Located on Chile’s Pacific coast, Valparaíso was founded in 1536 and is one of the country’s most important ports. Due to its improvised urban design and unique architecture, the city’s historical center was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Chile’s third largest city, “Valpo” has been a source of inspiration for artists of all types, including the well-known Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Viña del Mar, known as Chile’s “Garden City”, is within easy reach and the country’s capital, Santiago, is just a two-hour bus ride away.
About the Program
This program, offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges' affiliation with Academic Programs International (API), is based at the Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). The program focuses on Spanish language development and the study of key historical and contemporary issues in multicultural Chile. Due to the wide range of courses available, the program offers the opportunity for students invested in maximizing their Spanish language proficiency to have a full immersion experience as well as the opportunity for students in other disciplines to develop their language skills while pursuing coursework in either Spanish or English. HWS students will take classes with other US students and international students, while those with advanced language skills may also opt to enroll in PUCV courses alongside local Chilean students.
All students will take four courses offered through API and PUCV. Those majoring in Spanish or seeking to maximize their Spanish language proficiency should take all courses in Spanish (at varying levels depending on student proficiency). Students in other disciplines must take at least 1 Spanish language course at their appropriate level (but are encouraged to take more to improve their language skills) and may take courses in other academic areas in English. In addition to language courses, a wide range of offerings are available in history, politics, environmental studies, social justice, literature, and art. Students with high proficiency will have a wider range of choices through direct enrollment at PUCV, including courses in education, the sciences, and the arts.
For more information on courses offered, please visit the API Valparaíso page HERE.
This program will be of particular interest to students in Spanish and Hispanic Studies and Latin American Studies, as well as those with sufficient Spanish language proficiency from other disciplines including anthropology, comparative literature, environmental studies, history, international relations, politics, and social justice. Community service placements are available to interested students in a variety of areas and provide an excellent opportunity to further develop language proficiency.
This program is open to juniors and seniors (sophomores may be considered in exceptional cases) in good academic and social standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students must complete the equivalent of 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or more) prior to departure, including a course at their appropriate level during the semester prior to studying in Valparaíso. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will reside in homestays arranged by API, the best way to experience Chilean daily life first-hand. Hosts are carefully chosen by the housing coordinator who will make every effort to match students with families based upon their expressed preferences. Students will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day in their homestays.
A number of local excursions will be offered in Valparaiso and nearby Vina del Mar, including visits to museums, a vineyard, and an organic farm. In addition, the group will visit Santiago and either Chilean Patagonia (and its Lake District) or Mendoza, Argentina.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, a 2/3 board fee, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing with partial board, and program-related activities and excursions. Students should plan to bring the remaining 1/3 board fee (about $1000) to cover meals not included.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1200-$1400 from the East Coast, visa at $150, and books at $200. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
- This program is offered every Spring semester and in the Fall semester of even years.
- All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in late September/early October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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