Study Abroad at Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso
Situated between the mountains and the sea, the Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso provides a unique setting for study abroad. Cobbled streets, Victorian houses and a bustling port, the city is famous for its charm and picture-perfect views.
What is the academic structure of the Chilean Universities Program in Valparaíso?
What program courses does IFSA-Butler offer?
Click on a course title below to download the course syllabus.
Advanced Written and Oral Spanish (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
Exploring Community & Culture (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Sociopolitical History of Latin America (20th Century) (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Chilean Society and Community Action (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
USM believes that providing a comprehensive academic program means including sports, physical activity, arts and languages as a substantial part of the student's formation. For that reason, the Institute of Humanities Studies (Departamento de Estudios Humanísticos) plays a key role in providing students with tools to become citizens who are sensitive to what is happening around them. USM's Department of Humanities offers disciplines that are geared toward both national and international students. In addition, the department has many non-traditional courses that focus on culture, civilization, sociology, politics, music, ethics and literature.
The Department of Humanities also provides students with a wide range of undergraduate academic support activities such as theatre workshops, painting exhibitions and subject-related seminars. Its aim is to enhance the central USM mission of teaching and research in science and technology in a number of ways.
IFSA-Butler students are able to take a maximum of two classes in USM's humanities department. One credit at the USM is equal to 1 U.S. semester credit hours.
What university courses am I eligible to take?
Keep the following in mind:
Where can I find a list of courses that the host universities offer?
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso:
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María:
If a particular course you are looking for is not listed, contact your program advisor for more information. Course availability changes every semester.
* Students can take as many courses at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) as they would like. Students can take up to two courses at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María.
Are there any restrictions or additional requirements for courses I can take?
I need to provide course descriptions and/or syllabi to my home university advisor. Where can I find those?
Please limit your request to 10 courses at a time. Keep in mind that it may take a few days to a month to obtain this information.
Additionally, you might notice that your Chilean classmates know each other very well. This is because students enroll in carreras rather than majors. Carreras are similar to majors in the United States but with
How will I register for courses?
All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. Students are not allowed to register for on-line, distance education or hybrid courses. See the "Academics" and "Program Fees and Financial Aid" sections in Preparing to Study Abroad for more information.
What do I need to know about exams?
How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
What if I need academic help during the semester?
Areas of Study
On the Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso, you are able to take university courses in a wide range of subject areas. Most departments at PUCV are open to IFSA-Butler students, as well as humanities courses at USM (see "University Courses" tab for more information on restrictions). IFSA-Butler hopes that students will be able to take courses for their U.S. institution degree requirements in order to stay on track for graduation.
Following is a sample list of courses that previous IFSA-Butler students have taken in Valparaíso during past semesters. Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list. There are hundreds of courses at PUCV and USM from which you can choose. To see full course listings that may be available during your study abroad semester, click on the "University Courses" tab to access the online course catalogs for these universities.
Popular Subjects and Courses*
Spanish Language and Literature:
* All courses listed on this page were available to IFSA-Butler students during previous semesters on the Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso. IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that a course listed here or on the universities' online course catalog will be available or open to IFSA-Butler students during future study abroad semesters. Please contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor if you have questions about course availability.
Students can choose to participate in an internship program which places students with a non-profit organization such as the following: educational and recreational program for youth with disabilities (APARID); environmental education and recycling projects (Acción Cousteau); and community literacy initiative (Libro Alegre). This hands-on experience is an integral component of the 3-credit Chilean Society and Community Action course.
Selected interns work for 48 hours during the semester (4 hours per week) in the community and spend 24 classroom hours with a university professor. These classes are intended to enhance students' community experience by tying learning to broader issues key to understanding Chilean society. The coursework also requires written journals and reports, as well as oral presentations, all in Spanish, related to the internship. IFSA-Butler staff in Chile assist with internship placements.
Click here to download an internship course syllabus.
Exploring Community & Culture
IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture program (C&C) in Valparaíso is designed to strengthen your study abroad experience. It aims to help you get the most out of your time abroad by blending intercultural learning with an exploration of the local community and community groups and key topics in Chilean culture. The reflective exercises and group discussions in C&C will help you process your cultural experiences in Chile.
Sessions with local experts will help you prepare for the special IFSA-Butler excursions. Through this program you will engage with the community in which you are living and be encouraged to question your own perspective of the world while learning to appreciate similarities and differences between cultures and communities. As a result, you will have the opportunity to acquire valuable skills for living and working in culturally diverse contexts.
This course awards students 3 U.S. semester credits from The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) and is an integral part of your study abroad experience in Chile. If students participating in C & C are unable to obtain credit from their home US universities, they will still be expected to participate in C & C activities while being allowed to enroll in an additional on-site university course.
Click here to view the C&C course syllabus.
What are my housing options?
In addition to the program application, be sure to click on the "Forms" tab to download and complete your Family Placement Form. Once finished, submit your Family Placement Form to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail.
Is my housing included in the program fee?
When will I receive my housing assignment?
Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.
Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Can I arrange my own housing?
Living and Studying in Valparaíso & Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar features
Dates & Fees
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Students must arrive in Santiago on the program start date by the specified time in order to be transported to the orientation venue. Please see your predeparture newsletters or contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor for the arrival time.
Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.
Program housing is available only until the day shown on the calendar as “Program Ends.” If you have academic obligations after this date, let the IFSA-Butler staff know so they can arrange an extended stay with your host family.
Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Chile, exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals. Students will not receive extra time to complete exams.
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Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Program Fee Bills
Personal Cost Estimates
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These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.
The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.
Meals: The program fee includes three meals per day.
Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.
Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.
All costs are in U.S. dollars.
Your IFSA-Butler Team
IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Chile:
Program Advisor Jennifer McKibben assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Jennifer studied abroad in Costa Rica for a year through an IFSA-Butler program. After completing her undergraduate degree in Spanish at Butler University, she moved to Costa Rica for three years to immerse herself in the culture and pursue a Master’s degree in Spanish-English Translation at Universidad Nacional. She is very passionate about helping students have impactful, enriching experiences abroad. Jennifer currently advises students planning to study abroad in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. She can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4264.
Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident director. Click here to read more about Resident Director Mark Sinclair.
View the embedded image gallery online at:
Volunteering while studying abroad in Valparaíso is an enriching experience, both personally and academically. Students report that even volunteering a few hours per week enhanced their study abroad experience by providing them with access to the local culture and a deeper understanding of challenges that face the country. Opportunities to volunteer are available for IFSA-Butler students in many different fields as you can see below.
IFSA-Butler has prepared a list of places where you, as a visiting student, could volunteer to do social service. While this is purely optional, a commitment on your part is needed in order to arrange a placement. Volunteering does not earn academic credit and will not appear on your Butler University transcript.
Examples of places where students can be placed:
This is just a sample of the volunteer opportunities available to our students, and these may change from semester to semester. If you have specific interests, please discuss them with your program advisor, who can research other opportunities that may be available in your area of interest. Your program advisor can help you determine opportunities that fit your interests (if they are not listed above), but you will not sign up for a volunteer placement until orientation.