Higher Education in Chile
As a country, Chile places great importance on education at all levels. According to the 2011 QS World University Rankings, five of the best universities in the world were located in this South American country. Two of the standouts were the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the University of Chile.
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Founded in 1888, this institution of higher learning has 18 schools and 4 campuses in Santiago plus a regional campus located in South Chile. The University offers many different fields of study including the sciences, health, economics, theology and the arts. Pontifical Catholic University of Chile believes strongly in the value of having students from diverse backgrounds and locations. Their very active exchange program includes relationships with more than 300 universities in 45 countries.
University of Chile
As the country's oldest and arguably most prestigious university, this institution of higher learning attracts about half of its foreign exchange students from the United States. Another 35 percent arrive from from European countries and about 5 percent from countries in Asia. The University of Chile prides itself on having an excellent faculty, a student body that achieves at the highest level and an atmosphere that encourages creativity and the pursuit of solutions to important national and world problems.
Steps to Becoming a Foreign Exchange Student
Generally, foreign exchange student candidates can enroll for one semester of a school year after completing two years of study at another school in their home country or an intermediary country. Candidates must be recommended by their previous school and then get the proper paperwork to enter the country and study. A student, upon entering the country must get a student visa within 30 days by going to the International Police, presenting their passport and filling out an application.
Spanish is a necessity because all courses are taught in the native language. Most students who apply are proficient in Spanish, but if you are not, many universities offer an intensive course in Spanish to sharpen your skills.
What Will It Cost?
While costs to attend a semester at a top-notch university in Santiago can vary, a good estimate for tuition for a semester is about $5,000 USD. Each course costs around $1,000 for 10 credits plus there is an administrative fee of around $300 USD.
Plan on about $3,000 USD for housing, $3,000 USD for meals, $1,500 USD for transportation around Santiago and another $1,000 USD for books and miscellaneous personal expenses. When you add that all up, your all inclusive costs for six months in Chile will be somewhere around $13,500 USD.
Why Study in Chile?
An opportunity to spend a semester in a world-class university is only available to a select group of students. You will not only get a unique educational experience inside of the university, but you will learn much more about the culture and the people of Chile. You will eat new foods, explore neighborhoods and maybe even climb a mountain in the Andes. Your perspective on the world will change and your focus will broaden. It will be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.