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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 a hospital setting, 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, and visits to museums. This program is administered by IES, one of the University of Iowa's affiliated partners.

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. Student choose from IES Abroad Spanish-taught area studies courses or courses at the local universities, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile, for their remaining coursework. This program is not recommended for Spanish minors as the credit awarded is transfer credit. IES Santiago Health Studies Program website.

Cultural Activities

Students have many opportunities to discover the culture and traditions of Chile. For an additional fee, students can participate in IES field trips and events such as: traveling to Chiloé (Chile{s largest island), San Pedro de Atacama (the driest non-polar desert) and Tores del Paine in Patagonia.

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.

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 Santiago Abroad

The IES Santiago Abroad 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

For more information regarding housing, please visit IES' Daily Life page and review the Housing section.


US Citizens

If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for a visa or leaving the United States.

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

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.



This program is open it UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa
  • Four semesters of college-level Spanish
  • Spanish course within the year prior to the 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 at the time of their application. 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.


    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Round trip airfare (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Consular and visa fees (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Textbooks, copyright permission fees, course packets, and other course-related materials (paid upoon arrival to your host country)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Rental or purchase of required cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)

    Cost Sheet

    The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session.

    PDFIES Santiago Health Studies Cost Sheet for Fall 2022

    PDFIES Santiago Health Studies Cost Sheet for Spring 2023

    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 a scholarship available to University of Iowa students IES Public University Grant.
    Please visit the IES Study Abroad Scholarships & Aid web site to find out more about IES scholarships.

    How to Apply

    Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

    The application process consists of the following steps:

    • Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.

    • Complete the IES Online Application.

    Application Deadline

    February 24 for fall semester and September 24 for spring semester


    It is highly recommended that students review the following information:

    Health & Safety Planning

  • Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information
  • Health Abroad
  • Visa

  • Consulate General of Chile in Chicago (for visa information)
  • Orientation

    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. In addition to orientations provided UI Study Abroad, IES may have other required pre-departure orientations and information. Please 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 to the University of Iowa including, but not limited to, billing, insurance, the Credit Approval Form (CAF), and transcripts. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on the type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    IES Orientation

    Students participate in a comprehensive mandatory orientation program that focuses on known health, safety, and security risks for the host city, country, and region, and how to best avoid or mitigate them. Students are provided with detailed information and written materials that include resources such as local emergency numbers, and specific instructions regarding various health, safety, and security issues.

    Santiago with Andes Mountains in the background
    Andes Mountains