Student Life

GW Chile

GW Chile offers:

  • A dedicated on-site GW resident director
  • A highly immersive program: direct enroll courses in which students take classes alongside Chilean classmates
  • The option to take a GW-specific course on Historical Memory and Human Rights in 20th Century Chile. This course is taught by a former political prisoner of the Pinochet dictatorship.
  • Opportunities to have a language exchange partner from the host university
  • Exciting and educational program excursions & cultural activities throughout the semester
  • A one week on-site welcome orientation that covers academics, course registration, health and safety, culture shock, host families, culture and public transportation, and other practical information. All students receive an introductory manual, which covers the program, the city and the country.
  • A program office, located at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where students can relax with a cup of coffee or borrow travel books or Chilean films

Excursions and Cultural Activities

The GW Chile Resident Director organizes weekend trips and several cultural activities and excursions for students, all included in the cost of the program. In past semesters the group has taken weekend trips to Pucón and to San Pedro de Atacama, where students have had the opportunity to visit thermal baths, explore volcanic caves and trek through natural parks with a breathtaking view of the Villarrica volcano in the background.  

GW Chile San Pedro ExcursionCultural activities vary from semester to semester and have included an empanada cooking class, a visit to a clandestine torture center from the Pinochet dictatorship, and visits to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's three homes. Other activities include outings to the theater, concerts, and soccer games, and bike tours of the city.

“These are incredible opportunities to see parts of Chile that you probably would never see on your own, with all the resources the program has to offer. All the excursions and activities were extremely well planned and showcased the best of the area. They are also great opportunities to bond with your group and share experiences." 

- Miriam Freeman, International Affairs with a concentration in International Development Studies

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer work and internship opportunities are available in a wide range of areas, and each placement is tailored to the student’s background, experience, and interests. Although the program cannot guarantee placement in any particular site, the Resident Director works with participants to place them with an appropriate organization.

With a flexible time requirement (as little as just two hours weekly), volunteering offers students a great opportunity to improve their Spanish, help those in need, and learn about another dimension of Chilean reality, not easily visible in the upper-middle class neighborhoods where students live and study. Students in the past have volunteered at the following:

  • After-school programs for at-risk children
  • Residences for handicapped people
  • Public schools (working as classroom assistants for local English teachers)
  • Shelters for infants and toddlers
  • Organizations that conduct workshops for at-risk teenagers
  • Centers for the homeless and organizations that build homes for those living in extreme poverty

GW Chile Student Perspective: Lucas Rogers

Lucas Rogers
Fall 2013
Major: International Affairs