The Washington University Program in Chile offers students an exciting opportunity to study for one semester or one year at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). Founded in 1888, the PUC is a leading institution in Chile in many fields of undergraduate and graduate education. Located in Santiago de Chile, the capital of Chile, the PUC is an urban, multi-campus private university with partial public support.
The City of Santiago de Chile
Chile, the southernmost country in the world, is one of contrasts, running from the driest desert in the world through the Lake District to Antarctica. Economically and politically, it is one of the most stable countries in Latin America. Santiago, the capital of Chile, founded February 12, 1541, is today an inviting metropolis that unites historical and cultural traditions with modern expressions. A city that is home to nearly 5 million people, it is continuing to grow and prosper. Santiago offers many cultural attractions, museums, lectures, music, theater, etc., and is located close to skiing resorts and not far from the beach.
The Academic ProgramOrientation and Spanish Language Course (3 WU credits)
Students for the first month students enroll in a Spanish language course taught by PUC faculty and our on-site director. This course covers comprehension, grammar, phonetics, reading and writing. Language is presented in a way that represents the dynamic and concrete realities of the national regional culture of Santiago. One day of the week is devoted to activities in the city.
The Academic Semester
Students will be directly enrolled in regular courses at the PUC with Chilean students. Students take a full load of courses, about 12 WU credit hours, in areas of their choice. For students who spend the year in Chile there is also de possibility to take courses at the University of Chile, the leading public university in the country. The University of Chile, founded in 1842, offers more than 4,000 courses per semester. Students also take a course on Chilean literature taught by the on-site director, María Inés Zaldívar, Ph.D. (3 WU credits).
January Interim Course
The course is taught by a Washington University faculty member and is worth 3 units of credit. The topic may vary from year to year. The course is required for all full-year and Spring semester students, and strongly recommended for Fall semester students.
The faculty director for the program is Professor John Garganigo, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, 411 South Ridgley, 935-5145, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information may be obtained from the Office of Overseas Programs, Stix International House at 6470 Forsyth Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63105 or call (314) 935-5958, e-mail: email@example.com.
Eligibility: WU students must have completed Spanish 308D and one Latin American literature survey class (Spanish 330C, 335C, or 336C) in order to be eligible for the program. If you have taken Spanish 333C or 334C, you must also have taken a course dealing with Latin America, whether it was in culture, anthropology, politics, or history. Students from other institutions are expected to have comparable preparation. It is also useful, but not necessary, to have taken a Spanish conversation class or to have had a prior study abroad experience. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required at the time of application.
The Language Commitment
Students studying in Chile must agree to use Spanish as the primary language of communication at all times. In cases of group meetings, orientation activities, and other excursions, only Spanish will be used. This rule is imperative to ensure that students are fully immersed in the language and culture of Chile and to allow students to make the most progress during their time in Chile.
Students live with families who are carefully selected to welcome you during your stay in Chile. Your room and board are included in the family stay, as well as laundry facilities.
Students who stay for the year may choose to live in student residences or apartments with Chilean students during their second semester.
Program Director in Chile
Our director in Chile, Evelyn Vitagliano, serves as liaison between Washington University’s Overseas Program office, the faculty director on campus, and the PUC’s office of International Academic Relations. She manages and coordinates all aspects of the program, working closely with students. She also organizes excursions and acts as an academic advisor and as a facilitator with host families.
Approximate Program Dates
- June 30: Fall students arrive
- July 1-31: Orientation and Spanish Language Course
- August 5-December 15: Academic semester courses at PUC
- December 15-January 2: Vacation
- January 3: Spring semester students arrive
- Jan. 3-20: January interim course
- Jan. 3-31: Spanish language course for Spring semester students
- February 1 to March 1: Vacation
- March 1-July 17: Academic Semester courses at PUC
Application forms can be printed from the WU Overseas Programs website here. Applications are due May 1st for Spring semester and February 1st for Fall semester. A faculty committee interviews candidates immediately after the deadline. To prepare for the interview it is important that you are conversant with basic information about Chile. The reference section in Olin and the internet may help you prepare for this aspect of the interview. After acceptance to the program you need to fill out the necessary forms to obtain a student visa, and a housing form. The Overseas Office will assist you in completing the required paperwork but it is imperative that you observe the deadlines. You need to have a valid passport at the time of application because we need your passport to process your student visa.
For further information, contact: Professor John Garganigo Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Washington University 411 South Ridgely St. Louis, Missouri 63130 Voice: 314/935-5145