Santiago - Politics, Social Justice & Language


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Santiago?

As the capital of Chile, a country with one of the strongest economies in Latin America, Santiago is the industrial and financial center of Chile. Home to more than five million people, Santiago is an ideal place to observe rapid development and its effects on culture and society. Experience first-hand how historic and modern architecture, fine and folk arts, a dynamic business sector, and fascinating history come together in this electrifying metropolis.

Our Politics, Social Justice & Language Program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of Chile while studying the Spanish language and political topics. Explore the intricacies of the Chilean sociopolitical landscape: student activism, the arts as a form of resistance, human rights issues, and an impressive literary culture (via world-renowned authors like Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende). Your studies and extracurricular adventures will without a doubt allow you to embark on a real-life case study of Chile’s thriving society.

What You'll Study

IES Abroad courses are taught in Spanish by distinguished professors, most with primary appointments at one of our local partner universities. You can also enroll in an internship or service-learning placement during your time in Santiago at no extra cost, which will help you add international work experience to your résumé or help you understand the city’s social issues first-hand.

Santiago will be your classroom. Imagine practicing your Spanish as you tour local neighborhoods or visit local business organizations as part of your study of Chile’s regional and global trade. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s many historical, artistic, and cultural sites, and several courses also include a hands-on, practical component.

Daily Life

You can enroll in courses at local universities, including the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Universidad de Chile, which offer course options for students of all majors. You’ll experience the Chilean education system and enjoy access to local student activities. Maybe you’ll even make some Chilean friends while you’re at it.

We want you to feel at home in Santiago, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing and cultural events to our Club Chileno Program, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible, which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Spanish language, Chilean history, and culture through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take 15–19 credits per semester and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses at IES Abroad Santiago and partner universities are taught in Spanish.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following program components:

  • IES Abroad Spanish language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad Spanish-taught area studies courses (optional, 3 credits each)
  • Spanish-taught courses at local universities (optional, 3–5 credits each)
  • Internship placement and seminar (optional, 4 credits)
  • Service-learning placement and seminar (optional, 4 credits)


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

  • Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America
  • Native Cultures
  • The Transformation of the Chilean and Other Latin American Economies from the late 20th into the 21st Century
  • Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations
  • Health Studies Program Seminar
  • Human Rights in Latin America
  • The Radical Tradition of Chile, Argentina, and Peru
  • Internship and Service Learning Seminar
  • Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations
  • Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America
  • The Radical Tradition of Chile, Argentina, and Peru
  • Chile: Regional and Global Trade Organizations
  • Internship and Service Learning Seminar
  • Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad
  • Spanish for Healthcare Practitioners
  • Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad
  • Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad

Partner Institution(s)

The IES Abroad Santiago Academic Coordinator will work with you to discuss university course recommendations based on your Spanish level and home university requirements.

Santiago universities release their official course offerings just before the start of each semester. For this reason, you cannot officially register until you arrive onsite. Some courses may require prerequisites or a qualifying interview, audition, or special exam. University course offerings vary by semester.

Universidad de Chile

The Universidad de Chile is a prestigious public university known for its outstanding research initiatives and undergraduate curriculum. Courses are available in the disciplines below.


Courses are available in the disciplines below. Visit for course details.

  • Agriculture
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Dance (audition required)
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Environmental
  • Fine Arts Interpretation (audition required)
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Graphic Design
  • Health Studies
  • Hispanic Literature
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Literature
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Music (audition required)
  • Music Theory
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Theater Design

Location & Commute Time

The Universidad de Chile has six campuses and faculties around the city. The commute time from the Universidad de Chile to the IES Abroad Santiago Center is approximately 30 minutes by public transportation.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Chile’s largest private university, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, offers courses in the disciplines below.

Some courses have prerequisites. See for additional details. Select Facultades y Carreras, by the link for your academic area of interest, and then cursos. PUC usually requires a personal interview before approving course enrollment.


Below are the disciplines available to IES Abroad students.

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Business (AACSB and EQUIS accredited)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Drama (audition required)
  • Economics (AACSB and EQUIS accredited)
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Forestry
  • Geography
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Music (audition required)
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Literature
  • Statistics
  • Theology
  • Translation

Location & Commute Time

The campuses of PUC are located in different parts of the city, all very close to public transportation. The commute time from the IES Abroad Santiago Center to PUC is about 30 minutes by public transportation.

Service Learning

Participating in a service-learning experience in Santiago is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Santiago while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.

A service-learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even research, on the issues of your host community.

