Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change

“…I couldn't have asked for a better program staff, program location, language teacher, host family, or group of other American students to share this important semester of my life with.”

-- Program alum

Study educational policies, experiences, strategies, and pedagogy in Chile and Argentina.

This program offers students the opportunity to engage in rigorous academic coursework and research on educational systems in urban and rural areas of Chile and Argentina. Students spend time in a variety of schools, gaining insight on the workings of public, private, voucher, underprivileged, coed, and single sex institutions. Students consider the application of popular education as a tool for social change.

Live in a country known for sustained government engagement in educational policymaking and implementation.
With a long history of innovation in educational approach and delivery, Chile provides students a dynamic social and political environment in which to study education and social change. The program is based in Chile's capital, Santiago, the focal point of protests involving high school students seeking education reform in 2006, and the student protests of 2011. The protests mobilized nearly a million people and underscored the importance of education for the Chilean populace as well as the controversies surrounding education funding, content, and distribution. 

Students examine the social contradictions and tensions manifested in the recent election of a right-wing president twenty years after the end of Pinochet's dictatorship and a period of progressive center-left governments. The 2006 and 2011 protests reflected the difficult transition from the educational mandates of a dictatorship to the progressive ideas available in a democracy.

Working and studying with Chilean college students

Meet academics, policymakers, teachers, students, and social activists.
By learning from a cross section of experts and spending time in both countries, students gain a panoramic understanding of the forces affecting Chile and Argentina's educational policies.

Lecturers are drawn from institutions such as:

Conduct field studies and excursions to discover regional and national differences in educational systems.
During field studies in Valparaiso and Temuco, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina students compare regional and national differences in educational systems and different communities’ involvement with educational reform. Students also observe the intercultural dynamics between the Chilean government and the Mapuche, the country's largest indigenous group.  
Learn more about the program's excursions in Chile and Argentina.

Study Spanish. Share daily life with local families.
Intensive Spanish language study and homestays with different families immerse students more deeply in the rich cultures of Chile and Argentina.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Reflections on a different 9/11 Fall 2011 student Caroline Mimbs Nyce recalls tragedies in US and Chile

Program alum Jessica Howard, is featured in the "World Class" section of the Boston Globe.  "For Jessica Howard, a junior at Bates College majoring in chemistry and education, taking a break from science meant traveling to the end of the world. In a program based in Santiago, she took classes in comparative education, social change, and intensive Spanish. She visited different schools and did her independent study in Chapod, a rural town in south-central Chile. “I chose Chile because I wanted to travel to a country that would be a bigger culture change than Europe, a country where I would be immersed in a unique culture and a different language,’’ says Howard." Read more...

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Santiago

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: Coursework in education, Latin American studies, or development studies; 3 semesters college-level Spanish. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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