chile:  language, culture, and story in latin america


Santiago is Chile’s capital located in the center of the nation. It is known for having enjoyable four season weather. The city is surrounded by the snow covered Andes mountain range and is only about one hour away from some of Chile’s most beautiful beaches. The prime geographical location makes it a hub for recreation and active lifestyles. The current population is approximately seven million people and is rapidly growing due to the city’s globally competitive economy.

The city distinguishes itself from most of Latin America both in its modern infrastructure and European influence. It is packed with monuments and historical sites dating back to its foundation in 1541. As students engage Santiago, they will rapidly encounter the city and its history as an epicenter for understanding why Latin America is structured the way that it is and why the people think they way they do. Through witnessing the city’s beauty and pain, students will be empowered to comprehend the diverse forms of Latin American intellectual thought throughout the continent.

Students embark on a experience that helps them develop a heart for justice as they engage with a breadth of different culture, internships, and home stays. In addition, they are afforded the opportunity to develop proficiency in Spanish as a required component of their immersion experience.   Discussion-style classes are arranged for Mondays and Fridays alongside Spanish tutoring.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are internship days.  Every other weekend, KIVU will plan and coordinate an adventure to explore more of this beautiful land.  

Every trip is unique in its own way.  However, your itinerary will include trips to both mountains and beaches.  You will also travel into rural villages to learn more about this history of the Mapuche people. 

Weekly Discussion Topics

  • Spanish tutoring (customized to your level of proficiency)
  • Overview of Latin American sociology
  • The Mapuche people then and now
  • Chilean food and folklore
  • European immigration in Chile
  • History of right and left wing politics in Chile
  • The tension of beauty and pain in story
  • Personal development through the Enneagram, Storyline, and StrengthFinders

Discussion topics are woven together with field trip excursions throughout the city to learn more about the people, culture, and country.  Think of weekly discussions as gatherings to explore more about yourself and the city you live in!  Our time together is full of dialogue, movement throughout the city, and active engagement.