Study Abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile

Quick Facts | Why Viña del Mar? | City Description | Host Institution | Housing | Excursions

Course Offerings | Costs & Dates | What’s Included | Program Itinerary | Volunteer Opportunities | FAQs

Quick Facts

Host Institution: Semester, Academic Year, and Summer programs:

  • Universidad de Viña del Mar
Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Open to all Spanish levels. 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). For further information about living with a host family, please click here!
Sample Day Excursions: Isla Negra: Pablo Neruda House & Museum; Valparaíso, Ruca Mapuche, Horseback Riding on the Beach

Why Viña del Mar?

  • Live and study in a beautiful beach city
  • Easy travel to other South American cities
  • Take small classes with other international students and local Chilean students
  • Large student population within the city

City Description – Medium city of 320,000

Viña del Mar is a thriving coastal city of 320,000, boasting miles of beaches, warm and welcoming locals, and great nightlife. Located about 70 miles northwest of Santiago, it is Chile’s fourth largest city. As a major vacation destination, the population swells during the summer when people flock to Viña to enjoy the beaches, restaurants, ATP tennis tournament, and music festivals. (Just remember, the seasons in South America are the opposite of North America!)

Viña del Mar is just 5 miles from the city of Valparaíso, an UNESCO World Heritage City, and 10 miles from Concón, the gastronomic capital of Chile. Weekend travel to other Chilean cities, as well as other countries in South America, is easily accessible to students on any of the hundreds of inexpensive travel buses leaving hourly from Viña and Valparaíso.

Viña is known as the “university city” of Chile. It has been calculated that some 60,000 students from Chile and all over the world populate Viña and Valparaíso, making this area a haven for college students.

There is always plenty to do in your spare time! One favorite is the rustic beach town of Concón, where you can sample some of Chile’s best cuisine or go hiking or sand boarding on the rolling sand dunes. In winter, go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts near Santiago. Less outdoorsy types will enjoy the Fonck Museum of Archaeology and History, a wonderful place to learn about the anthropology and culture of Chile and Easter Island.

Universidad de Viña del Mar

Founded in 1988, the Universidad de Viña del Mar (UVM) is a private institution of higher education that has quickly become one of Chile’s most prestigious private universities. As a small university with approximately 5,000 enrolled students and few Americans, it is the perfect environment to easily integrate with Chilean students and receive plenty of personal attention from the faculty and International Office.

UVM is a modern university that prides itself on innovation and social responsibility. UVM is a pioneer in promoting new fields of study in Chile, such as Environmental Engineering, Natural Resources, and Architecture. In addition, UVM strives to create leaders with entrepreneurial spirit, who can be competitive in today’s global society. The university recognizes that the workplace is increasingly interdisciplinary, globalized, and competitive.

The Universidad de Viña del Mar has several modern, centrally located campuses. Host families typically live within walking distance. Campus facilities include ample classrooms, auditoriums, libraries, laboratories, amphitheater, gynmasium and sports complex, and a professional size soccer field.

Among the course offerings are Spanish language classes for all levels of ability (a placement exam will determine your level), as well as electives in both English and SpanishClasses taught in English are open to all students. If you pass into Intermediate or higher on the Spanish placement exam, you may enroll in classes taught in Spanish.

The highlight of the coursework for Intermediate and Advanced level students is the “Cultures in Contact” course. It creates an environment where American and Chilean students can learn about each other’s cultures and improve their Spanish or English skills.


All students live with Chilean host families who will provide 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week. All ASA student housing includes Internet access and is located in safe neighborhoods, within a reasonable distance from the university. Full details about ASA housing, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on our Housing page.


All ASA programs in Viña del Mar include at least 2 day excursions. Destinations may vary by term. Past terms have included trips to:

  • Valparaíso (day excursion) – Called “the Jewel of the Pacific,” this city was built on steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This UNESCO World Heritage Site embodies a rich architectural and cultural legacy. It houses Latin America’s oldest stock exchange, Chile’s first public library, as well as 15 extremely rare funicular railways.
  • Pablo Neruda House and Museum (day excursion) – Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet and is considered by many to be the greatest poet of the 20th century. Tour his house and museum on Isla Negra, where you can learn about his fascinating life – his passionate writings, controversial political involvement, and exile.
  • Semester programs typically include the following additional activities: Horseback riding on the beach, Hiking on Mount Campana, Ruca Mapuche.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

What’s Included – ASA Viña del Mar Program

  • ROOM & BOARD: Students live with Chilean host families.  3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week are included. Rooms are single occupancy. For further information about living with a host family, please click here!
  • TUITION for the maximum number of credits indicated on the program course offerings page. Enrolling in more than the maximum number of credits (if permitted by the host institution) will result in an additional fee.
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Final transcript is issued by the Universidad de Viña del Mar. Upon completion of the program, ASA will provide one free shipment of your final transcript to your U.S. institution.
  • EXCURSIONS: 2 day excursions, locations to be decided.
  • CULTURAL ACTIVITIES within and around Viña del Mar (museum visits, walking tours, etc.)
  • INTERNET ACCESS: Students will have free Internet access at their host institution and in their program housing.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: Group ground transportation is provided from Santiago (SCL) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date, by the designated time.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: Students will have an on-site director to assist them with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: Comprehensive international medical insurance is included.  For full details on benefits and coverage, please click here.
  • 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:

  • Round trip airfare and travel expenses to and from the program location
  • Books, materials, lab fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Meals on excursions
  • Tourist Visa or Student Visa, Reciprocity Fee (if required)
  • Transportation from the airport if the student does not arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time
  • Transportation back to the airport at the end of the program
  • For academic year students or those enrolling in more than one session, room and board and all other ASA services and benefits are not provided during the break between sessions

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a “Costs of Attendance” budget for your financial aid office, or if you simply want an estimate of the not-included costs listed above, please click here.

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 de Viña del Mar

Students can be tutors to local 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