Program Spotlight: Santiago, Chile

Study abroad in Santiago, Chile will be an unforgettable experience. Whether you choose to study for a summer, semester, or a full year in Chile, you’ll immerse in a unique Latin American culture, boost your Spanish language skills and make memories that will last a lifetime! Keep reading to learn more about USAC Santiago.

Life in Santaigo

Santiago is a large urban city, with all of the amenities and cultural activities students are looking for, while offering the hospitality and accessibility of a smaller community. You definitely get the best of both worlds while studying in Santiago.

While Santiago itself is a large city, it is surrounded by mountainous terrain and is in close proximity to Chile’s central coastline, so you’ll be able to explore both the urban jungle and the great outdoors.

Resident Director for Santiago

Each USAC Specialty Program has an on-site Resident Director (RD) who is responsible for the overall operations of the program, such as student housing, organizing exciting field trips, student support and more. Meet the Resident Director for our Santiago program, Jorge Molina.

Pre-departure, you will work with the Program Advisor for Santiago, Nadeen Black. As a USAC alumna, Nadeen uses her personal international experiences to help students prepare for their study abroad.

Host University & Academics

USAC Santiago courses are held at the Universidad Andrés Bello on the downtown Santiago campus. The university has approximately 30,000 students, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet local and international students during your study abroad.

Academic Focus

Students who study abroad in Santiago can take courses in Spanish language and literature, Latin American cultures, journalism and international studies.

Internships are also available during select terms in Santiago. If you choose to participate in an internship, you will be placed with a local organization in one of the following fields:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Business
  • Computer Science and IT
  • English-Language Instruction
  • Health and Wellness
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Marketing
  • NGO and Social Services
  • Research (Humanities and Social Sciences)

*Due to COVID-19, internship placements in Santiago, Chile are currently unavailable.

USAC students learn about Chilean journalism practices. Photo taken before COVID-19.

Field Trips & Tours

What is one of the best ways to ensure you immerse yourself in your host culture? Get out and explore! To help you better understand the history and traditions of the people of Chile, USAC organizes a variety of field trips and optional tours to embark on during your study abroad. Possible destinations include*:

  • Valparaíso and Viña del Mar
  • Ocoa Valley
  • Pomaire
  • Northern Chile Tour
  • Southern Chile Tour

*The following are possible destinations, view term calendars for specifics. Due to continually evolving COVID-19 regulations some tours and field studies may or may not be available during the term you choose to study abroad.

Students pose for a photo during the Northern Chile Optional Tour. Photo taken before COVID-19.

Immersion Activities

One of the main reasons study abroad exists is to introduce students to a new culture and way of life. Fortunately for you, there are many different ways to get involved in your host community and immerse in the host culture of Santiago.

  • Volunteer at a local foundation or non-profit organization (USAC group volunteer projects are also organized)
  • Intern at a museum or in the field of communications
  • Attend seminars in politics, economics and science
  • Attend local theatre, musical performances, film exhibitions, fairs and festivals
  • Play soccer, tennis and basketball with local students
  • Participate in runs, marathons and bicycle races in and around the city
  • Visit local historic sites in and around Santiago
  • Go on hiking trips with local students
  • Sign up for the conversation partner exchange
Students attend a sporting event in Santiago. Photo taken before COVID-19.

What Alumni Have to Say

“I chose Chile because I wanted to discover and ultimately fall in love with a country I knew nothing about prior to my choosing to live and study there. The USAC Santiago program had all of the program aspects I was looking for: the ability to have all my classes in Spanish, the accessibility to traveling advice (and friends to travel with), and the option to live with a host family. I loved my professors (especially Señor Julián Gutiérrez); they made Spanish fun and surprisingly easier to learn. I loved my program director and advisors; they were so easy to talk to and always were down to talk and have fun. The friends I made are all super unique and amazing in their own ways (both local university students and the students sharing my foreign exchange experience in Santiago). But my host family was the best aspect of it all; they taught me to cook, corrected my Spanish, and accepted me as their own. That was definitely the best part of the entire thing – knowing that, even in a foreign country with zero familiarity, there is a family for you that accepts you and that you could always turn to.” – Bridget, USAC Santiago alumna

“Studying abroad in Chile with USAC was the best decision I could have made regarding study abroad. I am so happy that I chose to go to South America and become immersed in such a distinct culture that Chile holds. I learned to become accustomed to a brand new way of life and norms than I am used to, and my world view and understanding of others expanded tremendously. USAC provided me with the best opportunities and sense of security, I couldn’t recommend a better program!” – Mia, USAC Santiago alumna

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Ready to join us in Chile? Learn more about the USAC Santiago program on the USAC website.