IES Abroad Santiago – Health Studies

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, IES Abroad has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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Designed for students interested in learning about global health industries, this study abroad program in Santiago offers you a first-hand look at the city’s community-centered public health systems.

During your semester in Santiago, you’ll take classes like Spanish for Health Care Practitioners and Health Studies Seminar, taught by world-class professors who will enrich your academic experience in and outside of the classroom. While in Santiago, you’ll live in a homestay with a family or señora, which will help you practice your language skills and integrate into the Chilean community.

  • Immerse yourself in Chilean culture
  • Learn about global health on the ground in another country
  • Improve your Spanish skills to become a more well-rounded health practitioner
  • Live with a host family


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


9.4 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Rewarding Experience

My time in Chile was one I will never forget. The program was very comprehensive and formative for my career goals. I had the opportunity to observe a variety of healthcare professionals at work, which I had not done a lot of prior to my semester abroad. I had the opportunity to work with a community-based organization, which shaped the way I view the world and respond to health-related issues. Thus, I think that anyone interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and wants to learn medical Spanish should not overlook overlook this program.

The program center had recently undergone some renovations and I think that it provided my cohort with just the right resources and space. My group was small, so we got to know each other pretty quickly and often spent time together as a group. The staff was also very accommodating and planned a variety of field trips and experiences that really helped us engage with Chilean culture. Chile also has a very diverse terrain and I would encourage anyone who has the means to explore it to do so!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would budget better for trips outside of the city. I did not really think about leaving Santiago too much prior to my trip, so I did not plan accordingly to truly explore all that Chile has to offer. It is a beautiful country with a lot to offer (deserts, geothermal springs, mountains, etc.), so there's a little bit of everything for everyone, no matter what your interest are.
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Yes, I recommend this program

!Siempre Chile!

My study abroad experience was incredible and I would encourage any student looking for a pre-health and Spanish speaking program to consider this one. I was able to learn about the health care of Chile while learning many medical terms and health-related topics in Spanish. On top of this, I gained shadowing experience in a public hospital of Santiago where I saw many different fascinating medical cases and surgeries, something most people don´t get the chance to do here in the US.
Our group trips and personal trips around Chile were amazing and I experience things I had never done before such as canyoning, rafting, and holding a newborn lamb!
I will never forget the people I was able to meet in my program and Chile. The bonds that were created are some that I will never forget.
Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience abroad.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Chorillana- Chilean cuisine that consists of fries with meat, and a fried egg on top. It honestly sounded pretty weird at first but it was one of my favorite dishes there and something my group with get often when we went out.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The most incredible experience of my life!

This program was more incredible than I could have imagined. I loved the life and energy in the city of Santiago, and lived a 5 minute walk from the IES center. My classes and professors were fantastic and taught me so much about culture, medicine, and helped me to improve my Spanish greatly. I loved being able to shadow medical professionals in the public hospital- I even befriended some surgeons and got to play tennis with them on the weekends! The program allowed a lot of weekend time so my friends and I took advantage of every opportunity to travel and explore all of the amazing nature and experiences Chile has to offer like surfing in Pichilemu, skiing in the Andes, sand boarding in the Atacama Desert, summiting a volcano in Pucón, and hiking through Patagonia after my program finished. I made some incredible friends, both from in my program and from the class I took at the local university with Chilean students. My abroad experience was the greatest experience of my life and I learned so much about culture, medicine, Spanish, travel, and about myself while in Chile with IES Abroad.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I highly recommend taking every opportunity possible to travel! Chile has an amazing variety of climates and landscapes and traveling is super affordable there! Seeing all of the culture in smaller towns and getting to speak with Chileans from different towns and locations is an invaluable experience.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Summer Ever!

I learned so much on this program! I now know more about the Chilean health system than I do about the United States system. I got 60 hours of hospital observation, including seeing many surgeries and the birth of a baby! All of my experiences in the hospital were completely in Spanish, which made it very intimidating at first. However, by the end I could understand everything happening around me and I loved it! I also made friendships that I know will last for the rest of my life. The IES Abroad center staff was so kind and genuinely cared that we had a great time, and I loved my host family. The city of Santiago now feels like a second home to me, and I can't wait to go back some day. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to improve their Spanish, learn about medicine, and have a summer full of adventure!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be afraid to speak Spanish! The more you practice the better you'll be. And say yes to anything you're remotely interested in. Every experience can be life-changing!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Discovering yourself in Chile

Studying abroad in Santiago, Chile was one of the best choices I have made in my life. I am a neuroscience major, but have always had a desire to become fluent in Spanish. For that reason, I decided to study in the Health Studies Program, to learn more about the health system in Chile, but also to fully immerse myself into a Spanish-speaking culture. This program allows students to take a seminar where they can choose between shadowing in hospitals and clinics, or intern at a Public Health organization in an underserved community. I decided to intern at the Public Health organization, and through that experience, was very inspired by the theory of Popular Education, and experienced first-hand the power and importance of community health. This experience for sure inspired me so much, and made me think a lot more about the type of career I would like in the future.

In addition to the educational aspect of the program, Chile was a great country to study in with the goal to learn Spanish. Even living in the capital city of Santiago, it was rare that you would enter a restaurant or mall and find someone who could, and would, speak english to you. Santiago is also a wonderful city to live in, which many beautiful parks, restaurants, and hills to hike. I also loved the nature that Chile has to offer, and simply by traveling outside of Santiago to these natural environments were very inspiring as they are beautiful settings to both challenge yourself and reflect on life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future students for this study abroad program would be to fully immerse yourself into the Spanish-speaking culture. Studying abroad with other English-speaking students can sometimes prevent you from wanting to challenge yourself and speak the host-country's language, but take advantage of the opportunities to have conversations with your host family, attend events at the local University, or even travel alone and force yourself to speak Spanish.