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This guide was made in hopes that future Harvard study abroad students would benefit
from what those who had already been there learned. We hope this guide will be of help
to you and that once you‘re done with your semester abroad you‘ll add your knowledge
and your name to it for future study abroad participants.

                                                         Gregor Brodsky ‗07
                                                         Hajin Kim ‗06
                                                         Laura Troyani ‗05
                                                         Melissa Dell ‗05
                                                         Kaija-Leena Romero ‗05
                                                         Eric Price ‗05
                                                         Robert Ford ‗05
                                                         Thomas Sean McKean ‗05
 Some general advice…

        The DRCLAS student coordinator in Chile is there to help you with whatever you
         need. If you have any academic problems (or any problem for that matter) do not
         hesitate to talk with him/her.

        Remember that all ―official‖ deadlines probably aren‘t that set in stone. If you‘re
         still looking to register for a class or want to add/drop a class after the add/drop
         deadline there‘s a good chance you can still do it. Just remember to work with the
         DRCLAS student coordinator; he/she will make the process a lot easier.

        Consider taking graduate courses if you want to learn a lot. However, be prepared
         to work (hard). Though some of these classes could very well have more work
         than an average Harvard class it is still pass/fail (thus less stress than a class of
         that difficulty level at Harvard).

        Don‘t rule out a class specifically for foreigners just because you‘re apprehensive
         about taking a class just with foreigners. Remember that there will still be plenty
         of non-Americans in the class and that they tend to be good ways to learn a lot of
         interesting, basic information without having to do too much work.

        This will probably be your most relaxed semester at Harvard. Since you can only
         get non-elective credit for two of your courses take advantage of the two electives
         you will be taking and sign up for classes you think will be fun, not necessarily
         ones you think you should take. It will probably mean less work and a more
         enjoyable experience overall.

        Do not take anything from Professor Dominique Hachette in the Economics
         department. You will die of boredom.

La Católica
 Recommended Courses


     LA MUJER Y LA SOCIEDAD CHILENA, Assorted Professors
     It‘s well taught, not too difficult, and you will learn a ton about Chilean culture,
     history, and the Latin American feminist movement.
   PEFECCIONAMIENTO (Advanced Spanish for foreigners), Assorted Professors
   At only six credits this class is as easy as it seems and you do actually learn to fine-
   tune your grammar. If you‘re thinking about taking five classes this could definitely
   be your fifth. DRCLAS will pay the required cost of the class so don‘t let the fee stop
   you from taking it.

   This class gets mixed reviews. If you know next to nothing about Chile and want a
   ridiculously easy class then this is good for you. However, if you have some base
   knowledge about Chile and don‘t want to be bored out of your mind then we
   recommend that you don‘t take this class.


   COMERCIO INTERNACIONAL, Francisca Silva, 2° Semestre
   Grad school level economics class with something of a focus on agriculture. Very
   interesting, pretty challenging, good small-class. Good way to fulfill your writing
   credit. Professor is excellent, although sometimes hard to contact.


   ESCULTURA FIGURA HUMANA, Luis Hevia, 1° Semester
   This is a really relaxed fun class that allows you to work in many different types of
   mediums. It‘s a good opportunity to meet Chileans since it‘s taught in a workshop
   (taller) rather than a lecture setting. No art experience required.


   AMERICA LATINA EN EL SIGLO XX, Assorted Professors, 1° Semester
   This is an excellent class with three different sections taught by three professors from
   different disciplines. It‘s really interesting and with half the class being Chilean you
   get to integrate a little bit rather than being stuck with only gringos in class.


   An incredibly large amount of work is required for this course (more work than an
   average Economics class at Harvard) but you really learn a lot.

   TEORIA DE JUEGOS, Marcos Singer, 1° Semester


   HISTORIA DE CHILE, Angel Soto, 1° Semester
   This class has a limited amount of work but you still get to learn a lot about Chilean
    HISTORIA CONTEMPORANEA, Cecilia Quintana, 1° Semester
    This class provides an in depth look at the history of WWI and WWII. A plus is that
    it‘s completely Chilean (unlike a lot of the classes that foreigners take at Catolica), so
    it really adds to the experience. For a history class, there definitely isn‘t a lot of work,
    but you will learn a good deal.

