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Study in Santiago

By Staff Writer

Updated July 28, 2021 Updated July 28, 2021

Santiago for students

Home to nine of Chile’s best universities, Santiago is a popular Latin American study destination.

Of the nine ranked universities in Santiago, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is the city’s leader, ranked 135th in the QS World University Rankings® 2022.

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Best universities in Santiago - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 57th

Rank University
135 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC)
=183 Universidad de Chile
=487 Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH)
751-800 Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
801-1000 Universidad Diego Portales
801-1000 Universidad de los Andes Chile
1001-1200 Universidad Andrés Bello
1001-1200 Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD)
1201+ Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins

More about Santiago

The capital and largest city of Chile, Santiago promises an unforgettable study abroad experience and is the perfect destination for anyone hoping to truly immerse themselves in Latin American culture. The city does have a relatively small community of international students, but it's also a city full of graduate opportunities as demonstrated by its high score for employer activity in our rankings.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (135th in the world)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Santiago?

It’s a safe city

Widely known as one of the safest cities in Latin America, Santiago is extremely low on violent crime and has great medical facilities. 

Vibrant city

Santiago contains plenty of parks, architecture and culture and there’s always plenty to do. Those looking to soak up some culture can head over to the Parque Metropolitano, the Museum of Human Rights and the Festival del Barrio Brasil, to enjoy just a few of the attractions the city has to offer.

Great location

Located at the base of the Andes Mountains and on the coast, Santiago is an ideal place to study. It’s also easy to travel to nearby cities around South America on weekends, with Argentina only a five-hour bus ride away!

Cost of living in Santiago

Reasonable tuition fees and generally inexpensive living costs make Santiago a relatively affordable study destination.

Tuition fees at the city’s universities average at around US$6,600 per year for international students. There are also plenty of grants and scholarships available to help you out financially.

Numbeo estimates a single person living in the city would need around US$703 per month for living costs and an extra US$458 per month to pay for rent (which is significantly cheaper than many other student cities).

Life and culture in Santiago

With a spectacular setting adjacent to the Andes mountain range, Santiago is a good option for those looking for a gentler introduction to Latin America.

A safe, clean and modern metropolis, it’s likely to be relatively easy to settle into, while at the same time offering opportunities to delve into the unique culture and history of the area – from browsing traditional street markets to dancing the cueca (Chile’s national dance) until dawn.

Careers in Santiago

Prospective students may also be interested to know that Santiago’s strongest score in the Best Student Cities ranking is for employer activity, indicating that its graduates are well regarded by employers from within and beyond Chile.

One of Latin America’s most prosperous countries, Chile offers great career prospects for fresh graduates, particularly in the service industry and in natural resource-based industries, such as mining, agriculture and forestry.

Most roles require you to speak Spanish to an advanced level. However, there are plenty of professional roles available at international companies that require only English proficiency. 

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in July 2021

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