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Santiago - Politics, Social Justice & Language Add to favorites
  • Santiago, Chile
Study Abroad Santiago Chile

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Why Santiago?

Our Politics, Social Justice & Language Program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of Chile while studying the Spanish language and political topics. Explore the intricacies of the Chilean sociopolitical landscape: student activism, the arts as a form of resistance, human rights issues, and an impressive literary culture (via world renowned authors like Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende). Your studies and extracurricular adventures will without a doubt allow you to embark on a real-life case study of Chile's thriving society.

What You'll Study

Courses are taught in Spanish by distinguished professors, most with primary appointments at one of IES Abroad’s partner universities. You can also enroll in an internship or service learning placement during your time in Santiago, which will help you add international work experience to your résumé or help you understand the city’s social issues first-hand

Santiago will be your classroom. Imagine practicing your Spanish as you tour local neighborhoods or visit local business organizations as part of your study of Chile’s regional and global trade. 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.

Daily Life

You can enroll in courses at local universities, including the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Universidad de Chile, where you’ll experience the Chilean educational system first-hand and enjoy access to local student activities. Maybe you’ll even make some Chilean friends while you’re at it.

We want you to feel at home in Santiago, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing and cultural events to our Club Chileno Program, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible, which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Spanish language, Chilean history, and culture through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take 15–19 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses at IES Abroad Santiago and partner universities are taught in Spanish. In conjunction with our academic advisor, you craft your own academic experience. You may select from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad Spanish language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad Spanish-taught area studies courses (3 credits each)
  • Partner University Spanish-taught courses (3–5 credits each)
  • Internship or service learning placement (4 credits)


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.

Art History
Course Name Term Language Credits
LT/LS/AH 231 - Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America Spring Spanish 3
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN 322 - Native Cultures Fall Spanish 3
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC 322 - The Transformation Of The Chilean And Other Latin American Economies From The Late 20Th Into The 21St Century Spring Spanish 3
PO/IR/EC 342 - Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations Fall Spanish 3
Health Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
HL 395 - Health Studies Program Seminar Fall, Spring, Summer Spanish 4
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/PO 340 - Human Rights in Latin America Fall Spanish 3
PO/HS 372 - The Radical Tradition of Chile, Argentina, and Peru Spring Spanish 3
Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL/IN 395 - Internship and Service Learning Seminar Fall, Spring Spanish 4
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/IR/EC 342 - Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations Fall Spanish 3
Latin American Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
LT/LS/AH 231 - Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America Spring Spanish 3
Course Name Term Language Credits
LT/LS/AH 231 - Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America Spring Spanish 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS/PO 340 - Human Rights in Latin America Fall Spanish 3
PO/HS 372 - The Radical Tradition of Chile, Argentina, and Peru Spring Spanish 3
PO/IR/EC 342 - Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations Fall Spanish 3
Service Learning
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL/IN 395 - Internship and Service Learning Seminar Fall, Spring Spanish 4
Course Name Term Language Credits
SP 303 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 320 - Spanish for Healthcare Practitioners Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 353 - Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 403 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad Fall, Spring Spanish 4

Partner Institution(s)

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile was founded in 1888 and was designated as a “pontifical university” by Pope Pius VII in 1930, and is Chile's largest private university. Today, the university is a well respected research institution, gaining prominence for recent innovations in the fields of chemistry, engineering, and vaccination medicine.

Visit and select your academic area of interest. PUC usually requires a personal interview before approving course enrollment. University course offerings vary by semester and not all courses are available to international students. Below are disciplines available to IES Abroad students.

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Business (AACSB and EQUIS accredited)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Drama (audition required)
  • Economics (AACSB and EQUIS accredited)
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Forestry
  • Geography
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Music (audition required)
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Literature
  • Statistics
  • Theology
  • Translation

Location & Commute Time
The campuses of PUC are located in different parts of the city, all very close to public transportation. The commute time from the IES Abroad Santiago Center to PUC is about 30 minutes by public transportation.

Universidad de Chile
Founded in 1622 by Spanish colonists as “Saint Thomas of Aquinas University,” the Universidad de Chile is now one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America. In addition to its 18 faculties and departments, the university is also home to Chile’s 150-year-old National Astronomical Observatory, the National Theatre of Chile, the National Ballet of Chile, and an international center for Antarctic studies. The Universidad de Chile is a prestigious university known for its outstanding research initiatives and undergraduate curriculum.

Courses are available in the disciplines below. Visit for course details.

