IES Abroad Santiago Summer – Health Studies

Video and Photos


Because Chile offers its residents a community-centered public health care system, studying in Santiago offers you the opportunity to spend a summer gaining unique medically-related experience, as well as an appreciation for culturally-based health care practices and attitudes toward health.

Designed for advanced Spanish students in health-related majors, this program offers you valuable insight into Santiago’s health care system. Develop experience through clinical observation and participation in public health care projects, while improving your communication skills through a Spanish course for health practitioners. All courses are conducted in Spanish.


IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers


9.83 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Summer of my Life!

My summer in Santiago, Chile as part of the IES Abroad Summer Health Studies Program was the most amazing summer of my life. There are several options for how/where to do your observations, and I chose to do them at the public hospital in Santiago. I got to shadow doctors of many different specialties and even got to see a few surgeries. I gained so much experience in the medical field and learned a ton of medical terminology in Spanish, a vital skill in our changing cultural landscape. The staff at the IES Abroad Center were so welcoming and more than willing to help you with anything, whether that was help with academics, travel safety tips, or just finding the best place to buy an empanada. Also, Chile is such an amazing and diverse country with amazing opportunity to travel on the weekends to places like the Atacama Desert or Easter Island. This program is PERFECT for those wanting to enter the health field AND learn medical Spanish that will be vital in your career. If you are wanting the most fun, challenging, and life-changing summer of your life while ALSO boosting your resume for medical school/career, this is the place to go. ¡Viva Chile!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to take advantage of all the amazing things Santiago and the entire country of Chile have to offer. Use your weekends to travel to amazing places like Santa Lucia in Santiago, or go to the Atacama Desert, Easter Island, or the Patagonia. Chile is such a diverse and beautiful country, so make sure you do your best to experience all it has to offer!
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall in love with all things Chilean!

Before traveling to Santiago, Chile I was quite nervous about living in a foreign country for 5 months, but from the moment I stepped into my host family’s apartment, I knew it was going to be a great experience. The classes I took, the places I travelled, and the Chilean culture all made a truly unforgettable experience, but the people I met along the way helped Chile steal my heart. My host family, the IES staff, Chilean students at the university, and especially my fellow IES students helped me to learn, to grow, and most importantly, enjoy every moment of my time abroad.
The staff at IES made it clear from day one that they wanted our experience in Chile to be as fun, productive, and safe as possible. During the first week, they taught us everything we needed to know about Chilean culture, how to navigate the seemingly enormous city, and how to decode the very fast paced Chilean Spanish. The academic coordinator met with each student and helped us select the best classes for us, and the student coordinator had an answer for literally every question or problem we may have had. The staff and professors were always very supportive and helped guide us through every aspect of our journey abroad. I enjoyed all four of the classes I took abroad, my favorite being the Health Studies Clinical Observation program. In this program, we not only studied how the Chilean healthcare system works, but we also got to observe in a different healthcare setting each week!
My host mom could not have been more excited to welcome me, and all my friends, into her home. My host family very kindly included me in all their family activities: birthday parties, cookouts, holiday traditions, etc., and that truly made my experience one of a kind. I got to experience Chilean culture through a fun, loving, and hilarious family that made way too much delicious food. I knew I had formed meaningful relationships with all the members of my host family when they were all very sad to see me leave and my host grandmother begged me to come back to Chile soon. I keep in contact with my host aunts and cousins through Facebook, and my host mom and I still message each other quite frequently.
Santiago, Chile is a wonderful city with endless activities of all types. Within the city there are museums of all types, beautiful parks, cute cafes on every corner, lots of shopping, bars and dance clubs, etc. The Andes mountains lie just outside the city and the parks in the foothills of the Andes provide easy access opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, etc. An hour bus ride west of Santiago gets you to beautiful coastal towns like Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Chile is unique in that it offers literally every type of landscape and I highly recommend trying to see as many as possible. From desert, to beaches, to the frozen icebergs of southern Patagonia, and all the way out to Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Chile has everything you could wish for. Some of my fondest memories abroad are traveling and exploring with other IES students!
If you still have a doubt about studying abroad in Chile after reading these reviews, know that you should go – immerse yourself in the Chilean culture, travel to all the different regions, and meet some truly incredible people. ¡Viva Chile!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

I studied abroad in the wonderful Santiago, Chile for a full fall semester. One of the immediate differences you will notice are the seasons- they’re reversed from the northern hemisphere! That being said, my host mom paid extra attention when I first moved in to make sure I was warm enough at night and ate plenty of fruits so that I wouldn’t get sick from the sudden change in climate. And this was just one example of how cared for I felt in Santiago. The IES staff in Santiago also made me feel very cared for and looked after during my time there. From orientation where you learn everything from how to use public transportation to how to use Chilean slang, the IES staff members are there every step of the way to help you acclimate to the new culture and help you meet any unexpected challenges. Academically, I participated in the health studies program where I attended a class called “Spanish for Health Care Professionals” and observed health care professionals in a hospital setting. In class, we spent four months learning how to talk to people about nutrition, pain, and insurance as well as study vocabulary for different items that are found in a health care setting. During my four months, I never traveled outside of Chile, but I did travel to the northern region to see the driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, and get to backpack for 6 days in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Still Thinking About Santiago

I knew that I wanted to study abroad one last time before my career (nursing) consumed me. I felt that I needed to escape from my life and enjoy one last moment of freedom. I did not know where I was going to go, but I knew that I wanted it to involve healthcare. While searching through the internet I saw that IES had a health program in Santiago, Chile.
To say the least, I applied and ran away, and I do not regret my decision to this day. I found Chile as a whole to be wonderful. My host family made my experience one of the best. They integrated me into their family and loved me as their own child. The children (5 and 13) were fun, loving, and helped me improve my Spanish. The mother and father still keep in touch with me to this day.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe that this program had a wonderful faculty and they tried extremely hard to put it together. I do believe that some of the clinical observation sites should be re-evaluated and changed to incorporate more time and interaction.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer Away

My favorite part of my study abroad was the opportunity to see the San Pedro Atacama Desert. The scenery is amazing and a once in a life-time experience. However, I do not recommend traveling too much with fellow US citizens and I recommend enjoying your time with your host family in the city of your study. My host family was so welcoming and so wonderful that they were my favorite part. I still keep in touch with them now that I am home. The academics of this program were challenging and provided opportunity to see a hospital/doctor's office work setting.

What would you improve about this program?
I would ask students whether they want a roommate or not; for me having a fellow student roommate allowed me to speak more English than Spanish and I wanted to return to the states fluent.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Santiago Studies

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity, and I’m so glad I chose IES Abroad’s Health Studies Program in Santiago, Chile.
The staff is absolutely incredible. I loved my professors and the support staff were always very helpful. We had observations in hospitals and clinics around Santiago. I got to watch an eye surgery, learn about the indigenous people’s medicine, and visit rural health centers. I learned a ton, but did not find the coursework overwhelming.
All housing for this program is homestays, which is a great way to practice Spanish. My host family was always super helpful and nice.
Santiago is an incredible city with countless things to do. From hiking, ziplining, and bungee jumping just outside the city to clubs, bars, and malls, there’s something for everyone. We had 3 and 4 day weekends nearly every week and traveled all around the country. My trips included visiting Valparaiso, a port city famous for its street art and colorful houses, Pichilemu, a tiny town with amazing surfing, the Atacama Desert, and Cajon del Maipo. After the program, I traveled to Peru for a week with other students from the program. Other students took trips to Argentina, Patagonia, Easter Island, and more.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, I would make the program longer. My 7 weeks in Chile flew by!