Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices
Offered through the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the Santiago Liberal Arts program allows students with an advanced level of Spanish to enroll in up to three universities in Santiago. Students on this program have the opportunity to take regular university courses alongside Chilean and other international students at three of the most prestigious universities in South America, Universidad de Chile, Universidad Catolica de Chile and Universidad Diego Portales. The CIEE staff on site help students to select what combination of the universities will allow them to take the classes that they need and help to facilitate the course registration.
Santiago is Chile's cultural, political, and economic center; it is a dynamic, cosmopolitan metropolis with a population of approximately five million people. The unique environment in Santiago combines European influences in architectural and cultural traditions with its Latin American heritage.
Santiago offers a wide range of activities. Students might decide to attend an opera, a rock concert, shop in one of the city's international department stores or enjoy the city's ambiance from a sidewalk cafe or by strolling through one of the local marketplaces. Like many modern cities, Santiago also faces the contemporary urban problems of smog and traffic jams. Located in the central valley between the Andes and the coastal mountains, Santiago offers opportunities to explore the Pacific beaches and the mountains outside the city. Students who enjoy being outdoors will find many opportunities for camping, horseback riding, rafting, hiking and other adventures just outside of Santiago and in the southern Patagonia region.
Santiago, the fourth largest city of the South American continent with a population of 5 million. It is situated 70 miles from the Pacific Ocean. When students arrive for the semester starting in late February, Chile will be heading towards late summer and early fall. When students arrive for Chile's second term, which starts in mid- July, Chile will be in the middle of its winter.
Getting to Your Program
Students make own travel arrangements but are given guidelines for arrival date and times. Must arrive in time for orientation. If students arrive in Santiago by the time given by CIEE, they can be picked up by CIEE program staff. If they miss the program pick up, students are responsible for getting to the orientation hotel by the time required.
A student visa is required. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. CIEE will provide you with visa information.
A FBI Background Check is required for your visa application. The FBI is taking 3-4 months to process background checks. Please request your background check at the time of your application to the program.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
Students also participate in a CIEE Online Pre-Departure Orientation. Meeting with students online, the Resident Director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving students time to ask any questions before leaving home. The online orientation allows students to connect with others in the group, reflect on what they want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish.
Upon arrival in Santiago, students will participate in a mandatory three-day orientation session. This orientation introduces students to the city, the culture, and the academic program, as well as provides practical information about living in Santiago.
HousingAll participants will be placed in a home stay for the duration of the program. Students will complete a home stay preference form as part of their acceptance materials and the CIEE staff will work to place the student in a family that best matches their needs and interests.
Excursions and Activities
The program includes visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in Santiago. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, have included a tour of the city of Santiago, visits to Pablo Neruda's homes, bike tour of historical neighborhoods, guided tours of local museums, and a visit to the memorial of the human rights victims of the 1973 coup.
In addition, there are two field trips each semester: a trip to San Pedro de Atacama, an enormous anthropological and ecological dry land in the center of the Atacama Desert; and a trip to the Valparaiso region, which is the historical, tourist, and commercial hub of the central coast of Chile.
Beyond the organized activities arranged by CIEE, students also are able to plan their own personal travel experiences for the time that they are in Chile. Students in the past have traveled to surrounding countries, including Peru and Argentina as well as have explored the various regions that make up Chile. The dessert in the north allows for sand boarding, star gazing and other adventures while the Patagonia region in the south offers glaciers, hikes, and much more.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
CIEE Resident Director, Assistant Resident Director, Housing Coordinator, and CIEE Program Coordinator
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
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Read about current & past students' adventures.
Watch videos about the program.
The program begins with a required two week Spanish course taught by the CIEE Resident Director before the courses at the university begin. This course helps students get accustomed to hearing Chilean Spanish as well as helps prepare students for taking courses at the different universities. During the course of the regular semester, students directly enroll in courses at La Catolica, Universidad de Chile or Universidad Diego Portales with Chilean and other international students. To maintain a balance of international students in all the courses, participants will be encouraged to take a range of courses from a variety of disciplines.
During the semester, students enroll in four to six courses, including a maximum of one CIEE elective course and the CIEE Spanish language course. The remaining coursework must be direct enrollment courses at any of the three Chilean universities.
La Catolica is a thriving university with more than 20,000 students in 17 different facultades (schools) spread across four campuses in Santiago. Students can choose from a full range of courses in the humanities and social sciences.
Founded in 1842, the Universidad de Chile, known as "la Chile," is the country's preeminent public university with 20,000 students and a faculty of 5,000. It offers courses in 13 facultades. La Chile has campuses throughout Santiago.
Additionally, students have the unique opportunity to take direct enrollment courses at the Social Sciences Department of the Universidad Diego Portales (UDP), which includes Political Science, History, and Sociology. The UDP was founded in 1982 and is one of the leading private universities in the nation.
Program Web Page(s)
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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