Valparaiso, Chile

IFSA Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso

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Program Overview


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 one of Latin America’s leading universities, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Go beyond the classroom and get closer to Valpo’s current challenges with a 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 at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: April 15
Spring: Nov. 1

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Single Room Option, Homestay

Instruction language

English, Spanish

Language prerequisites


Visa required?

In some cases. Learn More.

Apply Now


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 a local university 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.

Communities in Action: Valparaíso
Language of Instruction: English
This optional 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)

Select classes with local and international students at PUCV.

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

Click here to view all programs offered in each department of PUCV. Click here to download a file containing links to class 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 Enrollment Counselor to obtain syllabi.

If a particular class you are looking for is not listed, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for more information. Class availability changes every semester.

Spanish Language Classes
The Programa Internacional de Intercambio Estudiantil (PIIE) at PUCV 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)

Featured 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

Lab & Field Trip Fees
Please review syllabi and class 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.

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

Community-based Learning
As part of IFSA’s Communities in Action class, students will contribute to local community organizations in Valparaíso or Viña del Mar, supported by the IFSA instructor. Previous community activities examples include:

  • Field visits
  • Community life and experience in The Great Valparaíso
  • Interviews and research about health access, education, living conditions, security, opportunities, and identities



  • 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.

Language Requirement
No requirement.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your classwork 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.


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 control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.


  • City-as-Text: In this activity, the city of Valparaíso will be used as the frame to understand the history and socioeconomic aspects of a port city, including the transportation system and street art.
  • Valparaíso Contemporary Art: Attend a workshop by a popular Valparaíso artist to learn about new expressions of art.
  • The Importance of Memory in Chile: Visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, a space intended to give visibility to the human rights violations committed by and during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
  • La Ligua Ancestors: Culture and Family Business: Visit two towns in Chile, La Ligua and Putaendo, to learn about their history, customs, and traditions. La Ligua features a family-owned weaving factory, while Putaendo, a colonial heritage town, is affected by climate change and offers a bike ride to explore its ecosystem and history.


  • Wine in Chile Trip: Visit a family-run vineyard to understand the importance of wine in the local culture and Chilean economy.
  • The Magical Valle del Elqui Trip: Explore the Elqui Valley in the Región de Coquimbo, known for its beautiful landscapes, clear sky, and excellent Pisco production. Visit Gabriela Mistral’s house and experience her poetry. Also visit Diaguitas town and learn about the indigenous people’s heritage, culture, and lifestyle. You will also have the opportunity to see and learn about the stars and planets in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere.

Housing and Meals


Single Room Option, Homestay


All Included


Valparaíso 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 Valparaíso’s Cerro Alegre neighborhood or Viña del Mar’s Recreo neighborhood for easy access to public transportation, the IFSA Program Center, universities, shops, and cafes.  
  • Commute. On foot or via bus or metro: no more than 20 minutes to the IFSA Center; no more than 15 minutes to Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. 
  • 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 dinner (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. Your host will 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 begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Fall 2024
July 30, 2024
December 14, 2024
Spring 2025
Late Feb. 2025
Mid-July 2025
$16,995 (estimated)
Nov. 1, 2024

Get Started

Selena Rincon

Selena Rincon

Enrollment Counselor