Do you want to study in one of South America’s most progressive capital cities? Home to approximately seven million inhabitants, Santiago is a dynamic sprawling metropolis located in the heart of Chile’s fertile central valley at the base of the massive Andes Mountains. With some of the best and prestigious universities in Latin America located in the capital, many Chilean and foreign students alike flock to study in Santiago. Santiago offers a plethora of opportunities for experiential learning abroad. Here’s a taste of what it’s like to study abroad in Santiago.
Popular Ways to Study in Santiago
Prepare yourself for a new adventure not only outside of the classroom, but inside the classroom as well. Whether you’re looking to study fashion design or aerospace engineering, you’ll find a range of courses with study abroad Santiago, Chile programs in leading universities in the Americas.
Popular subjects to study. Santiago boasts a range of landscapes surrounding it, from hills and valleys to mountain ranges, making it a stellar choice for studying geography. Another popular subject (and smart choice) for students to study here is Spanish, where you can live with a host family and be immersed in the language. Other popular choices include political science, business, anthropology, and Latin American studies.
Short term and summer vs. long term programs. You could opt to take courses as short as a summer or winter and throughout the year or as long as a semester (fall and spring) and a full academic year. If you’re looking to learn Spanish, it’s a muy excelente idea to study in Santiago for a full year to get the most out of the program and to become fluent as well.
Attending universities vs. other program types. Study abroad Santiago, Chile programs are provided by a third party, your own university, or universities in Santiago. Some students might choose to directly enroll in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile or one of its many other higher education institutions. Talk to your university study abroad advisor to help you determine your goals and credit needs before choosing a program that will be the right fit for you.
Student Life in Santiago
Santiago has a long history as the historical, cultural, and political hub of Chile. As the capital of a country that was torn by a 17-year dictatorship (which returned to democracy in 1990), the city of Santiago has flourished as an intellectual center and offers numerous museums and cultural centers.
Lying in the center of the Santiago Basin, surrounded by the Andes Mountains and Chilean Coastal Range, you’ll love the view of the city from Cerro San Crisóbal. The landscapes provide plenty of adventures, where you can go hiking and whitewater rafting. Suit up and head to the beaches for some SCUBA diving and swimming.
For you foodies, you’ll be in gastronomic heaven here. Savor the flavors of pastel de choclo (shepherd’s pie) or a completo (burger or hotdog, and wash it down with terremoto (sweet wine and pineapple ice cream). If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll definitely want to try some unique flavors of ice cream at one of the numerous heladerias, where you can try rose water or black pepper ice cream!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
It may take time to adjust to an unfamiliar educational style, and Chilean students and professors might not be the same as they were in the United States. Depending on your professors, specific program, and duration, you may find that the structure of the class is completely different and may be even slightly disorganized by your standards. Although it may feel like a disadvantage at first being in an unfamiliar environment, you will reap the benefits from being challenged and gaining a different way of learning.
In Chile, time is more relaxed compared to the United States (this is not to say that it is acceptable to be late to class — it’s not). Some people who are studying abroad in Chile love this casual attitude while others find it frustrating at first. Chile has a unique grading scale. Instead of using a scale based out of 100 total possible points with letter grades (A, B, C, D, F), the Chilean grading scale is based out of seven total possible points. Therefore, a seven is considered the highest score a student can earn, and one is the lowest.
From checking out art at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo to taking dancing lessons to learn to salsa, you’ll fall in love with the rhythms of Santiago in no time. The numerous parks, palaces, and plazas are all awaiting your exploration. With the progressive ideas that have been developed and expressed here over the years in this thriving metropolis, you have much to learn and observe while studying in Santiago.
Be sure to also read our comprehensive guide on studying in Chile.