The University of Chile has areas of great distinction in many scientific fields. Its Facultad de Ciencias (physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science), its Facultad de Ciencias de la Tierra (geology, geography, and geophysics), and its Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas (which includes medicine) are all very highly ranked, while its School of Engineering is ranked number one in Latin America.
In addition, La Chile (as the University of Chile is often called) offers courses in several disciplines that are not available at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, including astronomy, anthropology and archeology. UC students also have access to the Faculty of Veterinary Science, quite the luxury when you consider how impacted courses can be at your home campus!
In such areas as law, journalism, economics, architecture and design, literature, history, and political science, both La Católica and La Chile are pretty evenly matched.
If you intend to focus on additional Spanish language training while in Chile – that is, more than you will get during the ILP – the University of Chile will be your institution of choice. Advanced Spanish courses are only offered at the University of Chile.
Many of the facultades
have slight differences in calendars with different start and end dates so you need to plan carefully if you want to take courses across different fields of study. Staff at the UCEAP Study Center will be on hand to help you review and finalize your plans after your arrival in Chile.
Use the links below to discover those academic strengths that fit best with your goals.
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
- Host institution online catalogs or course listings:
- "Planes de Estudio" at the University of Chile, Santiago
The university course catalog is accessible only to students with a university login, but the planes de estudio, or degree plans, are a quick way to glance over the courses typically offered for students in a particular major or course of study. UC students may take courses from any facultad, so be sure review the degree plans of related majors for additional course offerings.
- MyEAP Course Catalog lists courses previously taken by UC students. Additional courses may be available and not all courses may still be offered. Since courses in new programs have not yet been taken for credit, they may not appear in the MyEAP Course Catalog.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad.
ILP: 3-4.5 quarter/2-3 semester UC units are required; one language course.
Term: 18 quarter/12 semester units per semester are required;usually four to five courses per semester.
University of Chile, Santiago
Home to many of Chile’s major scholars, the University of Chile is a top research institution that enrolls over 17,000 students. The university is located on several campuses spread throughout Santiago, and each facultad
(equivalent to a college or school) at the University of Chile has a slightly different atmosphere. See map of campus locations...
In fact, La Chile, as it is known, features great variety in its instructional practice and its administrative organization, which is part of the adventure for its students. The UC faculty director and the Study Center staff work to make the curriculum manageable for UCEAP students, but a little flexibility is useful to be comfortable here.
The student body of La Chile is very diverse economically and socially, and generally speaking students are very involved with the political questions of education in Chile.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
- Build sustainable gardens and assist with agricultural projects in low-income communities.
- Create a marketing campaign to promote the efforts of local NGOs.
- Administrative experience with an alternative health organization in a Mapuche village.
- Immigration and Integration work with NGOs and non-profit organizations.
- Media and journalism internships with Chilean and international businesses.
- Shadow health professionals in various fields.
- Teach English in local elementary, middle, and high schools.
- And many more!
Setting Up Your Internship
- All internships are secured once you are on-site.
- Study Center staff will help set up your internships and will be available to assist you throughout the process.
Santiago has for many years been an important center for public and private organizations devoted to health and development. The UCEAP Study Center in Santiago is especially well organized to place UC students in internships. Some 75% of all program participants engage in internship activity, either to replace a course or for partial units.
“[My internship] has shown me the many practical ways we can involve ourselves in assisting people with disabilities. I had heard about art therapy before working at the workshop. . .but never really knew its effects. What I saw at Flor de Artes was not art itself changing people . . . but interactions between people that art created. My experience has opened my eyes to a need that I knew existed in society, but never knew how to involve myself in."
Akane Nakagaki, UC Los Angeles
"[At the Hospital] I spent my time in obstetrics and neonatology. I also worked on translating surveys from Latin American doctors and on editing various spreadsheets as part of my mentor's research. I have both narrowed and widened my career goals, all at the same time. I know I want to focus on nutrition and education. I can do that as a doctor, as a PhD, as a nutritionist. Time can only tell how I will achieve my goals."
