Harvard Summer Program in Santiago, Chile

June 2, 2019 to July 28, 2019
Apply by: 
January 31, 2019

Spend a summer in Santiago, Chile learning about public health and Latin American culture while sharpening your Spanish language skills.

This eight-week program gives you the unique opportunity to combine Spanish language coursework, Latin American cultural immersion, and engagement with the fields of medicine and public health through study and service.

Program structure

You divide your time between intensive, multi-disciplinary Spanish-language coursework, service learning at local Santiago health clinics, and an array of program activities, including guest lectures, visits to significant sites around the city of Santiago, and excursions across the country that will enable you to gain a deeper appreciation of Chile’s historical and cultural heritage and natural beauty.

The program will begin with a week-long comprehensive orientation. Each of the following seven weeks will include a combination of intensive classes held at the Harvard DRCLAS Regional Office, lectures at the Universidad de Chile, service learning at local hospitals and clinics and excursions within and beyond the city of Santiago.

This is an intensive course that counts as two classes (8 credits) of advanced language and culture with an emphasis on the history of public health in Chile. The course will also emphasize the study of Chile's culture, literature and recent history, including the dictatorship and the transition from the country to democracy. Students will improve their language skills in Spanish by reading and analyzing literary, journalistic and health policy texts while discussing the social, cultural, political and economic impact of public health in Latin America. Students will improve their language skills in Spanish and review some advanced grammar points through discussions, oral presentations, class discussions and written assignments.

Prerequisite: a score between 751-780 in the SAT II, Harvard placement test or a Spanish 50 level course.

Where you live and study

Chile, one of the safest countries in Latin America, has a stable democracy and a vibrant cultural life. Living, studying, and volunteering in the burgeoning, dynamic capital city of Santiago, you will also have the opportunity to participate in culturally relevant excursions and explore Chile’s unique, diverse geography—encompassing everything from beautiful stretches of Pacific coast to the imposing Andes mountains.


You will live with host families in Santiago within a short distance of the DRCLAS Regional Office, where classes will be held. Three meals/day and laundry are included in your homestay.


Early application is strongly encouraged. Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)
  • A $75 application fee (per program)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Applications are due by 11:59 pm ET on January 31, 2019. You may apply to up to two programs; each program requires a separate application and fee.

The online application will open in early December.

Cost & Expenses

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Scheduled program activities
  • Some meals (the program will provide further details)

You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates.

  • International airfare ($1,400 - $1,600)
  • Ground transportation ($500)
  • Meals ($500)
  • Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($500)

If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.

Additional information

Program director

Adriana Gutiérrez