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Programs : Brochure
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Culture Intensive Spanish Program (CISP), Chile - Summer
Arica, Chile (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Courses Offered: Click here to view
Program Cost: Summer
Fact Sheet:
Major: Spanish, Spanish -Teaching, TESOL/Spanish -Teaching
Language of Instruction:
Work/Internship: No Credit Level: Undergraduate
Income Opportunities: No Instructor-led: No
Capstone: No
Program Description:

cisp 2014

Given its great extension, one of Chile's main characteristics is its astonishing variety of landscapes.  A Chilean legend states that when God finished the Creation, he took the extra desert, pampa, jungle, and mountains to create the diverse landscape that is Chile.

Program Location

Arica is the northernmost city of Chile located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. With a population of just over 180,000, the area has a number of anthropological research sites of ancient societies including the Aymara, Atacama, and Chinchorro people. The University of Tarapaca is the custodian of the rich remains of textiles, pottery, religious artifacts, and the oldest mummies in the world.

Known as the city of eternal spring, Arica has mild winters and hot summers. Rain is seldom seen, making sunny afternoons almost guaranteed. People enjoy water sports like surfing, wind surfing, water skiing, and other outdoor recreational activities. Because of its excellent location near Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, Arica is a great place to begin traveling in the region. The Machu-Picchu ruins in Peru, Tiwanaku in Bolivia, the jungles of Brazil, and the northern steppes of Argentina are all within a traveler's reach.


The University of Tarapaca 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 just outside Arica in the Azapa Valley, carries out research on desert agriculture.

Academic Program

cisp 2014-2The University of Tarapaca offers a summer Culture and Intensive Spanish Program (CISP). The session normally runs through June and July (8 weeks). 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
(630:159, 3 credits) - TESOL Practicum: Arranged upon request.

The summer program includes offers three Spanish classes (9 UNI credit hours).  Participants of the CISP program must complete SPAN 2002: Oral & Written prior to starting the program. The program is eight weeks in total, typically running through June and July.

If students with a sufficient level of Spanish stay though the fall semester, they may enroll into university classes with Chilean students, though most UNI students focus on Spanish language or TESOL studies. The usual semester load is four or five classes a week.

Accommodations and Meals

familia 14Homestays 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 maximum compatibility. 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 a positive one. 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.

Program Costs

playa 14The approximate cost is $3,900 (not including airfare), please refer to the budget sheet for additional cost breakdown.

Included in the approximate cost:
  • Tuition & fees for 9 credits
  • Spanish language instruction
  • Spanish language assessment on arrival
  • Host family accommodation with full meals
  • Orientation session
  • Course materials (books, packets, etc.)
  • Airport transfers & transportation from airport in Tacna, Peru to Arica (arrival) and from Arica to Tacna (departure)
  • 2 day excursion to Lauca National Park - NOTE: high altitude area
  • Afternoon tour to Historical Museum & Anthropological Museum in Azapa Valley
  • Afternoon tour of Historical Arica
  • 1 day excursion to Tacna, Peru
  • Internet/Computer Lab at UTA
  • Certificate of studies
NOT included in the price:
  • Optional trip to Machu Picchu 5 days (apr. $600)
  • Airfare* (approx. $1,700) & travel documents (passport, etc.)
  • Health Insurance
*The airfare is usually arranged through group contract to insure safe arrival and pick-up together (most will depart as a group as well).
Tales From Abroad

“The CISP program improved my Spanish more than I thought it would. Now I can come into my Spanish classes without being afraid to make a mistake and feeling more confident speaking.”
Vivian Meade, Summer 2013

“Oh my goodness, where do I start? I fell in love with Chile! Arica is an amazing city (not too big, not too small). The culture, the people, your host families, your primos and the experience are all amazing. Once you go you will want to either stay or keep visiting! Chile and Arica have so much to offer, that leaving is one of the hardest things you will have to do."
Molly Heidebrink, Summer 2014

Program Reviews


Program Ratings:
Overall Experience: 1 2 3 4 5
Program Value: 1 2 3 4
Cultural Experiences: 1 2 3 4 5
Housing: 1 2 3 4 5
Overall Learning: 1 2 3 4 5
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2016 02/15/2016 ** Rolling Admission 06/01/2016 07/31/2016

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.