Contemporary Expressions of Art: Attend a workshop by one of the popular Valparaíso artists to understand about the new expressions of art.

Excursions

  • La Ligua Ancestors—Culture and Family Business Trip: Visit two towns in Chile, La Ligua and Putaendo, to learn about their history, customs, and traditions. La Ligua features a family weaving factory. Putaendo, a heritage town, is affected by climate change and offers a bike ride to explore its ecosystem and history.
  • Valle del Elqui Territory Visit: During this three-night excursion, connect with the culture of Diagutas ancestors, explore the relationship with astronomy and stars observation, delve into the revealing poetry of Gabirela Mistral, and learn the traditions of pisco brandy production.

Housing and Meals

Housing

Single Room Option, Homestay

Meals

All Included

Details

Santiago students live with local families in what’s called a homestay. Homestays are a fabulous way to soak up as much culture as you can and provide plenty of opportunity to make language gains. Many students keep in touch with their hosts after they return home.  

Homestays: Who’s at home?  

We place students with carefully screened families in safe neighborhoods, with up to two IFSA students per family. Many families have been hosting IFSA students for years. Often, they have grown children who have left home, and enjoy having young people around.  

You might live with a retired couple and their beloved terrier, with frequent visits from their young grandchildren. Your hosts might have high school-age children and a grandparent living with them. Or you might join a single mom who shares her home with her adult daughter and grandson, with another adult child living nearby. 

  • Location. Typically in the Las Condes and La Reina neighborhoods for easy access to public transportation, the IFSA Program Center, universities, shops, and cafes.  
  • Commute. Via bus or metro: No more than 30 minutes to the IFSA office; to universities:  
    • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Campus Casa Central & Oriente, no more than 40 minutes; Campus San Joaquin: no more than 50 minutes. 
    • Universidad de Chile: No more than 40 minutes. 
  • Living space. Some hosts have houses; many have apartments. Expect to have your own bedroom, likely smaller than a typical U.S. space. Students share a bathroom with other family members. Your host will provide a desk or other suitable place to study.  
  • Language. Few families are fluent in English, but most can communicate. We do our best to place students without Spanish skills with English-speaking families.  
  • Meals. Three meals a day included: breakfast, lunch (the most important meal of the day in Chile), and “onces” (sandwich, sweet cake, and tea or coffee). Students occasionally eat out with friends and buy snacks independently. Hosts appreciate a heads up in advance if you plan to eat out.  
  • Other details. Hosts do your laundry once a week. Keep in mind that washing machines tend to have smaller capacity here than in the U.S. 

 

Dates and Fees

Term
Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Fall 2024
July 30, 2024
December 13, 2024
$17,995
Passed
Spring 2025
Late Feb. 2025
Mid-July 2025
$17,995 (estimated)
Nov. 1, 2024
Fall 2025
Late July 2025
Mid-Dec. 2025
$17,995 (estimated)
April 15, 2025

Get Started

Selena Rincon

Selena Rincon

Enrollment Counselor