Chile (IFMSA-Chile) - Santiago de Chile – Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Availability might change during the year
All year long
.Provided by a host family, 2 times per day.
Provided by a Host family. It might happen that during peak months (January, July or August) we aren't able to provide host families to all the students, and in that case a dorm with pocket money ($2000 per worked day) will be provided.
  • We only receive Spanish speaking students with language certificate
  • If the student is not from a spanish speaking country, the university may ask for a spanish profiency certificate. 
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica has its own Application Form, you must fill it once the LEO send it to you in order to be accepted.
  • In order to be accepted, the student must send the AF before December 15th (for exchanges from May to July), and before January 15th (for exchanges from August to December)

Hello future incoming student!!

We are more than pleased to welcome you to Santiago de Chile! This is the biggest, most modern, dynamic and cosmopolitan city in Chile, with a population over 6 millions inhabitants. Home to many events showcasing the very best of Chilean culture, it also hosts of international festivals of sound, flavor and color. The Chilean capital breathes new life into all its visitors!

About Santiago de Chile

Founded in 1541, Santiago de Chile has always been the capital and economic center of Chile. The city has a downtown core of 19th century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. Mountains of the Andes chain can be seen from most points in the city. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards, and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Santiago's steady economic growth over the past few decades has transformed it into a modern metropolis and a development hub in the region. The city is now home to growing theater and restaurant scenes, extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and a rising skyline, including the tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago. It includes several major universities, and has developed a modern transportation infrastructure, including a free flow toll-based, partly underground urban freeway system and the Metro de Santiago, South America's most extensive subway system. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Chilean executive and judicial powers are located in Santiago, but Congress meets in nearby Valparaíso.

The city’s diversity shines through in its many contrasting neighborhoods. Set out to explore the city streets and you’ll discover beautiful and original art galleries, design shops and handicraft markets, as well as a great selection of restaurants, bars and cafes. Night owls can enjoy a taste of lively Latino nightlife in hip Bellavista! Visit downtown Santiago to get a real feel for the city. Learn more about the country going to our fine museums, or wander around the famous Central Market – a gourmet’s delight.

Fans of the great outdoors can head for the hills that surround the city and marvel at panoramic views of Santiago with the magnificent Andes as a backdrop. Take the opportunity to grab a picnic and visit one of the city's many parks.You’ll find first-rate shopping opportunities in the stylish Alonso de Córdoba neighborhood and in the city’s many modern malls. 

Even if we don't usually have problems to receive students in Santiago, we invite you to check out the rest of beautiful cities of our country, which are surrounded by nature and less populated areas. 

Hospital Clínico Universidad Católica (Address: Marcoleta 367, Santiago, Región Metropolitana)
We don't receive any SCORE student

Provided by a host family, 2 times per day. 

Provided by a Host family. It might happen that during peak months (January, July or August) we aren't able to provide host families to all the students, in that case a dorm with pocket money ($2000 per worked day) will be provided.


by plane

You'll most probably arrive to Santiago de Chile by plane, unless you come from Perú, Bolivia or Argentina from where you can take the bus, but it’s a long road anyway. If you come by plane, you will first arrive at the Aeropuerto Internacional Arturo Merino Benítez which was inaugurated around 50 years ago but it remains as one of the most modern and efficient airports in Latin America, being a connection hub between all continents. There is a process of expansion going on in the current Airport so the  whole new International section is increasing its capacity to around 30 million passengers.


The best advice we can give you about is topic is as soon you get in Santiago de Chile, go straight to a any Metro Station and by a Bip! card (Ch$1.550, minimum recharge Ch$1000). This card is used for both subway and bus, and allows you free transfers between the two (you still have to swipe your card, but it's free of charge) in a 2 hour period.

Buses are mostly modern and run around the clock on the main lines. The only way to pay your fare is by bip!-card. You can buy this card and charge it in any metro station or in some stores. The card also allows you to travel by metro.
You can download some apps to check the schedule (by example: Moovit) and move within the city.


It usually includes:

  • Santiago de Chile city tour
  • Internacional Dinner
  • San Cristóbal hill and Bellavista neiborhood tour with cable car.
  • Tour to "La Chascona", one of the Pablo Neruda's houses
  • Aguas de San Ramón, Natural Park trek
  • Trip to Valparaísoand Viña del Mar and "La Sebastiana", one of the Pablo Neruda's houses
  • Tour to "Isla Negra", one of the Pablo Neruda's houses
  • Visit to Museum of memory and human rights
  • General cemetery tour
  • La piojera, traditional bar downtown.

