5 semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent
- Fall: April 1
- Spring: November 1st
YEAR OPTIONS: Students interested in calendar or academic year-long options should contact IFSA-Butler for deadlines, fees and more.
About Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso
Situated between the mountains and the sea, Valparaíso's cobbled streets and Victorian houses provide a unique setting to examine the economic and psychological factors that create Latin American politics. The city is famous for its charm and picture-perfect views, not to mention the passionate and edgy art scene and politically active student body. An optional internship complements your studies.
Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso Benefits
- Outstanding academics and unparalleled flexibility in course choice—you will choose courses from two outstanding universities: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Universidad Santa María
- Gain valuable experience while participating in an internship; options may include:
- working with children and youth in community organizations
- performing arts groups
- working with the disabled
- conducting marketing and outreach
- working with the homeless
- engaging in environmental and science education
- Valparaíso is located in Chile, named first among Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2018 Top Countries
- Live like a local—take university classes integrated with degree-seeking Chilean students and live with a carefully selected Chilean host family
- You will be paired with a language partner for further conversational practice and you will have access to academic tutors throughout the semester
- Give back to the community through one of many volunteer opportunities
The IFSA Difference
Academics at Chilean Universities Program, Valparaíso
We offer semester and full year study on the Chilean Universities Program in beautiful Valparaíso. CUP Valparaíso allows you to enroll in classes at two different universities (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Universidad Santa María) alongside local students, and take 3 exclusive program classes with an optional internship. This coursework, taught in Spanish by local professors, is intended to provide you with an understanding of the events and issues that make Chile what it is today.
IFSA program courses in Valparaíso:
Advanced Written and Oral Spanish (4 U.S. semester credit hours): This mandatory course is designed specifically for non-native Spanish speakers; placement is determined upon arrival in Chile.
Exploring Community & Culture (3 U.S. semester credit hours): IFSA'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 discussions in C&C will help you process your cultural experiences in Chile.
Sociopolitical History of Latin America (20th Century) (3 U.S. semester credit hours): This course aims to give students an understanding of how the political system that is seen indiscriminately in Latin American countries corresponds to a socio-economic and psychological structure that makes political stability difficult.
Chilean Society and Community Action (3 U.S. semester credit hours): Students are eligible to participate in an internship that includes a field experience and related class taught at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso (PUCV). Each participant must complete 48 hours of internship work as well as attend weekly sessions with the course professor throughout the semester.
To complete your courseload, you will select courses with locals at one of our partner universities. Keep in mind that these listings are provisional.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso:
Click here to view available syllabi online. Review each syllabus to verify if the class is offered in semester 1 (spring) or semester 2 (fall). Please note that PUCV is uploading syllabi as they obtain them, so not all courses are listed. Contact your program advisor to obtain syllabi that aren't posted on the website.
- Click here to access links to course listings in each of PUCV’s available departments.
- If you do not see a plan de studio, look for a link for programa, malla curricular, or carrera and click on it to see a list of courses that may be available in that specific area of study.
Universidad Santa María:
- Click here to access USM's online course catalog.
- Select "Main Campus" and then "Estudios Humanísticos" from the drop down menues.
- There you will find a list of courses that may be offered divided by odd and even semesters. You can find the course descriptions by clicking on the symbol that looks like a document and says "course description."
If a particular course you are looking for is not listed, contact your program advisor for more information. Course availability changes every semester.
Language requirement: Five semesters of university-level Spanish or equivalent required
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso: Architecture, music (only some courses available), law (only some courses available) and engineering (other than commercial engineering, not recommended due to difficulty).
Universidad Santa María: All IFSA students can take courses in the Humanities Department. Depending on academic major and prior coursework, students are allowed to take courses in science and engineering fields upon USM department approval.
- NODO Valpo offers artistic and cultural workshops and events, as well as community outreach and collaboration with local communities and schools, on artistic and heritage preservation projects. IFSA interns work on NODO's social networking team and/or assist with event production.
- ALIMAPU PSICOAMBIENTE works with Valparaíso schools and neighborhood groups on environmental education projects and sustainable community development. IFSA interns assist with projects involving water re-utilization, recycling, community gardens, and outreach efforts.
- OCR CASA CLUB promotes the community inclusion and psychosocial rehabilitation of adults with mental health diagnosis in Valparaíso’s Playa Ancha neighborhood. IFSA interns assist professionals with arts and recreational workshops and public outreach to destigmatize this population.
- MINGA VALPO offers arts and recreation workshops to neighborhood children in its sustainably-built Ludoteca in Cerro Merced, one of 7 Valparaíso hills affected by a 2014 mega-fire. IFSA interns assist with arts, gardening and cooking workshops, and program development.
- VALPO SURF PROJECT provides surfing classes, conservation projects, and English classes to youth from low-resource communities in Valparaíso. IFSA interns assist with weekly surf group outings (no-previous surfing experience needed) and conservation projects.
This hands-on experience is an integral component of the 3-credit Chilean Society and Community Action course. Selected interns work for 50 hours during the semester (4 hours/week approx.) at their respective internship site and have class once a week with a university professor specialized in community development and public policy issues.
These classes are intended to enhance students' community experience by tying their internship to broader issues key to understanding Chilean society and the role of community organizations. The coursework includes written reports and oral presentations, all in Spanish, related to the internship. IFSA staff in Chile assist with internship placements, either with organizations which have received past IFSA students or, if possible, with organizations related to IFSA students' specific interests.
Housing & Meals
The IFSA Team
IFSA has a dedicated team who are here to help you prepare to achieve your goals. Feel free to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!