• CASA-Santiago

    CASA-Santiago provides students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Chilean culture and the Spanish language

  • Student Programs RO

    Cultural Activities

    CASA-Santiago students participate in a 3-day DRCLAS-sponsored trip to Argentina and day trips to emblematic sites in Chile

  • cerro casa spring 2018


    While abroad, students have the opportunity to enroll at top universities in Santiago for transfer credit.

  • Internship Opportunities

    While abroad, students have the opportunity to participate in internships in organizations in the public and private sectors.

  • valparaiso casa spring 2018

    Full Immersion

    Students undergo a full immersion through a two-week orientation and by living with an Chilean family during the semester

The CASA-Santiago program provides undergraduate students with the unique opportunity for full immersion in Chilean culture and the Spanish language, while receiving transfer credit to apply toward their home university degree. Students take a Pro-Seminar course as well as 3-4 local university courses with Chilean students, completed at one or more of three top local universities: Univeridad de Chile (UCH), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), and Universidad Diego Portales (UDP). The CASA-Santiago staff provide students with a list of possible courses and provide individual academic advising. The program includes an orientation program to assist students in learning about the Chilean lifestyle and help familiarize them with Santiago, and also offers cultural activities, local excursions, and lectures to introduce participants to the local context.

Find out more by watching our video and checking out the informational tabs below and to the left:

Harvard DRCLAS - CASA Chile Study Abroad Video

For Harvard students: Students interested in participating in the Harvard College Study Abroad Program in Chile must apply through the Office of International Education (OIE). See details here.

For non-Harvard students: please contact Pilo Mella for application information.

If you have questions, please email Pilo Mella.

To study abroad during the Spring term, all applications are due to DRCLAS by October 1.
To study abroad during the Fall term, applications must be submitted by March 1.

Frequently asked questions by students participating in the Study Abroad Program in Chile


1. Do I need to apply for a student visa before I leave the USA? If so, how?
Yes, you do. Before coming to Chile, the DRCLAS Regional Office will send you an acceptance packet where you will find the required documentation to process your student visa at the closest Chilean consulate. The address for the Chilean Consulate in Boston is 1 Bernardo O'Higgins Circle, Brighton, MA 02135-7840. Contact information: Telephone: 617-232-0416; Fax: 617-232-0817; Email: For more on visa requirements, please click here.

2. Will I be able to register my student visa when I get to Chile?
Yes. Once you arrive in Chile and during the first few days of orrientation week, you and your study abroad fellows will go, with the CASA Student Coordinator to the Chilean International Police, to register your student visa and then to the National Identification Agency to get your RUT (governement-issued ID).

3. How long is the Harvard Orientation?
The Harvard Orientation lasts about a week and is immediately before the start of academic classes at the local universities. Usually the last week or so of February (Spring semester abroad) or the last week or so of July (Fall semester abroad).

4. What will I be doing as part of this Orientation?
The Orientation Program includes an immersion experience in Chilean language, cultural history, politics and literature. There are also a number of cultural visits scheduled, as well as visits to the local universities. You will have ample time to prepare and discuss strategies for taking full advantage of the opportunities available in Chile.

5. If I have a cell phone do I need to bring it with me?
Depending on the technology that your cell phone has, you might be able to use it while you're abroad. Check with your service provider for roaming fees and international plans. If your phone has been “unlocked” (usually the case for older phones), you will be able to replace your SIM card for a SIM card of a local provider in Chile. In case you want to buy a cell phone while you are down here, there are several cell phone companies where you can find very competitive prices; for example: Movistar, Entel PCS and Claro.

6. Will I receive help in registering for my classes?
Absolutely. The Harvard staff will assist throughout the process of class registration and selection. We also recommend that you contact students who have participated in the program in the past for information about class selection and other aspects of the program, including internship and community service opportunities.

7. How many classes should I take?
Harvard requires a minimum of thirty credits during a semester abroad. Due to the wide array of choices for lecture courses and seminars in the several schools of Universidad de Chile, as well as the varied choices offered at Universidad Catolica and Universidad Diego Portales, it is difficult to calculate prior to your arrival the courseload/credit transfer. The "tentative course list" that is turned into the OIE is not binding, and therefore, subject to change once you become better informed of your options. Communication with the Office of International Education and your department is of utmost importance.

