Study abroad in Valparaiso with IFSA

IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso

Program Overview

BRING YOUR DEDICATION TO SOCIAL JUSTICE NO SPANISH LANGUAGE SKILLS REQUIRED

Colorful, progressive, and welcoming, Valparaíso is known for charm and stunning settings as much as its edgy art scene and politically active student body. This colorful seaport city is an ideal place to learn alongside other dedicated peers — and put theory into practice in ways that make a difference.

No Spanish skills? No problem! Take classes in English or Spanish with Chilean students, choosing from offerings at two of Latin America’s leading universities: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María. Ideal for human rights, public policy, and engineering majors.

Go beyond the classroom and get closer to Valpo’s current challenges with a volunteer or community experience that suits your interests, whether that’s helping Valpo youth, pitching in on a marketing campaign, or delivering environmental education. Pay it forward—and get to know Chile’s warm, friendly people even better!

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture, you can choose to team up with a language partner for conversational practice and work with academic tutors. Living with a carefully selected host family provides even more opportunity to improve and experience local values and traditions firsthand.

Details in a Glance

Application deadline

Oct. 15

Minimum GPA

2.50

Credit load

15

Housing

Home Stay;Host Family

Instruction language

English;Spanish

Prerequisites

None

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Academics

Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso 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 beautiful Valparaíso and Viña del Mar for students from zero to advanced Spanish language experience. Here you can enroll in classes at one of two different universities alongside local and international students, and take advantage of an IFSA class built around community engagement. This exclusive class, taught in English by local professors, is intended to provide you with an understanding of the events and issues that make Chile what it is today.

SIGNATURE IFSA CLASS

Communities in Action: Valparaíso

This class presents an overview of social, economic, and political dimensions of the local community groups and contemporary relevant issues influencing Chile today. Through reflexive instances, critical analysis and class discussion students will explore key concepts such as community and interculturality and its relationship within a community organization. This class will enable students to develop a contextualized reading of Chilean realities, gain a meaningful integration into these communities, and develop their own intervention process in a field of action from a specific organization or institution. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

SPANISH LANGUAGE CLASSES

The Programa Internacional de Intercambio Estudiantil (PIIE) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso offers Spanish language classes at beginning through advanced levels as well as Chilean culture classes that are accessible to students without any Spanish language background. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Essential Spanish

If you’ve never studied Spanish before, and you decide not to take an elective language class, you’ll take this introductory seminar to contemporary Spanish language and culture taught intensively during the first weeks of the program. By introducing key words and phrases and venturing out into the city to practice them, you’ll gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture. (1 U.S. semester credit hour)

DIRECT ENROLL CLASSES

To complete your course load, you will select courses with local and international students at one of our partner universities. Keep in mind that these listings are subject to change.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV)

Click here to view all programs offered in each department of PUCV.

Click here to download a file containing links to course listings by semester in each of the programs.

  1. Odd-numbered semesters refer to U.S. Spring and even-numbered semesters refer to U.S. Fall.
  2. Not all classes have syllabi available. Contact your IFSA Admissions Counselor to obtain syllabi.

Featured PUCV Classes in English

  • Socio-Environmental Latin American History
  • Human Rights in Latin America
  • Political and Social Change in Chile and Latin America
  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Cross-Cultural Encounters with the Native Mapuche People
  • Chilean Winemaking
  • Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change
  • Introduction to Sustainable Transportation Projects
  • Every-day Botany: Human Use of Plants
  • Metaheuristics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Construction Engineering
  • Restoration and Conservation in Heritage Constructions

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (USM)

  1. Click here to access Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María's online course catalog.
  2. Select “Main Campus” and then “Estudios Humanísticos” from the drop down menus.
  3. There you will find a list of courses that may be offered divided by odd and even semesters. You can find the course descriptions by clicking on the symbol that looks like a document and says “course description.”

Featured USM Science and Engineering Departments

  • Astrophysics
  • Chemical and Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Design and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
  • Physics

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

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.

Enrollment in the following departments is limited and subject to stated prerequisites per class:

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Access may be restricted for classes in architecture, music, law, and engineering departments. Contact your IFSA Admissions Counselor for more information.

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María

Students majoring in science and engineering fields must meet the stated prerequisites to enroll in relevant classes.

COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING

As part of IFSA’s Communities in Action class, students will contribute roughly five hours per week in service of a local community organization in Valparaíso or Viña del Mar, supported by a faculty expert in community development and public policy issues. Previous community engagement examples include:

  • NODO Valpo offers artistic and cultural workshops and events, as well as community outreach and collaboration with local communities and schools, on artistic and heritage preservation projects. IFSA students work on NODO's social networking team and/or assist with event production.
  • Alimapu Psicoambiente works with Valparaíso schools and neighborhood groups on environmental education projects and sustainable community development. IFSA students assist with projects involving water re-utilization, recycling, community gardens, and outreach efforts.
  • OCR Casa Club promotes the community inclusion and psychosocial rehabilitation of adults with mental health diagnosis in Valparaíso’s Playa Ancha neighborhood. IFSA students assist professionals with arts and recreational workshops and public outreach to destigmatize this population.
  • Minga Valpo offers arts and recreation workshops to neighborhood children in its sustainably-built Ludoteca in Cerro Merced, one of seven Valparaíso hills affected by a 2014 mega-fire. IFSA students assist with arts, gardening and cooking workshops, and program development.
  • Valpo Surf Project provides surfing classes, conservation projects, and English classes to youth from low-resource communities in Valparaíso. IFSA students assist with weekly surf group outings (no-previous surfing experience needed) and conservation projects.

VOLUNTEERING

IFSA Valparaíso 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 be available in areas such as arts, recreation, environmental education, mental health, community outreach, etc.

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

No requirement.

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

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 examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t our control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.

Activities

  • City-as-Text: We will use the city of Valparaíso as the frame to understand the history and socioeconomic aspects of a port city, including the transportation system and street art.
  • Urban Street Art: You will attend a presentation by one of the popular Valparaíso street artists to understand what urban art is and then take a tour of the city’s street art.
  • Politics in Valparaíso: You will attend a lecture regarding the latest political demonstrations and visit the Chilean Congress building located in downtown Valparaíso.
  • 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.

Excursions

  • Wine in Chile Trip: You will visit a family-run vineyard to understand the importance of wine in the local culture and Chilean economy.
  • Santiago Trip: Leave the coastal community of Valparaíso for mountain valley city of Santiago. Touring the downtown of Chile’s capital city will allow for ample opportunity to compare and contrast it with the port cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.

Housing and Meals

Housing

Home Stay;Host Family

Meals

All Included

Details

A homestay is with a local family and includes three meals per day. Only one IFSA student is placed with each family. Students with limited Spanish skills will be housed with families that speak English. You will have a single bedroom with a bed, shared bathroom, and a desk or other designated place to study. Laundry is included. You may occasionally 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

$15,525

Oct. 15

Fall 2023

Late July 2023

Early December 2023

$16,995

March 15

Spring 2024

Late February 2024

Early July 2024

$16,995 (estimated)

Oct. 15

Term

Spring 2023

Term begins

March 1, 2023

Term ends

July 8, 2023

Program costs

$15,525

Application deadline

Oct. 15

Term

Fall 2023

Term begins

Late July 2023

Term ends

Early December 2023

Program costs

$16,995

Application deadline

March 15

Term

Spring 2024

Term begins

Late February 2024

Term ends

Early July 2024

Program costs

$16,995 (estimated)

Application deadline

Oct. 15

Program Counselors

IFSA Student Stories