Santiago, Chile

Course Information

Santiago, Chile | 2017 Summer Sessions I & II

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You will enroll in three to five credits per session, plus one additional credit if enrolled in the optional Northern Chile Field Study. At least one 3-credit course is required each summer session. Course availability is contingent upon student interest and enrollment is subject to change. Please visit the USAC website for complete course descriptions and prerequisites.

Spanish Language and Literature Studies

Summer language courses are intensive, with three to four credits of Spanish taught in each four-week session. Language courses have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills is highly recommended to complement Intermediate Spanish I through Advanced Spanish I.

Session I

Session II

Latin American and Cultural Studies

The following courses focus largely on the history and cultures of the Andes region and the country, and provide a multi-disciplinary perspective to your studies. Courses are taught in English unless noted in Spanish; most courses taught in Spanish are appropriate for students with four or more semesters of college Spanish.

Session I

Session II

To request a course syllabus:

Field studies

Deepen your academic experience by turning the optional Northern Chile Tour into a 1-credit field study by completing additional academic readings, assignments, and research. Students who choose the field study option will select a particular topic of interest that relates to the history and culture of the region visited and prepare a research paper. Potential field study research topics include: history, art, architecture, geology, ecology, and astronomy of the San Pedro de Atacama, Andean, Altiplain, and Atacama Desert regions.


USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development and are counted as part of your credit load. Students are placed in a Spanish-speaking environment, with high exposure to culture and language, and must be able to communicate at an advanced language level. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Santiago internships fall into the broad categories of education, social welfare, museums, and hotel/hospitality. Previous placements have included: teaching English; communication, broadcasting and design in non-profit institutions; giving workshops to children; and leading spare time activities to children affected by cancer and psychiatric disabilities. Other internship sites are possible. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview with the internship sponsor on site.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Santiago program, a minimum GPA of 3.0, 300/400-level Spanish proficiency, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

U.S. Professors

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following U.S. professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.

Session I:

Dr. Maris Thompson, California State University, Chico

Course offered:

Dr. Thompson (Ph.D., UC Berkeley) teaches courses in educational equity, literacy, and democracy in the School of Education at California State University, Chico. She has taught in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador and Nairobi, Kenya and is passionate about international teaching and learning opportunities. In 2015, Dr. Thompson received a Maggie Award for her work on gender and inclusion at CSU, Chico. Her current research interests focus on the experiences of first generation and international students in higher education.

Session II:

Dr. Janneli Miller, Fort Lewis College

Course offered:

Dr. Miller (Ph.D. University of Arizona) teaches Environmental Studies and Anthropology at Ft. Lewis College in Durango. Dr. Miller has taught in Mexico, China, India, South Africa, and Costa Rica, receiving a Fulbright for her work with the Tarahumara in northern Mexico. She is an award-winning journalist and photographer who loves international travel and teaching.

Course Descriptions

Advanced Spanish I

Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

Este curso de español de nivel avanzado ha sido diseñado para alumnos que ya hayan completado tres años de español y, aunque no presenten problemas de comunicación para realizar tareas cotidianas, precisen perfeccionar su control sobre los diferentes registros del español oral y escrito. Asimismo, este curso ofrece a los alumnos a la oportunidad de ampliar su vocabulario en ámbitos más específicos y técnicos y de mejorar la precisión gramatical en su producción tanto oral como escrita.

This advanced level course of Spanish has been designed for students who have completed three years of Spanish and although they may manage in completing daily tasks and interactions, they still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, this course offers the students the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary in specific and technical areas, and to improve their grammatical accuracy in oral and written production.

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Dances of Latin America

Summer Session I (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)

This course aims to give students a comprehensive introduction to a variety of dances of Latin America. The course follows a practical model, in which students learn the essential steps of a selection of four dances typical of the region. Through the medium of dance, it is hoped that students will acquire a greater understanding and interest in Latin American culture.

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Ecological Perspectives on Environmental Health and Medical Anthropology

Summer Session II (Anthropology; 400-level; 3 credits)

Ecological medicine examines healing processes intrinsic to life in ecosystems and humans. The course introduces students to topics in environmental health and medical anthropology from an ecological perspective. We examine ways in which health care systems contribute to environmental degradation. Students learn about the Precautionary Principle, Health Care without Harm, hazardous medical waste, and contemporary indigenous modes of healing that foster healthy ecosystems. Students will gain a dynamic understanding of the field by learning skills and strategies necessary to promote environmental restoration through development and utilization of medical practices that do not increase illnesses of humans or the planet.

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Elementary Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of Spanish grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary and useful expressions are studied. The goals of these courses are to build reading, writing, listening and, above all, speaking skills.

