UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Winter: Chile: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change (ARHU/HONR/CMLT/GVPT/HIST/LASC)

Pucón, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Valparaiso, Chile
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Language of Instruction: 

Chile 2018
This course is an introduction to contemporary Chilean society and culture. It provides students with basic notions regarding the Spanish colonialization and its role in shaping local cultural, economic and sociopolitical structures and ideologies that, although highly contested, continue to exert their influence today.
The course explores how developments such as the Cold War exacerbated Chile's internal social and economic tensions resulting in the 1973 coup d'etat and ensuing military dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet. The role of the United States in the halting the eventual creation of what president Salvador Allende had termed ‘the Chilean road to socialism’ is also examined.
In addition to becoming a notorious example of human rights violations and state-sponsored repression, Pinochet’s regime is often credited with adopting the economic measures responsible for the country’s financial stability and remarkable prosperity. Following Milton Friedman and The Chicago Boy’s advice, the reforms instituted by Pinochet (consolidated under the subsequent democratic administrations) transformed Chile into one of the first neoliberal economies in the world. The benefits of this thriving economy are, however, unevenly distributed, with Chile topping the list of OECD in terms of wealth distribution inequality.
In addition to the traditional demands for labor reform, retirement benefits and access to health care, in the past two decades, the Chilean student movement has mobilized de entire country demanding an end to the existing profit-driven educational system and a complete structural and legislative overhaul that would eventually provide free, quality, education for all Chileans.
This course pays particular attention to various popular movements before, during, and after Pinochet’s dictatorship. By highlighting their democratic orientation, community-based strategies, and artistic creativity, it seeks to emphasize their cultural and political contribution.
The onsite itinerary will guide students through numerous locations referenced in the assigned readings, including government and cultural institutions like La Moneda, Plaza de Armas, and the National Cathedral, as well as museums, theaters and parks for reflection and the preservation of collective memory (Villa Grimaldi, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, and two of Pablo Neruda’s houses in Santiago and Isla Negra).
In addition to its academic contents, students in this course will take part in a mentoring and cultural exchange project in collaboration with an elementary school in Valparaiso where they will help run a week-long summer camp-type program for 20 children ages 7 to 12. During this time students will lead fun and educational activities such as sports sessions, music and dance workshops and art projects. Students will also assist the children in tending to the community garden and other tasks related to the upkeep of the school premises.
All of these components combined will enable students to apply the knowledge they have already acquired in different areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences and use this first-hand experience to develop a concrete foundation in reference to Chile upon which they can continue to build from the perspective of their respective professional disciplines.
The program will take place in the following three locations:
Santiago: The capital of Chile is located on the mid-section inland plain and is encircled by the Andean mountains; it functions as the financial, cultural, and political center of the country. With its busy and cosmopolitan downtown area and a variety of distinctive neighborhoods, Santiago is the fifth largest city in South America with a population that surpasses 6 million inhabitants.
Valparaiso: The unique seaport city declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. It is composed of dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean and features a labyrinth of streets, stairs and cobblestone alleyways all covered with eclectic and brightly colored street art.
Pucón: With an extraordinary view of the Villarrica volcano, Pucon is a beautiful town that stretches along the beach of a lake also called Villarrica. The town itself is small enough to walk around in an hour or so, but it offers an enormous variety of sports and outdoor activities.

Chile 2018

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

UMD and non-UMD freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply.

There are NO language requirements for this course.

All the course contents are covered in English, and if you are concerned about interacting with the children during the week-long summer camp, you have nothing to worry about. The children are friendly and fun and, in the past communication has never been an issue, even for those UMD students who did not know Spanish at all.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss possible accommodations.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • ARHU350: Chile: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change
  • CMLT398E: Selected Topics in Comparative Studies: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change
  • GVPT309F: Topics in International Relations: Chile: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change
  • HIST329N: Special Topics in History: Chile: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change
  • HONR349C: Honors Colloquium: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change
  • LASC369C: Chile: Chilean Culture, Democracy and Social Change

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

ARHU350 has been approved for the Diversity-Cultural Competence requirement of the General Education program.

You are required to participate in two pre-departure meetings and complete preparatory reading prior to departure.

You will stay in shared accommodations in hotels or local hostels.

Costs are current for winter 2018. Costs for winter 2019 will be updated shortly.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $37
Tuition $2,583
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $830
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $400
Visa $0
Passport $140
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $1,250
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $500
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Vivianne A. Salgado, : Associate Director of the Jimenez-Porter Writers' House, is a native of Chile and studied fiction for four years with Pia Barros at Ergo Sum, one of the most prolific literary workshops during Pinochet's dictatorship. Vivianne received an M.A. in Contemporary Latin American Literature from University of Maryland. She is a fiction instructor at the Writers’ House and has lead the Chile Education Abroad winter term course since its inception in 2006. She teaches a Freshman Connection introduction to literature and critical theory as well as a summer creative writing course for the Terp Young Scholars Program.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact Vivianne Salgado.

For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Visits to Nobel Prize Winner Pablo Neruda's beautiful homes in Santiago and Isla Negra as you read his poetry
  • Experience managing a week-long summer camp with local elementary school children in Valparaiso
  • Visit to Pucon where you will have the chance to relax and witness the remarkable beauty of the Chilean Lake District
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Winterterm 2019 10/01/2018 10/11/2018 01/01/2019 01/20/2019