Study Abroad in Santiago

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Santiago

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.

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

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A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Santiago

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IES Abroad

Santiago is a modern metropolis, one that visitors will come to know for its lively neighborhoods and unique charm. A Spanish-immersion program, the IES Abroad Santiago Program - Politics, Social Justice & Language - will help students improve their language skills while observing and learning about sociopolitical topics. Also offered are internship and service learning placements, field trips,...

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Syracuse University Santiago Center

This semester abroad program takes you to two vibrant South American cities - Cuenca, Ecuador and Santiago, Chile - to broaden your academic knowledge and refine your Spanish. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students with good academic standing and have had a minimum of two semesters of Spanish in college. It starts with a four-week intensive Spanish language study at the CEDEI In...

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USAC CHILE: Santiago-Latin American & Anthropology Studies

Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile, features a natural and urban framework amidst a mountainous terrain. It is situated close to the country’s central coastline, allowing you to bask in both its natural surroundings and rich culture. Head to the world’s southernmost country where you will have the chance to study contemporary Chilean society and Spanish through a semester or ac...

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Academic Programs International

Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago, is home to over a third of the country’s population. It is a favorite among many international students. If you’re planning to study in a South American country, sign up for our program at API. Students thrive in the city center, where the Andes mountains making for a picturesque backdrop. Santiago is a wonderful haven for local and international s...

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CIEE

Begin your study of the Spanish language and gain real-world business experience in the beautiful and modern metropolis of Santiago! You’ll take courses – taught in English – with professors from some of the top Chilean business universities. See the concepts you learn in class come to life in the real world during site visits to local Chilean businesses. And try out your Spanish during a Commu...

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Study Abroad and Intern w/ a Tech Startup in Santiago!

We know your type— the independent thinker, self-starter, and creative problem solver who isn’t afraid to go out of your comfort zone. You wouldn’t be on this website trying to find a global experience— and voluntarily go to a foreign country to work or study with strangers— if you weren’t. We get it— and we think that’s pretty cool. Welcome to Sage Corps. Sage Corps is a study abroad and gl...

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Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change

Study educational policies and pedagogies in Chile and Argentina, exploring the relationship between education, society, and diversity in both countries. This program gives students the opportunity to engage in rigorous academic coursework and research on educational systems in urban and rural areas of Chile and Argentina. Students spend time in a variety of schools, gaining insig...

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(R)evolve - Live, travel, and study abroad in 9 countries!

Sign up for the ultimate study abroad program around the world! (R)evolve gives you the chance to explore 4 different countries each semester (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia: or Hungary, Morocco, Spain, and Italy: or Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia) without taking a break from your studies. It’s like a gap year, but without the “gap”. We will take you, along with other students, ...

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Chile: Geography, Ecosystems & Sustainability

Begin your Experiment in Valaparaíso, a coastal city known for its colorful hillside homes, where you will get to know your group and take Spanish language classes. You will develop global awareness and understanding of environmental challenges as you traverse the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes Mountains. Visit a local farmer's market and take a cooking class before a group bike ri...

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Study Abroad in Chile

Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery. A Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) study abroad program is an experience that will immerse you in the lives, cultures, and communities of a real family in one of more than 40 countries around the globe. An adventure where you'll learn in a year, semester or a summer, what life is like for teens in another world. An experience that will change y...