Study Abroad Chile - La Serena, Chile

Program at a Glance

Location: La Serena and Santiago, Chile
Program Dates: July 3- July 30, 2014
Courses Available: Comparative Justice Systems, Politics of Latin American/Topics in Latin, American Politics, Latin American and Latino Art, International Studies, Comparative Societies, Politics and Institutions, Latin American Revolutions, Latin American/Chilean Identity (in Spanish)*, Introduction to Social Problems, Global Issues, Art Appreciation,Study Abroad: Intro to Chile Culture ,Survey of Latin American History ,Intermediate Spanish I* ,Intermediate Spanish II*

* = taught in Spanish.  The other courses are all taught in English

Cost: $3750

Course Offerings 2014

Students must be in good standing and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be admitted to the program. Completion of an application form does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Program Dates, Structure and Course Structure

Participants depart for La Serena from Atlanta on July 3 in the afternoon/evening. The group arrives in Santiago on July 4, and travels by charter bus to La Serena. Students may take a maximum of six semester hours. Each course meets in class four days a week and has a day-long field experience each week when faculty members accompany students to sites related to their fields of study. One weekend involves a 2 night trip into the nearby Andes Mountains with a visit to a world class  observatory and the home town and grave of Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win the Nobel Peace in for Literature.

Program Location

Located on the Pacific Coast in central Chile, La Serena is about 300 miles north of Santiago and has a population of almost 200,000 people. The city has a very attractive downtown center, distinguished by its rich neo-colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and an environment where academic studies, arts, sports, and leisure make a perfect combination. The Andes Mountains, right outside the city, contain some of the highest concentration of major astronomical observatories in the world. These features make La Serena one of the best places to visit and study in South America.

 If you like skiing, Chile is the place to go in July. One special feature of the program will be an optional trip to El Colorado/Farellones, a world class sky resort in the Andes Mountains about 25 miles from Santiago.

The University of La Serena’s main campus is perched on the cliffs overlooking the magnificent Pacific  Ocean. The program will end with 3 1/2 days in the capital city of Santiago and will include city tours and visits to the major government and cultural centers. There will also be a day trip to Valparaiso with the highlight being a visit to one of the homes of the famous poet, Pablo Neruda.

Accommodations and Meals

Students are accommodated in double rooms with shared bathroom in beach-style apartments located near the Pacific Ocean. Some meals are included as part of the package. Continental breakfast will be served at the hotel each day, and lunch will be served at a nearby restaurant Monday-Friday. Dinner is not part of the program package, but there are a variety of restaurants in the vicinity to choose from or you may cook in your apartment. Housing in Santiago will be in a modern hotel in the heart of the city with breakfast provided. Students are responsible for lunches in Santiago and on most weekends throughout the program.

Application and Admission to the Program

Enrollment is open to any full-time or part-time student. Students from institutions that are not part of the University System of Georgia are admitted on a space-available basis and must enroll as transient students at one of the participating institutions. Because of space limitations, acceptance is on a first come, first served basis, according to the date of receipt of the application and application fee. Students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the application deadline to insure them of a place in the program. The application deadline for the 2014 program is Friday, March 2, 2014. The application and all payments are made online. Students must be in good standing and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be admitted to the program. Completion of an application form does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Program Costs

The package cost is $3500 for the 27 day program. This cost includes the following items:

  • Airfare between Atlanta and Santiago, Chile
  • Full accommodations in La Serena and in Santiago
  • Daily Breakfast and lunches M-F as noted in the section on Accommodations and Meals
  • Arrival Reception/Dinner and Farewell Dinner in La Serena
  • Ground trip transportation by bus from Santiago to La Serena
  • Group transportation as needed each day to/from apartments to various activities
  • A primary health insurance policy that provides basic coverage for medical expenses
  • Admission fees to museums and other required visits to historical and cultural sites
  • Minimal internet service provided at the apartment complex and Santiago hotel
  • Some guest lectures and various cultural activities
  • Overnight excursion to the Elqui Valley including Vicuña and an observatory visit, and a day trip to the historic city of Valparaiso

