Language, Culture, and Internship in Chile

Location: Valparaíso, Chile - Universidad Católica de Valparaíso


Trip Dates: May 22 - July 4, 2014

St. Augustine Center 300, Monday, February 10 6 - 7:30 p.m.


Villanova University invites applications for its exciting six-week summer program in the little known secret of South America---Chile. Students will experience a complete immersion into the culture and society of Chile through home-stays with carefully picked local families, diverse and friendly courses on topics of contemporary relevance, and guided study tours in Valparaíso, Santiago, and the Central Region. Chile challenges even the most astute observer from abroad, as it boasts the fastest growing economy, highest Human Development Index (HDI), highest literacy rate, most transparent government, and the best democracy in Latin America. Yet it is also quintessentially Latin with all the allure and aura of a culture enriched by the indigenous, Iberian, and other influences. Sandwiched between the gorgeous Andes mountain ranges and the blue Pacific Ocean, Chile is unquestionably the Switzerland of the Western Hemisphere. The country stretches from the warm beaches of Arica and Iquique in the North to the green lakes and snowcapped glaciers of Patagonia in the South.

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Additional Academic Requirements

  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale; non-Villanova students must submit a recent official university transcript of their undergraduate work.
  • University student status without disciplinary or academic probation, and/or financial holds on VU account.
  • At least intermediate college-level Spanish language training prior to departure is required.
  • Attendance at all orientation sessions mandatory; non-Villanova students must contact Dr. Adriana Merino for the orientation materials.


Students are required to take a total of six-credits on this program. Students are not allowed to repeat a course which they have already taken at Villanova University. Please contact the FPC with any questions related to coursework.

  • SPA 1131-1132 Spanish Conversation and Composition
    Intensive practice in conversation and composition with emphasis on developing advanced Spanish language skills - 6 credits.

  • SPA 3412-003 Globalization, Culture, and Society in Chile
    An insider’s peek into the contours of Chilean culture and society through an analysis of contemporary cultural trends under globalization - 3 credits.

  • New Course Number for 2014 -
    Course is now HIS4495 (not PSC6875) Modern Political History of the Southern Cone
    Why are the patterns of political development different in Chile and the Southern Cone? A critical analysis of the political evolution in a historical and institutional context - 3 credits.
    *Course cannot count towards College of Liberal Arts and Sciences History core requirement.

  • ECO 4200 -or- ECO 3108 Business Culture in Chile
    Why has Chile fared so well in its economic performance compared to the rest of the region? A critical look at the forces shaping business administration and the forces shaping the Chilean economic miracle - 3 credits.
    *Students may choose to have Business Culture count towards one of the two designated ECO course numbers.

  • LAS 5000 Internship
    Exciting internship opportunities with major political institutions and leaders, businesses, law firms, financial institutions, social service agencies, and humanitarian organizations. Generally requires 2 weeks of intensive Spanish lessons relevant to the institutional context of the internship plus 4 weeks of practicum at the site, located in the general vicinity of Valparaiso, Vina del mar, and Santiago. Internships are limited and students will interview for placements once they have arrived on-site in Valparaiso - 3 credits.
    Internship counts towards Latin American Studies major/minor/concentration credit -OR- Free Elective credit.

* Additional language instruction may be arranged to meet student needs

All area studies courses are taught by faculty from the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Lectures are normally in Spanish. Language instruction is arranged to meet the participants' needs.

What Students Have Said

"In terms of my education, the most important aspect of my Chilean experience was the opportunity to live with a Chilean family. They helped me to create memories while improving my vocabulary and grammar. There is no comparison between learning in a classroom or becoming a part of a family. I gained invaluable knowledge about Chilean culture and daily life through this trip.

The additional trip to Argentina was one of the highlights of the trip. In the US, many assume that all Spanish speaking countries in South America have similar cultures and histories. From this trip, I was able to compare Chile and Argentina, and learn about the distinct differences between the two countries. In addition, Buenos Aires is a gorgeous city with a very interesting history. It was well worth the trip!"
Jordan Putt, Summer 2013

"My summer abroad in Chile was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. From being immersed in a completely foreign culture to mastering the Spanish language and a little in between, it was the highlight of my summer and my freshman year at Villanova. I found a second home in the beautiful country of Chile with my host family and have created lifelong relationships with my friends at the local university. The cherry on top? The chance to visit the beautiful country of Argentina and be further exposed to the Latin American culture that I have come to love. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Latin American culture, improving their Spanish, and visiting some of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in South America. It is an opportunity that you cannot pass up!"
Evangelia Makrygiannis, Summer 2013

My six-week experience was an absolutely amazing one. Chile, in comparison to the more traditional study abroad locations in Europe, was able to open my eyes to an entirely new culture and granted me a worldly experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Chile is unique in regards not only to the language change, but also in the distinct culture Viña del Mar and Valparaíso offer. Each day offers a new adventure to take on or challenge to overcome. Excursions like horseback riding alongside the Pacific and weekend trips to the Atacama desert, or to Argentina are truly unforgettable experiences. This country has become emergent both in global markets and South American culture and would be invaluable for any student looking in broaden their cultural horizons.
Noah Thacker, Summer2012

NOTICE: Villanova University reserves the right to modify or cancel the program if circumstances warrant.

Faculty Program Coordinator

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Dr. Adriana Meriño
Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
College of Arts & Sciences
St. Augustine Center 344

Payment Information

Applications are due no later than April 1, 2014; the non-refundable commitment fee of $450 is due upon receipt of acceptance letter. Final payment due prior to the departure of program.

Total: $5,900
Includes tuition, room and some meals, transfers, field trips and fees. The round trip air ticket, optional travel and personal expenses are not included. The program coordinator will designate a travel agent to handle an optional (though highly encouraged) group flight.


Past programs have traveled Santiago, the homes of Pablo Neruda, Pomaire, the Andes, and weekend trips to Cajón del Maipo, and La Serena, its museums and the birthplace of Gabriela Mistral.

Housing & Meals

Students will be placed with carefully selected Chilean families in the Valparaíso and Viña del Mar region, and thus will have an opportunity to be part of the daily life of the city and its people. All meals will be taken with the families, or at local restaurants and hotels while on field trips.

2014 Itinerary

Thursday, May 22: Departure from USA to Chile
May: Arrive in Santiago, transfer to hotel, tour of city
May: Travel to Valparaíso, homestay begins
May: Classes at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV)
Excursion to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Friday, July 4, 2014: Departure from Argentina to USA

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