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Tours and Field Studies for Santiago, Chile

Optional tours and field studies are subject to change. Please contact us for more information.

USAC encourages you to particpate in the tours; however, they are optional and have an additional fee. Deepen your academic experience by turning the tours into a one-credit field study by completing additional academic requirements, keeping a journal, and engaging in discussions of the sites visited to better understand their historical and cultural contexts.

Each field study takes place in three phases: (1) Orientation on the research topic to be studied and visited; (2) Participation in cultural activities, historic excursions, trips in mountain and ocean ecosystems, visits to Native communities, visits to pottery and tapestry centers, tours of Andean architecture and the culture of the European immigrants, introduction to Astronomic observations, and visits to traditional and modern Chilean industries; (3) Observation, writing in a journal , and photos while on the trip. Delivery of the project to the instructor will take place within three weeks after the completion of the trip.

Destinations may change at the discretion of the Resident Director. The following are possible destinations, view term calendars for specifics. Due to continually evolving COVID-19 regulations some tours and field studies may or may not be available during the term you choose to study abroad.

Northern Chile

Research topics: history, art, architecture, geology, ecology, astronomy of the San Pedro de Atacama, Andean Altiplain, and Atacama Desert regions.

The tour itinerary includes excursions to the village of San Pedro, near the Atacama salt flats and the Andes mountains, as well as the oasis towns of Toconao, Camar, and Socaire; visits to the archaeological museum and sites of the native Atacama culture, with its Inca and Spanish influences; guided excursions to the magnificent national parks of Moon Valley, Flamingo Lagoons in the Atacama salt flats, and the Andean Antiplain Lakes; a night astronomical session in the Atacama Desert; an exploration of the protected ecological area of the Cactus Valley; and a refreshing visit to the Puritama thermal baths.

Southern Chile

Research topics: history, art, architecture and geography of Southern Chile, Mapuche Native culture, biodiversity, German colonization, Chiloe Island and its anthropology and mythology.

The tour itinerary includes visits to Puerto Montt and the fishing port of Angelmó with its traditional markets; the famous ferry crossing to Chiloe Island, the second biggest island in South America with traditional mixed European and native culture; tours of the famed wooden churches of Chiloe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the magical little island of Aucar and the attractive Puñihuil Natural Penguin Reserve; Puerto Varas and the lakes, rapids, and rain forests of the Llanquihue Region with its stunning volcanic panorama. The trip also introduces you to the typical small towns of the German colonization and a refreshing visit to the Aguas Calientes thermal baths.

Quick Details

2021-22 App. Cycle

Fall/Yearlong: Open

Spring: Open

2022-23 App. Cycle

Summer Sessions: Opens 9/1
Fall/Yearlong: Opens 9/1
Spring: Opens 9/1


Preferred GPA: 2.5

Program Type



US Credit

Program Capacity

Semester: 60 students

Summer: 40 students


English | Spanish


APICH--Associación de Programas Internacionales en Chile AG

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