Link to UDP Course catalog
Click here to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed.
Located on the western coast of South America, Chile measures over 2,600 miles long from top to bottom. At its widest point, the country stretches just 260 miles from east to west. The unique geography of Chile alone begs a visit to this long, skinny, and diverse country. The current population of Chile is over 16 million people, and nearly one third to one half of the population resides in the greater metropolitan area of Santiago, the country's capital city. This program will acquaint students with Chile's rich cultural heritage and varied geography as well as provide a full semester's worth of American University credit.
Chile is one Latin America's most interesting countries in terms of both professional activities and tourism. Chile has signed free trade agreements with countries like China, Japan, USA, and others countries from all continents, showing that Chile is staking its claim as a key strategic business center in South America.
Chile boasts some of the world's most breathtaking landscapes, many of which remain untouched by man. It is a country of stark contrasts, with deserts, icebergs and the Andes Mountains, as well as excellent ski resorts and stunning views of the Pacific. Its culinary credits include sumptuous wines and excellent food, including fresh fruit and vegetables and seafood, which make up a large percentage of the country's exports. Additionally, Chile enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with stable year-round temperatures and an excellent summer, which including the rest of its characteristics, make it a truly unforgettable destination.
During the first two weeks on-the-ground in Santiago, students will participate in a cultural orientation to help acquaint them with the city. Students are all required to participate in intensive Spanish language classes as part of the orientation. Outside of the classroom, activities include tours of the city, the university, and local attractions. In the past, students have taken an overnight trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso, two cities located about an hour away from Santiago on the Pacific coast.
During the semester, there will be two program sponsored field trips outside of Santiago. Program-sponsored academic field trips relate directly to the course material studied in Santiago. Trips in the past have included a visit to Easter Island, located over 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean, and a visit to the northern part of Chile in the Atacama desert. Optional field trips, paid for separately on-site, are occasionally offered too.
Housing & Meals
During the semester in Santiago, students live with a Chilean homestay family organized by the program staff. The homestay allows students to experience the warmth and hospitality of Chilean culture while making significant gains in Spanish language ability. During the pre-departure process, students complete a housing profile and questionnaire. On-site program staff match students to a host family to ensure the most suitable living arrangements.
Students learn first-hand about the culture of Chile while enjoying two meals a day with their host families. Lunch is usually eaten out in modest cafes in Santiago as students are downtown for classes during this time. Some students pack lunches as an alternative. Students have ample time to go out and explore the culture and cuisine of Chile throughout the semester.
All students must obtain the Chilean student visa. All students are responsible for finding out visa requirements and for submitting a visa application in a timely manner. Upon acceptance, AU Abroad staff will provide students with a letter that confirms they are enrolled in the Chile program. This letter is a required part of the visa application. All students are responsible for contacting the Chilean Embassy or Consulate to find out which additional documents are needed to obtain the student visa. Non-US citizens should check with the Chilean Embassy to learn about any special requirements.
Students should be aware that one requirement of the Chilean Student Visa application is a federal level background check. This background check can take at least 8-10 weeks to obtain after submitting the request to the proper office. The FBI Identification Record website provides detailed instructions on how to apply. Students are responsible for obtaining this background check far enough in advance to avoid delays in submitting the student visa application to the Chilean Embassy.