Chile (IFMSA-Chile) - Concepcion
All of them
All year long but February
Host family
Host Family

We would like to welcome you to the "capital of Chilean rock" (as we like to call it), since numerous bands of this genre have been founded in this city, such as the Latin American recognized bands Los Tres and Los Bunkers, and the now missing Emociones Clandestinas and Santos Dumont, or heavier rock bands such as Machuca. Also, known musicians have declared that their first massive presentations have been in this city, as is the case of Los Prisioneros. Concepción is also known as "the university city", for the number of universities that exist and which also represent an alternative to various regions of Chile. This is why there is a feedback effect in Concepción, due to that the city is formed by many young adults coming from other places of Chile. This makes the city to be characterized by a youth culture such as music, art, social demands, etc.

About Concepción

Concepción is a city in the southern Chile. It was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1550 north of the Bío Bío River, at the site which is today known as Penco. At that time it was given the name Concepción del Nuevo Extremo. More than once the city has been destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis. One in 1570, another on the 25 May 1751, at which point it was decided to move Concepción further from the sea to its present location in the Mocha Valley.

Today, with a population of over 970,000, Concepción is the second largest city of the country. The Universidad de Concepción, founded in 1919, and with its main campus in the city became the first private university in Chile. The neighbouring harbour of Talcahuano holds the largest naval base in the country. The Gran Concepción is the name that receives the whole metropolitan area, which includes Talcahuano, Hualpen, San Pedro de la Paz, Chiguayante, Hualqui and Penco.

Like all of Chile, the Concepción region is seismically active, with much of Concepción destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1939. An earthquake in 1953 damaged 15% of the town's buildings. Another major earthquake in 1960 had a nearby epicenter. On February 27, 2010, an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude struck at city which was the epicenter. The effects were felt as far away as São Paulo, Brazil. But don't worry, all our building are anti-seismic so you will feel the shake but nothing else going to happen..



Hospital Clinico Regional de Concepcion

Hospital las Higueras

Hospital San José de Coronel

6 projects available in the following Universities:
-Universidad de Concepcion
-Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion

Host family


Host family


The transportation system has buses and shared taxis services that reach every single place in the metropolitan area. Don't worry about it, we are going to teach you how to move around the city so in a few days you will be able to go around on your own.


Even if we have 3 Local Committes and their own hospitals when the time come to social activities all gather together to have a more remarkable experience. Our Social Program usually includes:

  • City Tour
  • Internacional Dinner
  • Trips to several tourist places near Concepción (Monitor Huascar, Mocha Island, Caleta Lenga, etc)

In winter we add:

In summer we add:

  • Beaches (Playa Blanca, Punta de Parra, etc)




  • Universidad de Concepción, (University of Concepción). A beautiful university with big gardens. Must see La Pinacoteca.
  • Museo Hualpén, (Hualpén museum). A beautiful old house that was converted to a museum holding the pieces of Mr. Pedro del Rio Zañartu, a world traveller.
  • Old mining operations. 40 km south of Concepción is the old mining town of Lota that offers tours of an old coal mine.
  • Chivilingo. Near Lota is the Chile´s first electric plant, today a beautiful museum and picnic area.
  • The Huascar, at the naval base in Talcahuano, the Huascar is a ship that was captured from the Peruvian navy in the War of the Pacific. It is a symbol of Chilean national pride and is the oldest floating historical relic in the world. Visit the museum to learn more.


  • Learn Spanish, because of its weather, friendliness of its people, and many students around, this is a great place to learn Spanish. Several schools are available.


Trade in the city is concentrated in the Plaza Independencia (Independence Square), the pedestrian street Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga (built in 1981), and along the major avenues. One such avenue is the Diego Barros Arana street which has developed into the commercial center of the city and the region was until 1907 even known as "calle Comercio" ("Commerce Street"). New commercial centers are being developed around the old central station and the new civic district as a part of the Chilean bicentennial (September 18, 2010). A considerable percentage of local trade is taking place in settlements around the city, in communes such as Hualpén, Talcahuano and San Pedro de la Paz, where there are bustling shopping centers, such as Mall Plaza del Trébol, and where there is a constant commercial development.

Other commercial spots, related to food, are the Vega Monumental and the Mercado Central de Concepción (Central Market of Concepción) places offering various services and agricultural and livestock products.

  • Mall Plaza Trebol[1], on the highway to Talcahuano. Take a bus from Concepción centre or a colectivo. A large North American inspired shopping mall complete with food court, cinema and amusement arcade. Home to shops like Zara, Puma, Lacoste and Lush aswell as several larger department stores.
  • Galerías, these are various shopping arcades located within the centre of the city mainly on Barros Arana and Maipú close to the Plaza de Independencia ( de Armas). Full of inexpensive little clothing stores, beauty salons, hairdressers and any other kind of store you can imagine. Clothing etc tends to be poor quality and the bargain prices reflect this. Popular with locals and worth exploring on a rainy day.