The package cost does not include tuition, textbooks, excluded meals, $160 Chilean entry fee due at the Santiago airport, passport and related expenses, spending money, ground transportation to or from the Atlanta airport through which flights will be scheduled, or any other costs beyond those listed above. Students should plan to budget a minimum of $500 for extra meals, entrance fees, and entertainment. If students plan extended travel or major shopping, additional funds should be budgeted.
All costs are subject to change because of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements or fluctuations in monetary exchange rates. The program administrator will make every effort to keep program costs as advertised and will inform prospective participants of any changes as they occur.

Financial Aid

Courses in the 2014 La Serena Study Abroad Program are part of the regular offerings of member institutions; therefore, students may apply for loans or grants for which they would normally be eligible. Students should apply for financial aid at the campus where they are registering for courses. Campus representatives will assist students in obtaining information about financial aid. Students must meet all campus requirements in applying for financial aid.

Payment Schedule and Refunds

A non-refundable $200 application fee is due at the time of application. The application fee is applied towards the total program cost of $3750. Other payment deadlines are as follows:

March 9, 2014: First payment of $1,800 to cover air fare, and facility deposits in Chile.
April 20, 2014: Final payment of $1,750

Students' application fees and other payments are applied towards required advance payments, purchase of airline tickets, and other costs related to the program. Note that the $200 application fee is non-refundable as it covers processing and reservation fees. Participants who withdraw from the program after the application deadline will receive a refund according to the following schedule:
Withdrawal between March 9 and April 11: All but $400 will be refunded.
Withdrawal between April 11 and April 25: All but $1000 will be refunded.
Withdrawal between April 26 and May 15: All but $1,800 will be refunded.
Withdrawal after May 16: No money will be refunded.

All withdrawals must be made in writing to the program administrator at Armstrong.


In most cases, institutions in the University System of Georgia identify the courses and course numbers of their own that are comparable to the courses being offered by faculty members from other institutions. This enables many students to register for courses at their home institutions. Students from institutions that do not permit registration for certain courses should contact the Chile ProgramAdministrator for assistance. Note that the program package cost does NOT include tuition fees. Tuitionis paid directly to the college or university where you are registering.

Health Matters and Insurance

Participants will be provided medical/accident insurance through the Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) which is designed for the USB Study Abroad Programs. Students with special medical problems may be required to provide a physician's assurance of their ability to undertake foreign travel and study. It is not possible for the America's Council to guarantee accessible facilities abroad for students with special needs. Participants should bring medications they regularly depend upon and should have copies of prescriptions in generic form in case they need to acquire additional medications. No special immunizations are needed to enter Chile, and the International Immunization Certificate is not required.

Passports and Visas

Everyone traveling to Chile must have a valid passport. Participants who have expired passports should have them renewed. Participants who have never had a passport should begin the process of obtaining one immediately; it sometimes takes six to eight weeks to get a passport. Inquire at your local post office for directions on obtaining a passport. Holders of U.S. passports do not need visas to enter Chile for summer study. Participants traveling on passports of other countries should contact their campus representative for assistance in determining whether they need a visa.

For everything you may need to know about getting a passport click on the link below:
State Department - Passport Services and Information

Course Descriptions

Students need to enroll in two courses for six hours of credit. All courses are three-hour courses. The morning courses are upper level and the afternoon courses are lower level. Afternoon courses are much more culturally oriented. Check at the college or university where you plan to register to find out the course numbers assigned to the courses you want to take. If you would like to find out more about any of the courses being offered, you can contact the program director . All courses are dependent upon sufficient enrollment; courses with inadequate enrollment will be canceled. Students will be kept informed of courses at risk of cancellation.


Dr. Jim Anderson, Chile Program Director
Office of International Education at Armstrong University
11935 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31419
Phone: 912.344.3224

Course Offerings and Descriptions