The pace of Arica is simply delightful. It's warm and sunny year-round, there's a cool pedestrian mall to flip-flop around come sunset and decent brown-sugar beaches are just a short walk from the town center. Top this off with some awesome surf breaks and a cool cliff-top War of the Pacific battlefield at El Morro, and you may just stay another day or two before you head up to nearby Parque Nacional Lauca or take an afternoon off from 'beach duty' to visit the Azapa Valley, home to some of the world's oldest known mummies. See Lonely Planet's website for more exciting details about Arica, Chile!
Arica is located in the northernmost part of Chile, right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The area has a number of anthropological research sites of ancient societies of the Aymara and the Atacama people. The university is the custodian of the rich remains of mummies, pottery, textiles, and religious evidence of these cultures. Often called "the city of everlasting spring", Arica has mild winters and hot summers.
People enjoy water sports like surfing, wind surfing, water skiing, diving, and other outdoor recreational activities. Because of its central location near Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, Arica is a very good place to start traveling in the region. The Incan site of Machu-Picchu in Peru, Tiwanaku in Bolivia, the jungles of Brazil, and the northern steppes of Argentina are all within the traveler's reach.
The university is located in Arica, Chile, and was established in 1982 by merging the local branches of the University of Chile and the Catholic University.
It has five faculties: Agriculture; Business and Social Sciences; Natural Sciences (Nursing, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical Technology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology); Engineering, and Education & Humanities (Physical Education, History, English, Geography). The Agronomy Institute, located in the Azapa Valley, carries out research on desert agriculture. The language of instruction is Spanish with the exception of the English department.
The University of Tarapaca offers a summer Culture and Intensive Spanish Program (CISP). The session normally runs through June and July (8 weeks). The summer program includes three Spanish classes (9 UNI credit hours). Possible course options (for undergraduate credit) include:
(SPAN 3050, 3 credits) - Written Communication
(SPAN 3020 or SPAN 3052, 3 credits) - Latin American Culture and Civilization or Contemporary Hispanic Culture
(SPAN 3004, 3 credits) - Introduction to Hispanic Literature
Participants of the CISP program must complete SPAN 2002: Oral & Written prior to starting the program.
If students have a sufficient level of Spanish, they may stay through the fall semester and enroll in university classes with Chilean students, although most UNI students focus on Spanish language or TESOL studies. The usual semester load is four or five classes a week.
Homestays with local Ariqueño families are prearranged by the in-country coordinator. The accommodations will include a private room and three meals a day. The family placement will be arranged by submitting a host family letter in Spanish and English to ensure the best family match.
Students will have the opportunity to specify any allergies to food or pets, preference of large or small families, and any other details that may make your family experience as accommodating as possible. The majority of the families in Arica speak little to no English, allowing for an authentic immersion experience and a better opportunity for UNI students to practice and apply their Spanish language skills.