Five Students Who Should Study Abroad in Santiago

Santiago, USAC’s only program in Chile, is full of exciting opportunities for a variety of students — and you can join us in Chile Summer 2021! While we’re positive almost anyone will enjoy this study abroad destination, there are five types of students that will fall in love with Santiago. Think you’re one of them? Keep reading to find out!

View of Santiago’s downtown and tallest building in South America after a beautiful day hike up Cerro San Cristobal. [Photos were taken before COVID-19.]

Big City Lovers

Santiago is the capital of Chile and is the country’s largest city, so first and foremost, a study abroad in this location will provide big city living that many students are drawn to. The city, founded in the 1500s, is a host of Latin American culture and traditions, but it has grown and developed into one of the most modernized cities in Latin America. As the capital, Santiago is full of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants, museums, art galleries, street art, and markets, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Unique neighborhoods showcase Santiago’s diversity, so be sure to venture out of your normal hood!

A group of hikers stop to pet a wild horse. [Photos were taken before COVID-19.]

Outdoorsy People

Just because Santiago is a large metropolis doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy the great outdoors! The city is surrounded by hills, perfect for quick day hikes with your USAC and local friends. San Cristóbal Hill, which is in the heart of the city in Metropolitan Park, provides a panoramic view of the city as a reward for your climb.

If you’re interested in exploring nature outside of the city, Chile has got you covered. Santiago is close to quite a few national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites where you can mountain bike, hike, and camp; mountainous regions known for their snowy ski hills; sand dunes for surfing; and the beach for diving or surfing.

(PS – USAC organizes a variety of field trips and tours to give students plenty of opportunities to get active and explore Chile away from the city center).

*Due to the coronavirus pandemic, field trips are subject to change. Please visit the USAC website for an updated list of field trips and activities.

Students practice Spanish in the classroom. [Photos were taken before COVID-19.]

Those Who Want to Learn Spanish… but not in Spain

Don’t get us wrong, we love Spain (and our five Spain programs), but we understand the desire to practice the language outside of Europe. Spanish-speaking countries, especially those in Latin America, provide a wide diversity of people, experiences, and cultures, so why not wiggle a bit further outside of your comfort zone and choose Chile? You’ll be able to practice the language inside the classroom and outside through immersion opportunities like internships, homestays, and on-campus activities with locals. 

Our Santiago program offers intensive Spanish language course grouped in tracks, ranging from beginner to advanced levels of proficiency. We also offer a variety of cultural courses taught in Spanish, such as Twentieth Century and Contemporary Latin American Theater and Writing for Strategic Communications, for students who are looking to flex their language muscles even more.

USAC students learn about Chilean journalism practices. [Photos were taken before COVID-19.]

Journalism Majors

Of course, studying any subject outside of your home country is going to expose you to a new perspective and a new way of doing things. That’s what study abroad is all about, isn’t it? Our Santiago program features courses in journalism to expose students to unique reporting and media practices in the context of a large Latin American city. Past journalism courses have included International and Cross-Cultural Reporting and Race, Gender, and the Media. Broadcast Journalism internships are also available for select terms (see our next point).

A USAC student poses outside of his internship placement. [Photos were taken before COVID-19.]

Students Seeking an Internship

Internships are a great way to earn academic credit, gain professional experience in your field of choice, practice your language, meet locals, and immerse yourself further into the culture of your host city. Like many of our Specialty programs, our program in Santiago offers a variety of internships for students to choose from (and PS – internships abroad look great on your resume, even if you aren’t required to complete one for your degree). Fortunately, past internship placements in Santiago fall under quite a wide variety of fields of work including broadcast journalism, marketing, non-profit, and tourism.

*Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person internships availability might be limited. Please refer to the USAC website for updated information on Summer and Fall 2021 opportunities, or consider a virtual internship through USAC’s Global Perspectives Program.

Ready to start your study abroad adventure? Learn more about Santiago, Chile here.