Due to the location in the southern hemisphere, the academic year in Chile is structured differently than in Germany. The Chilean university year is divided into two semesters and does not start in October, but in Chilean autumn – that is, as early as March.
Therefore, the German summer semester is particularly suitable for completing a semester abroad in Chile . Students can purchase there as in Germany credit points in the course work, they later after consultation with the home university to recognize can.
Prospective students can find more detailed information on the semester dates on the homepage of their chosen university in the Calendario Académico .
Semester system in Chile
The first semester of a university year, the Primer Semestre , lasts from late February or early March to July. After a short break, the Segundo Semestre begins in August , the second semester, which lasts until December. At the end of the academic year in Chile, the examination phases take place and written assignments or theses are due.
The academic year in Chile is interrupted by a number of holidays such as Fiestas Patrias and Día de las Glorias del Ejército . There are also some longer vacations during the semester . These include the weeklong Easter break in April or a week or two week break in February to celebrate the signing of independence.
Due to the reversed seasons, the long Chilean summer holidays in the German winter are between December and March. Some universities use this period in the Chilean summer to offer summer sessions .
The dates of the academic year in Chile at a glance:
|Semester 1||July – December|
|Semester 2||February – July|
|Summer (optional)||January February|
Costs and financing options
Tuition fees have long been the norm at both government and private universities in Chile. However, the amount of the tuition fees differs depending on the type of university and the chosen subject. Studying a humanities subject is available for just a few hundred euros per academic year. The tuition fees for some other subjects such as medicine, on the other hand, are several thousand euros per academic year.
In principle, it can be assumed that the tuition fees at private universities are higher than the tuition fees at state universities. While state universities receive at least basic funding from the Chilean government, private universities do not receive any financial support from the state.
Cost of Living in Chile
As in Germany, the cost of living in Chile depends on the individual lifestyle. In large cities like Santiago or Valparaíso in particular, they are definitely comparable to those in Germany. In smaller cities, on the other hand, they are usually a little lower. On average, students in Chile should budget at least EUR 500 per month . A room in a shared apartment in a hospedaje or residencia costs around EUR 120-180 per month. Some Chilean universities also arrange rooms with host families. These are often a little cheaper or the meals are already included in the price.
How can you finance your studies in Chile?
Financial support for a semester abroad in Chile is provided by the BAföG abroad . Due to the higher assessment limits, students who are not entitled to BAföG for their studies in Germany also have the chance of receiving international funding. The BAföG abroad includes up to EUR 4600 tuition fees for a maximum of one year as well as grants for the monthly living costs and travel expenses.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any funding options from the German side for courses completed entirely in Chile. However, some Chilean universities offer their own scholarships ( Becas ), so it can be worth asking here. Another financial aid is a student loan.
Visa and entry requirements
Anyone wishing to study in Chile must apply for a student visa , the so-called Visa de Estudiante , before starting their studies . After the visa is issued, you have to collect the visa personally from one of the four Chilean consulates in Germany. The student visa does not include a work permit and is only issued for a maximum of one year. However, an extension is possible if the course lasts longer than a year.
Until spring 2018, it was possible to forego a student visa for a semester abroad in Chile and instead enter with a tourist visa . However , we can no longer recommend this “unofficial” alternative .
The capital – Santiago de Chile
With more than six million inhabitants, it is the largest city and the economic and cultural center of Chile, a country located in South America according to transporthint. With the buildings from the Spanish colonial era and the western shopping centers, the lively metropolis looks European at first glance. At second glance, you will discover small craft shops, colorful galleries, rustic bars and hidden parks that give the city its very own charm.
In this context, one must also mention the incomparable friendliness and hospitality of the Chileans – even if they seem rather reserved at first glance by South American standards. Another attraction of the capital lies in its attractive location: the beaches of the Pacific coast and the colorful port towns of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar can be reached quickly and are just as popular with tourists as they are with international students studying for a time in Chile.