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Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Exchange

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Program sponsor: Northwestern

Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile

In this exchange program, students enroll at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC), one of the highest rated universities in Latin America, and have access to a wide range of course offerings in Social Sciences, Humanities, Economics, Engineering, and Urban Studies.

The fall semester (UC's second semester) takes place from late July to mid-December, and the spring semester (UC's first semester) takes place from early March to mid-July. At the beginning of each semester, UC hosts an orientation program that covers information about services provided by the university, the course enrollment process, and other campus resources.

Begin Application Process


UC is a comprehensive university, and exchange students have access to courses in a wide variety of areas, including arts, biological sciences, chemistry, economics, education, engineering, geography, history, literature, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, sociology, and urban studies. You can search for courses via the "Buscador de Cursos" on the UC website.

Students choose and enroll directly in their courses at UC. Exchange students must take a minimum of three courses (30 UC credits) and a maximum of five courses (50 UC credits) per semester. UC advises exchange students not to take more than 30-40 UC credits per semester, depending upon their Spanish language proficiency.

Students will receive a transcript issued by UC, and course credit will be eligible for transfer back to Northwestern as long as students earn course grades of C or better. Refer to the Credit Transfer Page for information on the "C" grade equivalent and minimum credit requirement for this exchange program.

Program Requirements


Open to students from all majors meeting Northwestern's minimum application requirements.


Completion of at least 2 200-level Spanish courses.


  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Interview for your program
    Complete an interview with the GLO adviser for this program prior to the application deadline.
  3. Apply for your study abroad program
    All affiliated programs and all Northwestern exchange programs require an additional external program application. This application will not be accessible until you are nominated by Northwestern to participate in the exchange. Please check the program’s website for more details and deadlines.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

  • 4 to 5 Northwestern units 
  • Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.
  • Refer to Credit Conversion for information on the “C” grade equivalent and minimum credit requirement for this exchange program.


Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements, since UC does not provide student housing for foreign students. Students have the option to stay in a residence, apartment, or with a Chilean host family, and meal plans will depend upon the accommodation type selected. For more information on the housing options available in Santiago, please visit UC's International Student Housing webpage.

Host Institution

Home to over 20,000 undergraduate students, UC is spread out between four campuses in Santiago, the social, cultural, and commercial capital of Chile. The university is proud of its role as a national center of research in a number of important fields.

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Fall 2020: $28,497*

Review estimated costs for other terms on the program budget sheet.

*Budget sheets for exchange programs were last updated on September 14, 2020. All international travel associated with undergraduate credit-bearing study abroad programs slated to begin during the Fall 2020 quarter, including all Fall 2020, Fall/Winter 2020-21, and Full Year 2020-21 exchange programs, was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Billed by Northwestern
  • Program fee: $19,409

Students attending exchange programs will be charged a program fee equivalent to Northwestern tuition, which covers academic fees, program administration, orientation, and GeoBlue health insurance.

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Room & board: $5,800
  • Airfare: $1,600
  • Visa fees: $288
  • Books & supplies: $100
  • Local transportation: $400
  • Personal expenses: $900

Total: $9,088

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for Northwestern exchange programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.

Program Confirmation

Once you are approved to attend an exchange program, you will need to complete a Program Confirmation form to confirm your participation. You are not required to pay a confirmation deposit, but will be charged a cancellation fee for withdrawing from the program after confirming.

Program Fee

Students participating in exchange programs will be charged a program fee equivalent to the NU tuition rate for:

  • 1 quarter for fall quarter or spring quarter exchange programs
  • 1.5 quarters for fall-winter or winter-spring exchange programs
  • 3 quarters for full-year exchange programs

The program fee includes tuition and GeoBlue health insurance. It does not include additional program-related costs, such as housing, meals, or airfare. Refer to your estimated budget sheet above for the full estimated breakdown of your expenses abroad.

Student Visa Financial Certification

If you are required to obtain a student visa, you may need to provide documentation that you will be supported financially for the duration of your time abroad. This may require bank statements from your parents and/or a financial aid award letter; review your visa application instructions carefully to be sure you are providing the appropriate documentation, and contact GLO for assistance.

If you primarily fund your education through financial aid and/or loans, you may contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office to request a letter of financial support from Northwestern.

Northwestern Invoice

You should not pay your exchange institution directly for tuition. Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include your program fee (outlined above). You will not be billed for on-campus student fees, and exchange programs are exempt from the study abroad administrative fee.

It is your responsibility to pay directly for all other charges abroad, including your housing. Review estimated costs on your budget sheet, linked above.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans from Northwestern, these funds will continue to apply directly to your Northwestern account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

Withdrawal & Refund Policies

If you withdraw or are dismissed from an exchange program abroad after submitting your program confirmation form, you are subject to the withdrawal & refund policies for Northwestern programs.

Program Website