Valparaiso, Chile

Liberal Arts

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Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jul 22 – Dec 13, 2020 (21 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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This program invites students with advanced Spanish language skills to enroll in classes with Chilean university students at top-ranked CIEE partner schools, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM), and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI) as well as at CIEE Valparaíso. Students across all majors are welcome as coursework is available across all academic areas and taught in Spanish. Spanish language study is required. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Get a completely new university experience

    at a top Latin American higher education institution and interact with Chilean students.

  • Live and learn in a Spanish-speaking seaside city

    known for its diversity, Mediterranean climate, and unique bohemian character.

  • Get a bigger View of chilean society

    with excursions around the country.

  • neighborhoods Make Up Valparaíso’s Historic Quarter, A Unesco World Heritage Site

  • Universities In The Cities Of Valparaíso And Viña Del Mar

  • Years Of Publication Of El Mercurio De Valparaíso, The World’s Oldest Spanish Newspaper


Location & Culture

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Valparaíso looks like a giant amphitheater, settled into steep hills and flat lands that meet the Pacific. Zoom in and it’s a bohemian riot of colorful architecture, diversity, and quirkiness. While Chile’s port city is an international hot spot for big shipping, its sister city, Viña del Mar, is a modern resort center with beaches, shops, and residential areas.  Affordable mass transportation between the twin cities adds to their appeal as friendly, fascinating places to live and study.

The Culture


Program includes up to 5 days of excursions.
In past programs, students have visited iconic sites such as:

  • Isla Negra, the home of Nobel Chilean poet Pablo Neruda
  • Vineyards of Casablanca Valley
  • “La Moneda”, the Presidential Palace of Chilean government in Santiago
  • Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Pucón and Temuco


Volunteering. Students can opt to volunteer with NGO's or social institutions. Volunteering options range from providing administrative support for local organizations to assisting health care NGO's that give shelter to vulnerable children and elderly. 

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Homestays: Students live with Chilean host families for a complete Chilean cultural immersion experience. Most families live in Viña del Mar´s traditional neighborhood known as Recreo or in the hills known as Alegre and Concepción in Valparaíso. Host families foster immersion by introducing students to relatives, neighbors and friends, as well as everyday Chilean routines and the unique new flavors of traditional dishes. To be placed in a family in Valparaíso means to become part of a family. Your host family members will speak to you in Spanish and promise to be patient as your Spanish language proficiency advances.

    Included in homestays are Wi-Fi, a private room with bedding, a chair, a desk, a closet, and laundry once a week. Year-long students are responsible for housing during the break between semesters.


    At your host home, you will enjoy two meals a day: breakfast and lunch or dinner. Year-long students are responsible for meals between semesters.

Valparaiso, Chile

Where You'll Study

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What People are Saying

  • "When going abroad one of the hardest things is building up your support network (from basically nothing). It's really nice going into an abroad experience already having a group of people you can count on and become friends with. It's also really nice to have people (like Natalia and Lisbeth) who are always around if you have questions and need help with something. It's just nice that there's certain things you don't have to worry about and that you know you don't have to handle on your own. It takes a lot of stress out of the experience."

    Emily, Lewis & Clark College, Fall 16

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Established in 1997, this program allows students of all majors to improve their advanced Spanish language skills through direct enroll courses with local Chilean students at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM), and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI) as well as at CIEE Valparaíso. All courses are taught in Spanish by faculty from each host institution.

The academic year includes two semesters of study. Academic-year students who begin their studies during the fall semester have nearly three months off between semesters to travel or study elsewhere in the region. There is a two-week break between the spring and fall semesters.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) is ranked among the top five universities in Chile and was designated pontifical by the Vatican in 2003. The University has campuses in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar and offers more than 50 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate degrees. It hosts 15,000 students and has a strong international program that offers Spanish and diverse content courses for international students.

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) is recognized as one of Latin America's best universities for its scientific and technological excellence. In the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2019, UTFSM was ranked the 24th best university in Latin America. In addition, the national institutional accreditation given by the Chilean National Accreditation (CAN) Body is granted for 6 years and USM is currently accredited through 2022. UTFSM offers 84 programs and hosts 17,000 undergraduate students and 3,000 graduate students.  

Universidad Adolfo Ibañez (UAI) was founded in 1953 by Pedro Ibáñez Ojeda as the first business school in Chile and in Latin America. Today, it’s an internationally recognized academic institution, one of three universities in Chile to be AACSB-accredited, and one of three private universities in Chile to be granted institutional accreditation for five years. It also offers PhD programs accredited by the Chilean National Council of Accreditation (CNA). The Viña del Mar campus is located up the hill at Altos del Sporting, with a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and the city and hosts 6,300 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students.