8. Who at Harvard should I inform about what classes I am taking in Chile?
First, you need to follow the requirements within your concentration, second you should stop by the Office of International Education (OIE) and make sure to register the classes that you are planning on taking while abroad, using the Harvard College Degree Credit for Study out of Residence form. If you happen to change a course that was not listed in the Harvard College Degree Credit for Study out of Residence form, you have to e-mail the OIE and update them with the new information of your classes. If you are planning on taking a class that will provide you with credits for you concentration, this course needs to be approved by the department that your concentration belongs to.

9. What types of classes can I take?
You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide array of lecture courses and seminars covering many different disciplines at three different universities. You can choose to take classes designed especially for foreign students, regular university classes with other Chilean students, or a mix of both. Additionally, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and the Universidad de Chile (UCH) have a Spanish Program where students can take classes in Spanish to improve their grammar and language skills.

Will I get a chance to meet both foreign students and Chilean students?
Yes. All three of the universities have foreign students as well as Chilean students. The three universities have well-developed exchange programs, including orientations, dinners, sports teams, and other organized social events where you will get to know other foreign students. In addition, you will be matched up with Chilean "host" students who will show you around the city and introduce you to the culture. Even if you do not choose to take classes at a certain university, you can still be included in their exchange program. Additionally, you will meet many students through your classes: you can choose to take classes specifically designed for exchange students, classes with mostly Chilean students, or a mix of both.

10. Will I have time to travel?
Yes. Depending on the time of year, there are holidays and scheduled breaks. Many students have also traveled before and after their semester in Chile. Santiago is two hours from the beach and one hour from the Andes mountains.

11. Will I need health insurance?
Yes. You will not be permitted to participate in the program without valid health insurance. You either need to demonstrate that you have health insurance independently or purchase continuing coverage through Harvard. International SOS is not health insurance. Make sure your health insurance covers you in your destination country(ies). For more information, please visit:

12. Does Harvard offer activities throughout the semester?
Yes. Harvard schedules cultural and social activities throughout the semester, such as viewing plays, visiting museums, and exploring various parts in around the city, including Valparaiso. A DRCLAS-sponsored 3-day trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina is also scheduled.

13. Will I have access to the Harvard Office in Santiago throughout the semester?
Yes. The office and the staff are always available to assist you. You should feel free to drop by anytime. The office is also available to study on weekends, with full access to the Harvard network.

14. Does financial aid extend to study abroad?
Yes. Harvard supports students studying abroad for credit. Contact your financial aid officer for more information.

15. How do I book travel to and from Chile?
A few good places to search for air tickets are the websites:, and is a good resources for comparing prices between various airlines, but after discovering which airline offers the cheapest option, it may serve you best to go to that website directly, because adds an additional cost for buying through their website.

Please note that the popular websites and do not display American Airlines flights, which are sometimes the cheapest options. Thus, one should compare the options at with those options at and

16. What level of Spanish do I need to participate in the Harvard Study Abroad Program in Chile?
We recommend that all participants have Spanish proficiency corresponding to Spanish C level. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact Student Programs Manager, Pilo Mella (

Useful Links

Check out useful study abroad links: 


Fall 2018
Kelsey Carpenter– Cornell University
Erica Foster-Allen – Brown University
Thomas MacMullen – Brown University
Pedro Polanco – Brown University

Spring 2018
Daniel Davis– Brown University
Melissa Fineman– Brown University
Doris Gonzalez – Brown University
Isabelle Jackson – Brown University
Nicole Kim– Brown University
Nora Lawrence – Brown University
Anne Savaria-Watson– Brown University

Fall 2017
Julia Kirschenbaum – Brown University
Anne Savaria-Watson– Brown University
Anastacia Valdespino – Harvard University

Spring 2017
Emma Lloyd – Brown University
Brenda Morales – Brown University
Austen Sharpe – Brown University

Fall 2016
Margot Cohen – Brown University
Dylan Cole – Brown University
Stephanie Johnson – Harvard University
Eric Song – Brown University

Spring 2014
Christine Mansour - Concentration: Psychology

Fall 2013
Hannah Lam - Concentration: Linguistics
Tanner Strickland - Concentration: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Spring 2013
Louisa French - Concentration: History and Literature

