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 7 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 Program Orientation 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 at minimum 3 courses at the PUC, 9 WU credit hours, in areas of their choice. In addition, they take a course taught exclusively for the WU Program in Chile, A View from the Southern Cone, taught by Latin American Studies scholar Grínor Rojo (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 Spring semester students, and strongly recommended for Academic Year students.
The faculty director for the program is Professor Andrew Brown, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information may be obtained from the Office of Overseas Programs, 138 McMillan Hall or call (314) 935-5958, e-mail: email@example.com, website: overseas.wustl.edu
Eligibility: WU students must have completed Spanish 308E and one of the following: Spanish 341, 342, or 343 in order to be eligible for the program. You may be enrolled in your final prerequisite course in the semester immediately prior to your intended semester abroad. Students from other institutions are expected to have comparable preparation. It is also useful, but not necessary, to have had a prior study abroad experience or some previous study of Latin America. 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 serves as liaison between Washington University’s Overseas Program office, the faculty director on campus, and the PUC’s office of International Academic Relations. The program director manages and coordinates all aspects of the program, working closely with students, organizes excursions and acts as an academic advisor and as a facilitator with host families.
Approximate Program Dates
- Late June: Fall students arrive
- Late June - mid-July: Orientation and Spanish Language Course
- Late July - early December: Academic semester courses at PUC
- Early December - early January: Vacation
- Early January: Spring semester students arrive
- January: January interim course and Spanish language course
- February: Vacation
- Late February - early July: Academic Semester courses at PUC
The online application is available through the Overseas Programs website, overseas.wustl.edu. 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 you need your passport to process your student visa.