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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Chile: Valparaíso

Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates:  Fall: mid-July to early December, Spring: mid-February to mid-July
Program Focus: Language Intensive
Prerequisites: Completion of Spanish 321. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA in Spanish course study are required.
Housing: Host Families
Campus Contacts: 

Matthieu Raillard
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7472

Magali Rabasa
Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7482

Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo
Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7425

Freddy Vilches
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Director of Latin American Studies, 503-768-7431

Program Design

Please note: Overseas & Off-Campus Programs is in the process of proposing a new Spanish language intensive program in Chile. Once the new program is approved, it will take the place of this program.

In cooperation with the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), Lewis & Clark offers this program at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), where students enroll in regular university courses. The program begins with a two-week advanced intensive Spanish language and culture course in Santiago. Once they arrive in Valparaíso, students receive additional orientation and support from CIEE staff. Following orientation, students enroll in regular university courses. The program also includes local excursions as well as a trip to Lake Villarrica in the south of Chile.

Located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific coast, Valparaíso is a big, bohemian city on the beach. Let the vibrant, yet laid back, attitude envelop you as you walk along pedestrian passageways. During your travels, you might find a donkey instead of a car in a parking spot. Houses painted red, royal blue, lavender, aqua, and bright yellow and stacked back-to-back up steep hillsides give the city a kaleidoscopic effect. The main international commercial activity of Chile passes through this port city, making it one of the first international and global spots for big shipping activity in the southern Pacific sea of modern times. Viña del Mar is Valparaíso’s sister city, a modern resort center, with shops, beaches, recreational facilities, and a residential area. With affordable mass transportation between the twin cities, you will find them both friendly locations in which to live and study.

Onsite Staff: The CIEE Valparaiso Student Services Coordinator is Natalia Castro. Natalia joined CIEE Chile in 2013. She is a translator and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and a Minor in International Business from Universidad Tecnológica de Chile, INACAP. She began working at the Santiago de Chile Study Center, but in the spring 2015 semester she joined the Valparaiso staff. She loves biking, trekking and cooking.


Requirements Fulfilled: This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement and the overseas study requirements for the Hispanic Studies major, the World Languages Major with Spanish as the primary language, and the Latin American Studies minor.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted. 

Curriculum: During their time in Chile, students enroll in regular university courses at PUCV, where they can choose from a wide range of course offerings in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. A sampling of the courses and course descriptions are available on the CIEE Valparaiso Liberal Arts program page under the Academics tab. Students are required to enroll in one and a maximum of two of the CIEE courses. Students then choose the remainder of their coursework (three to five additional courses), including a Spanish language class. CIEE students can take no more than two two-credit general university courses. Academic year or continuing students are not required to take a CIEE course during their second semester. Classes are instructed in Spanish, and CIEE students interact with Chilean students and other international students as well.

A minimum of two academic courses should be direct enrollment courses taken at the local university associated with the program.

Excursions: The program includes visits to sites of historical and cultural importance in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, including visits to museums, La Sebastiana (the home of poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda), the Chilean National Congress, and a rural farming community. Past students have participated in guided tours in Santiago, a walking tour of the historical part of the capital of Chile, and guided visits to the Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. In addition, there is a weekend excursion during the semester. Last year, students visited Pucón, an eco-tourism center on Lake Villarrica in the south of Chile, where they participated in the daily life of a local indigenous community and took advantage of the many outdoor activities for which the region is known.

Student Life

Housing: Study abroad students live with Chilean host families and are matched based on students’ individual profiles and common interests. Most host families are located in Viña del Mar, with a few in Valparaíso. The sister cities are essentially two halves of a single urban area, and PUCV has campuses in both cities. Host families are considered an integral part of the immersion into Chilean life. Housing and three meals a day are included in the program fee.

Host families play an important role in student’s immersion. Students will interact with various family members, relatives, neighbors, and friends, and explore and discover the surroundings through exposure to everyday Chilean routine and unique new flavors of traditional dishes. Students also immerse themselves in the Chilean culture by attending and participating in sporting activities, taking public transportation, and enjoying various types of entertainment and cultural events.

Volunteering: Non-credit volunteer work allows you to obtain a comprehensive understanding of Chilean culture and society through your own personal experiences and experiences outside of the classroom. CIEE facilitates these opportunities in various schools, shelters, and organizations throughout Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.


2020-2021 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $34,921

Tuition: $27,416

Program Fee: $7,468

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to SCL): $1,000-$2,000

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $160 - $200

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,350.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to CIEE and will receive a separate notification letter of admittance.  Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials to CIEE. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Santiago airport (SCL), where they are met by CIEE staff and will travel as a group to Valparaíso.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. In most cases, students are required to visit a consulate in their jurisdiction. The nearest consulate that serves the Portland, Oregon area is San Francisco. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Chile.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Chile page.

Chile, Valparaiso