Return to the search form Return to your search results

IES Santiago Health Studies

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring


Santiago, Chile




2.75 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing, 4 semester of college-level Spanish, Spanish course taken within the year prior to program start date

Application Due:

9/24 for Spring, 2/24 for Fall

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This program is designed for students who are in health-related majors, and who are studying the Spanish language. Students take a health studies seminar and are required to do 80 hours of an observership in either a Clinical setting or a Community setting. Students expand their knowledge of the Spanish language through required courses, a homestay and interaction with the host culture through the obervership, neighborhood tours of Santiago, visits to museums and the Club Chileno.

Academic Program

Students take between 15 and 19 semester hours while on the program and all classes are taught in Spanish. Students are required to take the following; a Spanish language course, and Health Studies Seminar which includes the 80 hours of observership. Other courses offered include Human Rights in Latin America, Native Cultures, and a host of courses at the local universities of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile.

For the obersvership, students have two options. If students choose the Clinical Observation they will visit private and public clinics and hospitals where they will interact with different health care professionals. If students choose Community Health they will work with a non-profit organization that works in underprivileged neighborhoods to promote health education and improve living conditions.

Program Dates

This program runs on the Southern Hemisphere schedule. Spring semester starts in late February and runs until June. Fall semester starts in late July and runs until November.

Application Deadline

February 24 for fall semester and September 24 for spring semester.

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with IES, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353


IES Center

The IES Center is located in the Providencia neighborhood in central Santiago. This center includes classrooms, a student lounge, library, kitchen & dining area, staff offices, Wi-Fi and remote printer access. María del Carmen Cortés Arce is the center director and is a native of Santiago. Maricarmen has over 30 years of experience with local development activities with government and nonprofit organizations.

Local Universities

Students with advanced Spanish language abilities may take courses at two local universities.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile was founded in 1888 and is Chile’s largest private University. It is a well respected research institution, gaining prominence for recent innovations in the fields of chemistry, engineering, and vaccination medicine.

Universidad de Chile was founded in 1622 by Spanish colonists and today is one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America. The university is home to Chile’s 159-year-old National Astronomical Observatory, the National Theatre of Chile, the National Ballet of Chile and an international center for Antarctic studies.


Santiago is located in Chile’s central valley, the city is the capital and the largest city of the country. The capital was founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia and named Santiago del Nuevo Extremo (Santiago of New Extemadura) in honor of St. James, patron saint of Spain. The Mapocho River runs through the city and the Andes Mountains can be from most points in the city. Both the mountains and the ocean can be reached from Santiago within a few hours of driving. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile.


Chile occupies a long, narrow strip of land stretching 2,670 miles from north to south, and is located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. At its widest point the country only extends 217 miles. After the founding of Santiago in 1541, Chile became one of the most centralized, homogeneous colonies as it was cut off to the north by desert, to the south by the Mapuche native peoples, to the east by the Andes and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. As the country of Chile developed a ruling oligarchy formed and by the 20th century the situation became politically unstable. In 1973, a military coup lead by General Augusto Pinochet overthrew President Salvador Allende. Pinochet would rule as a dictator for 17 years. Technically, Chile returned to democracy in 1990, and since then its elected officials have amended the constitution that was put in place by General Pinochet.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students live in the home of a Señora or a family in Santiago. The homestay helps facilitate language learning and integration into Chilean society. Two meals a day are provided during the week and breakfast on the weekend by the host family. Internet access and onsite laundry will laundry are also provided.
Limited placements are available for the resident hall, which has two options, a single room with its own bathroom, or a double room where students share a bedroom and a bathroom. Both options have shared access to a living room and kitchenette. No meals are provided.

Travel Arrangements

Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Santiago, Chile, taking advantage of any frequent-flyer options and/or internet specials available to them. Students should book airfare to correspond with the arrival and departure dates given by IES.

Local Transportation

Santiago has a sophisticated public transportation system. Student will use the metro system, buses and/or walk to the IES centers, local universities and/or observationships.



Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students who have an active case with the dean of students or who are on academic or disciplinary probation will not be accepted into the program. Students must have a UI and Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 to be considered. Students must also have 4 semester of college-level Spanish and have taken a Spanish course within the year prior to program start date.

Good academic and disciplinary standing - It is the policy of the UI Study Abroad office that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and good disciplinary standing. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will not be allowed to study abroad. Any student who must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred. See the ‘Withdrawal Policy’ below for more information about the related late withdrawal fees.

Program Costs

Students are charged a Program Fee on their Ubill. This charge covers tuition, all educational excursions, and housing. In addition to the Program Fee, students are assessed a University of Iowa Study Abroad Administrative Fee . Also on the Ubill will be the mandatory Iowa Regents International CISI insurance
Other costs include but are not limited to, application fee, round trip airfare to the program site, passport fees, student visa fees, meals not included in housing, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options. Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

IES has several scholarships available to University of Iowa students. Please visit the IES Scholarship web site to find out more about their scholarships.

How to Apply

Schedule and meet with Kristine Djerf, the Study Abroad Advisor for Latin America. Appointments can be set up in person in 1111 UCC or by phone at 319-335-0353. After discussing the program and its requirements, students can then complete the University of Iowa Study Abroad application . Final admissions decisions to the program are made by IES.

Application Deadline

February 24 for fall semester and September 24 for spring semester


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific this program and host countries. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Before Traveling

Students must complete certain documents and activities for the University of Iowa and IES before leaving for their study abroad experience and these include:

  1. Uploading a copy of the information page of their passport to their UI study abroad application.
  2. Completing and turning in a copy of their Credit Approval Form.
  3. Registering in MyUI for the appropriate study abroad course.
  4. Completing the ICON Course

IES Orientation

The program begins with a mandatory one-week orientation that introduces you to the IES staff, your classmates, and the city of Santiago. Topics that are discussed in the orientation include academics, housing, transportation, expectations, and health and safety. After visiting the partner universities, you will meet with the IES Academic Coordinator to register for courses. Each partner university has a half-day orientation for international students.
Additionally, CORETM, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during Orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

Santiago with Andes Mountains in the background
Andes Mountains