    HISTORIA DE CHILE Y AMERICA SIGLO 19 with Juan Vargas (U. Catolica) - By
    far the worst class I took. I was the only American, though there was a Mexican girl.
    It was the largest class I took with about 70 people, though only 40 showed up. Three
    quizzes only on readings (each 20%) and the last of which was oral (don't sweat it),
    and a final exam purely on the lectures. Lectures completely sucked. They could not
    have been more boring, and the professor was not engaging at all. He was also a little
    hard to understand because he spoke softly. I had the hardest time in this class
    because it was boring and because the readings were very long and very boring. The
    professor lectured without supporting his big arguments, and the TFs/ayudantes were
    the ones who graded everything anyway. My advice: don't take it. Or take someone
    else's section of the class (though I heard that Ana Maria Stuven‘s section is just as
    boring but more feminist).


    REVELACION Y FE, Antonia Bentue, 1° Semester
    A great way to learn about Latin American religion without too much work.

Not Recommended Courses


    The professor is boring, teaches questionably wrong information, and isn‘t explicit
    about the necessary reading material until right before something is due. Do yourself
    a favor and don‘t even consider taking this class.


    Maria Teresa Douzet, 1° Semester
    This was a difficult course with readings that were either repetitive or very difficult to
    understand because they were theory. Nevertheless, you will learn a lot and some of
    the information is interesting. Don‘t take this course if you‘re looking for something
    easy but if you‘re willing to work really hard then this might be good for you.
  Facultad de Filosofía y Letras

  POESIA CHILENA E HISPANOAMERICANA with Maria Ines Zaldivar(U. Catolica) -
  A great survey of Latin American poetry. However, this class sucked. The professor
  lectured, but none of it was on the quizzes. We met for 80 minutes twice a week, and it
  dragged. There was little student participation, as class was a lecture not a dialogue or
  conversation. There were three quizzes, an oral presentation of a critical text, and a final
  project/essay. There was lots of reading, but the focus was on the critical texts, so much
  so that we barely if ever discussed the actual works we were supposedly studying.
  Quizzes were regurgitations of the critical texts (you should be able to manipulate other
  people's arguments to make your own) and required no textual analysis on the part of the
  student. The last quiz was the exception, as it was a textual analysis of one of several
  poems without prior knowledge of the poems. Class was boring, but "near perfect"
  (80%?) attendance was required to avoid the final exam. I would recommend this class,
  but not this professor. Try a professor named Vargas. There were 4 other Americans in
  the class.

La Chile

 Recommended Courses


     This is a fun, easy class and you do get to improve your Spanish while watching the
     disturbios every week (it is La Chile after all).  (added by other students) This class
     is worthless. You learn very little, the campus is hard to get to, and in general the
     class is very boring.


     CONTABILIDAD, Carolina Collantes
     This is a very easy, very useful class. You only meet once a week, the professor is
     very clear, and the material is fairly easy. It also is useful because there aren‘t any
     accounting classes at Harvard (undergrad, at least). The law school has an excellent
     location right next to Bellavista.


     If you are into poetry this is an awesome class. It‘s not too difficult so you can use it
     to balance out other classes that might be a little harder. While it is unfortunately
     only made up of foreign students this can be a plus since it allows you to meet
     foreigners from other countries besides the US.
 Prof. Guerrero Yoacham (U. Chile) - The professor is 69 years-old, but studied at
 Berkeley in his day, so his lectures were clear and organized. He spoke clearly and
 understandably. We met twice a week in 90 minute classes. There were 2 tests, one of
 which was true/false and multiple choice. No final exam for foreigners. The readings
 were long, but applicable. It was interesting to go to class and it mattered for the tests.
 Almost all foreigners in the class, so don't expect to meet Chileans. Overall, a big
 thumbs up.


