Chile

Program Information

Year
Late July – Early Dec
Mid Feb – Mid June
$9,500
Semester
Late July – Early Jan
Mid Feb – Late July
$8,700
Term
Late July – Mid Oct
Mid Oct – Early Jan
Mid Feb – Mid May
Early Apr – Mid July
$7,700
1 & 2 Month
Various
2 Month: $6,200
1 Month: $4,500

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Chile is a stunningly beautiful country of diverse landscapes and metropolitan cities. It is an ideal location for students! It boasts the San Pedro de Atacama Desert in the north, glacial terrain in the Patagonian south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andean mountain range to the east. Teenagers in Chile like to partake in many types of social and recreational activities, including hiking, going to the beach, celebrating festivals and holidays and attending events such as concerts, theatrical performances and dances that celebrate the arts. Chileans also enjoy watching and participating in sports such as soccer and enjoy spending time with family.

Chile has something for everyone!

Chile Country Information

Area: 748,800 sq km
Population: 18 million
Capital: Santiago – pop. 7,000,000
Language: Spanish
National holiday: September 18
Currency: Peso

Santiago, the hub of Chile, is a city to savor. It boasts a modern subway system, a multitude of wonderful restaurants, and gorgeous parks, making it a very livable city.

One of the most common things that students studying abroad in Chile rave about is the friendly people. Full of spirit, personality, and hospitality, Chileans won’t let you leave until you’ve had a cup of coffee in their home, cheered for a Chilean soccer team, and at least tried to dance la Cueca, the national dance of Chile. By the time students leave, they can’t help but shout “Viva Chile!”

Chile’s climate is varied. In the north you can enjoy a Mediterranean climate. If you are looking for colder weather (and penguins!), you would go to the wind, rain, and snow-battered lands of Chilean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in the south.

Chilean cuisine is characterized by excellent seafood, beef, fresh fruit and vegetables. Empanadas are popular turnover snacks with a variety of fillings. Another typical dish is lomo a lo pobre —an enormous slab of beef topped with two fried eggs and buried in fried potatoes.

The predominant religion in Chile is Roman Catholic. The demographics consist of 95% European descent and others as well as 5% native.

School Life

Students will participate in all school activities and mandatory examinations for Chilean students, for periods of one term to one Chilean academic calendar year. Public transportation is taken to go to the school and costs approximately $100 per month. Uniforms are worn at public and private schools.

Host Family Life

Chilean host families are incredibly warm and welcoming. They are all volunteers and do not receive stipends – they are ready to accept you as another member of the family! They do expect you to speak with them in Spanish and will help you to learn the basics of everyday language. Do not be afraid of making mistakes; the only way to learn a language is to practice, practice, practice. Before you realize it, you will be speaking like a native Chilean! It is very common that your Host family will live close to extended family. Chilean host families bond very quickly and lifetime friendships are formed. Placement occur across the country, but may be concentrated within a couple of hours of Santiago, the capital city. But even the Easter Island can be an option if requested! Many students visit the nearest city during their weekends.

Chileans normally eat four times a day. Breakfast is light: toasted bread with butter and tea or coffee. Lunch is the largest meal of the day, and traditionally two main dishes are served. The first course may be a salad and the second dish generally includes beef or chicken, accompanied by vegetables. Around 5:00 pm. Chileans take “once,” an afternoon tea with bread and jam. “Once,” which means “eleven,” is evidently named after the British tea time of 11:00 am. Around 8:00 pm most families serve dinner, which is usually a single but substantial dish.

Program Extras

A walking tour of Santiago is offered once a semester. Add-on trips may be offered 1-2 times per semester to Easter Island or the north of Chile.

Program Requirements

Students must be between 14-18 years old. It is not necessary to have formal Spanish language experience, but students should have at least a basic level by the time that they arrive and be willing to study Spanish as much as they can.

Visas

Students applying for short-term programs (90 days or less) do not need a student visa. Students staying for longer than 90 days must apply for a student visa at their local Chilean consulate or embassy in person.

Learn More About Chile

Movies: The Battle of Chile: Part 1, 2, 3, The Holy Mountain, Dialogues of Exiles, Images of Dictatorship, Valparaiso My Love, A Long Journey, One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train, Machuca
Books: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, The Pursuit of Treasure Island by Raul Ruiz, Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Music: Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, Javiera Mena, Los Prisioneros. (Genres: Nueva Cancion, Cueca, Payada, Cumbia, Chilean Rock, Andean music, Hip-Hop)
Famous People: Pablo Neruda, Augusto Pinochet, Cote de Pablo, Michelle Bachelet, Ricardo Lagos

ABOUT ICES

We are a nonprofit organization committed to international, educational student exchange. Our goal is to promote cultural awareness and international understanding by offering quality, educational and cultural programs for students, host families and schools. Our staff is dedicated to creating a positive exchange experience for all program participants.