CIEE Valparaíso is located in downtown Valparaíso and offers students the opportunity to explore the colonial city, a bohemian and colorful example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development.


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    Class size typically includes 25 to 40 students.


    CIEE courses use the U.S. grading scale of A-F. Students' grades are based on attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabus. Host Institutions courses are graded based on class participation, a mid-term exam, research papers, oral presentations, and a final exam. Each instructor determines the breakdown of grades. Attendance is mandatory and absences affect final grades. Some courses include mandatory activities and field trips with special assignments as part of classwork. At PUCV and UAI, the grading scale runs from 1 to 7, 4 being the passing grade. At UTFSM, the grading scale is from 0 to 100, 55 being the passing grade. CIEE translates local grades to recommended U.S. letter grade equivalents. Transcripts for the U.S. spring semester should arrive by mid-September and mid-March for the fall semester. Please keep this in mind if you’re a graduating senior or have timing concerns about getting grades.


    Chilean academic culture generally requires students to take greater initiative and responsibility in a less structured environment. Courses are more lecture-based and less interactive, therefore students are expected to know the requirements of the course, turn in assignments on time without reminder, and be present to take tests, quizzes, and exams. Hence, attendance is mandatory, and absences may affect final grades. Participants in Valparaiso’s Liberal Arts program sign the CIEE Community Language Commitment, agreeing to speak only Spanish to foster language proficiency and understanding of Chilean society. Courses are taught by experienced faculty that hold PhDs or master’s degrees in their area of expertise.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) 


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Course Information

Program Credit

  • Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits
  • Total academic year credit: 30-36 semester/45-54 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • PUCV elective courses: 2-4 U.S. semester/3-6 quarter credits; 38-76 contact hours
  • UTFSM elective courses: 2-5 U.S. semester/ 3-7.5 quarter credits; 30-75 contact hours
  • UAI elective courses: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits; 45-60 contact hours

Language of Instruction

Students are required to enroll in:

  • One CIEE Spanish language course
  • A combination of CIEE elective courses and any of our partner institutions courses taught in Spanish

Course Notes
Through the Fall 2019 term, students will enroll in PUCV courses designed for international students, only. Courses at UAI and UTFSM are also available. See below for more information on available courses for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Fall 2020 CIEE Courses

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Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit


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Through the Fall 2019 term the PUCV courses below will be available for CIEE students:

  • Modern History of Chile
  • Art and Society in Pre-Hispanic Chile
  • Urban and Regional History of Valparaiso
  • History of Latin America in the 20th Century
  • Contemporary Latin American Poetry
  • Chilean Poetry Century XX – Neruda-Parra-Huidobro
  • Latin American Story
  • Traditional Dances of Chile

Starting the Spring 2020 term, please see complete academic offerings at PUCV.

Syllabi are available upon request and on the web page of the university. Students may enroll in any courses for which they meet the prerequisites. All course selections are made in consultation with the CIEE Valparaíso staff and a designated staff person from the University. Not all courses are available every semester.


USM offers a wide range of courses in different disciplines including: architecture, business administration, chemistry, physics and engineering. Students may enroll in any courses for which they meet the pre-requisites. All course selections are made in consultation with the CIEE Valparaíso staff and a designated staff person from the University. Not all courses are available every semester.

Please see complete academic offerings and syllabi at:

(*) Please select main campus to see academic offerings of Valparaiso campus.


UAI offers a wide range of courses in different disciplines including: Business, Engineering, Law, Liberal Arts, Journalism, Psychology and Government. Students may enroll in any courses for which they meet the pre-requisites. All course selections are made in consultation with the CIEE Valparaíso staff and a designated staff person from the University. Not all courses are available every semester.

Please see complete academic offerings at:

Click Facultades and then select the Academic Department of your interest. Then, click Carrera to see specific information about undergraduate courses.

UAI syllabi are available upon request

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • Latin America Flight Voucher

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Two meals per day (provided by host family)
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • On-site Orientation
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • Emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 21 weeks May 1, 2020 Jul 22, 2020* Dec 13, 2020*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $13,558 **

Housing = $2,925 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $16,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $900

International Airfare = $1,100

Local Transportation = $300

Books & Supplies = $250

Visa Fees = $160 ††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $1,800

Total Estimated Costs = $5,010

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes 2 meals per day

round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†† average cost

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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