IES Abroad Santiago - Study in Santiago

Video and Photos


The IES Abroad Santiago Program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of Chile while studying the Spanish language and Latin America. Courses are taught in Spanish by distinguished professors from IES Abroad partner universities.

Santiago will also be your classroom. Imagine practicing your Spanish as you tour local neighborhoods or visiting local business organizations as part of your study of Chile’s regional and global trade. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses also include a hands-on, practical component.


IES Abroad Scholarships
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


9.67 Rating
based on 27 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 92.59%
  • 7-8 rating 3.7%
  • 5-6 rating 3.7%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 27
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Siempre Chilena: The Best Semester of My Life

My study abroad experience was the most incredible semester of my life. My journey certainly had its emotional ups and downs, but with help of my amazing friends, host family and IES Abroad staff at the Santiago center, I was able to navigate any troubles that came my way and truly enjoy every opportunity and experience I was given. My courses had a decent amount of homework but far less than my courses in the US. To be fair though, this study abroad semester was a bit of a break for me; I only took courses that helped towards my Spanish minor and my pre-health concentration (versus focusing on my biology major). I gained confidence in my Spanish speaking and learned how to connect with anyone, anywhere. The IES Abroad program helped structure my academic learning and allowed me to take a course at a local university, an amazing experience that I will forever be proud of completing. There is so much I could talk about ranging from the amazing empanadas, cooking disasters with my host family, hiking up snowy mountains, and getting to meet family I have (through marriage) in Chile. This first world country is relatively safe, spare for a few skilled pickpocketers in Santiago and other major cities. The varied climates and environments, ranging from the northern desert of Atacama to the southernmost glaciers of Patagonia, allow students to explore a wide variety of local cultures and charm. Every amazing experience was only possible through IES Abroad, and I would go back and relive the entire experience, moments good and bad, twenty times over.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could improve by providing to the students as pre-departure information the cell phone numbers of all the students in the program. The arrival portion of my experience was probably the worst part of my study abroad experience. My plane was delayed overnight and I arrived in Santiago late when no IES staff was able to pick me up at the airport. I was very scared and would have wanted the opportunity to travel with the two other people who happened to be on my same flight. But I did not have their mobile phone contact information, severely limiting my ability to reach out and ask for assistance. Ergo, having cell phone numbers of the students would at least have helped me contact others who were in the same location I was.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Santiago

My time in Santiago, Chile was one of the greatest yet hardest experiences of my life. I came in with a pretty good level of Spanish but quickly realized that classroom Spanish and a background of 7 years in class isn't real life Spanish... especially Chilean Spanish. I remember being afraid to say things incorrectly at the beginning, but by the end understood better that it really is okay to make mistakes and was more comfortable asking questions/really trying to understand the language in its entirety. My host family was great, and although we started at a slow place with getting to know them, by then end I felt like family. I also learned that it takes a lot on the student's part to build that relationship, and I feel like it is extremely valuable to build those because the home is where you get a lot of good practice with no pressure. But again, the way you feel about making mistakes is ultimately up to you. The more you accept yourself for them, the more you will learn and improve. While the Spanish learning, cultural learning, traveling were great experiences, I had a major health issue going on. I share this to demonstrate how safe and cared for I felt the entire time that I was dealing with this issue. If you have a health condition, please don't let it stop you from studying abroad. I have a complicated story with too many details, but I made 1 hospital visit and 3 doctor visits (all in Spanish) but was accompanied by program advisors who made me felt very comfortable and understood... despite any potential language issues. My host family was very caring and always asked how I was feeling, and the school even let me take a week off from classes. It was hard, my days were long and tiring with this issue... but would I take it back and not go? No way. I will never regret my decision to stay because I made long lasting relationships, seriously improved upon my Spanish skills more than I ever would staying at my university, and got to experience another part of the world that functions slightly differently from what I'm used to... and these are experiences I will carry with me forever. Chile is an amazing country that is highly dismissed. If you have the opportunity to go, do it. You won't regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
More integration into the community, more travel plans as groups
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The people make the program

