Comprising a large chunk of the western coast of South America sits a little slice of paradise known more commonly as Chile. In no way shadowed by its Argentinean neighbor to the east, Chile is a stunning country, comprised of impressive beaches and islands and incredible Andean mountain ranges, offering over 2,500 miles of Pacific goodness (that is actually only 265 miles from east to west at its widest point).
Study abroad in Chile is to experience one of the most beautiful and worthwhile destinations in all of the South American continent - do it while you're young!
Photo Credits: Street and Travel Art.
Even though the US dollar works in our favor against the Chilean peso, those travel costs can surely add up quickly. If you are looking for a way to lessen the financial burden of your study abroad experience, high tail it over to these websites and try your luck on some scholarship money.
- Don Quixote Scholarships are awarded to 30 outstanding students enrolled in year-long programs in Chile.
- The J. Gray Wright Scholarship is applicable for abroad studies in Chile and awarded based on academic scores.
- IES Abroad provides significant financial aid to students participating in their Chilean programs - you have a couple of options, so choose the best fit!
- As a non-profit, the various USAC study abroad scholarship opportunities aim for students to gain international experience -- without breaking the bank.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Though Santiago may be the obvious choice for someone embarking on a study abroad experience, others may find the smaller cities of Valpariaso or Vina del Mar to be a better fit. Research the different locations to determine which would make the best fit for your ideal study abroad experience. Regardless of where you find yourself, be sure to check out all of Chile's extended coastline. The best way to travel around Chile is via bus—perfect for a student budget!
Tucked in a valley of the beautiful Andes mountains, Santiago is the capital of Chile, and definitely worth a visit! Offering modern amenities and conveniences, sky scrapers and colonial buildings, loud streets and quiet parks, high end shopping and noisy markets, you will be struck by the dichotomy of a country that weaves together the timeless elements of its past with its dynamic present. Santiago serves not only as the administrative head of the country, but also as the nation's cultural, commercial and educational center. Study abroad in Santiago to get a feel for Chile's bright future!
Viña del Mar:
Just off the Pacific shoreline, the "Garden City" is Chile's tourist hub; its gardens and beaches are some of the best you can find in the Americas, adequately fulfilling it's technical translation as the "Vineyard by the Sea." Located just outside of Chile's growing wine country, this city has a unique climate shared by few cities across the planet (San Francisco being the most close to home). Take short trips to nearby bohemian Valparaiso, explore the city's ample options for restaurants and night clubs, or participate in the annual film or song festivals. Study abroad and find the rhythm of this Latin American city!
How to Choose a Program
As varied as Chile's landscapes are, so too are the differing programs available for study there. Chile is also one of the most prosperous Latin American countries today, offering a distinguished educational system and many excellent universities (some of the best on the continent!). Choose a program that best suits your ideal study abroad program.
1) Language: As the official language of the country is Spanish, many language learners flock here to further immerse themselves in a Spanish language environment. Beginners and advanced students alike will reap the benefits of living in Chile!
Take your language learning seriously! You'll regret it otherwise.
2) Housing: Be sure to organize your housing prior to arriving in Chile - but don't fret, as most study abroad companies will actually organize this component of your study abroad experience for an added cost. The place you decide to make your "home away from home" will greatly influence your study abroad experience in Chile.
As Chile attracts international students from around the world, a great option for cultural integration may be to live directly in a university dormitory. Other programs may organize and provide housing specifically for program participants in independent housing or homestays. Know your options and select the best fit!
API Abroad and CIEE students in Chile will participate in local homestays to aid in language acquisition and deeper participants' understanding of Chilean culture. While these programs may not give students any housing options, CSA, on the other hand, allows participants to choose between Host family housing, hostels, and shared apartments - take your pick!
3) Immersion and cultural activities: Different programs' overall costs may or may not include added cultural activities or small excursions. Some students prefer programs who organize these activities for them, trusting the knowledge of the organization to take them to all of the best sights. For other students, the thrill of pulling out the guide book and creating their own adventure is more exciting.
IES Abroad's program in Santiago's costs include field trips to the city of Valparaiso (the Veil of Paradise), Isla Negra, and various excursions across northern and southern Chile. CIEE organizes day trips to nearby farmers initiatives to give students a clearer picture of the lives of the average Chilean, in addition to multiday trips to places of historical significance in Chile's capital city. If you prefer to participate in organized group activities "a la carte," check out CSA's program, as students can partake in activities when they are interested.
Language and Customs
Chilean Spanish is fundamentally different than standard Spanish at a certain level, and you may come to find that Chilean's Spanish may found strangely unfamiliar. Do not despair, though, as Chilean's fast speech and interesting accents will eventually sound comfortable!
Chile is known as a "mestizo" country, meaning the majority of its residents are of mixed European and indigenous peoples' descent. See as the cultures continue to meld in these ever-present legacies of Chile's past.
Join great thinkers such as Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda as you explore and appreciate this beautiful country.