Santiago, the social, cultural and commercial capital of Chile, was founded in 1541. It is situated 70 miles from the Pacific Ocean in Chile's fertile Central Valley between the Andes Mountains to the east and the coastal range to the west. Downtown Santiago, a mixture of Colonial and Victorian architecture and modern construction, is graced with several fine museums and a number of lovely plazas and parks. Chile's transition to democracy in 1990, combined with its innovative economic development strategy of growth with equity, make this country the ideal place for systematic reflection on the pressing issues of democracy and development.
The half-century long presence of the priests and religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross in education and pastoral work in Chile makes for a unique home for an international study program. Participants in the Santiago program will have an opportunity to become familiar with many dimensions of Chilean society, sometimes not easily accessible to foreigners.
Academic Year: Mid-July through early July (the following year)
Fall Semester: Mid-July through early December
Spring Semester: Early February through early July
*Please take program dates into consideration and how they may coincide or conflict with internship and other academic requirements.
Students take courses at the Pontificia Universidad Catholica (PUC), one of the most prestigious universities in South America. Founded in 1888, PUC now has about 17,000 students and 1,300 faculty members in 17 different schools located on four campuses. Most courses taken by Notre Dame students are held on Campus San Joaquin.
Included in your semester in Chile is a mandatory three week language and cultural immersion pre-program. The pre-program is non-credit bearing and takes place in rural Linares, Chile. At the end of the pre-program, students return to Santiago to start their classes at the PUC.
The fall semester takes place from early July to mid-December. The spring semester takes place from early February to mid-July. At the beginning of each semester, PUC hosts an orientation session that includes various social and cultural activities, including field trips around the Santiago area.
Students choose their courses from a wide range of offerings in Humanities, Social Sciences, Economics, Business Administration, Fine Arts and Communications. Access to courses will be guided by each student's level of proficiency and will be restricted only by limitations of space.
All Chile program participants must enroll in two core courses: "Chilean Politics and Society" and "Spanish for Foreigners". In addition to the required courses, students may complete their curriculum with classes offered at the PUC and with the optional course entitled: "Poverty and Development," offered through the Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Therefore, in addition to the two required courses, students should plan to enroll in 2 courses at the PUC and 1 at Alberto Hurtado, or 3 courses at the PUC. Students must complete 15 graded credits per semester in Santiago.
All participants of the Chile program will have the opportunity to apply for a service-learning and multi-disciplinary seminar facilitated by Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns. "Approaches to Poverty and Development" is taught at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, a Jesuit University in Santiago. Students who are accepted to the Chile program will receive additional information about this course from the Center for Social Concerns. Students will be involved in supervised volunteer relationships a few hours each week in an area of urban poverty, and participate in a seminar once a week to analyze issues of poverty and development. Students will apply for this course the semester before departure to Chile. Students who are NOT enrolled in this seminar may also participate in service projects.
All students will earn 15-17 credits per semester through the PUC and Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Course work will fulfill University requirements and grades will be computed into the Notre Dame GPA.
Participants on the Chile program enroll in a combination of courses taught at PUC as well as core courses for Notre Dame students and have the option of taking one course, "Approaches to Poverty and Development" taught at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago.
The two core courses: "Chilean Politics and Society" and "Spanish for Foreigners" introduce students to relevant topics in Chilean history and the Spanish language which in turn helps them to more fully integrate into the Chilean university system and host culture.
In addition to the core courses, students may directly enroll in two or three courses alongside Chilean and other international students at the PUC. A list of courses previously taken by Notre Dame students is available on the OIS course web site. View a complete list of course offerings at the PUC. When reviewing courses, remember that the 1st semester in Chile is the equivalent of the SPRING semester at Notre Dame. The 2nd semester in Chile is the equivalent of the FALL semester at Notre Dame.
"Approaches to Poverty and Development" is also a popular course option amongst program participants. This course consists of a series of preparation meetings taught through the Center for Social Concerns at Notre Dame before departure. Once in Chile, students complete the 5 credit course composed of a three credit seminar class and a two credit field work component which is graded S/U. All students accepted to study in Chile will receive information on the course and an invitation to apply through the Center for Social Concerns.
Students should have junior standing during the study abroad program, although sophomores and seniors may apply under special circumstances. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA and must complete a minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish (or the equivalent) before departure. The strongest applicants will have completed courses above ROSP 20202 before departure. Additionally, students must maintain an average grade of B or better in Spanish language courses.
Please note that, even if accepted through Notre Dame, you will still be asked to complete an application form for the host institution.
Deadlines: Chilean February semester, July semester, or Academic Year deadline: November 1st
Housing and Meals
Students will live with Chilean families carefully selected by an experienced and caring local program coordinator. Meals are provided by the host family. The university cafeteria and nearby restaurants are accessible and cater to student budgets.
Cultural and Recreational Opportunities
Santiago serves as the social, cultural and commercial capital of Chile. The city offers everything from fine museums and cultural events to excellent cuisine and beautiful parks.
In addition to the trips and events organized by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC), students have many opportunities to explore the beautiful Andes mountains, the Pacific coastline and other natural wonders of the Chilean countryside. Outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, skiing and rafting are very popular. Students also frequently travel outside Chile to Machu Picchu in Peru, Argentina and other neighboring countries.
If you are considering applying to a study abroad program and you do not have a valid passport, or your passport will expire within six months past your program end date, please take steps to obtain or renew your passport immediately. Passports can take longer than expected to process, and you may need your passport to apply for visas well before your program begins. For more information about obtaining and renewing passports visit the United States Postal Service.
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