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Elementary Spanish II

Summer Session II (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary, and useful expressions are studied. The objective of these courses is to build reading, writing, listening, and above all, speaking skills. Prerequisite: one semester of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course emphasizes learning the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. A review of basic elements, such as the present tense, ser and estar, preterit and imperfect, etc. is included. Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish II

Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This class continues the learning of the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. This level is specifically orientated towards functional and social communication, oral as well as written. Prerequisite: three semesters of college Spanish.

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Latin America and its Cultures

Summer Session I (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)

This course provides an overview of Latin American Culture, focusing on Chilean realities, encompassing diverse cultural contexts, from the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures, to latest expressions of Latin American popular culture. This course will introduce basic notions on cultural studies; including prehistory, religion, art, economy and social organization; how they integrate to form different cultural identities and how they face modern challenges in the light of a globalized world.

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Latin American Cinema

Summer Session I (Film, Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Film, Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)

The purpose of this course is to provide a Pan-American vision of Latin American cinema from the 1980s to the present. The course will focus on the relationships established between societies and cinema, observing how the links are made in different aesthetics, expressing different cinematographic language and content. Therefore, through the analysis of every film, the course will unveil the diverse cultural imagery which has been part of the artistic tradition of the continent.

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Latin American International Relations

Summer Session I (400-level; 3 credits)

During its independent life, Latin America has been a live performer in the international scenery. Nevertheless, its behavior has been plenty of times only a reaction to external factors, ensuring its own interest and rules. Political treaties from Europe and United States towards this region are one of the many factors that Latin-American international relations have usually had to deal with.

This course covers international relations as from a Latin-American perspective and how, as from the early XXI century, these have projected themselves worldwide in several arenas such as the political, social and the cultural ones. Along with the formerly described, it is proposed to discuss the projection of international relations in terms of the interests that matter to this region in particular.

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Native Cultures of Chile

Summer Session II (Anthropology, Other Foreign Language; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course provides an overview of Chile’s native cultures and languages, encompassing diverse contexts from the north to the southern region.

It will also analyse the present situation of the native peoples as a reflection of a long history of resistance against colonization and foreign influences.

The course will introduce important aspects of the native cultures, including history, religion, economy, and social organization. It will also analyse how these elements combine to form cultural identities, and how these identities are conveyed through language and other ways of expression.

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Northern Chile Field Study

Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 1 credit)

At the conclusion of Session I and the beginning of Session II, you'll have the extraordinary opportunity to explore some of Northern Chile's historical sites and nature. USAC encourages every student to participate in this tour; however, the segment is optional. To participate on this Field Study, students must register for the Northern Chile Tour which has an additional fee.

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Peace, Conflict and Democracy in Latin America

Summer Session II (History, Political Science, Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Description not available at this time.

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Spanish Composition I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Classes revolve around compositions, which the student writes almost daily. Part of the class is used to correct the compositions or exercises that the student does outside of class. New advanced grammatical topics are also introduced and exercises reinforcing the use of that element are done in class. Also, part of the class is utilized for selected readings, discussion and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Spanish Composition II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Composition II is designed for students with 5 semester of college level Spanish language Study. The focus of this course is to improve learners´ written abilities through the analysis first and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics will be reviewed in order to enhance and refine the learners´ grammatical competence.

Composición II está diseñado para estudiantes con 5 semestre de nivel universitario español estudio. El objetivo de este curso es mejorar estudiante escrito primero de capacidades mediante el análisis y la posterior producción de diferentes tipos de textos. Además, un número de temas gramaticales se revisarán a fin de mejorar y perfeccionar la competencia gramatical de estudiante.

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Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills

Summer Session I (300-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (300-level; 1 credit)

The objective of this course is to facilitate the acquisition of language necessary to express oneself in daily situations as well as in more difficult contexts. Different conversational themes and related vocabulary are introduced for discussion. Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish.

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Student Movements for Democracy and Social Change

Summer Session I (300-level; 3 credits)

Historically, education has been used to prepare young people for the workforce, as a means of social control, and as a mechanism for social transformation. Through an examination of influential global case studies from the early 20th century to the present, this course will consider the following questions: Can education be used as a tool to improve society and make it more democratic? Can schooling respond to rapidly changing cultural and social conditions, and help students to confront them effectively? The course will help students to understand the ways that education, in both formal and informal contexts, can serve as a critical site for both reproducing social structures and reconfiguring them. Student movements for democracy in Chile, Latin America, Egypt, and the US will be of particular focus.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Poetry

Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 600-level; 3 credits)

Presents a clear and thorough study of Latin American poetry from the period of the Vanguards (20's) until the present, taking into account its diversity and experimentation. Students will study the texts within the historical context in which they were written. A variety of authors from Central and South America will be discussed. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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