Fall 2012
Wesley Brown - Concentration: Romance Languages and Literatures

Spring 2012
Amelia Rose Knudson - Concentration: Social Studies
Leah Victoria Schecter -Concentration: Social Studies

Spring 2011
Maya Espada - Concentration: Social Studies

Spring 2010
Samuel Crihfield - Concentration: English
Caitriona McGovern - Concentration: Global Health

Fall 2009
Richard Coffin - Concentration: Government
Pierre Griffith - Concentration: Government
Lili Kocsis - Concentration: Linguistics
Pallas Snider - Concentration: Social Studies

Spring 2009
Laura Dale - Concentration: Physics
Jessica Erickson - Concentration: Social Studies
Joseph Michalakes - Concentration: Social Studies

Fall 2008
Rachel Marx - Harvard Law School
Sun Jung Kim - Harvard Law School
Bartholomew Quintans - Concentration: Social Studies

Spring 2008
Rebecca Compton - Concentration: Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Carolyne Buckley - Concentration: Biochemical Sciences

Fall 2007
Roger Fu - Concentration: Earths & Planetary Sciences, Asthrophysics
Angela Lou - Concentration: Human Evolutionary Biology

Fall 2006
Joseph Florez - Concentration: History
Enrique Hernandez - Concentration: Literature
Jennifer Mcdavitt - Concentration: History of Art & Architecture
Berber Krop - Concentration: Government
Natalie Sherman - Concentration: History

Spring 2006
Jessica Bloom - Concentration: Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Gregor Brodsky - Concentration: History & Literature
Alejandro Michel Farias - Concentration: Psychology
Sasha Harris-Lovett - Concentration: History of Science
Victoria Ilyinsky - Concentration: Latin American Studies
Jacob Kopas - Harvard Law School
Meghan Sherlock - Concentration: English & American Literature & Language

Fall 2005
Carolyn Amole - Concentration: Government
Christopher Cullen - Concentration: Environmental Science & Public Policy
Olivia Gage - Concentration: Romance Language & Literature
Hajin Kim - Concentration: Economics
Katherine Plotnick - Concentration: Literature
Dobromir Rahnev - Concentration: Psychology
David Ray - Concentration: Economics

Spring 2005
Joseph Florez - Concentration: History
Elizabeth Hochberg - Concentration: Romance Language & Literature
Ian McClean - Concentration: Government
Summer Montacue - Concentration: Environmental Science & Public Policy

Program Costs
Below are the estimated costs for participation in one semester (mid-February to mid-July, or mid-July to mid-December). When considering the program cost, you may wish to review funding opportunities offered by your university. Harvard students can explore funding options through Harvard Funding Sources and the Harvard Financial Aid Office.

Spring/Fall 2018 Program Costs

Cancellation Policy

  • Up to 60 days (prior to two months) of the program start-date, DRCLAS will refund 90% of the program fee billed. 
  • Between two months to eight days (prior to one week) of the program start-date, DRCLAS will refund 70% of the total program fee billed. 
  • Between one week and one day before the program starts, DRCLAS will refund 50% of the total program fee billed.  
  • On or after the program start date, while the student is traveling to or is in-country, DRCLAS will not grant any refunds under any circumstances.
  • Please note that the $100 confirmation fee is not refundable under any circumstances.


A Second Semester Abroad

By Aidan Garrett, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)

After spending a semester abroad in Spain, I felt compelled to continue my abroad experience in Latin America, improving my Spanish and visiting South America for the first time. With nothing but positive memories from Granada, the decision to remain abroad was simple. Deciding between the CASA programs in Argentina and Chile, I ultimately settled on Santiago, eager to...

Read more about A Second Semester Abroad

4643 Vasco de Gama

By Miranda Zhen-Yao Van-Boswell, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)


Vivir en la ciudad de Santiago como estudiante de intercambio ha sido una experiencia inolvidable. Cabe decir que este rincón del mundo es infinitamente distinto a los lugares que había conocido. Quizás porque soy hija de...

Read more about 4643 Vasco de Gama

Voy & Vuelvo

By Chris Packs, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)


Arriving in Santiago one week before the start of the semester, I knew I would struggle to choose my classes. Although I was already familiar with...

