Study Abroad in Chile

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Chile

Chile is a small, slender, breathtaking slice of South America with a little of everything — from the Atacama Desert in the north (the longest, driest desert on earth) to the spectacular glaciers in Patagonia in the south. Thanks to its stable economy, this Spanish-speaking nation is safe for travelers. If you study abroad in Chile, you get to enjoy an interesting mix of old and traditional. Chileans are known for their hospitable attitudes toward foreigners, and a quality of education that attracts students from all over Latin America — both reasons Chile is an ideal academic destination.

Best Places to Study Abroad in Chile

Most of Chile’s 17 million residents live in the capital city of Santiago and over 80 percent live in urban areas. If you study abroad in Chile, you may be surprised at the modern infrastructure as well as the European influence. Many Chileans are of German, Spanish, and other European heritage and that is clearly reflected in the culture and architecture.

Santiago. The largest city and capital of Chile is sandwiched in the middle of the country between the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. The city boasts neoclassical architecture, art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles as you wind down the streets. Marvel at the statue of the Virgin Mary at San Cristobal Hill, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Watch a football game at Estadio Nacional de Chile, stroll through a hillside park, and attend one of its many festivals. You’ll have plenty to do to take your mind off your studies here!

Arica. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities, Chile’s most northernmost city just below Peru offers a smaller population, a world-class surfing spot, mild weather, and beautiful beaches. Climb Morro de Arica, explore the Catedral de San Marcos de Arica, and join the locals in Plaza Colón. If you’re interested in studying health and medicine in rural areas, this is the place to be for your Chile study abroad program.

Valparaíso. About 70 miles northwest of Santiago lies this coastal city, major seaport, and UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore Iglesia de la Matriz, Plaza Aníbal Pinto, and Plaza Sotomayor. The Jewel of the Pacific offers colorful houses, beautiful sea views, some of the best street art in Latin America, a maze of steep hillsides, and the annual New Year's by the Sea fireworks show.

Costs of Studying in Chile

Compared to the United States, studying and living in Chile is economical. Although the cost of living in Chile is higher than the rest of Latin America, it is still an affordable country and it is less expensive than studying abroad in Western Europe. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant and cheaper at the markets than at the grocery. There is a lot to see and do in the Andean nation, too. Traveling by bus is the most common form of transportation as it is inexpensive.  The public transportation system is great. It’ll get you where you need to go whether you want to travel to a rural area or a check out the urban nightlife.

While it’s fairly affordable, the study abroad Chile program fee can be a bit hefty with everything it includes, but it depends on the number of courses you take and the duration of the program. Most program fees will cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, meals, support, insurance, and more. You can start applying for scholarships via GoAbroad’s Scholarship Directory to help cover the cost of the program fee and airfare.

Student Housing in Chile

Students generally have two housing options for their study abroad Chile program, none of which include dormitories. International students can live with a host family or live off-campus alone or with other students. Depending on your goals and what you want to get out of your experience abroad will determine what type of housing best suits your needs. If you are intent on learning the language, living in a homestay with Chileans is the way to go. Why? This type of full immersion gives you an authentic and inside look at the Chilean culture by living day to day with them.

Chile Student Visas

Before you take classes in Chile, you’ll need to apply for a student visa, which can take three to four weeks. You’ll need a passport that lasts six months beyond your departure date, a letter of acceptance, a visa application form, passport-sized photographs, health clearance, a background check, and a couple of other forms. Your study abroad Chile program coordinator can assist you with the requirements and process. GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory is also a helpful resource in locating consulates and reaching out for help.

Benefits & Challenges

It’s inexpensive and easy to travel and get around without a car in Chile during school breaks and long weekends. With such a varied range of geography, from the desert to the Pacific coast, with volcanoes, lakes, and glaciers, you won’t get bored with all of the pristine beauty that Chile has to offer. Its outdoor playground is vast with various subcultures within the national identity too. From eye-opening experiences visiting national parks, small villages, and urban areas, meaningful learning does not only take place in the classroom.

