Chilean Culture & Language
Want to immerse yourself in a new culture while building foreign language skills in a short time? Bridge’s 3- to 5-week Chilean Culture & Language program will help you strengthen your Spanish while introducing you to the customs and culture of Chile!
With 25 years of language-immersion experience, Bridge will have you speaking Spanish every day, meeting Chilean families and students, and living like the locals do!
Bridge’s Chilean Culture & Language program takes place in Valparaíso, Chile, one of South America’s most magical cities. The city is well-connected to everything—it’s just an hour from Santiago and a 15-minute train ride from the beach resort of Viña del Mar—but it feels a world apart. Located on a series of hills overlooking the Pacific, the city’s dramatic ocean views and a bohemian vibe give “Valpo” an infectious energy unlike anywhere else.
Programs run during both the winter and summer months. Bridge holds a shorter 3-week session during January term, plus longer 4-week programs during the months of January and February. Summer sessions are 5 weeks long and begin in late May and late June. No matter the session you choose, Bridge can take care of all the logistics, from airport pickup to housing and city tours, leaving you free to concentrate on what matters most—expanding your cultural horizons, learning Spanish, and having fun!
What makes Valparaíso unique?
For residents of Valparaíso, the Pacific Ocean isn’t just an amenity—it’s the city’s lifeblood! Situated on one of Chile’s finest bays, the city grew rich and important as the country’s main port for trade and immigration, drawing migrants from across Europe and Asia.
Postcard-perfect ocean views from the hills overlooking the city still draw foreigners today, and the beaches of Viña del Mar—Valparaíso’s sister city, just a few minutes away by train—continue to define the area as Chile’s top seaside resort. Study in Valparaíso, and the endless blue of the Pacific will never be more than a glance away.
Chilean Culture & Language
Valparaiso, ChileHost Institution: PUCV
|Short-term||January Term||3 weeks||01 OCT 12||$2375|
|Short-term||January Term||4 weeks||01 NOV 12||$2975|
|Short-term||January Term||4 weeks||01 OCT 12||$2975|
|Short-term||Summer Term||5 weeks||01 APR 13||$3075|
|Short-term||Summer Term||5 weeks||15 MAR 13||$3075|
Accommodations for Duration of Program:
Course Load: 2 courses
- 3-Week Session [January Term]: 4 credits (35 hours per course)
- 4-Week Session [January/February Term]: 6 credits (45 hours per course)
- 5-Week Session [Summer Term]: 6 credits (45 hours per course)
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Minimum Spanish Proficiency Required: Beginner. On the first day of program orientation, students will complete a language proficiency test and an oral interview with a program advisor to guarantee placement at the appropriate language level.
Minimum GPA: 2.5/4.0
Prerequisites: Applicants must have completed at least two semesters at a university to participate in this program.
Transcript: Issued by PUCV.
BridgeVirtual: All BridgeAbroad programs include access to three BridgeVirtual language sessions prior to departure. Each session lasts 2 hours and includes online private face-to-face language instruction with a certified native speaking teacher, as well as pre- and post-class online activities. Students are welcome to continue with more lessons at an additional cost.
In this course you’ll learn Spanish grammar concepts specifically chosen to fit your individual language level and improve your communication skills. The course takes a descriptive approach to teaching grammar, so you’ll be speaking like a local and not like a textbook!
Chilean Culture and Conversation
Learning Spanish is more than just memorizing words and phrases. It’s also about learning and understanding the culture. This course takes an ethnographic approach, combining classroom activities with fieldwork around Valparaíso to build fluency in a fun and interesting way you’ll actually enjoy!
During the 4- and 5-week sessions, students with advanced language skills may opt to take either or both of the classes listed above, or they can choose from three additional course offerings: Sociopolitical History of Latin America in the 20th and 21st Centuries, Contemporary Hispanic American Literature, and Latin American Film and Literature. These high-level classes, all taught in Spanish, will improve students’ vocabulary and expression while exploring major developments in Latin American history and contemporary culture.
*PLEASE NOTE: Some host university programs may require a minimum number of students to enroll in order to run the program. In the event that a program may be cancelled, BridgeAbroad will keep all applicants informed of any updates from the host university as quickly as possible.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate at a U.S. university or college
- Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Have the required minimum language proficiency
The Host Institution
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Bridge’s Chilean partner institution is the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso (PUCV), one of Chile’s most prestigious universities. Founded in 1928, PUCV is celebrated for excellence in education and for its strong commitment to public service. The university offers a wide variety of academic programs in more than 50 fields, including business and economics, oceanographic and natural sciences, law, religion, education, the humanities, and engineering.
PUCV has decades of experience welcoming international students from across the world, and it sets itself apart by providing exchange students with ample opportunities to interact with local students and participate in university activities.
PUCV’s modern facilities are located throughout Valparaíso, Chile’s second largest city and largest port. Located on a dramatic bay where coastal mountains meet the Pacific, Valparaíso is a city awash in natural beauty and picturesque views. The city itself is a perfect complement to a PUCV education. Not so big as to be unmanageable, Valparaíso’s rich cultural life and urban energy ensure that learning will extend well beyond the classroom.
Accommodations & Meals
Students are encouraged to stay with a Chilean host family for a full immersion experience. Living with a local family offers an invaluable opportunity to practice your Spanish and experience daily life from a Chilean perspective. Three meals a day and laundry service are also included.
Cultural Activities & Excursions
Valparaíso City Tours
Colorful and fun, Valparaíso practically drips with culture and history. Get a handle on the city by joining two city tours led by a local guide from PUCV. Each tour covers the city’s top highlights:
- Tour 1 covers monumental Plaza Sotomayor, English-influenced Cerro Alegre, and artsy Cerro Concepción.
- Tour 2 includes visits to Pablo Neruda’s idiosyncratic house-cum-museum; the Museo a Cielo Abierto, an innovative open-air art museum; and palm-lined Plaza Victoria.
Conversation Sessions with Chilean Students
Want to improve your conversational Spanish while getting to know local students? Do both by participating in live conversation sessions with Chilean PUCV students. Find out what the hot topics of conversation are in Valparaíso and learn the popular Chilean slang that you’d never find in a textbook! These meetings are guided by a Spanish instructor and take place once a week.
Individual Needs Analysis
At Bridge, we take the time to determine your specific needs in order to create a study abroad program that is right for you.
Once we understand your needs, we work with you to recommend or help customize a program that addresses your unique circumstances.
Once you have chosen your program, we work with you to prepare for your trip, covering everything from passports and packing lists to culture shock and other tips.
BridgeVirtual Language Lessons
As part of your program fee, you will receive three free BridgeVirtual language sessions for your use prior to your arrival on-site! Each session lasts 2 hours and includes both pre- and post-class online activities, as well as private, face-to-face time with a certified native speaking teacher.
Your program fee will cover the cost of enrollment at the host institution for the specified number of courses and credits.
In-Country Emergency Support
During your time abroad, you will always have access to a local Bridge staff member in case of emergency. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once in country, you will go through a comprehensive orientation covering topics such as health and safety, local transportation, and other helpful tips.
All of our programs include a cultural focus, allowing students to experience local workshops, lectures, and excursions during their time in the host country.
Upon completion of the program, you will receive a transcript of your local academic work from the host institution.
Re-Entry Support Materials
Because we know that sometimes students have difficulty readjusting to life back at home after such a transformative experience abroad, we provide you with materials to support you in becoming re-acclimated during your return home.
We will contact you after your return home to help you reflect on your time abroad and offer advice on how to best utilize these experiences in the future.
OTHER POSSIBLE INCLUSIONS
BridgeAbroad’s unique menu pricing system allows you to choose which program elements you’d like to include in your overall program price, and which you prefer to take care of on your own as part of your personal budget. Additional BridgeAbroad program services include:
- Housing and Meals: Bridge recommends staying with a local host family in order to increase your exposure to the local language and culture, but you may also choose to stay in a local hostel or shared apartment. Host families generally provide half board, hostels provide breakfast, and apartments are self-catered.
- Additional BridgeVirtual online language learning courses
- Airport Reception & Transfer
- Additional Cultural Workshops & Excursions
- Emergency Travel Insurance
- Cell Phones and Calling Cards
- ISIC – International Student Identification Card
Bridge’s short-term Chilean Culture & Language program combines excellently with our semester programs in Valparaíso. It’s a great way to get accustomed to Chile and boost your Spanish skills before starting your academic studies during the semester.
BridgeAbroad is an equal opportunity program provider and prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status or any other category protected by federal, state or local laws.
- Read through all of the information below thoroughly (and the program information, deadlines, and Terms & Conditions prior to beginning your BridgeAbroad application.
- Speak with your parent(s) or guardian(s), as well as your academic, study abroad, financial aid, and any other advisors at your home institution, to discuss the following items:
- Financial aid coverage, scholarship possibilities, and budgeting for your time abroad.
- Academic credit transfer: you are responsible for speaking with the appropriate academic advisors at your home institution to determine if and how credits earned abroad will be transferred back to your home institution. Please note that the transfer of credit will be determined entirely by your home institution and not by BridgeAbroad. When speaking with your home institution, you should inquire about how the courses you take abroad will transfer, rules regarding the transfer of actual grades (as opposed to credit only), fulfilling major or minor requirements, etc. BridgeAbroad cannot guarantee course placement and availability.
- Any special requirements, processes, or forms you need to complete for your home institution in order to go abroad.
- Speak with a BridgeAbroad advisor to have any questions about the application and admissions process answered, and to determine your desired program inclusions and final cost for your program.
