Viña del Mar, Chile PDF Print E-mail

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Quick Facts

Host Institution: Universidad de Viña del Mar - Semester and Summer programs
Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Courses are available in English and Spanish.  Subject areas include Spanish language, Film, Literature, Business, Politics, Social Issues, and Chilean Culture. (Click here for Course Offerings)
Volunteer Opportunities: Semester students in Viña del Mar will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities (not for credit).  Summer students may also have the opportunity to volunteer. Click here for details about volunteering.
Housing: Students live with Chilean host families (includes 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week).
Sample Excursions: Isla Negra: Pablo Neruda House & Museum; Valparaiso, Ruca Mapuche

Why Viña del Mar?

  • Beautiful city on the beach
  • Easy access to other large cities
  • Lots of restaurants and things to do
  • Opportunity to not only take classes with other international students, but with Chilean students as well
  • Large student population in both Viña del Mar and Valparaíso
  • Small class sizes

City Description - Medium city of 320,000

Viña del Mar (known as simply "Viña" to Chileans) is both a thriving city as well as a major vacation destination. Located about 70 miles northwest of Santiago in the Valparaíso region and province, it is Chile's fourth largest city. Technically, the population stands at about 320,000, but that number swells during the summer when Chileans flock to Viña to enjoy its beaches, restaurants, ATP tennis tournament, and music festival.

Viña del Mar is actually located just 5 miles from the city of Valparaíso, and these two cities together form the second largest urban center in Chile, with a combined population of over 600,000. While Viña del Mar provides beautiful beaches and a varied repertoire of artistic performances, Valparaíso is internationally recognized as the cultural and legislative capital of Chile, and as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The distinctive personality of Viña and Valparaíso is exemplified by the large student population that resides there. It has been calculated that some 60,000 students from all 15 Chilean regions and from various countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, and Asia populate these two cities, and in turn, have transformed them into Chile's preferred destination for college students.

The town of Viña del Mar was founded in 1878 as a place for the wealthy from cities such as Santiago and Valparaíso to get away. It quickly became more than a town for the rich, as major companies began to be established there, helping the local economy boom. Originally the town was simply an extension of the neighboring city of Valparaíso, but because of the area's growth, the Chilean government authorized it to be a separate city.

Besides being known for its beaches, Viña del Mar draws both tourists and locals to the numerous parks and fountains that are found throughout the city. Rich in flowers and plants, Viña's most famous bed of flowers in the city is the Reloj de Flores, a large clock made up of flowering plants.

The weather is also an attraction for many, including the President of Chile who keeps a home in Viña, since the summers aren't too hot and the winters aren't too cold. The mild and enjoyable climate makes Viña a perfect environment for the abundance of gardens, palm trees, and banana trees-and students-that make up the city.

Universidad de Viña del Mar

Founded November 21, 1988, the Universidad de Viña del Mar (UVM) is a private institution of higher education and has quickly become one of Chile's most prestigious private universities.

With approximately 5,000 enrolled students and not too many Americans, it has the perfect environment to be able to easily integrate with Chilean students, and receive personal attention from the faculty and International Office.

The UVM has an educational model that emphasizes social responsibility, and is a new university that prides itself on being a flexible and innovative. In addition, the UVM strives to create leaders with entrepreneurial spirit, who can be competitive in today's global society. The university recognizes that today's workplace is not only interdisciplinary, but it is also becoming increasingly globalized and competitive. Therefore, the UVM's mission is "To create people who can contribute to the development of their surroundings, by gaining knowledge in an academic environment that is also humanistic, technologically advanced, and integrated." The importance of cultural exchange through both welcoming students from abroad and sending their own students abroad is also a key element in the UVM's mission.

The Universidad de Viña del Mar has a modern campus that is located in the higher part of the city and has characteristics similar to some of the most important higher education centers in Europe and North America.

The UVM has also been a pioneer in promoting new fields of study in Chile, such as Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources and Architecture.

