Stretching beyond desert lands to glaciers, from volcanoes to the popular lush valleys, and from dense forests to open plains, Chile is an interesting country of extremes. Bound to attract foreign students with a taste for adventure and the great outdoors, it also has a rich and exciting cultural offering and is home to one of Latin America’s strongest higher education systems. Read on for more gist on what it’s like to study on low or cheapest tuition in Chile, and an overview of the country’s top ranked institutions.
If you look at the map, Chile is easily located as Argentina’s skinnier nextdoor neighbor; what it does not have in breadth it more than makes up for in length, extending as far as 4,270 kilometres along the western coast of South America. Majority of Chile’s population of 15 million are contained in just a handful of major cities, between them lie stretches of uninhabited wilderness and vast lengths of deserted coastline. If not for the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes based in the east, Santiago, the capital city, would seem a world’s apart from Chile’s untamed wilderness. And although Santiago is sometimes criticized in the press for its loud streets and haze of pollution, it’s a city full of ambition, intriguing culture and quirkiness waiting to captivate international students and tourists alike.
Applying to a University in Chile
The degree structure in Chile is quite consistent with that of the EU and US, comprising Licenciatura (equivalent to bachelor’s degree), Magister (master’s degree) and Doctor (PhD). The Licenciatura is mostly a four-year program, though a couple of subject areas such as engineering or architecture may require a bit longer period of study.
Undergraduates students applying to State Universities in Chile should take a test called Prueba de Selección Universitaria (PSU), similar to the SAT test normally used in the US University applications. Each University has the right to sets its own PSU entry requirement, with ‘traditional’ universities usually requiring higher scores than their counterpart newer private universities. In order to study at a university in Chile, foreign students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to study in the Spanish Language.
If you need more information on applying to study in Chile, make direct with your chosen university directly.
Living Cost and Tuition
Though Chile is not really cheap in comparison to most other Latin American countries, it’s still relatively affordable going by international standards. A standard monthly living budget, including food, rent and transportation, can range from approximately US$700 on a tight budget to about US$1,100 on a more generous allowance.
In recent years tuition fees has risen in both public and private Universities in Chile. Private University students now pay US$5,500 on average per year, and, thanks to recent hikes in tuition fees, public universities now charge about same amounts. Students of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are more likely to pay slightly more, at around US$5,900 per year, while students studying medicine can expect to pay even more, with average figures currently standing at around US$6,300 annually.
Those who are studying in Chile for a period less than 90 days can do so with just a tourist visa. The Tourist Visas are issued as stamps upon arrival in the country and cost approximately US$160 per person. Residents of many countries, including the US and the UK, do not require tourist visas to enter Chile.
If you plan on studying in Chile beyond 90 days, however, you will need to apply for a student visa at the Chilean embassy or consulate in your home country at least a month or two before travelling. For this you will be required need to show your valid passport which should be valid for a minimum six months beyond the end of your planned studies, proof of sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living costs, and a return or onward ticket. You will also need to show a letter of acceptance onto an approved university of course, a police clearance and a clear bill of health. Student visas are valid for up to one year, so you are expected to leave the country before the visa expires. This visa costs about US$160, but may vary slightly depending on your country of residence.
It is not legal to gain employment or work in Chile as a tourist or student, so ensure that you account for this when planning your budget. Do your very best to avail yourself of the cheapest /low tuition provision available in Chile.
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