The capital city of Santiago is located in Chile’s central valley, geographically equidistant from the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. Founded in 1541, Santiago’s rich history offers cultural and historic sites throughout its many different neighborhoods, from the 19th century neoclassical architecture and winding streets of the downtown area to the city’s Parque Forestal, which offers Chileans a vast green space to exercise, meet with friends or family, and attend concerts and other cultural events. About 40% of Chileans reside in one of the 20 different communes/districts of Santiago, making it one of Latin America’s most populated cities and Chile’s cultural, political, and economic center.
The CASA-Chile program provides undergraduate students with the unique opportunity for full immersion in Chilean culture and the Spanish language, while receiving transfer credit to apply toward their home university degree. Students take a Pro-Seminar course as well as 3-4 local university courses with Chilean students, completed at one or more of three top local universities: Univeridad de Chile (UCH), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), and Universidad Diego Portales (UDP). The CASA-Chile staff provide students with a list of possible courses and provide individual academic advising. The program includes an orientation program to assist students in learning about the Chilean lifestyle and help familiarize them with Santiago, and also offers cultural activities, local excursions, and lectures to introduce participants to the local context.