    Maria Elisa Fernandez, 1° Semester
Not Recommended Courses


    This class is a joke. The ‗professor‘ makes things up as he goes along, the class lacks
    any form of structure and you learn nothing. Also, the class is composed completely
    of foreigners, which means you won‘t be meeting any Chileans by taking it.


EL SOFA, Santa Isabel 151
Laid back and a little yuppie but overall a cool place.

FLANNERY‘S IRISH PUB, Encomenderos 83
Good food and a great place to watch absolutely any soccer game you want. Also a good
place to celebrate St. Patrick‘s Day.

HBH, Av. Irarrazaval 3176

LE PUB, on a side street off of Av. Providencia 1420
The favorite bar of the Spring ‘05 group. The owner is nice, the wait staff is cool and
they‘re generous with the pisco in your piscola.

LIGURIA, Av. Providencia 1373
Both restaurant and bar, nothing says cuico more than this place. Kinda pricey but really
cool inside.

MEDITERRÁNEO, On Av. Providencia right above Pedro de Valdivia (In a plaza set apart
from the street)
Slightly more yuppie than Vicious, it‘s still cool and the drinks are good but only a select
number of drinks are included in happy hour.

PHONE BOX PUB, Av. Providencia 1670
Okay, just visit the place, it‘s a really cool set-up.

VICIOUS, On Av. Providencia right above Pedro de Valdivia (In a plaza set apart from the
Good atmosphere, good drinks, it‘s always happy hour and just about all of the drinks are
on the happy hour menu. The second most favorite bar of the Spring ‘05 group.


CLUB DE JAZZ SANTIAGO, Av. Jose Pedro Alessandri 85
This place is great every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. They also have student

EL TUNEL, Santo Domingo 439
A really chill, relaxed club. The entrance fee comes with a free drink.

 HAPPENING, Isidora Goyenchea with Av. Apoquindo
 Fabulous food but expensive—go there with your parents.

 EL PATIO, Av. Providencia 1640
 Really great atmosphere, perfect for vegetarians.

 ROLLS BAR, Guardia Vieja with Av. 11 de Septiembre
 All-you-can-eat sushi for $8.

 SAKE, Sanches Fontecilla with Lota (more or less)
 Really cute and really tasty sushi.

 UNICORNIO, Hernando de Aguirre 156

A few traveling tips…

       The bus system in Chile is both safe and dependable. Consider doing most of
        your traveling by bus to save money. Also, for really long trips, take advantage of
        overnight buses so that you don‘t have to spend money on a hostel for the night.

       Tur Bus is great. Consider becoming a socio if you plan on doing a lot of bus
        trips to save money on tickets (one person can become a socio and then buy
        multiple tickets for the group).

       If you‘re looking for cheap flights there are a few places to look:
            o Lan Chile has weekly ofertas that change every Tuesday. Go to their
                website ( to see what‘s available.
            o is another great sight to check out cheap flights. The
                advantage to this site is that it will look for all airlines, not just Lan Chile.
            o You can always go to the student travel agent (affiliated with STA Travel)
                located at Hernando de Aguirre 201, Oficina 401, Providencia. Tel: 335-

       To get to the airport take the Centropuerto bus which leaves frequently from the
        Pajaritos metro station. Approx cost: $7.
       To go to Valparaiso or Viña it‘s best to catch the bus from the Pajaritos station
        rather than the Estación Central. It‘s a much calmer process.

       Make sure you always bring a travel book along or have some plan as to what you
        want to see and how you‘re going to go see them. Otherwise you might find
        yourself traveling without having any clue as to what to do and be really bored.
        With that said, be flexible and don‘t feel the need to do too much pre-planning.

       A good way to get insight into the place you‘re visiting is to talk with your taxi
        driver; they can be great conversationalists.

       Good guides to get are Let‘s Go and Lonely Planet.

Places to Visit…

    A very calm, peaceful area in Southern Chile but don‘t plan on spending too much
    time here since you will run out of things to do very quickly.