This fall, I went to Santiago through the IES Semester in Santiago program and had the absolute pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful people in the world. Many study abroad programs have similar draws—small classes, hands-on learning, fantastic teachers, cultural integration, etc—and don’t get me wrong, my program definitely had all of those. However, one thing that really set the program apart was the type of student on the program, the staff at the study abroad center in Santiago, and the host families. All the students on my program got along fabulously, which was honestly pretty strange. I went abroad in high school on a different program, and there were clashes within the program, as happens when many very different people spend a lot of time together. However, in Santiago, we literally all got along well—there was no exclusion, no cattiness, nothing. The group was comprised of very smart and interesting students, who were laid-back in attitude and all of whom enjoyed nature, and for whatever reason, this made us incredibly cohesive. I can’t stress enough how bizarrely lovely and inclusive it was.
Our cohesion was probably due in part to the incredible staff at IES, who were intentional about teambuilding and introductions from the start. The five women who work at the center were some of the most loving, kind, compassionate, funny and warm people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. Not only were they good at the administrative aspects of their jobs, they cared for me and the other students like their own children. I had bronchitis for about a month (immunodeficiency, whaddup), and they worked tirelessly with me to coordinate makeup work and tests while also firmly and lovingly demanding I go take a nap and give myself a break. They are amazing. Again, I can’t stress this enough.
One of the women who works at the center is responsible for housing placements, and she does an incredible job. Each homestay is hand-picked by her, and she is careful and thorough with her reasoning. You get to fill out a form in which you indicate what your desired outcome in a homestay is—whether that’s to be integrated into the family, to spend a bit of time with them, or to have it more as a place to sleep and eat rather than a family setting—and she matches you with people who have similar desires. This eliminates a lot of awkwardness around being unsure on expectations. I wanted to be part of the family, and I ended up in a house where I would spend hours talking to my host mom about life philosophy and experience. She is my second mom (even now she texts me asking if I’m sleeping enough. That’s mom love for ya).
On my program, I navigated a big city after living in rural college towns my whole life. I formed loving and warm bonds with people I never would’ve met otherwise. I explored and grew and learned and laughed and cried and ate too many empanadas, and IES Santiago gave me the space for that. Go. You won’t regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
I take advanced Spanish courses at my home college, so even the advanced Spanish class felt a little slow. I still learned a ton!
Yes, I recommend this program

Do I have to leave?

Study abroad is a personal experience that impacts everyone in different ways. The staff at IES abroad Santiago understand this and supports each student with social, academic, traveling, cultural-immersion, and host-family issues every step of the way. And Chile is a wonderful country with inviting people, breathe taking nature, and so much love to make any one feel at home.

When my parents dropped me off at the airport and I waived goodbye as I walked through security, I realized it was real and I was leaving to another country half way across the world on my own. I took a deep breath and plunged into the experience of a lifetime, one that would change me for the better and impact me for the rest of my life. I planted roots in South America and they run deep. Chile taught me to be patient with others and with myself, to communicate about everything always because you can never be too informed, to try new things and to get back up when you don't do as planned, to ask for help and in return, help others, to get lost and find your way home, to struggle and overcome obstacles, to learn, to love, and to grow. A part of Chile will forever be in my heart and I hope one day, it can be in yours too.

Yes, I recommend this program

Living in Chile was an amazing experience

I spent two semesters in Santiago, Chile. I honestly had a rough start with culture shock, but I changed host families and built a relationship with my host mom -a relationship I hope will last the rest of my life. I made friends within IES Abroad and with Chileans; I already miss them all!
Chile is the ideal place to study abroad, because it has the best of everything. I got to live in all the conveniences of a modern city, but could travel to the Andes mountains, the Pacific beaches, the driest desert in the world, islands, volcanoes, and of course, Patagonia.
I honestly believe that Chile is way underrated as a tourist destination. There is so much to see, do, and discover there.

What would you improve about this program?
This program, like any other, has room for improvement. I would like to see a better process for dealing with student issues (particularly in respect to homestays) where students can have more confidence. Also, sometimes the organization of the program can be frustrating, such as last minute notice of group meetings.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommended!

This program helped me achieve my overall goal of being able to communicate in Spanish on a higher level. The homestay experience really helped me better my speaking and listening abilities. They say that if you can understand Chilean Spanish, you can understand any Spanish. The administrators are extremely friendly and helpful in every way possible. You can go to them for anything you need - they are there if you need a hug while you are experiencing culture shock or homesickness and can help you if you are struggling in any of your classes. Also, one of the Spanish teachers has been awarded as the best IES professor out of all of the IES programs in the world! So academics are great.

Yes, I recommend this program

Connections and an Amazing Host Family and City

My study abroad experience in Santiago, Chile surpassed my expectations in so many ways. As a member of the Health Studies Program, I took a Spanish for Healthcare Professionals course, did an internship at a community health foundation, and participated in a health studies seminar in which I learned about the Chilean healthcare system as well as the contemporary public health issues facing Chile. One of the aspects I enjoyed most about being part of the IES program was the fact that they are very well connected and very accommodating to meeting students’ interests in order for them to make the absolute most out of their experience. As part of the Health Studies Program, the majority of students choose to participate in the Clinical Observation Seminar in which they do weekly observations of hospitals; however, as one of the only students studying Public Health who was not pre-med, I hoped to do something a little more hands on where I was engaging with community members and also learning about prevention. IES was able to pair me up with a community health agency called Popular Education in Health (EPES in Spanish). This internship was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life. At the foundation I worked on a nutrition initiative and learned about the influence of the Chilean dictatorship on the current status of nutrition in Chile. This experience in conjunction with the IES course called Human Rights in Latin America, helped to shape my interest in learning more about the dictatorship and I am now, as a study abroad returnee, looking for as many ways as possible to integrate my interest in the dictatorship into projects or independent studies I work on at my home university.
In addition, my host family as well surpassed my expectations. At first the idea of living with three brothers was very intimidating. However, my family made sure to include me in everything. A couple of my favorite memories were running most weekends with my host mom followed by yoga sessions and also going to my host grandma’s house with my family for an asado (Chilean BBQ) when my host mom’s brother returned to Chile after seven years of living abroad. IES Santiago does a great job of pairing students with host families meeting their interests and also place you in great neighborhoods. In addition, talking with your host family every day without a doubt improves your Spanish.
Lastly, arriving in Chile I thought I would travel more than I did; however, I do not regret staying in Santiago on the weekends and exploring various museums such as the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. Santiago also has an excellent food/bar/and nightlife scene. However, one of the trips I will never forget is the IES trip to Chiloe, a magical and enchanted Island in Chile’s South.
Overall, I would hands down recommend the IES Santiago Program for its wonderful connections throughout Santiago and beyond. This experience without a doubt will be one that I will remember for the rest of my life!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Cannot wait to go back!

Studying abroad in Santiago with IES was by far the greatest thing I could have done with a semester of my college career. I was able to solidify so much of what I want to do with my life and I don't believe that I could have done that without this experience. I was able to make lifelong friends, improve my Spanish,realize my passion for environmental policy through my classes at the local university, and really build a home away from home.

I am planning on returning to work and live for a while after I graduate from college, there is just so much more of the beautiful Chile that I want to see and experience and even more of Latin America that I would love to get to know. I really do believe that without the help and guidance IES provided us my experience would not have been the same. They placed me with the most incredible host family, ensured that the classes I was taking both at IES and at the local university were what I needed for my area of study, and they helped us adapt to Chile in a broad sense as well as giving us the tools to navigate the culture on our own. I have attached a few of my favorite photos from my trip.