Chile – that means “end of the world” in the language of the native people of the country. According to a Chilean legend, God first created the beauties of the world and then turned everything that was left behind the last mountain. A semester abroad in Chile offers the opportunity to explore one of the most fascinating countries in South America.
Portrait of Chile as a destination for a semester abroad
In fact, nowhere else in the world can one find a more diverse landscape than in the narrow and long land that stretches between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean.
Almost every landscape and climate zone in the world is represented in Chile . In the north, the snow-capped peaks of the Andean volcanoes with their thermal baths, geysers and lagoons meet the driest desert in the world. In the untamed south of the country you will find untouched forests, fjords, rivers and thousands of years old, blue shimmering glaciers.
The life of the inhabitants is concentrated in the fertile Chilean central zone with its extensive wine regions, green valleys and numerous seaside resorts. Almost a third of the 16.5 million Chileans live in the capital, Santiago de Chile, located there . The lively metropolis is currently one of the most interesting cities in the world. A lively art and culture scene has developed between skyscrapers and colonial buildings in recent years. In the numerous street cafes and parks you can enjoy the very special flair of the city during a semester abroad in Chile.
If you speak the national language Spanish , you will quickly get into conversation with the residents. In contrast to other Latin Americans, these are considered cautious. But if you apply German standards, you will be surprised by the friendliness and warmth of the Chileans.
Reasons for a semester abroad in Chile
No wonder that the unusual country at the end of the world is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventurers. Chile is also an ideal destination for students: Here they can combine education and adventure during a semester abroad . Because Chile is not only extremely diverse. It is also considered to be one of the safest countries in South America and has a comparatively high standard of living.
In recent years the government has invested a lot of money in modernizing the education sector. The range of courses on offer during a semester abroad in Chile is accordingly very broad and market-oriented . In international rankings, Chilean universities are at the top of the Latin American comparison. The course is more school-based than in Germany, but the classes are small and the professors’ supervision is tight.
Students here eg as part of a semester abroad in Chile optimal conditions to collect international experience, while her Spanish to improve . Students can use the semester break to explore the numerous natural beauties of Chile, a country located in South America according to themeparktour.
Semester programs at universities in Chile
One of the best ways to get to know the country, the people and the university landscape is to spend a semester abroad in Chile. Many universities offer special semester programs . These enable international students to spend one or two semesters abroad in Chile. Most of the time, students can choose interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary courses from the range of courses offered by the respective university.
Although most of the courses are taught in Spanish , some Chilean universities now also offer courses in English. Especially in subjects such as business administration , which are in particularly high demand by international students.
The achievements and credits earned during the semester abroad in Chile can often be credited to the home university. So the study time is not extended by the stay abroad. In order to avoid problems, students should clarify whether the courses can be credited in advance with their home examination office .
Semester abroad in Chile: application requirements
In contrast to an application for a full course of study, applying for a semester program in Chile is very straightforward. Applicants must have a high school diploma and sufficient knowledge of Spanish .
However, a formal language test such as the DELE is rarely required. Often a letter of recommendation from the home university is sufficient or the applicants take a placement test on site, on the basis of which the admission to the courses is decided.
Depending on the university, applicants must also prove that they have sufficient financial resources . Some universities also require proof that the students have already studied at their home university for a certain period of time.
Costs and financing options
If you want to spend a semester abroad in Chile, you have to pay tuition fees. These are sometimes quite different and, depending on the university and the number of courses taken, usually range between US $ 1,500 and US $ 3,700 per semester.
Cost of living in Chile during the semester abroad
Life in Chile is comparatively cheap. Accommodation is mostly in private apartments and shared apartments. A room there is often available for EUR 100 to EUR 200. With all the additional expenses, students can assume a monthly guide value of EUR 500 for housing and living . In metropolitan areas such as Santiago de Chile, however, higher costs can sometimes be incurred depending on the lifestyle.
Financial support for a semester abroad in Chile
A semester abroad in Chile becomes affordable with the help of various funding opportunities :
- The BAföG abroad includes a grant of up to EUR 4,600 towards the tuition fees for a semester or year abroad. In addition, students receive grants for air travel and living expenses. In some cases, students who are not eligible for BAföG in Germany can also take advantage of BAföG abroad.
- Scholarships from the DAAD and various foundations offer further financing options.
- A semester abroad can also be financed with an education or student loan.
Visa and entry requirements for Chile
In order to receive the so-called Visa de Estudiante , students must submit the following documents to one of the Chilean consulates in Germany before starting their journey:
- the confirmation of admission from the Chilean university
- a police clearance certificate
- a health certificate
- proof of sufficient financial resources
After the visa has been issued, you have to collect it personally in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg or Frankfurt. The student visa for Chile does not include a work permit .
Within 30 days of entering Chile, the Visa de Estudiante must then be stamped by the Policia Internacional and the stay must be legalized . At the same time, the Cedula Identidad Extranjeros , the Chilean identity card for foreigners, must be applied for. With this you can be officially recognized as a student and receive some discounts, for example for public transport.
Is there an alternative to a visa?
If the procedure is too time-consuming for you, you can also travel to Chile as a tourist . German citizens do not need a visa for this, only a passport that is valid for at least six months. Upon entry, the students receive a Tarjeta de Turismo with which they can stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days .
However, this period can be extended by a further 90 days by leaving the student in a neighboring country and then re-entering Chile from there. Alternatively, you can have the Tarjeta de Turismo extended once at the Departamento de Extranjeira for a fee of US $ 100.
Health insurance during a semester in Chile
It is also important to have insurance coverage during the semester stay in Chile: In order to be adequately covered in the event of an accident, international students should take out adequate international health insurance for Chile before they travel .