- Research the visa requirements for the country and program you plan to attend. Many visas now require FBI background checks, which can take up to a few months to process, so you will need to start this process as soon as possible. You can find more information regarding visas on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Information page and by contacting the local embassy or consulate. Please note that securing a passport and visa (if applicable) will be your sole responsibility as the participant, but your BridgeAbroad Advisor is available to answer any questions you may have.
- After you have read these instructions in their entirety, you can begin the online application process by clicking on the application link at the bottom of this page.
- You will first be asked to submit some basic personal information in order to create your account user name and password. Once you have done so, you will receive an email from your BridgeAbroad program advisor with your account information. Follow the link in this email to update your account password, submit some basic application information, and access and complete your application materials (including a Statement of Purpose, Study Abroad Advisor Reference Form, Student Release, Official Transcript(s), digital photo, resume and cover letter if applicable, and the $95 application fee). NOTE: If you are applying after the application deadline, you must also submit the $95 rush fee, and your application will be considered on a space-available basis only.
- Review the Application Checklist below (or reference your online account) to confirm that you have completed your application in full. Submit your application no later than the stated application deadline. Please note that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so BridgeAbroad recommends that you submit your completed application as early as possible.
- Within three weeks of submitting your application, you will receive an email from your BridgeAbroad program advisor alerting you that your application status has changed from Pending to Accepted or Not Accepted. Follow the link in this email to access your account and view BridgeAbroad’s decision.
- If you are accepted into the program, you must log into your online account within one week and verify your enrollment by choosing “Commit” on your account home page and submitting the $500 non-refundable enrollment confirmation deposit (which will be applied toward your total program fees). On your account home page, you will also see your required admissions forms, which will be due 45 days prior to your program start date (such as the Student Agreement, Homestay Agreement, Health Information Questionnaire, and Physician Health Clearance Form, which you can view for your reference under the Learning Content in your online account during the application process).
- Sixty days prior to the program start date, 50% of the program fee is due. The remainder of your balance is due in full to BridgeAbroad no later than thirty days prior to the program start date.
ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS
All applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application, and in good academic and judicial standing at their home institution. For all programs hosted by a foreign university, or for students wishing to earn academic credit for their program, the applicant must be enrolled at a U.S. university. If you do not meet these criteria, please contact a BridgeAbroad advisor for further information about the possibility of enrolling.
Admissions for all BridgeAbroad programs will be based on the applicant’s BridgeAbroad Application, Cumulative GPA, Statement of Purpose, and Study Abroad Advisor Reference. For all programs hosted by a foreign institution, if the admissions requirements are more stringent than those set forth by BridgeAbroad, BridgeAbroad will adhere to the stricter admissions policies. The minimum GPA requirement for all academic programs is 2.5, for those students currently enrolled in a U.S. university. If your GPA is lower than 2.5, your application will be reviewed on case-by-case basis and may require additional paperwork. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact a BridgeAbroad advisor.
BridgeAbroad reserves the right to deny admission into a BridgeAbroad program for any reason, not contrary to law, deemed appropriate by BridgeAbroad.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
Foreign language proficiency requirements vary by program. Please refer to the BridgeAbroad website or contact a BridgeAbroad advisor for the specific requirements of your program. Programs with a language-acquisition component will require participants to take a language placement exam online prior to arrival in the host country. The host institution may also require an additional placement test, as well as an on-site interview. Your performance on these exams may determine the classes for which you are eligible.
If you intend to enroll in a course or courses from the regular university offerings taught in the host language, you will generally be required to have at least a high-intermediate knowledge of the host language. BridgeAbroad cannot guarantee that you will test at the appropriate language level necessary to fulfill academic credit requirements, nor can BridgeAbroad manipulate the results of your placement exam in any way. Participants who do not place into the appropriate level for academic credit transfer will not be eligible for any special refund; the standard BridgeAbroad Cancellation Policy will apply.
If accepted, you will need to complete a Medical History Questionnaire and Physician Health Clearance Form as part of your required admissions forms. The earlier and more thoroughly you advise BridgeAbroad of any potential health concerns, including any mental or physical disabilities, the better we will be able to advise you and arrange any necessary accommodations on-site. The disclosure of this information will not in any way affect your application or admission into the program, but will allow your BridgeAbroad Program Advisor to prepare and provide information relevant to your program in a timely manner. Disability services and accommodations vary greatly by country and university, thus BridgeAbroad cannot guarantee that all services offered at your home institution can be matched abroad. Efforts will be made to provide special accommodations, within reason. The differences in disabilities services within a particular city or host university will not be grounds for grade contestation or exceptions to our Cancellation Policy.
To apply for a BridgeAbroad program, you must submit the following by the program’s application deadline:
- Application Questionnaire
- Non-Refundable Application Fee ($95)
- Statement of Purpose
- Study Abroad Advisor Reference Form
- Digital Passport-Style Photo
- Official Transcript(s)
- Student Release
- Resume/C.V. and Cover Letter (if applicable)