    This is a very, very large park southeast of Santiago great for day or weekend trips.
    Not only can you go whitewater rafting, hiking, and horseback riding but you can also
    go to several thermal baths such as Baños Colina.

    If you can go, GO. This island, about 4-5 hours from Santiago by plane, is amazing –
    full of moia, incredible stories, beautiful scenery, and just a wonderful culture and
    pace of life so different from Santiago you won‘t believe you‘re in the same country.
    Check Lanchile for ofertas, because it‘s a pricey trip, and anything you buy on the
    island will also be pricey. When you land, tons of islanders will come to the airport to
    try to get you to stay with them. If you get a room for 8 mil that includes breakfast,
    that‘s a great deal. Rent a jeep once there if you can to do a tour of the island. Scuba
    diving is also recommended.

    Great beach (for Chile), beautiful Victorian architecture, and the most heavenly
    guayaba that you will ever taste in your life.

    There isn‘t much to see in the city itself (though it does have some amazing churches
    which are worth a look) but there are great small towns around it. Particularly worth
    a visit are Pisco Elqui which has the Tres Erres pisco factory which you can visit for
    free as well as Vicuña which has a great observatory open to the public (reservations
    are necessary and can be made on their website,
   This is an incredibly small beach town a few hours south of Santiago that is good for
   going to the beach and going to the beach.

   Two really great towns separated by a lake, this a great region to visit if you‘re into
   hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, etc. or if you‘re just looking for an
   absolutely beautiful place to spend a lazy afternoon. You can take a boat to an island
   right in the middle of Lake Villarica or climb Volcano Villarica that overlooks the
   two towns.

   There are a series of activities available from watching the sunset atop sand dunes in
   Valle de la Luna to watching geysers spray in the early morning. If you have the time
   (approx 4 days) do the Salar trip that goes from San Pedro to Uyuni, Bolivia.

   This is a good place to visit if you‘re interested in Mapuche culture.

   The more time you have the better since there are a series of different trails you can
   take. You will see some of the most breathtaking views of your life. Be sure to do
   the actual hike to the foot of the Torres.

   There are a lot of great activities to do in and around Valdivia such a river trips along
   Rio Calle Calle as well as visits to colonial forts in nearby towns reachable by micro.

   Great for day or weekend trips Viña has some great beaches while Valparaiso is
   perfect for just walking around, climbing the hills, and riding its many ascensores.


   The great food, the high quality yet incredibly affordable clothing, the fact that
   regardless of your sexual preference the people here are way more attractive than
   Chileans are all reasons why Buenos Aires is without a doubt the most highly
   recommended place outside of Chile to visit.

   Mendoza is great for weekend trips. It‘s a small town where you can find both
   Argentinean beef and prices. Several companies offer expediciones that include trips
   to nearby vineyards and the countryside as well as adventure tours that include rock
   climbing, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.

   One of the most spectacular natural wonders in South America—not to be missed.
   Be sure to see the Argentinean side of the falls.

   Go if you have time/money. The reasons are obvious.

   This is a beautiful city despite the country‘s political instability (perfectly safe if you
   don‘t join protests). An added bonus is that you can go to the jungle in Bolivia from
   here. Make sure the taxi drivers you use are legit – ask for ID, check that they have a
   radio in the front between the two seats on the dashboard and that they have a taxi
   sign on top of the car. Don‘t let anyone else in the taxi with you, and never believe a
   ―policeman‖ who tries to get in with you to ―check your documents‖.
   If you go to Lake Titicaca, go to the Bolivian side (copacabana) – it‘s prettier and

   This is another great place to visit if you have the time/money. There is an agency
   called Safari Tours in Quito that can hook you up with a last minute 5-day Galapagos
   cruise for less than $300 (plus airfare). The mainland parts of Ecuador are gorgeous
   (and warm) as well.

                               EVERYDAY LIFE


      You can withdraw money from pretty much any ―Redbank‖ atm, but unless your
       bank is affiliated with the bank, you will pay a $5 per withdrawal.
      If you are a Bank of America customer, you can make withdrawals from
       ScotiaBank atms without paying a $5 fee.


