Valparaiso, Chile

Spanish Language & Chilean Culture

Apply by 4/1 and get $400 off!
Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Spanish Language & Chilean Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2019
  • Dates: Jul 17 – Dec 8, 2019 (21 weeks)

Application Deadline

November 15, 2019

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 15, 2019
  • Dates: Feb 19 – Jul 12, 2020 (21 weeks)


Click to Open
Fall in love with this charming seaside city while you learn and explore.

Be the envy of all your friends when you live in the one-of-a-kind coastal city of Valparaíso. Dive into intensive language study and accelerate your Spanish skills while experiencing authentic everyday Chilean life. Living with a friendly host family, you’ll find yourself shopping at local markets, preparing and sharing meals, and learning the local customs and traditions.

Outside the classroom, there’s time to explore on your own, meet new people, and hang out with friends. You’ll go on city walking tours, view murals and street art, visit museums, have picnics on the beach, and go to concerts. Want to wander a little? Head off on CIEE day trips to tour a nearby city or trek a national park. Take an overnight trip to San Pedro de Atacama in the spring or Pucón in the fall.

Through your unforgettable gap year experience, you’ll get a taste of Chile's vibrant culture – and also build practical, real-world skills.

The Take-Aways

  • Language Proficiency

    18 hours per week of Spanish language instruction spanning three levels

  • Global Citizenship & Cultural Competence

    Completion of CIEE’s Global Competence course providing you with a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning.

  • Certificate

    A certificate of learning in Spanish

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • said it made them more mature young adults


Location & Culture

Click to Open
Immerse yourself in the youthful energy of friendly Valparaíso.

Colorful, poetic, and full of some of the most amazing street art in Latin America, Valparaíso has been called “Chile’s most unusual city.” Its rainbow-colored houses, quirky architecture, and cobblestone streets give the port city a unique personality and charm students will never forget. Well known for diversity and a bohemian spirit, Valparaíso hums with the kind of youthful energy every student will be drawn to.

Valparaíso is also known for its strong focus on education, with both private and public schools actively involved in the artistic, cultural, and social communities here. There are plenty of concerts, museums, and activities to keep busy in the city itself. And a wide variety of other adventures are available for wanderers outside the city, too. From Valparaíso, you can easily visit the many lakes and volcanoes in the countryside, and cities including Santiago.

Daily Life

Click to Open

Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Private bedroom in home of carefully screened host family. Most of our host families in Valparaíso have hosted CIEE students for at least 10 years.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.


Click to Open

Sample Activities

  • Catch the wind on sailing trips in the Valparaíso Harbor.
  • Bike along the beautiful shoreline of Viña del Mar, Valparaíso’s sister city.
  • Cheer on our local soccer team in a soccer match!

The program fee also includes two day trips and one multiday excursion along with other study abroad students hosted by CIEE staff per semester, so you’ll get the chance to take in the diverse sights and sounds of several Chilean hot spots:

Santiago day trip

Take off on a day trip to Chile’s capital and largest city! You’ll set off on a walking tour of downtown Santiago, check out the Moneda Presidential Palace and cultural center, and visit Pablo Neruda’s house/museum. Enjoy a great view? You’ll get it when you take the funicular to the top of San Cristóbal Hill. A trip to the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art” and a stop for ice cream round out the experience.

Coast of the Poets day trip

Another day trip will take you to the heart of Chilean poetry. You’ll set off on an easy bus trip to tour the south coastline of the Valparaíso region, stopping in the Cartagena home of poet Vicente Huidobro for a visit to his house museum and tomb. Next stop? Some time in Isla Negra, another of Pablo Neruda’s favorite towns. Then you’ll visit the Las Cruces home of Chile’s most important contemporary poet – or anti-poet – Nicanor Parra.

Chiloé Island multiday excursion

Get ready for adventure with a multiday excursion to Chiloé Island, a cool island town not usually visited by tourists. You’ll stay in charming, rustic cabins and explore an untouched and beautiful island known for stunning landscapes, colorful buildings, and iconic wooden churches.

What People are Saying

  • From the first person I met, my mind was flooded with Spanish while simultaneously basking in the new scenery I now called home.

    Chloe W., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • I have learned so much from Chile. I’ve learned to live stress-free. I’ve learned a whole lot of Spanish. I’ve learned how to learn about other cultures, to suspend judgement. To realize that if people do things differently, that’s not wrong, it’s just different. I’ve learned that the world is a hell of a lot bigger than the 4% of people who live in the United States. I have a clearer view of who I am in this world. I’ve learned to live on my own, but I’ve also learned to ask for help. People will help you when you ask. I’ve learned to love this city, I’ve learned to love this country, and I’ve learned to make this place my home. And, as much as I have learned about Chile, Chile has taught me so much about myself.

    Smith C., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • This type of travel is new and unfamiliar, but it’s beyond interesting. Every little activity I do with my family, no matter how small, is showing an interesting part of their culture – and I am living it.

    Chloe W., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • In my semester in Chile, I threw myself into novelty. In the process of surviving, I learned just as much about myself and my own culture as I did my surroundings, and I loved it. Now three years later I'm back in South America. However this time, because I came equipped with the unique skill set I gained during my gap year, I'm able to focus more attention on my academic and career goals, both of which are now strongly intertwined with South America.

    Katarina S., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

Click to Open

Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: November 15
Contact CIEE for more information


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.

Application Fee


You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Fall 2019 21 weeks May 1, 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Dec 8, 2019


Spring 2020 21 weeks Nov 15, 2019 Feb 19, 2020 Jul 12, 2020

Our Staff

Click to Open

Ready to change your life?