Read more about Voy & Vuelvo

Surprising myself

By Jaia Clingham-David, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Cornell University ’20)

Before the semester started, I had very few expectations about what my experience in Chile was going to be like. But Santiago turned out to be the perfect place for me to spend my semester. My friends and family normally considered me to be a city-person, preferring glass buildings and concrete sidewalks to hiking in the wooded mountains. Santiago gave me that city life that I enjoy as well as...

Read more about Surprising myself

Program Dates:
• Spring 2019: February 23, 2019 – Mid-July 2019
• Fall 2019: July 20,  2019– Mid-December 2019

• Spring 2019: October 1, 2018
• Fall 2019: March 1, 2019 

At a Glance
City: Santiago
Language Requirement: Intermediate/Advanced
Calendar: Semester 

CASA is a non-profit consortium of nine leading United States research universities formed for the purpose of organizing and delivering rigorous education abroad programs in collaboration with leading world universities. CASA member institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, The University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, and Trinity College Dublin. The administering institution for the CASA-Santiago program is Harvard University.

CASA-Santiago provides students with the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Chilean culture and the Spanish language while receiving transfer credit to apply towards their undergraduate degree.

Upon the students’ arrival, CASA-Santiago facilitates a two week-long orientation to ensure the students’ transition into Chilean culture both academic and social, is a smooth one, through daily presentations and cultural, practical and academic-related events. As part of orientation, cultural events are scheduled, such as a visits to local markets and museums, as well as visits to the local universities.

Please see our "Academics and Sample Courses" page for all academic information.

Trips and Activities

In addition to the academic, social, and cultural support provided to the students, CASA-Santiago coordinates activities and trips throughout the semester. The CASA-Santiago program includes a three-day trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where students will have the opportunity to experience Argentinian culture and history, expanding their appreciation of and exposure to Latin America. Additionally, students enjoy a three-day trip to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, the most arid desert in the world. Students will visit geysers, the Atacama Salt Flats and the Chaxa Lagoon, home to flamingos and other bird species. They will also visit the Valle de la Luna and Valle de la Muerte. Both trips are included in the program fee.  The CASA-Santiago program also organizes local excursions that offer students the opportunity to expand their cultural knowledge on various topics. With the collaboration of specialized professors, students will analyze relevant aspects of history, art, the environment, and society in Chile. In addition to full-day trips to Valparaíso and Isla Negra outside of Santiago, possible local trips around the city might include:

  • Villa Grimaldi and/or el Museo de la Memoria – Military Dictatorship
  • The Center for Mapuche Culture in La Pintana – Indigenous Culture
  • El Mercado Central and La Vega – Gastronomy
  • Barrio Patronato – Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Santiago
  • Los Adobes de Argomedo – Folk Dances and Music
  • Plaza de Armas, Catedral de Santiago, and La Moneda – Historical Sites
  • Local Theater Productions

To enhance the cultural and linguistic experience, students live with local families.

On-Site Support
CASA staff assist students upon arrival and throughout their stay in Buenos Aires. 

Chile is #1 on Lonely Planet's Top Travel Destinations for 2018. Santiago was ranked No.1 by the NY Times: "The 41 Places to Go in 2011", and ranked top 3 in the World´s 10 Most Loved Cities.

Student Testimonials:"Would you recommend this program to other students? Why or why not?”

“Yes! In large part due not only to the academic value of the program, but also for the amazing people who have dedicated their all to ensuring we have only the best time in our time here in Chile, the quality of my experience in my semester here with CASA Chile far exceeded my hopes and expectations, to the point where I wish I had the time and resources to spend another semester in Santiago. Words cannot describe how much I would like for more students to take advantage of such a unique opportunity.”

“YES!!! I think it’s a fantastic program in that you can get as much independence and support as you need! You really get the chance to live immersed in the language and the culture.”

“100%. I think my time in Chile changed the course of my education and life goals.”

“YESSSSSSSSS. Out of all the CASA programs, I am so glad I chose Chile. The vibe of the city, the DRCLAS office, the friends I’ve made here, the trips we’ve done, and all they’ve provided us, have made this an unforgettable experience that I would 100% recommend to any other student who is thinking about studying abroad.”

Don't forget to check out our external website, here!

Contact Pilo Mella, CASA-Santiago Resident Director