      These are the buses that run throughout Santiago. There are the old buses (yellow)
       and the new Transantiago buses.
      Fares: 350 pesos. Sometimes you can get the micro driver to let you on for the
       student fare (120 pesos), but because extranjeros aren‘t issued the student carnet
       necessary to obtain these fares, it‘s rare.
    This site will help you find micros for wherever you need to go.
        Use to complement your search.

       You should buy a Multiviaje card (valor: 1000 pesos, but you have to put 500
        pesos on it when you buy it, so you have to pay a minimum of 1500 pesos to get
             o With the Multiviaje card, you just swipe the yellow part of the card on the
                yellow pads at each metro station to enter – no standing in lines to buy
                Metro tickets!
             o You charge your card at the Metro station kiosks whenever your saldo
                runs low – with each swipe, you will be shown how much is left on your
             o Fares with the card are 20 pesos lower than normal fares.
             o If you save the receipt from charging your card, you can get discounts at
                movie theaters and some fast food restaurants. Signs in the Metro should
                let you know where.
       There are two Metro fares – they increase the fare during rush hour.
             o Regular fare: 340 pesos. With Multiviaje card: 320 pesos.
             o Rush hour fare: 430 pesos. With Multiviaje card: 410 pesos.
       Schedule
             o Monday – Saturday: 6:30 am to 10:30 pm.
             o Sunday and holidays: 8 am to 10:30 pm.
             o Rush hour: 7:15-9 am, 6-7:30 pm
       For more information:
       If you select ―metro‖ as an option on, you can find the nearest
        metro station to wherever you are going.

220 volts AC, 50Hz

For any appliance you own that does not go up to 220 volts, you will need a step-down
transformador. You can buy these at any electronics store (there are many in Santiago –
ask your family for one near you), and they are typically around 5000 pesos, depending
on the Hz. Tell the employees what exactly you need the device for and they will help
you find what you need.

Most computer adaptors go up to 240 volts, which allow you to plug into Chilean
electrical sockets with only the shape changer, which you can buy at most department
stores, grocery stores, and electronic stores.
Keeping in touch with folks in Chile…

Cell phones
      Cell phones in Chile are generally cheap to buy but expensive to use. You can
       sign up for plans such as the ones we use in America, but it‘s probably cheaper
       and more efficient to buy pre-paid plans, especially if you‘re only going to be in
       Chile for one semester.
      You can buy cell phones here in most large department stores, kiosks in any mall,
       electronics stores and company stores (Entel,, Movistar). It is very
       easy to find a place to buy them, and regardless of where you buy them the prices
       will be about the same.
      That said, prices – the cheapest cell phones are around 35,000 pesos, which
       should include 20,000 pesos of talk time.
      Rates – Each company‘s rates differ, so look through the brochures each company
       gives you. Be ware that they will start you on the most expensive plan – try to
       switch as early as possible to the plan that works best for you.
      Pre-paid plans:
           o How it works: You buy the cell phone, hopefully with 20,000 pesos
               already included, and when you run out (your phone will just cut off), you
               buy a tarjeta for your plan ―prepago‖ in almost any grocery store,
               pharmacy, company store, etc. and recharge your phone.
           o You only pay by second, not by minute.
           o You are only charged for text message you send and calls you make –
               calls/messages you receive are gratis.
      Recommendations – Experience seems to show that Entel and Movistar are more
       reliable than
      Alternative – You may be able to use your phone from the States and change the
       chip in the back. You would have to bring your phone to a company store to see if
       it works.
      Making/Receiving international calls:
           o You can receive international calls, no problem.
           o You can make international calls with your cell phone, but it‘s much
               cheaper to buy a separate international calling card to do so than to use the
               money you put on your phone for your daily use.

