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Programs : Brochure
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Chile: Spanish Language and Chilean Culture at ECELA (Wintersession)
Santiago, Chile
Program Terms: Winter
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
Gen Eds (UAlbany): You may file a request to have any course approved, Courses in areas mentioned below have been approved for UA students, Foreign Language, International Perspectives SUNY code: 1064
Program Description:

Spanish Language and Chilean Culture at ECELA (Winter)

Chile cover


Program Information 

Our program is a great opportunity for students wishing to work on their Spanish skills and learn about the culture and history of Chile. The ECELA (Español y Cultura en LatinoAmerica) Spanish Language School is located in a beautiful colonial style house in the beautiful neighborhood of Providencia in Santiago, Chile.  Organized activities and trips are arranged by the program offering numerous out-of-the-classroom opportunities for our students to practice their language skills and interact with the local community.

The school is located three blocks from the Chilean Tourism office as well as many restaurants, cafes, clubs, stores & metro/bus stops. You will find everything you need in the immediate radius around the school!  With full access to a computer lab, library and extensive patio, you will be able to study, relax and make new friends on our exciting winter program.


Our program is open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors with a 2.5 GPA.


1The best way to master a language is with native, college certified teachers using a proven curriculum in a small class environment. Classes at ECELA are capped at 7 students per instructor allowing students to have individual attention resulting in dramatic language skill improvement within a short window of time. Students can participate as a total beginner or with many years of speaking the language. 

The program offers daily scheduled activities in and around Santiago. Participating in these activities is an excellent way to practice your new language skills in a fun and exciting environment.

Weekend trips are also offered where you can discover Chile's fantastic landscapes and outdoor sports. Historical landmarks and experiencing the arts and culture that make Chile so unique are integral parts of this program.

Students choose to take either a Spanish language class or a Chilean Culture and History class (offered in Spanish) during the 3 week wintersession for a total of 3 credits. 
Other elective courses (i.e.- Medical Spanish, Business Spanish, Legal Spanish, and Spanish Composition) may also be available for an extra fee- please contact for more information.  Full course descriptions can be found in the ECELA course catalog (listed below).

Course Descriptions:

Please click here to see ECELA's course catalog: 2
ECELA Course Catalog for SUNY Albany.pdf

Elective Course Equivalents for UAlbany students:

Programa de Cultura y Historia de Chile:
International Perspectives GenED + ASPN 317
Language Course Equivalents for UAlbany Spanish Credit:
1. Students who complete Beginning level 1 = ASPN 100
2. Students who complete Beginning level 2 = ASPN 010
    [does not count towards Spanish minor]
3. Students who complete either intermediate level= ASPN 101
    [counts towards Spanish minor, may come in as 010 if student already has 101]
4. Students who complete either advanced level = ASPN 103
    [counts towards Spanish minor, may come in as 010 if student already has 103]

Support Services

4Our program in Chile offers support at every step of the way. The program director and staff assist students with any concerns or questions they may have throughout their stay. Faculty and/or staff will accompany the students on all activities and outings and provide superb assistance to students throughout their stay.  The staff will also arrange excursions for students, some of which are included in the cost of the program.  More info on these excursions will be given to students by the staff at ECELA. 

Living with a host family also provides an additional layer of support. A local host family assists our students with learning the best ways to get around the city, what regional cuisine to try, what sites to visit in the city and beyond, and how to find the best deals in Santiago.

The staff at the University at Albany's Study Abroad Office also provides support to students wishing to participate on this program. We will assist students during the application process, in their preparation to travel abroad and once they are in Chile if necessary. 

Trips and Excursions:
The activities included in the cost of the semester-length program include: a welcome BBQ with Cueca dancing, a Santiago city tour, a wine tour at the Concha y Toro winery, a “Volunteer Day,” a cooking class, and a weekend beach trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso.  These activities are included in the cost of the program.  Other activities (dance classes, rafting, bike tour, etc…) are also available for an extra fee.


6Housing is provided with local Chilean families. Living with a family is one of the most effective ways to improve language skills and learn about the local culture. All of the families are warm and welcoming and experienced at making students feel at home within their house. All host families are located within easy walking distance to the school and in the safe and lovely Providencia neighborhood.

The families are chosen with the utmost care and go through extensive screening and training before being accepted as host families for our students. Their passion in educating our students about their language and culture goes above and beyond many other language and culture programs found elsewhere. The families make every attempt to accept our students as part of their "Chilean family" during their stay in Santiago and after.


Please click the link for the most up to date cost estimate for our option in Chile: 
Chile WINTER 1314.pdf

Click here for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid


SR"ECELA as an institution was amazing, from the staff to the after-school excursions (which were offered during the week and on the weekends).   During one of my favorite days in Chile, I was able to visit a breathtaking vineyard, go horseback riding through a mountain valley, cool off at a nearby waterfall and then eat some great Chilean food at a barbeque. Along with the excursions and staff at ECELA, the school proved to be an international hub where I was able to meet people from all over the world..."   
Click here to read the rest of one student's account of his
experience at the ECELA Spanish Language School! 

Chile is situated in South America, bound by Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Antarctic and the Pacific Ocean. Chile is a relatively homogeneous country and most of its population is of predominantly mestizo origin, with varying degrees of native Amerindian mixture, the product of the racial mixture between colonial Spanish immigrants and the native Amerindian tribes.

Because of its unusual geography, Chile has a hugely varied climate ranging from the world's driest desert in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the center, to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the south. Travelers will enjoy the country's abundant fauna and flora and spectacular scenery consisting of huge glaciers, fjords, waterfalls, blue lakes and numerous national parks where trekking is a very popular activity amongst tourists.

Santiago 5

The towering Andes provide an awesome backdrop for the sprawling metropolis of Santiago. The population of this city numbers more than five million. Despite this, a small town atmosphere prevails downtown where friends meet and greet each other in the overcrowded streets and bustling walkways of the main commercial district.

The city is a curious mix of skyscrapers and 19th-century European architecture, with some Spanish adobe bungalows thrown in for good measure. Threaded through this architectural tapestry are numerous green areas, busy markets, and quaint old squares. Street life is vibrant, and adding to the vibe is the presence of numerous chic sidewalk cafes. There are also some small but impressive museums, several modern hotels and excellent restaurants.

In Pictures: Santiago, Chile

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2013-2014 11/05/2013 
Rolling Admission 12/30/2013 01/17/2014
Winter 2014-2015 10/15/2014 10/15/2014 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
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