CIEE Santiago: Liberal Arts
In Santiago, take time to savor life, ideas, art, everything around you! On CIEE’s Liberal Arts program, you’ll explore this exciting capital of Chile – known for its relaxed way of life – while pursuing courses taught in Spanish. A homestay with a Chilean family and volunteer activities will help your Spanish improve dramatically while you gain skills that will help you throughout college and into your chosen career.
The Universidad de Chile, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and the Universidad Diego Portales offer hundreds of undergraduate courses in multiple fields. Students on the CIEE program are permitted to select courses at the different facultades at different levels simultaneously within each university. All courses are taught in Spanish and are taught by faculty from the three host institutions.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) is one of Chile's oldest universities and one of the most recognized educational institutions in the country. It was recently ranked the second best university in all of Latin America. PUC is an urban, multi- campus private university with partial public support.
Founded in 1842, the Universidad de Chile is the country's preeminent public university with more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a faculty of 5,000. It is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in the Americas. It offers a wide range of courses at 13 faculties located at campuses throughout Santiago. The modern CIEE Study Center, located on the University campus, has student meeting and study areas, classrooms, a computer lab, and wireless access.
The Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) was founded in 1982 and is one of the leading private universities in the nation. Adhering to high standards in teaching and research, the UDP now enrolls over 12,000 undergraduate students each year. CIEE students may take direct enrollment courses at the School for Social Sciences.
For additional information, visit the CIEE Santiago: Liberal Arts program website
The City of Santiago
Santiago, the fifth largest city in South America with over five million inhabitants, stands at an elevation of around 1,700 feet in a wide plain equidistant from the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago combines a pleasant mixture of colonial buildings and parks with more modern edifices. The Mapocho River divides the city and the snow-capped peaks of the Andean chain are sometimes visible from the city.
This capital city is both modern and dynamic, dominating the political, economic, and cultural life of the country. Its pleasant Mediterranean climate and proximity to the mountains permits many outdoor pursuits such as hiking, skiing, camping, river-rafting, and horseback riding. Less than an hour away from the city are world-class ski resorts, famous beaches and the colorful port city of Valparaíso. Numerous villages located in the countryside around Santiago invite the visitor to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of country life.
Did you know…?
Due to its central location and natural surroundings, it is possible to go skiing and to go to the beach in the same day!
The CIEE Santiago: Liberal Arts program is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish 219 or Spanish 223, or the equivalent, by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. Must be enrolled in a Spanish course during the academic semester prior to departure. Grade of B or better in all Spanish classes.
Language of Instruction
A full course load on the CIEE Santiago: Liberal Arts program consists of four to six classes per semester, including an additional CIEE course and one Spanish language course. The remaining coursework must be direct enrollment courses at either of the three Chilean universities. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
CIEE Program Website
Universidad de Chile
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Universidad Diego Portales
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. Be sure to review Penn Abroad’s academic policies.
Chilean university grades are awarded on a seven point scale (including decimal points, e.g. 6.2). The scale is not based on an equal distribution of points nor on a percentage. In the Chilean system, a perfect exam or paper may not always be awarded a grade of seven, depending on individual professors' practices. Students are frequently assessed on solely on the results of a final and/or midterm exam. Grades are reported to CIEE on the Chilean scale, and then converted to Penn grades according to standard Chilean - US grade equivalencies:
Grades are reported to Penn on the Chilean scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Grade conversion effective Fall 2017 and forward.
|86.50 – 89.49
|82.50 – 86.49
|79.50 – 82.49
|69.50 – 76.49
|59.50 – 69.49
|0 – 59.49
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by CIEE prior to the start of each semester.
You'll begin your study abroad experience in Santiago even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. The resident director meets with students online and shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple: to help you understand more about the program and identify your goals.
The five-day mandatory orientation session, conducted in Santiago at the beginning of the program, will introduce you to the city, culture, and academic program, as well as provide practical information about living in Santiago. In addition, a mid-semester workshop and a re-entry workshop held at the end of the semester are designed to assist you with cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the program.
For information regarding language courses, please visit the program website
and scroll down to “Course Descriptions.”
Non-credit volunteer options are available, primarily in social service organizations and NGOs. You can volunteer with organizations involved in social policy, community service, and education.
The Liberal Arts program includes visits to sites of historic and cultural importance in the greater city of Santiago and its environs. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, have included a tour of Santiago, visits to Pablo Neruda’s homes, walking and biking tours of historical neighborhoods, guided tours of local museums, and visits to the memorial of the human rights victims of the 1973 coup. In addition, there are two weekend study trips each semester as described above.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
You'll take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Chilean society.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Students live in private Chilean homes. Housing, three meals per day, and laundry services are included in the program fee. Academic and calendar year students are responsible for housing and meals during the break between semesters. The homestay is essential to the student's learning process and integration into life in Santiago. The opportunity to live with a Chilean family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and to observe real life in action, but also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses, and for Spanish language practice. Living in a homestay is the best way to learn the language, customs and culture of Chile, and participants have found this arrangement to be invaluable in terms of cultural insight and understanding. Host families live throughout Santiago, and students commute to classes by bus or subway. The CIEE staff assists the students in obtaining housing appropriate to their needs. Students may not make their own housing arrangements during the official program dates.
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. Be sure to review Penn Abroad’s financial policies.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. Visit SFS's website for more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad.
* Budget sheets for the academic year have not yet been established. Students should consult their Programs Manager and the program website for budget specifics.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university.
CIEE Scholarships & Grants
: Provides both merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants for undergraduate studying abroad on CIEE programs.