The campus covers 50 acres, situated on the principle access street to Viña del Mar. It is minutes away from the center of the city, adjacent to where Pope John Paul II spoke in 1987.

The main campus contains the majority of UVM's academic schools and departments and has a variety of features, such as ample classrooms, auditoriums, library, laboratories, amphitheatre, gymnasium and sports complex, cafeteria, banking services, and bookstores.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

What's Included - Viña del Mar

  • ROOM & BOARD: Students live with Chilean host families (includes 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week).  Rooms are double occupancy.
  • TUITION at the Universidad de Vina del Mar.
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution. Possible number of semester credits: 12-18 (semester program) or 6 (summer program).
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from the Universidad de Vina del Mar will be sent to your home institution.
  • CELL PHONE: ASA provides one cell phone for each student.  Students are responsible for the cost of phone usage.
  • INTERNET ACCESS at the Universidad de Vina del Mar.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP at Santiago (SCL) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • AIRPORT DROP-OFF at Santiago (SCL) airport for students who depart on the designated date.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: for a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: on-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING: While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to "Student Visa Information" to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Books & materials
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Tourist Visa (for U.S. passport holders attending a summer program). Purchased upon arrival at Santiago airport. Visa is valid for 90 days.
  • Student visa (for all students attending a semester program)
  • Meals on excursions

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a "Costs of Attendance" budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email chelsea(at) 

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed program itineraries.

Volunteer Opportunities

Participation in volunteer opportunities in Chile is an excellent way to immerse yourself in your host country's way of life while helping those in need. In effect, this will add another dimension to the study abroad experience through daily exposure and interactions, resulting in a greater understanding of the language, culture, and community of the host country.

During the third week of the semester, the Universidad de Viña del Mar will have an information session about Volunteering, where you'll have the chance to find out more and sign up if you want. Please note that these volunteer opportunities are not for credit.  Summer students will also have the opportunity to do up to 18 hours of volunteer work.

The following are the volunteer opportunities in which students can participate:

Corporación "La Granja"

The Granja is a non-profit organization that teaches young adults with intellectual disabilities job skills, with the end goal of them finding employment within the community. Here students can assist the young adults with their daily duties, or work in their recycling center.  

Hogar Niño Amor

At this home for foster children, students will have the opportunity to play with the children, who range from 11 months to 7 years old. Students who volunteer in the afternoons will also be able to help the older, school-aged children with their homework.  

Jardín Botánico

The Jardín Botanico is a National Botanical Garden where students who like working outdoors with nature can help in the Greenhouse with seed collection and transplanting plants. Students will also help with regular beautification projects the Garden does on its grounds. Students who have an interest in biology could also help in the Garden’s laboratory with their ongoing research projects.

Colegio Paul Harris

Paul Harris is a public grade school with a strong emphasis on teaching English as a second language from an early age, in order to give their students a head start. Here students can help the English teachers in the classroom or work with their afterschool program aimed at motivating their students to talk more in English through games, songs, and other activities.

Universidad Viña del Mar

Students can be tutors to students in the English as a Second Language program who are struggling with their class materials.

Sanatorio Marítimo

Sanatorio Marítimo Is a hospital for disabled children that also has a nursing home for abandoned elderly in Viña del Mar. Here students can help in the Special Education School as a Teacher’s Assistant or work in the Nursing home by assisting and spending time with the elderly residents.


Techo is a non-profit organization that provides various services to communities in precarious situations. In addition to building homes for needy families, Techo also offers several educational projects and community service intervention projects to neighborhoods throughout Chile. Students in the July Intensive program can have the opportunity to help with their house building projects.


Teleón is a non-profit organization that offers physical therapy and kinesiology services to physically handicapped children and young adults who would otherwise not be able to access such treatments. Here volunteers will play with and spend time with the children while they wait to be attended.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as:

  • ASA Guide to Study Abroad
  • Student Visa info
  • Medical Insurance info
  • Booking your flight
  • Financial Aid info