Chile: Political Systems and Economic Development
- How to Choose a Program
- View SIT Study Abroad Undergraduate Research / ISP Collection
- View the 2013 Overview Brochure (PDF, 1MB)
- View the 2013 Semester Catalog (PDF, 4MB)
- View the 2013 Summer Catalog (PDF, 1MB)
- View Our Photo Galleries on Flickr
- Academic Resources/Library
- Track Your Application Online
- US State Department "Students Abroad"
- SIT Study Abroad Gear
“Although there were many unique opportunities in this program - including homestays, excursions, living with the Mapuches, and amazing professors - by far the best experience this program has to offer is the ISP. The month of ISP was the most rewarding experience of my time in Chile. I not only got the opportunity to meet with people in a field that interested me the most, but also I gained a sense of independence and self-responsibility that I can carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Discover the economic and political changes shaping Chile.
Analyze the ongoing process of modernization in Chile and its impact on the country´s culture, identity, economy, and political system.
The program consists of three main components:
- An eight-week homestay with a Chilean family in Santiago and concurrent courses at the Universidad de Santiago
- A series of educational excursions to northern and southern Chile
- A four-week Independent Study Project (ISP) at the end of the semester
Each component highlights a different perspective on Chile's evolving national and global identity and deepens students' understanding of the social and political underpinnings of Chile's export-driven economy.
Santiago (program base) — Live in Chile's modern capital city and financial center
Santiago provides a vibrant and relevant context for the study of Chile's political and economic development. While in Santiago, students live with host families and attend lectures and seminars given by professors, politicians, and social leaders at the Universidad de Santiago and other locations.
Intensive instruction in Spanish
This program gives students the chance to improve their Spanish significantly while experiencing Chilean culture and studying the impact of recent economic and political changes.Intensive Spanish instruction incorporates classes and short excursions that contribute to students’ immersion in Chilean culture. The language course also helps prepare students for the ISP period.
Students will also improve their speaking, writing, and cross-cultural field study skills through daily interactions with their host families.
Educational excursions and field studies
As part of their field study experience, students participate in group educational excursions throughout Chile that enable them to observe and interact with different communities.
- Travelling to Antofagasta to visit one of the world's largest open-pit copper mines. While there, students will learn about the importance of copper mining to Chile’s history and economy.
- Visiting Valle de Elicura in the south of Chile to live among indigenous Mapuche communities and learn about their ongoing struggle to maintain their culture and identity in 21st-century Chile. Learn more about the program's excursions.
Independent Study Project
During the final month of the semester, students focus on an Independent Study Project (ISP). This gives students the opportunity to closely examine a topic related to political systems and/or economic development in the context of Chile. The ISP is conducted in Santiago or in another approved location appropriate to the project.
Students choose ISP advisors from among the many professionals affiliated with the program. In the past, students have used their ISPs as a jumping-off point for more advanced research conducted through Fulbright and Rhodes scholarships, or in graduate school.
Sample ISP topics include:
- The importance of Chile’s copper industry
- The concentration of media ownership in Chile
- The effects of the 2010 earthquake on Chile’s wine industry
- Microfinance for rural women
- Identity assertion among Mapuche university students
- Women’s reproductive rights in Chile
- The impact of the economic crisis on the salmon industry
- The tourism industry in southern Chile
- Ethnotourism in indigenous communities
- Milk cooperatives and issues pertaining to their survival in Chile
- Free trade agreements and their importance for the Chilean economy
- Public policies addressing pollution in Santiago
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Santiago
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: Coursework in economics, political economy, or development studies; 3 semesters Spanish Read more...
View Student Evaluations for this program: