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COVID-19 Update: All 2021 Harvard Summer School courses and activities will be offered online.

Harvard Summer Program in Santiago, Chile

  • Date

    June 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021

  • Apply By

    January 29, 2021

  • Cost


  • Housing


Santiago, Chile

Spend a summer in Santiago, Chile learning about public health and Latin American culture while sharpening your Spanish language skills.

Program Director: Adriana Gutiérrez

About the Program

This eight-week program gives you the unique opportunity to combine Spanish language coursework, Latin American cultural immersion, and engagement with the fields of medicine and public health through study and service.

Program Structure

You divide your time between intensive, multi-disciplinary Spanish-language coursework, service learning at local Santiago health clinics, and an array of program activities, including guest lectures, visits to significant sites around the city of Santiago, and excursions across the country that will enable you to gain a deeper appreciation of Chile’s historical and cultural heritage and natural beauty.

The program will begin with a week-long comprehensive orientation. Each of the following seven weeks will include a combination of intensive classes held at the Harvard DRCLAS Regional Office, lectures at the Universidad de Chile, service learning at local hospitals and clinics and excursions within and beyond the city of Santiago.

SPAN S-80 counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit and as two half-year courses towards the foreign language citation.



SPAN S-80 Study Abroad in Santiago, Chile: Cultural Immersion and Public Health

Adriana Gutiérrez, PhD, Senior Preceptor in Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
8 credits
Limited enrollment.

This intensive, third-year-level course covers a full academic year of Spanish language and culture with an emphasis on community service and public health in Chile. The course also focuses on the culture, literature, and recent history of Latin America and Chile specifically, including the Pinochet dictatorship and its social and economic consequences, the transition to democracy, and recent events. Students improve all language skills in Spanish by presenting, listening, reading, and writing about relevant topics in history, literature, media, and health policy issues in Chile and Latin America. Lectures, oral presentations, class discussions, and written assignments enable students to review advanced grammatical structures and progress towards advanced proficiency in Spanish. Students may not count both SPAN S-75 (offered previously) and SPAN S-80 for degree or certificate credit.

Prerequisites: Harvard students must have received a score between 751-780 in the SAT II, an equivalent score on the Harvard placement test, or completed a Spanish 50 level course. Other students must have completed two years of college-level Spanish.

Where You'll Live and Study

Chile, one of the safest countries in Latin America, has a stable democracy and a vibrant cultural life. Living, studying, and volunteering in the burgeoning, dynamic capital city of Santiago, you will also have the opportunity to participate in culturally relevant excursions and explore Chile’s unique, diverse geography—encompassing everything from beautiful stretches of Pacific coast to the imposing Andes mountains.


You will live with host families in Santiago within a short distance of the DRCLAS Regional Office, where classes will be held. Three meals/day and laundry are included in your homestay.


Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by late February.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate. OCS funding awards are tied to a specific program, and cannot be transferred to another program.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at

Cost & Expenses

Additional Information