CIEE Liberal Arts in Valparaiso, Chile
97% Rating
(6 Reviews)

CIEE Liberal Arts in Valparaiso, Chile

Interested in developing a critical appreciation of Chilean society, history, and identity while immersing yourself in local culture? Valparaiso awaits!

Through direct enrollment at a two local universities, homestays with local families, and a variety of cultural activities and excursions, study abroad in Valparaiso allows you to pursue your academic interests, enhance your Spanish language skills, and gain unparalleled insight into contemporary Chile.

Study abroad in Chile and you will:

- Gain an understanding of Chile through CIEE courses that focus on Chilean heritage, identity, literature, art, and history

- Choose between studying at two top-ranked local Chilean schools: one, a historic and traditional university, the other a more contemporary, private university.

- Take advantage of community service and volunteer opportunities at local schools, shelters, and non-governmental organizations

Program Type
Subject Areas
Latin American Studies
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
Language Requirement
GPA Requirement
Starting Price
Price Details
The program fee includes:

- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card, which provides insurance and other travel benefits

CIEE also offers several scholarships for participants; please see website for full details.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 7
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 7.8
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Mi estadía en Valparaiso

Chile is a place that you will quickly learn to love, and once you are gone you will probably never stop talking about your experience. Los Chilenos son increíble, especialmente los directores de CIEE. While you are in Valparaiso you will fill like you are at your second home. You will find places that you will want to go to again and again, and you will meet people who know people and all of them are just as interesting as the next. Just please make sure to go out there with and open min and an open heart.

Yes, I recommend
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Study Abroad in Valparaíso

My experience in Valparaíso, Chile, was phenominal. My host family welcomed me into their home with open arms, fed me, patiently answered all my questions about public transportation and Chilean life, and by the end of the program, had become very good friends of mine. The city is overflowing with opportunities to meet Chileans, observe and participate in cultural events, sample traditional dishes, and get lost among colorful houses in the 40-something hills bordering the city center. Academics are made-to-order; the program offers (and encourages) direct enrollment at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), but offers a few of its own courses for international students only. The PUCV's academic buildings are scattered throughout Valpo and its neighbor Viña del Mar, which can make scheduling tricky for liberal arts students who want to take classes in multiple departments. However, public transportation is excellent, and getting to class is never a problem. The city is relatively safe, but locals warn against "walking distracted" - more than one student was robbed while I was there. In any event, the CIEE staff are incredibly supportive, and work hard to help students with anything from major life crises to scheduling doctor appointments. The city is a 1-2-hour bus ride from Santiago, making it easy to travel to Santiago and other parts of the country (which is ecologically quite diverse). Chile is a developed country with all the goods and services a person could need, a rich history, and a unique and fascinating culture. Bring your own Reese's cups - they're hard to find in Chile.

How can this program be improved?

More detailed information could be given about how the university system is structured. For example, the lack of a cohesive "campus" shoud be emphasized before students register for classes, and staff shoud warn students opting for direct-enrollment about student strikes. (Occasionally, students in certain departments or the entire university will go on strike to protest the administration, faculty, problems with facilities, etc. These strikes can cause problems for international students who can't stick around waiting for classes to resume.)

Yes, I recommend
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Study in Valparaíso

I studied in CIEE's Liberal Arts program in Valparaíso, Chile, this past semester, and I enjoyed it greatly. I was able to travel to many amazing parts of Chile and South America, and my Spanish improved immensely, which were my two primary objectives. I felt that CIEE did a great job of being there for students to offer support through whatever type of trouble they were having, and that the program excursions were extremely well planned and very fun. Valparaíso is a unique city and offers plenty of fun for people who embrace its quirks and challenges. I never lost the feeling that I had a unique opportunity to experience such a culturally vibrant place in another corner of the world. One critique I would have for the program is that the academic system can be challenging for students who are used to more structured, Americanized system, because CIEE students can enroll directly in classes with other Chileans, who are tracked to complete their degrees with the same students and in one concentration only (e.g. engineering students pretty much take only engineering classes for the duration of their collegiate careers, and then graduate as professionals). So, I would advise students to be as careful as possible when choosing their schedule, and to enroll in classes designed for foreigners and CIEE classes if possible. Other than that, I really cannot complain about my time in Chile. I had traveled a bit before I went to Chile, and I think my experience of having been abroad for periods of time helped me out in Valpo.

How can this program be improved?

I'd say just vet the classes with more detail before students pick them, because that could last them the entire semester.

Yes, I recommend
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Valparaíso is a gem.

I loved my study abroad experience with CIEE. Some important things to know are that a majority of students are placed in families in Viña del Mar as opposed to Valparaíso (kind of the more upscale, suburbany sister to Valpo. It may be safer but has less character). Valparaíso is a great place to be a young person. There are numerous students around due to the multiple universities, and it's a great place to go out - whether you like clubbing or just finding smaller spots with music and wine. Valparaíso is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been as a result of the architecture, artwork/graffiti, hills, and the ocean. Public transportation is great. The social/political history is fascinating.

CIEE was very supportive. They helped me find a non-profit to volunteer with. The Chilean students who work for them had a major impact on my stay, inviting me into their friend groups, helping me choose classes, practice Spanish etc. All of my classes at PUCV were lecture based except for my Spanish and Chilean culture class (which was great). There's not a lot of accountability for foreign students in the university system in my experience, which was great because it gave us freedom to travel (where I learned the most).

How can this program be improved?

It would have been nice if they had been more proactive about helping us identify classes to take within PUCV.

Yes, I recommend
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The Best Time of My Life

As the headline of this article states, I had an amazing time in Chile. I tried things I had never experienced before, from hiking a mountain to sandboarding.
Living right by the ocean had its perks! I did yoga at sunset on the beach on numerous occasions and went for runs along the boardwalk.
I felt that the CIEE staff cared about me and my well-being. I had a great experience with them as well as the host university.
My classes at PUCV were stimulating, as well as those at CIEE.
I had the opportunity to stay with a very friendly host family who helped me discuss and understand cultural differences.
I would definitely recommend this program to a friend.

How can this program be improved?

Participants in the program are required to take one class with CIEE (with all US students only), which wasn't the most stimulating or challenging class I've ever taken. Additionally I didn't get to meet as many Chileans as a result of only taking a few classes with only Chileans.

Yes, I recommend
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Valparaiso, mi amor

I studied abroad in Valparaiso in the Spring of 2014. It was probably the best decision I have ever made. I lived with a local family that completely immersed me within their lives and were extremely helpful about my special dietary needs (I have Celiac disease). The towns of Valparaiso, and Vina del Mar (where I lived) are full of graffiti that is a little different from the normal tags. This artwork is super unique and adds to the charm of the city. I studied at PUCV which offered many options, classes with other extranjeros or with Chilenos. The academics were difficult, but didn't consume all of my time. I still had opportunities to travel on weekends. CIEE even had extra travel backpacks and sleeping bags that we were allowed to borrow for travel! The night life was great and I was never bored!

How can this program be improved?

You are required to take one class through CIEE itself. I didn't love my class, but I've still had worse.

Yes, I recommend

About CIEE

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...