Concepción is not a touristy city so if you are looking for cheap and cheerful souvenirs you will have to use your imagination


  • Fuente Alemana, O´Higgins with Rengo (a block or so from the Plaza de Armas and Cathedral)- the go-to place to eat the completos which Chileans love so much. (FYI completos are a hotdog with mayonnaise, tomato, and avocado). Go downstairs for a quick snack or upstairs for table service.
  • Waya´s Gyros, Plaza Peru, Greek inspired salads and wraps. Healthy and delicious food. Kuntsmann beer is also available by the pitcher so bring some friends, grab a table outside and enjoy!
  • Mercado Central, the city´s main market is full of little restaurants serving up good seafood dishes and other Chilean traditional meals qith fresh produce. Comfort food in a an albeit slightly grubby looking location.
  • Baruch, Plaza Peru, A mixture between Chilean food with new flavours and spices. Clean, good service and friendly staff.
  • Fina Estampa, San Martin with Angol, Peruvian restaurant serving good fresh seafood and great Pisco Sours. Quite a sophisticated place but the pricing is reasonable.
  • Tijuana, On the way to Santa Juana (take a car/taxi), Mexican food. All you can eat on Thursday nights and Sunday lunchtime. While the food is more like a Chilean take on traditional Mexican food, it is delicious and has a great atmosphere with lively music and friendly staff. Tijuana express is in the Plaza Peru - a much smaller venu and limited menu but just as good.


Concepción is full of bars and nightclubs (mainly because is full of university students) so try the traditional Pisco Sour cocktail, a Piscola or even a beer from the German-settled south of the country.

  • Pub Quebec,Janequeo 115, Located next to the main entrance to the Universidad de Concepción, this place cannot be missed! Beer deals before 9PM - 2 for 900 pesos and free popcorn for every table. Full of students and young people. Great atmosphere.
  • Latitud Sur, Víctor Lamas 401, probably one of the more sophisticated bars in Concepción´s centre. Great artesenal beers made in the on-site microbrewery, beautiful interior and a decent food menu. The price reflects the atmosphere though.
  • Reggio, great pub located in Pedro de Valdivia- best night to go is on Thursdays.
  • Margarita Bar, Paicavi #284, great bar, with drinks from all over the world. you'll love it. 
  • Gala, located in the Barrio Estacion, this place is always packed on weekends and is frequented mainly for it´s nightclub located in the basement. Usually drinks deals are available on Piscolas.
  • Choripan, probably the only bar with a pub feel in the Barrio Estacion. Decent live band playing covers of the Doors, Pink Floyd etc. Drinks can be pricey so come for happy hour before midnight.
  • Pub Neruda, on the Diagonal (close to the Plaza Peru) a really relaxed bar which is usually full of a lively young crowd taking advantage of the good prices on litres of beers. The bar´s interior is inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda and gives the place a chilled, cool atmosphere.
  • Blass, Orompello 269, A no frills interior leads to a relaxed crowd of 18-30s that frequent this place. Happy hours are extensive and can be found in evenings and in the early hours of the morning. Their homemade ponche is worth a try. 


  • Tomé, a seaside town about 30 mins from Concepción centre by bus. Go in the spring/ summer to enjoy the beautiful beach. the town itself is fairly forgettable.
  • Reserva Nonguén, a Natural Reserve, just 20 minutes by car from the city center. Untouched native forests and endemic animals such as the Rana de Darwin, Pudú, etc.
  • Península of Hualpén, visit an old whale factory in Chome or a white sanded bay called Ramuntcho.
  • Lenga, go and eat seafood in this seaside town about 15 mins from Concepcion by car and 35 mins by bus (Puchacay, Line 71). This will take much longer as it doesnt take the highway, but is cheaper (0,80 USD). Try some seafood empanadas or mariscal caliente in one of the numerous eating places. Note that these restaurants cannot process payments by credit card, so bring cash. El Viejo Lobo del Mar is recommended.
  • Hualpen Museum and the Desembocadura (rivermouth of the Bio Bio river, located inside "Parque Pedro del Rio Zañartu" this museum has a big variety of archaeological, natural and historical pieces of collection. The only way to get into this place is by car or taxi, do not pay more than 20 USD or 10.000 CLP for a single ride, in this case ask the taxi driver for "Museo Hualpen".
  • Parque Pedro del Rio Zañartu, located ten minutes from downtown it offers beauty natural landscapes and recreational places. Five minutes far you can see the confluence of the Bío Bío River and the Pacific Ocean, you can get into by car or taxi (same fare as Hualpen Museum).
  • Marina del Sol Casino,a new building for gambling and entertainment, located five minutes from the airport and fifteen from downtown. It offers a big variety of games and shows for adults and kids.
  • Termas de Chillán or Las Trancas, a ski town located about two hours from Concepción. Home to a large volcano with great skiing so visit in the winter or enjoy the the thermal spas heated by the volcanic waters year-round.
  • Isla Mochais an island that can be reached from Tirua, a journey five hours south by bus.
  • Santiago de Chile, the capital is just a six hour bus journey away and buses run frequently so if you need a taste of the big city life, it´s not too far.