Valparaiso, Chile

Transforming Urban Spaces and Communities

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Transform a neglected urban site into an innovative green space for outdoor community-building, play and recreation.

Think of a barren hilltop in a disadvantaged neighborhood, overlooking the more prosperous streets below. Now imagine the possibilities when students and teachers, local citizens and community leaders come together to rescue the land, dream up a scheme, and develop a vision and concrete plans to transform the space into an innovative green space.
The ultimate goal? To improve the landscape — and the quality of life.
Working with a neighborhood association and NGO partner, your mission is to rehabilitate the site of an old landfill and turn it into a thriving community garden and multi-purpose recreation space. This innovative project was designed by university students and professors, and now they’re enlisting helpers to implement the plans and make it a reality.
Ready to get your hands dirty? Together you’ll help measure the land, prepare and sow the soil, and build terraces, garden beds and irrigation canals. Doing basic carpentry and gardening tasks, you’ll build practical hands-on skills along with intercultural competence.  During afternoon reflection workshops, you’ll look back on your daily experience and discuss topics like responsible care for the common home and how a community can develop tools and networks to ignite their own ideas.
After a morning of gardening, digging and building, you’ll have time to kick around a soccer ball with local kids, practice your Spanish in sidewalk cafes, check out the famous graffiti and street art, and join in group trips to fun cultural attractions. Evening meals center around the family dinner table, where you’ll enjoy traditional foods and friendly conversation with your host parents and “siblings.” Biking, sailing and beach trips are planned for weekends with CIEE friends.
During your three-week immersion you’ll discover the transformative power of green community spaces for all involved. You’ll also develop a skillset to take to any community-building or public garden project back home in the U.S. — or anywhere in the world.


    Gain leadership experience and hands-on gardening and construction skills, working alongside NGO leaders. Contribute to the goals of implementing a complex building and landscape project.


    Support community members of all ages and advance the ecological health of an urban area. Learn project-planning, gardening and basic carpentry skills to help other service organizations.


    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

Location & Culture

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Immerse yourself in the daily traditions and culture of the friendly Chilean people.

Rainbow-colored houses, quirky architecture, and cobblestone streets give the port city of Valparaíso, Chile a distinct charm. It’s well known for its street art, diversity, bohemian spirit, and youthful energy.
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. Your hosts will be more than happy to take you explore the famous Dunas de Concon, the beaches in Viña, and National Park La Campana!

Daily Life

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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 blogs.


    Carefully Screened Host Family


    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


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Activities & Excursions

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.
  • Join traditional dance and folk music workshops.
  • Put your fancy footwork to good use in a soccer workshop with local students.
  • Make authentic local specialties in a Chilean cooking workshop at a Chilean high school vocational school.
  • Take a day trip to Santiago—Chile’s largest city, nestled between the snow-capped Andes and Chilean coastal mountain ranges. Visit vibrant cultural sites like La Moneda (presidential palace), Cerro San Cristobal viewpoint, and hip Barrio Lastarria area.
  • Hit the rural beach towns of the Chilean coast for an artsy excursion. Visit Pomaire town and the coast to watch local craftsmen at work.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.

Ready to change your life?