In winter (june-july-august) we add:

  • Sky resort "El Colorado"

In Summer (december-january-february) we add:

  • Trip to "Valle del Elqui"


  • Parque Metropolitano- This vast park is home to Cerro San Cristóbal. From the top there is a beautiful view over the city and, on a clear day, the Andes. The summit can be reached by funicular ($900 one way, $1600 return), cable car, or a 40-60 minute hike. In the park there is also a botanical garden, zoo and two swimming pools. Pope John Paul II visited its summit in 1987.
  • Plaza De Armas- The capital's main plaza, also the site of the national cathedral and main post office. It's few blocks from the traditional Central Market and has its own Metro Station. During the last years, Plaza de Armas has been used as a meeting and recreation place for the community of Peruvian immigrants. This has lead to a lots of cheap international calling centers, traditional Peruvian restaurants and Peruvian spice and food stores, being an interesting place to walk during day hours.
  • Santiago Centro- The Centro (Downtown) area is a nice place for a stroll down some of its major Paseos (streets turned pedestrian walkways), but be aware of pickpockets.
  • La Chascona- One of three homes of the famous poet Pablo Neruda, La Chascona (meaning tangle-haired woman, after his third wife) is in the artistic Bellavista neighborhood. The house is filled with lots of quirky artifacts collected by Neruda throughout his life, as well as artwork by some of his famous friends. Tours are given in English, French ($3500) and Spanish ($2500). [1]
  • La Moneda Palace- Presidential Palace, guided one-hour tours are free, unfortunately with a reservation of at least 7 days in advance. [2](Spanish only)
  • Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda- An underground cultural center under the La Moneda Palace, with rotating art and cultural exhibitions all year. Local crafts and souvenirs are available at middle-high prices in the local gift shop. A café is also within the facilities. Note that most exhibitions are not free of charge, however, prices are very affordable.
  • Parque Forestal- A long park that runs parallel to the Mapocho River, also site of the National Museum of Fine Arts and Modern Art Museum.
  • Theatre & Dance- Santiago offers much in the performing arts, most takes place Friday & Saturday, check listings in El Mercurio. $500-5000 CLP, most offer discounts with student ID, even to foreigners, just ask.
  • Centro Cultural Matucana 100- Inaugurated in 2002, Matucana 100 is an excellent exhibition venue for a variety of arts. From Metro Quinta Normal, walk south on Matucana (towards Alameda), M100 is on the left hand side. [3]
  • Teatro Municipal- Historical performance venue, including international dance and opera, worth a visit even if just from its outside. [4]
  • Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM)- An impressive-scale cultural center built on the former military Diego Portales building which was destroyed in a fire. The center has a art and film focused library with free WiFi, a theater, concert halls, a restaurant, a café, and public spaces for resting. Located on Universidad Católica metro station (Line 1). [5]
  • Jazz Clubs- Santiago is home to an impressive jazz scene, with several intimate clubs scattered throughout the city. The Club de Jazz de Santiago is arguably the best. Located in the northern part of the Nunoa neighborhood, this small club routinely brings in some of the best local, national, and international artists specializing in everything from latin jazz to blues to bossa nova. Check music listings in El Mercurio.
  • Festival de Jazz de Providencia- A very good jazz Festival takes place during summer (typically each February) in Providencia. The Festival de Jazz de Providencia takes place each year in Mapocho's riverside and showcasts the best local bands and some international guests. Tickets are cheap (from about 3 USD in the 2007 edition), so it's a good alternative for summer nights.
  • Museo de la Memoria y Derechos Humanos  - The Museum of Memory and Human Rights is dedicated to commemorating the victims of human rights violations during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). It is located on Matucana 501 avenue, in front of the Quinta Normal metro station. The museum has three floors where various articles related to the subject are exhibited, including government documents, newspapers and magazines, posters, letters and photographs. Along the way there are audiovisual panels with excerpts from documentaries and recordings of the time that allow setting the events shown. It also has a documentation center, a digital library and an esplanade for cultural activities.
Tip: One thing you will quickly realize is that there are lots of stray dogs in Santiago de Chile and those who do have an owner are rarely kept on a leash. The dogs do not seem dangerous at all, you would even say they're pretty well adapted to life in a big city - you can even see one patiently waiting at a crosswalk for the pedestrian light to go green before crossing the street! In general, dogs in residential areas seem to be in pretty good shape, while those living downtown are a bit more skinny but most don't look sick. In other words, even if you're not a big fan of dogs, we don't think you should be too concerned about the ones in Santiago de Chile.
  • Beachesare 90 minutes to the west in Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Reñaca, etc.
  • Ski resortsare 1 hour and a half to the east, like Valle Nevado, El Colorado, etc.
  • Rancaguais 85 km to the south and has some thermal springs and hiking opportunities nearby.
  • Cajon del Maipo, beautiful in spring, some 75 km south east of Santiago, day trip.Some nice places for lunch and tea; many of them only open on week-ends.
  • Isla Negra, a village in the coast, south of Valparaíso. The main and most beloved house of Pablo Neruda is there. This is probably the most interesting of his three houses to visit and the best conserved as it is the only one that the military didn't sack during the coup of 1973. To get there, you can take the Pullman bus ($3700, 2h) from Santiago Alameda station (metro Universidad de Santiago). You can also take the Turbus bus to San Antonio ($1000 - $2000, 1h30) from Alameda as well, and then take a local bus in front of "laPolar" ($450, 30min) that goes along the beautiful coast. Tours in the house cost $3000 and last 30min. Then you can go to the beach.
  • Sierras de Bellavista(150 Kms south of Santiago), wonderful little mountain village, especially after a rainy day. Alpine scenery.