Internet Access
      Many, though not all, host families will have internet access in their homes. If
       they do, and you‘d like to have wireless access for your laptop, you need to buy a
       wireless router – if your wireless works at Harvard, you need a b/g router. I
       recommend Linksys. Buy this in the United States before you come, because it is
       much cheaper.
           o You will need a transformer for the router – see the section on adaptors
              and transformers.
            o Installing the router will allow the principal computer of the home to
                continue having access while you have use of the internet wireless –
                basically, it should not disturb in any way the family‘s own internet use.
            o However, for the router to work, the family must have a cable modem
                with the typical Ethernet cord – if they use a USB connection, the router
                probably will not work.
       If your family does not have internet access, there are Internet cafes all throughout
        Santiago – in the Las Condes and Providencia comunas, cafes are typically
        around 600 pesos an hour.
       Also, as students of La Chile and La Católica, you are allowed (with your ID
        cards) access to their computer facilities. The closest to those of you living in
        Providencia and Las Condes is probably in Casa Central of La Católica, which is
        easily accessible from the La Católica metro stop on the red line.

Keeping in touch with folks back home…

       Go to Download and install Skype. Register a screenname.
       Make sure you have a microphone and speakers on your computer/laptop (the
        IBM T-series computers have a built in microphone, although terrible, that works).
        If you don‘t have a microphone/speakers, you can buy a headset from most
        computer stores – buy them before coming here, as electronics in general are
        much cheaper in the States.
       If you add money to ―Skypeout‖ you can all any landline phone or cell phone in
        the United States for about 2 cents a minute.
       You can speak for free to anybody who has Skype installed and running. This is a
        handy (and free!) way to keep in touch with people in Chile, as well.

Phone Cards
       For calling cards to the US we recommend Tarjeta 155, it‘s $2,000 pesos for 30
       These cards you use with a regular house phone or your cell phone.

Mail Service
       Letters and postcards to the United States are typically around 300-400 pesos.
       You can send mail from any ―CorreoChile‖ office you see. There are many all
        around Santiago – ask your host family for the closest one.
   Chileans students are incredibly reserved, making it really hard to meet them at
    first. The temptation is there to just cloister yourself with other Americans and
    form gringo cliques. Although it‘s always nice to make more North American
    friends, it‘s also really important to put yourself out there and try to meet and
    hang out with as many Chileans as possible. Some really good ways to meet
    Chilean students is by taking classes with all Chileans in them as well as joining
    on-campus extracurricular activities.

   An internship is an amazing way to enrich your time in Chile. It will allow you to
    not only meet Chileans and get a chance to continue practicing your Spanish but
    it‘s also a great way to get international work experience. If you do decide that
    you want an internship give yourself some time first to get settled in Chile and
    accustomed to the academic system before looking for one. Also, make sure that
    whoever you are working with will give you guidance and actually wants an
    intern (i.e. isn‘t just doing it as a favor for someone at DRCLAS), otherwise you
    will probably have a very frustrating experience.

   If you have a laptop, bring it. Not only will your host family probably not have a
    computer but also you can bring it to the DRCLAS office and hook it up to the

   Get to know the people at DRCLAS—they are the nicest people ever!

   If you are an ec concentrator, bring a 1010b book—it will come in handy.

   School supplies in Chile are more expensive in the States – if you have room, you
    might want to bring some notebooks and paper.

   If you need any electronics (e.g. a wireless router), it‘s MUCH cheaper to buy
    them in the States.

   Bring some medication with you from the States, as you will at first be somewhat
    lost with the medications available here. It of course depends on what you need,
    but stomach medication (especially if you are going to travel) and cold medication
    are both recommended.

   Leaving Dates:
       o Try to book your flight with STA travel (or another agency with
          flexibility), because you only have to pay $25 to change your return flight.
          With end of the semester trips and really no idea of when classes and
          exams will end, you will appreciate the flexibility.
          o Ask your professors in person when the class and tests will end – if you
            need to, you may be able to take tests early.
          o In some classes, if you do well, you are able to ―eximir‖ – you don‘t have
            to take the final exam.

                                USEFUL LINKS - Santiago maps - chile weather - Santiago metro - Santiago micros - internet phone - exchange rate

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