Anna Sadovnikova, UC Berkeley
"I worked for two or three days a week a at high school in downtown Santiago, assisting in the English program. The benefits I received from my time were many, including exposure to different aspects of the social life of Santiago, an up-close experience with the ongoing student protest movement from the point of view of both faculty and students, and a glancing interaction with the formal style of English instruction in Spanish speaking countries."
Gina Connolly, UC Santa Cruz
Housing and Meals in Santiago
When you first arrive, ILP housing will be pre-arranged for you in a Chilean home in one of Santiago's most pleasant neighborhoods: Providencia, Nuñoa, or Las Condes. Hosts are carefully selected by UCEAP and most have received international students in the past. Following the ILP, you can choose to make your own housing arrangements. Options may include staying with a Chilean host family, renting a room in a private household or pensión (boarding house), or sharing an apartment or house with other students. You may live with a Chilean family, international students, or Chilean students.
During the ILP homestay, all of your meals will be provided by your host family and you will get a sense of Chilean cuisine. Once you start eating in restaurants or buying your own food in the markets, you will be able to shape your diet however you like. But past participants all report that you should bring your own hot sauce since Chileans don't crave spicy food like most Californians.
Both of UCEAP's host institutions are in Santiago, so both groups of students will have the same awesome experience in this city, ranked among the Top Ten in the World by Lonely Planet for 2012. Start by taking the funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal to get a view of the entire expanse with the Andes in the background, then explore each unique neighborhood to find the one that suits your tastes.
Like any big city, Santiago has its urban downsides, but it also has a flourishing arts scene, a lively cafe culture, and a number of green and leafy parks in which to hang out or kick a soccer ball.
Santiago also features excellent public transportation in both its bus system and its metro. Even students attending the Católica should get out of the train at the metro stop for the Universidad de Chile and take in the sweeping mural that chronicles the highs and lows of Chilean history. For a quick comparison of the campus locations of both the University of Chile and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in relation to the different metro lines and stops, see the following map...
In recent months a student movement has gained strength and energy as it has attempted to bring attention to the flaws in Chile's education system. Although UCEAP students are cautioned not to participate in marches, the excitement shared by Chilean students taking an active role in the future of the university is intoxicating.
The best news of all is reported in a student blog, Viva Chile: "Chileans are extremely friendly and willing to help. On many occasions I have been lost in the city and every time I ask someone for help they help me out. Some ladies even took me to where I need to go and this one time a guy didn't know how to help me so he called his friend in order to help me."
Extracurricular Activities with UCEAP Santiago
The Chile Study Center has one of the most active excursion calendars in all of UCEAP. There are two mandatory excursions: one to the Teniente Mine to explore the industry that drove the Chilean economy for a century; and one to the Villa Grimaldi, previously a detention center during the Pinochet regime now converted to a center for peace and understanding.
In addition, there are a range of optional excursions organized by the center that explore a range of different aspects of Chilean culture. In past years these have included trips to Pomaire, Valparaiso, the Route of the Poets, the indigenous Mapuche, the grape growing industry, and others.
Santiago is close enough to the mountains that students can easily go trekking, climbing, horseback riding, skiing, or kayaking. Wine tours are easy to arrange through the lovely vineyards of Maipo and Colchagua.
Reasonably priced public transport make it possible to visit the extreme ends of the country, from the Atacama desert of the north to the glaciers of the south. Student blogs about these experiences are inspiring. From Young Woman, Old Soul: "Backpacking through Patagonia, camping and cooking outdoors, hiking The W in Torres del Paine-these are all experiences I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd have, but I'm so grateful that I did. With my travel buddies...we agreed that it's with the space that exists beyond comfort and before danger where growth happens... It's really exciting to find out that we're capable of more than we learn to expect of ourselves."