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Socio-Ecological Sustainability in Southern Chile

Study Abroad Program Overview

Set in the south of Chile on the forested shore of Lake Villarrica, this multi-disciplinary program guides you through considerations of sustainability with reference to the natural ecosystems, the perspectives of the indigenous Mapuche community, the agricultural interests, the logging industry, and the potential for a growing tourist trade. Planning for sustainable development is the challenge in which you will participate alongside your professors who have chosen to teach here because they are dedicated to the area and all of its inhabitants.

Following two weeks of Spanish language study in Santiago, you will head south to the Villarrica campus of the Catholic University where course instruction will be in English. Several field trips to national parks and other settings will provide insights into additional environmental settings and enhance your understanding of the Villarrica community.

The exercise of planning in a complex setting such as this one will be excellent training for whatever future you have in mind for yourself!

Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study


A two-week "survival Spanish" course in Santiago begins the program to assist students in their interactions with locals. Program courses are instructed in English, and some indigenous language (Mapudungun) will play a part as well.


Late August/Early September to mid-December
None :  









​In both Santiago and Villarrica, students will live in homestays with locals.  These homestays will be organized for you. Click here for more information on housing.

Extracurricular Activities

​​Auracania is the Chilean region for this program and it is an ideal setting for all sorts of outdoor activities. Opportunities for camping, hiking, watersports and related activities are plentiful. The academic program includes research in several national parks to give you a head start in enjoying these.​

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. In Santiago, Chile there is an on-site UC Faculty Director who will visit Villarrica and who will be in close contact with the Program Coordinator that will manage the program logistics in Villarrica.

​​See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about the host institution, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; units, exams, and grades; orientation; and housing.

Course Opportunities

​​Once you arrive in Villarrica, you begin the course work that addresses the themes of the program, offered in a sequence that builds gradually to prepare you for the final planning projects. The first week or so is completely focused on the Latin American Conservation course to give you a broad background.Next, the first fieldwork trip brings you together with all of the instructors to introduce the three courses that will run the length of the program and provide the basis for much of your work: Forest Ecosystems, Interculturality, and Planning.
Several other fieldwork trips to different national parks will help you to define your own project and gain the necessary expertise. A five-day visit to Kod kod, a natural retreat area with cabins and meeting spaces, will be the location for much of the intensive Field Methods course.
Additional time in the field and the classrooms will culminate with the final presentations of your team's environmental planning project and the celebration of the program.
All courses are required:
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
  • Linked titles above open draft syllabi for fall 2018; final versions will be available on-site.
  • MyEAP Course Catalog also provides general descriptions of all the courses listed above.
  • Academic Information in the Program Guide


​You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. Six courses for a total of 24.5 quarter/16.3 semester UC units are required on this program. 

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

​While the​ program's coursework and planning projects require research, no independent internships or other research are available on this program.

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Villarica

​UCEAP has partnered with the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC-Chile) for decades and is now sending students to the PUC campus in Villarrica for this special program.

Not only is the forested, lake-side setting at the foot of a volcano the ideal setting for the examination of social and ecological approaches to sustainability, the professors participating in this program are dedicated to these themes and the research that accompanies them.

Environmental sustainability, and the education that is necessary to accomplish its goals are the primary academic focus of this campus.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.


Class Level:

Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:



2.85 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

• This program is best suited for majors related to: ecology, sustainability, development, environment, planning, geography, and forestry. Students should have completed all lower division requirements for the major and be prepared for upper division coursework by time of departure. • At least one course in statistics is strongly recommended.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.  

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: