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Programs and Deadlines
About Penn Abroad
CIEE Santiago: Liberal Arts (BCH)
Santiago, Chile (Fall Spring Academic Year Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite:
6 or more semesters of college level language
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Credit Available For:
College, Huntsman
Other Eligibility Requirements: Grades of B or better in Spanish, See Program Description
Type of Program:
Direct Enrollment
Application Deadline:
Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: October 1
Program Description:
Carswell_Lindsay, SantiagoLa Chascona: Pablo Neruda's house in Santiago by Lindsay Carswell Program Snapshot
(click on the links highlighted in blue below to learn more)
The Academic Program
  • Direct Enrollment through the Universidad de Chile, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and/or the Universidad Diego Portales
  • Fall Semester: mid-July – mid-December
  • Spring Semester: late February - early July
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Grade of B or better in all Spanish classes
  • Must be enrolled in a Spanish class during the semester prior to departure
  • Must have completed Spanish 219 or Spanish 223, or the equivalent
  • Host family provides housing and three meals a day
The City of Santiago
  • Primary language spoken is Spanish
  • Primarily an urban landscape but offers scenic rural areas around the city including mountains, vineyards, and farms.
  • Population is comprised of 5 million inhabitants
  Special Features
  • 5-day pre-semester orientation
The Application Process
The Penn Abroad application requires applicants to submit one academic recommendation from a Penn Spanish language professor.
Financial Matters
  Penn Resources

This program requires an advising session with a Program Manager prior to opening an application. To view the schedule for upcoming group advising sessions, or to schedule an individual appointment, select the ‘Schedule an Advising Appointment’ button on the Penn Abroad homepage.  

The Academic Program

Information about the universities

The Universidad de Chile, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and the Universidad Diego Portales offer hundreds of undergraduate courses in multiple fields. Students on the CIEE program are permitted to select courses at the different facultades at different levels simultaneously within each university. All courses are taught in Spanish and are taught by faculty from the three host institutions.

Universidad de Chile:

Founded in 1842, the Universidad de Chile, known as "la Chile," is the country's preeminent public university and one of the Latin America's leading universities with over 23,000 students located on campuses throughout Santiago. The university offers courses through 14 different Facultades and four Institutes (Public Policy, Communication, International Studies, and Nutrition & Food Technology). In spite of the complete restructuring of the University of Chile that took place under Augusto Pinochet's military regime, it still remains Chile's most prestigious university in terms of research, applicant preferences and social impact.
See the website at

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile:

Founded in 1888, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, known as "la Católica or "PUC," is the country's leading private university and one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America. It currently has a student body of over 21,000 students. When it was first founded, the University taught merely two subjects, law and mathematics. Today it has expanded to teach 18 different faculties located at four different campuses in and around Santiago. The PUC continues to make every effort to develop its existing facilities and institutions, as well as to make its intellectual, creative, and spiritual capacity available to the community.
See the website at

Universidad Diego Portales: 

Founded in 1982, the UDP is one of the leading private universities in Chile. Adhering to high standards in teaching and research, the UDP enrolls over 12,000 undergraduate students. 
See the website at


Required Courses

During the semester, students enroll in four to six courses, including an additional CIEE course and one Spanish language course. The remaining coursework must be direct enrollment courses at either of the three Chilean universities.


Grading Scale

Chilean university grades are awarded on a seven point scale (including decimal points, e.g. 6.2). The scale is not based on an equal distribution of points nor on a percentage. In the Chilean system, a perfect exam or paper may not always be awarded a grade of seven, depending on individual professors' practices. Students are frequently assessed on solely on the results of a final and/or midterm exam. Grades are reported to CIEE on the Chilean scale, and then converted to Penn grades according to standard Chilean - US grade equivalencies:
·       A = 6.5-7.0
·       A- = 6.0-6.4
·       B+ = 5.5-5.9
·       B = 5.0-5.4
·       B- = 4.5-4.9
·       C = 4.0-4.4
·       D = 3.0-3.9
·       F = 2.9 or below

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school.

For more information on this program, click here.


Students live in private Chilean homes. Housing, three meals per day, and laundry services are included in the program fee. Academic and calendar year students are responsible for housing and meals during the break between semesters. The homestay is essential to the student's learning process and integration into life in Santiago. The opportunity to live with a Chilean family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and to observe real life in action, but also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses, and for Spanish language practice. Living in a homestay is the best way to learn the language, customs and culture of Chile, and participants have found this arrangement to be invaluable in terms of cultural insight and understanding. Host families live throughout Santiago, and students commute to classes by bus or subway. The CIEE staff assists the students in obtaining housing appropriate to their needs. Students may not make their own housing arrangements during the official program dates.

The City of Santiago

Santiago, the fifth largest city in South America with over five million inhabitants, stands at an elevation of around 1,700 feet in a wide plain equidistant from the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago combines a pleasant mixture of colonial buildings and parks with more modern edifices. The Mapocho River divides the city and the snow-capped peaks of the Andean chain are sometimes visible from the city.
This capital city is both modern and dynamic, dominating the political, economic, and cultural life of the country. Its pleasant Mediterranean climate and proximity to the mountains permits many outdoor pursuits such as hiking, skiing, camping, river-rafting, and horseback riding. Less than an hour away from the city are world-class ski resorts, famous beaches and the colorful port city of Valparaíso. Numerous villages located in the countryside around Santiago invite the visitor to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of country life. Tourists may also visit the vineyards and try delicious Chilean wines. Santiago is also home to numerous museums including the Museo de Bellas Artes, of Museum of Fine Arts, and La Chascona, once home to the famed Chilean writer Pablo Neruda. La Chascona is located in the city's Barrio Bellavista, an area famous for its bohemian nightlife. This quarter of the city has a main road, Pio Nono Street, which is lined with dance clubs, restaurants, and pubs, making it an excellent destination for the young tourist. The city boasts a very lively underground music scene along with various jazz establishments and two symphonic orchestras.

Financial Matters

Students are charged Penn tuition and student fee (called study abroad fee the semester abroad) for all Penn programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, meals, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheet to determine other costs. 
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package.


Penn Resources

Students who study abroad are encouraged to take advantage of Penn's many resources for students, even if you haven't used them before going abroad.  There is an extensive list of resources on the Penn Abroad website that can help you to explore issues that might pertain to you and to help you prepare for a term abroad. 

In addition to these resources, we encourage you to reach out to a past program participant or ambassador to learn more about the program from a student perspective.


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