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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Valparaiso, Chile
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Merrimack applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 09/28/2018 10/26/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Culture, International Relations, Literature, Political Science, Spanish Housing Options: Homestay
Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Minimum GPA: 2.8
Program Description:
Semester Program


ValparaisoNo matter what your major is, the Language + Culture program at Valparaiso, Chile provides the opportunity for to take your Spanish-language skills to the next level. Whether you’re just beginning your study of Spanish or have a few semesters behind you, you’ll find a language course that suits you here. You’ll also have access to an extensive selection of courses and electives in Spanish and English, on Chilean and Latin American history, culture, and contemporary society. More than friendly, this colorful, sea-side city and beautiful surrounding country will set you up for endless discoveries – about yourself and Chilean culture.

Fast-forward your progress in Spanish language by living with a host family.

Learn about Chile and its place in Latin America with intriguing courses at top-ranked Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso.

Get closer to the people of Chile with a week-long trip to Pucón in the beautiful central lake district, where you’ll learn about the indigenous communities there.

Additional Opportunities:
VOLUNTEER: Share your time, and see another slice of Chilean life up close with a not-for-credit opportunity in Valparaíso or Viña del Mar. Help with a kids’ sports & rec program, lend a hand at a girls’ shelter, spruce up a community center, pitch in at a school.

Courses and Credits

Students take a placement test at the start of the program. Students enroll directly in special university courses at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) and take classes with other CIEE and international students.

Students enroll in the following and earn 14-18 credits:
  • 10 credits of intensive Spanish, covering grammar and vocabulary, oral comprehension and oral production, and reading comprehension and writing production (this provides 2 semesters of first or second year college Spanish)
  • 1 or 2 PUCV courses that focus on Chilean content
Examples of elective courses: Contemporary Latin American Literature; International Relations; Political and Social Change in Chile and Latin America; Pre-Columbian Art and Society; Socio-Economic Evolution of Chile and Latin America.

For course listings and syllabi, go to the Valparaiso, Chile Language+ Culture Program and scroll to Curriculum (under ACADEMICS) at the bottom.

If you would like to get a course approved, print off the form NEW GEO Course approval form.pdf. Take the completed form and syllabus to the appropriate department chair. Make sure that you return that course approval form and syllabus to the GEO.

TRANSFERRING OF CREDITS: All credits taken abroad come back as transfer credits. Grades will be reflected on the transcript, but not figured into the student's cumulative GPA. Students must earn a 'C' or above for credits to transfer to Merrimack. Please note carefully that most of the courses taken abroad are only 3-credits rather than 4 as at Merrimack.


Valparaiso at nightHOMESTAYS: Students live with Chilean host families to experience Chilean life most fully. Host families foster immersion by introducing them to students to relatives, neighbors, and friends, as well as everyday Chilean routines and the unique new flavors of traditional dishes.

Most families live in Viña del Mar. While Valparaiso, Chile’s port city, is an international hot spot for big shipping, its sister city, Viña del Mar, is a modern resort center with beaches, shops, and a residential area. Affordable mass transportation between the twin cities adds to their appeal as a friendly, fascinating place to live and study.
MEALS: Three meals a day are provided by your homestay family. 


Merrimack students attending a CIEE semester program pay Merrimack's Global Semester costs which cover covers tuition, program costs included, housing, and international insurance for the semester. 2018-2019 Fees include:
  • Global Semester costs: $24,830
  • Additional program fee: $550
  • CIEE Fall 2018 scholarship for Merrimack students: $1500
  • Total Fall fees: $23,880
  • Total Spring fees: $25,380
CIEE has scholarships and grants for which Merrimack students should apply. See their Scholarships & Grants page.

BILLING: Payments for the semester abroad are made to the Bursar's Office per usual. Students should discuss payment plans with the Bursar's Office. For additional billing questions, please contact the Bursar's Office: Room 12, Austin Hall,,  978.837.5310.

FINANCIAL AID: Merrimack institutional aid is recalculated for the semester off-campus**. When students return to campus, Merrimack aid returns to the on-campus rate. We encourage you to consult the Financial Aid Office early on to see what this recalculation might mean for you. Office of Financial Aid 15B Austin Hall,, 978.837.5186.

**N.B. NCAA scholarships and Federal Aid are not affected by this recalculation.

  • CIEE Application Fee: $50
  • International Airfare:  $1,100
  • Local Transportation: $300
  • Books & Supplies: $250
  • Visa fees: $160
  • Personal: $1,800


Students interested in studying in a GEO program must first apply for permission to study abroad through Merrimack's Office of Global Education (GEO). To qualify Merrimack students must be:
  • Second-semester sophomores and above
  • In good academic standing with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA
  • In good disciplinary standing 
  • Previous Spanish language study is not a requirement
To apply students must submit the following by March 9, 2018:
  • Online application
  • Faculty reference (form included in online application)
  • Student affairs reference (form included in online application)
  • An Interview with GEO staff to be conducted soon after the application has been submitted, or during the week of March 12th.
After students have been approved by the GEO for semester's study abroad, they may proceed with CIEE's online application.

CIEE's Application deadline for Fall 2018: April 15, 2018.