Spanish Semester at PUCV
Spend a semester at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso (PUCV) in Valparaíso, Chile and you can build your Spanish fluency as you earn credit toward your degree—all while immersing yourself in the life and culture of one of South America’s most magical cities.
Just an hour from Santiago and a 15-minute train ride from the beach resort of Viña del Mar, Valparaíso may be home to Chile’s Congress, but it feels a world apart. The city’s dramatic Pacific views and a bohemian vibe give “Valpo” an infectious energy unlike anywhere else.
Perfect for intermediate- and advanced-level Spanish speakers, Bridge’s study abroad program includes specialized classes designed to perfect your language skills and introduce you to Chile’s history and culture. But don’t worry about getting trapped in the study-abroad bubble; advanced students can study with Chilean students by enrolling directly in elective courses at one of the country’s most prestigious universities, and students at all levels will enjoy weekly conversation sessions with Chilean peers.
From airport pickup to housing and city tours, Bridge can handle all the logistics, leaving you to focus on what counts—growing academically and personally as you immerse yourself in a language and culture different from your own.
What makes Valparaíso unique?
Valparaíso is spread across dozens of hills overlooking the Pacific, creating a distinctive geography. Each of the cerros towering above the waterfront downtown district sport its own unique neighborhood.
Tying these hills together are nearly a dozen funicular railways—perhaps the best-known symbols of the city. Built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these colorfully painted wooden cable cars continue to ferry residents and visitors up and down the city’s steep hillsides today. Some houses and apartment buildings even have their own private funiculars!
Spanish Semester at PUCV
Valparaiso, ChileHost Institution: PUCV
|Semester||Spring Semester||Semester||15 NOV 12||$6675|
|Semester||Fall Semester||Semester||01 APR 13||$6675|
Accommodations for Duration of Program:
Course Load: Minimum of 4 courses
Credit Load: 15-22 credits
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Minimum Spanish Proficiency Required: Intermediate. Students will complete a written proficiency test and 10-minute oral interview at the start of the program. Based on the results, they will be provided with a list of elective courses appropriate to their level of proficiency.
Minimum GPA: 2.5/4.0
Prerequisites: At least four semesters of college-level Spanish are required.
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.
Communicative Spanish and Chilean Culture
Learning Spanish isn’t primarily a matter of memorizing vocabulary lists and grammatical rules; it’s about figuring out how to use available cultural and linguistic resources to communicate effectively. Because understanding the cultural context of a language is critical to using it well, this class seeks to build speaking and writing skills through immersion in Chilean culture. (6 credits / 90 hours)
Grammar for Foreigners
This course, taught at both intermediate and advanced levels, focuses on the topics most likely to trip up experienced students of Spanish. Rather than just memorizing rules, students will analyze and explain the grammatical principles behind them to better understand the organization and nature of the language. (4 credits / 60 hours)
Students will analyze descriptive and narrative texts in order to deepen their understanding of Spanish discourse and strengthen their own Spanish writing. (3 credits / 60 hours)
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology Workshop
Correct pronunciation is one of the hardest skills for intermediate and advanced students of Spanish to acquire. By analyzing the individual sounds and patterns of the language, students will improve their pronunciation and confidence. (2 credits / 60 hours)
In addition to the required courses, students can choose their own electives. Intermediate students can choose from among several Spanish-language classes tailored specifically to their level, covering a variety of topics in the humanities and social sciences. Upper-level students can join their Chilean peers and enroll directly in elective courses from across the university. The range of offerings is gargantuan, including everything from finance and aquatic ecology to calculus and Greek philosophy (credits and hours vary). Options include:
Chilean Traditional Dances
From a theoretical and practical approach, this class will show students how to dance various typical dances from Chilean culture. Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to perform different Chilean typical dances.
Contemporary Latin American Poetry
This course will introduce students to main contemporary Latin American poetry stating its origin and establishing relationships, which are not apparent, among various and different poetic texts. In this sense, the course is not structured chronologically and it emphasizes the search of a Latin American identity through literary production.
Twentieth Century Chilean Poetry
This course will introduce students to core themes and relevant issues of twentieth century Chilean poets and their poetry. The course is structured chronologically and it will review and analyze each poet’s work from an artistic, social, political and intercultural perspective.
Contemporary Latin American Short Story
This course will present a general overview of Latin American and Chilean narrative focusing mainly in short stories and short novels. Emphasis will be given to the main contemporary narrative trends, so the class will introduce a highly representative display of Latin American writers related to different literary and artistic movements.
Hispanic-American Narration from XVII to XIX Centuries
From the Literary Studies discipline this course will identify the narration speech mode in the Hispanic-American archive from XVII to XIX centuries. The course will study narration at different times: histories and chronicles (XVII century), emancipation letters and documents (XVIII century), and finally narration texts produced in Hispanic-America (the end of XVIII century and XIX century). The purpose is to construct a reflection from Latin America on characteristics and functions of narration at different contexts and texts from the colonial period until the political and cultural independence of the XIX century.
Modern History of Chile
This course will help students to understand –from a general perspective- main contemporary, socio-economic and political processes in Chile during the 19th, 20th and the begin of the 21st century.
- For the student to analyze Chilean history during the 19th, 20th and 21st Century from a global perspective. Emphasis will be given to processes of transformation.
- For the student to reflect on various historiographical trends dealing with relevant issues of Chilean history.
- For the student to discuss and do research on a particular historical Chilean process from a bibliographic and documentary focus.
Contemporary Latin American History
The purpose of this class is to identify some central problems in the political development of Latin America taking into consideration not only structural aspects, but also study cases of some Latin American countries such as: Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba. At the same time, the course will train students on methodological aspects about Latin American history.
Pre-Columbian Art and Society
This course provides an overview of Latin American indigenous cultures during Pre-Columbian times, introducing basic notions about pre-history, religion, economy and social organization of these societies, using art and visual expression as the main way of accessing these groups. Emphasis is given to Mesoamerican and Andean cultures from the Formative period until the arrival of Spaniards, but the study of some hunter-gatherers traditions is also included, as a way to illustrate cultural diversity in South American pre-history and Pre-Columbian art. Consistently, this course also seeks to discuss the western concept of art and its application to the study of Pre- Columbian societies.
*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 compliment 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. The tours cover 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 one-week orientation covering topics such as health and safety, local transportation, and other helpful tips. You’ll also take 20 hours of group language classes and stay with a local host family in order to start your experience (and language skills!) off on the right foot.
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
This semester-long program at PUCV combines excellently with BridgeAbroad’s Chilean Culture and Language program 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.
Check out the Chilean Culture and Language program page for more information!
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)