Possible placements may include organizations focusing on:

  • Community Health
  • Social issues unique to Santiago

Volunteer Opportunities

When you volunteer in Santiago, you have the chance to make a difference in the local community while meeting new people and gaining a new perspective on the world. If you are passionate about volunteering abroad, just let the onsite staff know at the beginning of your term. Past volunteer opportunities in Santiago include:

  • Working with low-income families of indigenous descent to strengthen the culture
  • Providing tech support and practicing translation skills at a not-for-profit
  • Collecting and conducting data analysis to provide aid for contemporary labor issues


Interning while you study in Santiago gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of your host country
  • Add global work experience and skills to your résumé or your application for graduate school
  • Improve your confidence

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.

Personalized Placements

Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We’ve placed students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses. If we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search for a placement that’s right for you.

Placement Examples

Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.

  • Business
  • Education
  • Government & Politics
  • Humanities
  • Museum Sciences

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Salamanca, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of the Iberian Peninsula. We organize a three-day field trip that is included in the cost of the program. You also have the opportunity to participate in field trips through the University of Salamanca. Here are a few possible destinations.

IES abroad field trips

Even though your adventure starts in Santiago, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. (The orientation trip and the Chiloé field trip are subsidized by IES Abroad and are contingent on student participation.) Here are a few possible destinations.


3 Days | Spring

Visit Chile’s largest island to learn and experience more about the importance of sustainable agriculture and the tourism industry. And don’t miss your chance to see the cute penguins!

San Pedro De Atacama

3 Days | Fall & Spring

Enjoy activities like biking and sandboarding in the driest desert in the world. You will also visit one of the world’s largest astronomy projects: ALMA.

La Serena

3 Days | Fall

Experience Chile’s diverse coastal geography, see penguins and observe other native animals at a national nature preserve. Astronomy enthusiasts will especially enjoy a visit to Mamalluca and Tololo: some of the world’s most well-known astronomical research and observation centers.

Torres Del Paine

3 Days | Fall & Spring

Hike on ancient glaciers and winding mountain paths in one of Chile’s most spectacular national parks.

Valparaíso and Viña del Mar

1 Day | Fall & Spring

During this orientation field trip, you will discover the culture of two of Chile’s most beautiful coastal towns: one is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the other is home to one of Chile’s Nobel Prize poets: Pablo Neruda.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Santiago is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


The program begins with a mandatory one-week orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Santiago staff, your fellow students, and the city of Santiago.

After visiting partner universities and meeting with the IES Abroad Santiago Academic Coordinator, you also register for courses during orientation. Both Universidad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile have a half-day orientation for international students.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Santiago, it will feel like home.

Homestays - You live with a family or señora who helps facilitate your language learning and integration into Chilean society. Your homestay host provides two meals per day during the week and breakfast on the weekend. Internet access and on-site laundry will be available.

Residence Hall – The student residence hall offers a study room, printing lab, gym, pool, and more. You have the option to live in a single room with your own bathroom or in a double room where you share a bedroom and bathroom with another student. In both options, you also have shared access to a living room and kitchenette. No meals are provided. Limited placements are available.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Santiago through our cultural events and activities, such as:

  • Neighborhood tours of Santiago
  • Visits to local museums and cultural institutions
  • The IES Abroad Club Chileno activities with local students


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $12,700 $2,970 $230 $15,900

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $23,470 $6,110 $550 $30,130

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

John Gearen Need-Based Dublin or Developing Regions Scholarship

Up to $1,000; awarded to 2 students each year.

John Gearen, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for many years and past chair of the Board for six years, is a leading real estate attorney and Rhodes Scholar who is involved in numerous philanthropic causes. Mr. Gearen has generously established this scholarship to support students who have an interest in studying on an IES Abroad Center in a developing region of the world (Argentina, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Morocco, or South Africa).

Robert McNeill Need-Based International Business Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 2 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Robert McNeill, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for 25 years (6 years as Chairman). Open to students who have an interest in international business. Majors might include management, marketing, economics, finance, international relations, and social and behavioral sciences.

Adelyn Dougherty Leander Need-Based Urban Issues Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

Open to students who have an interest in urban studies (a major in urban studies is not required).

William E. & Mary M. Dwyer Need-Based Spanish Scholarship

Ranges up to $1,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

These scholarships are intended for students interested in studying in a Spanish-speaking country.

Kathleen Kervin Diamond Endowed Scholarship

Up to $2,000 each; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

Kathleen Diamond is a consultant, entrepreneur, and business leader in the language services industry. In 1979, she founded Language Learning Enterprises, Inc. (LLE®), a full-service language company based in Washington, D.C. She is recognized as an early pioneer in Telephone Interpreting, launching LLE-LINK in the early 1990s. Over the next 20 years, under her leadership, the company grew into a dynamic, multimillion dollar corporation, serving a wide range of clients, in both the private and public sectors, across the United States, and worldwide. In 2009, Ms.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Center is located in Providencia, a vibrant residential neighborhood in central Santiago. Features include:

  • Classrooms
  • Student lounge
  • Small library
  • Kitchen and dining area
  • WiFi and remote printer access
  • Charming courtyard
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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