  • Agriculture
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Dance (audition required)
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Environmental
  • Fine Arts Interpretation (audition required)
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Graphic Design
  • Health Studies
  • Hispanic Literature
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Literature
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Music (audition required)
  • Music Theory
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Theater Design

Location & Commute Time
The Universidad de Chile has six campuses and faculties around the city. The commute time from the Universidad de Chile to the IES Abroad Santiago Center is approximately 30 minutes by public transportation.


Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.

  1. Add international experience to your résumé
  2. Gain real work experience and skills
  3. Build your confidence

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.

Customize Your Internship
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses; if we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search out a placement.

Placement Examples
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.

  • Business
  • Education
  • Government/Politics
  • Humanities
  • Museum Sciences
  • Public Health

Service Learning

Participating in a service learning experience in Santiago is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Santiago, while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.

A service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even research, on the issues of your host community.

Possible placements may include organizations focusing on:

  • Community Health
  • Social issues unique to Santiago

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Santiago, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. The orientation trip and the Chiloé field trip are subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.

La Serena
3 Days | Fall
Experience Chile’s diverse coastal geography, see penguins, and observe other native animals at a national nature preserve. Astronomy enthusiasts will especially enjoy a visit to Mamalluca and Tololo: one of the world’s most known research and observation centers in astronomy.

San Pedro De Atacama
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Enjoy activities like biking and sand boarding in the driest desert in the world. You will also visit one of the world’s largest astronomy projects: ALMA.

Torres Del Paine
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Hike on ancient glaciers and winding mountain paths in one of Chile’s most spectacular national parks.

Valparaíso and Viña del Mar
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Discover the culture of two of Chile’s most beautiful coastal towns: one is a UNESCO heritage site and the other is home to one of Chile's Nobel Prize poets: Pablo Neruda.

3 Days | Spring
Visit Chile’s largest island to learn and experience more about the importance of sustainable, agricultural, and touristic areas.

Villarica & Pucón
3 Days | Spring
Discover the lakes, volcanoes, and hot springs of this beautiful region and meet with the Mapuche, the native people that make their home there. Through your interactions, you will learn about the Mapuche culture, challenges of integrating into the Chilean mainstream, and concepts of health and healing.

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Santiago is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


The program begins with a mandatory one-week orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Santiago staff, your fellow students, and the city of Santiago. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, expectations, cultural trips, and health and safety are covered during the week.

After visiting partner universities and meeting with the IES Abroad Santiago Academic Coordinator, you also register for courses during orientation. Both Universidad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile have a half-day orientation for international students.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing you for the return home.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Santiago, it will feel like home.

Homestays - You live in a homestay in Santiago with a family or señora, who helps facilitate your language learning and integration into the Chilean community. Your homestay hosts provide two meals per day.

Residence Hall – Well-located in central Santiago, the student residence hall offers a study room, printing lab, gym, pool, and more. You have the option to live in a single room with your own bathroom, or in a double room where you share a bedroom and bathroom with another student. In both options, you also have shared access to a living room and kitchenette. Limited placements are available.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Santiago through our cultural events and activities, such as:

  • Neighborhood tours of Santiago
  • Visits to local museums and cultural institutions
  • The IES Abroad Club Chileno activities with local students

Get to Know Your New City

Climb Cerro Santa Lucia

Take in sweeping views of Santiago at this hill located in the heart of the city.

Bite Into a Chilean Empanada

Visit a panadería to try this savory local dish.

Hike Cerro Pochoco

Get a taste of the Andes Mountains right in Santiago’s backyard.

See the Street Art

Have lunch and stroll through the barrio of Bellavista. Check out the street art as you take in the sight and sounds of Santiago.

Visit Sky Costanera for a 360° View of Santiago

Take an elevator to the top of Sky Costanera and see the city through different eyes—from 300 meters up!

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $12,785 $2,995 $230 $16,010

Term: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018
Academic Year

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Center is located in Providencia, a vibrant residential neighborhood in central Santiago. Features include:

  • Classrooms
  • Student lounge
  • Small library
  • Kitchen and dining area
  • WiFi and remote printer access
  • Charming courtyard

Our Staff

María del Carmen Cortés Arce

Center Director

A native of Santiago, Maricarmen has over 30 years of experience with local development activities with government and non-profit organizations, including Wilder Center for Communities (part of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Saint Paul, MN), Franklin Covey Chile, the United States Peace Corps in Santiago, FINAM (a Women's World Banking NGO), and the Miguel Kast Foundation. Maricarmen holds a Master's and B.A. in Architecture from the Universidad de Chile, and was also a Fulbright Scholar through the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program with the University of Minnesota.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff
Angela Schaaf
Assistant Director/Academic Coordinator 

Anita María Moreno
Student Affairs Coordinator 

Paola Riquelme
Administration and Finance Coordinator

Sonia Fierro
Office Keeper