The Spanish language may sound different from what you’re used to in Chile. You’ll likely hear faster speech and interesting accents, but you’ll learn to pick it up in no time as you continue studying Spanish and practicing it with locals and other students. With Spanish being one of the most spoken languages in the world, your resume will shine bright when it says you can studied abroad in Chile and learned to speak Spanish.

Studying abroad in Chile very much includes getting out and about, trying new foods, having outdoor adventures, learning new Spanish slang, and soaking up the dynamic Chilean culture!

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A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Chile


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Study Abroad in Vina del Mar, Chile with AIFS!

Spend a semester or academic year in the charming, modern city of Vina del Mar with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 15 credits through a variety of courses studying at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI). You’ll live in homestay for the authentic Chilean experience. AIFS offers a unique Spanish Language, Business and Latin American Studies curriculum.

Reflection of resort at sunset

University Studies Abroad Consortium

University Studies Abroad Consortium offers students the opportunity to explore contemporary Chilean society through various academic courses. The program focuses on Latin American and Spanish Language Studies. Participants get the chance to enjoy the delightful mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial vestiges while studying in the beautiful city of Santiago.

Study abroad in Chile USAC

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Summer and Semester Studies in Chile with IES Abroad

Gain first-hand experience in exploring the Chilean landscape and culture with the Institute for the International Education of Students. Enroll in one of the prestigious universities in Santiago and choose from courses in Political Science, Health Administration, Spanish, and other subjects. The program is available to students worldwide.

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Study Abroad in Chile with ISA

Students get to enjoy the best of both worlds when studying in Chile. The neighboring and vibrant cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, make this a perfect location to study abroad. Students can attend classes with local Chilean or other international students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso or the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.


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Study in Chile with API

API offers comprehensive programs in Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Participants can study Spanish language and culture, art, business, education, history, and communications, along with many other course subjects. All API programs include airport pickup, an on-site orientation with an English-speaking Resident Director, housing, tuition, medical and life insurance, excursions, social and cultur...


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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Low Cost Academic Programs in Chile with CSA !

Study Spanish and discover the Chilean culture through the Center for Study Abroad Chile. Worldwide participants can enroll at the University of Vina del Mar and take up other subject courses such as Literature, Political Science, International Relations, and others. Take a look of the beautiful landscape and people of Chile by immersing in the local communities.


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Syracuse University in Chile

Find your place in Latin America through the Syracuse University Santiago program. You will take classes at a prestigious Chilean university, immerse yourself in Spanish language learning, and travel throughout South America.


Understand Chile through CIEE

The international academic studies program from CIEE in Chile helps students gain a better understanding and appreciation of the contemporary coastal city life and society of this country. Experience the unique academic life at a Chilean university. This program is appropriate for students who want to take courses in Business, Linguistics, and Liberal Arts.


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CEA Study Abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile

Whether you want to hone your Spanish skills, study business, or both, CEA Viña del Mar is the perfect setting for a semester, summer, or short-term spent studying abroad in Chile. Choose from a range of courses, taught in English, and immerse into student life in “the Garden City,” a stunning locale known for its beaches, mountains, and vibrant culture.


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Study Abroad in Chile with SIT Study Abroad

Study education, development, or public health in Chile during a semester with SIT Study Abroad. All programs include educational excursions, experiential learning, and immersion in Chilean culture through homestays. Or choose to explore health or human rights on a comparative program that travels to Chile and three other countries.


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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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Academic Credit Programs with Broadreach

If you're looking to experience the world, climb aboard. Since 1993, Broadreach has taken over 12,000 students on adventures abroad for middle school, high school and college students. Prepare for hands-on experience, trying new things, making lifelong friends and having amazing adventures while earning a pile of certifications as proof of your achievements. The world awaits!


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Patagonia Conservation Program

Spend a semester living and conducting research with Round River in Patagonia. Our semester program takes students to southern Chile, where we work with local organizations to monitor wildlife and vegetation while exploring the vast mountainous terrain. We work in two areas: 1) assisting Conservacion Patagonica with bird and mammal studies in the future Patagonia National Park, and 2) assisti...