Welcome to Chile
The Chile Destination Guide will provide a historical overview, scholarship information, health and safety tips, plus identity-specific resources to ensure students feel prepared with insight and resources for their global experience in Chile The information shared below is a bird eye’s view and meant to provide some country-specific context. We encourage students to conduct further research and chat with relevant points of contact including advisors, program leaders, international student services at the host campus, internship coordinators or peers who have traveled to Chile, to gain a greater understanding of their host country and/or city.
Bordering the South Pacific Ocean, Chile is in the Southern part of South America. Slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana, Chile is a mountainous country 2,600 miles in length and, on average, only 180 miles wide, with a wide variety of climates. Its northern border with Peru is tropical, and as the country stretches through the arid Atacama Desert (the world’s driest) to the Mediterranean-like center then rainy south, ending in the glacial, Antarctic waters of Patagonia.
Chile is a fairly conservative, mostly Catholic country. It is a stable emerging market economy that has experienced strong investment and growth in the decades following the Pinochet dictatorship. This stability and growth has helped Chile develop into a middle-income country and transformed Santiago, its capital, into a modern metropolis. Nearly half the population of Chile resides in or near Santiago. Given Santiago’s centrality to Chilean society, the majority of U.S. study abroad programs operate there. The seaside cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, only a few hours northwest of Santiago, are popular alternatives.
Many Chilean public and Catholic universities are considered to have good academic programs relative to Latin American institutions more generally. The University of Chile in Santiago is the country’s flagship higher education institution and is considered competitive with its well-respected peer institutions in Argentina and Brazil.
Travelers can explore some of the Best Places to Visit in Chile. Recognized as a World Bank High-Income Country, the average Numbeo Cost of Living in Chile is 27% lower than in the United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). If you plan on renting, expect monthly costs for a single person to be around 67% cheaper than in the U.S. On the micro level, the average cost for a three-course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant is between $27-55 USD (about CL$ 17,000-35,000 Chilean pesos) while a meal at an inexpensive one might cost about $11USD. Travelers should be able to enjoy a movie for around $5USD.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors Report 2017, 2,942 students from the United States studied abroad in Chile, a 6% decrease from the previous year recorded.
Health and Safety
Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about the recommended vaccines you may need before traveling to
Chile. Review updates regarding current travel risks for Chile via the following sites
Chile is generally warm all year round with mediterranean-type climate. Temperatures are typically around 38°F to 86°F. The summers are long and hot, but the climate is cooler in the winter time. If your skin is sensitive to the sun, please ensure that you have sufficient sunblock for protection if you plan to be in Chile during the summer months. Make sure to stay hydrated at all times especially if you are out traveling or exploring your host community.
No matter where you are in the world, whether it is your hometown or a new city, it is important to be alert and practice awareness of your surroundings. Chile is a fairly safe place, however there are a few precautions any traveler should take while navigating the country. Be cautious in areas that are touristy and may have large crowds as pickpocketing may happen. Here are a few tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Leave valuable items at home whenever possible and only travel with your necessities
- Avoid being flashy or careless with valuable items
- Ensure your bags and pockets are tight and completely zipped
- Do not leave personal items unattended
- Have a travel partner when possible
Local emergency assistance numbers in Chile are:
133 Local police
131 Medical emergencies
In the case that you need to contact the U.S. Embassy in Chile, you can refer to their website.
Funding & Scholarship Opportunities
There are many scholarships to fund your study abroad experience. Here is a list of Diversity Abroad scholarships available for study in this country:
If you are participating in a study abroad program through a provider, always check if they offer scholarships to students. Some providers that have diversity and/or need based scholarships, for example, CIEE and IES, are among some of the providers that offer scholarships. Some providers also provide stipends to students who serve as bloggers or program ambassadors. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to alleviate the cost of your program, do your research and also talk to your university's study abroad program staff for campus scholarships!
For more scholarships, visit https://www.diversityabroad.com/scholarships