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Country Guides
Study in Chile

Stretching from desert land to glaciers, from volcanoes to lush valleys, from dense forests to open plains, Chile is a country of extremes. Bound to attract international students with a taste for adventure and the great outdoors, it also has a rich cultural offering and is home to one of the strongest higher education systems in Latin America. Read on for more on what it’s like to study in Chile, and an overview of the country’s highest ranked universities.

On the map, Chile is easily located as Argentina’s much skinnier neighbor; what it lacks in breadth it more than makes up for in length, extending 4,270km along the western coast of South America. The majority of Chile’s population of 15 million is collected in just a handful of major cities, between which lie long stretches of uninhabited wilderness and vast lengths of deserted coastline. If it wasn’t for the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes in the east, the capital city Santiago would seem a world away from Chile’s untamed wilderness. And although the city sometimes gets a bad press for its loud streets and haze of pollution, Santiago has a shed load of ambition, culture and quirkiness waiting to captivate international students and tourists alike.

Claiming the title of the ‘pais de poetas’, or ‘country of poets’, Chile adds a strong cultural offering to its natural landscape’s visual beauty. Among the country’s poets and literary stars are Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, as well as international bestsellers Isabel Allende and Roberto Bolano.

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Fast Facts

  • Capital and largest city is Santiago.
  • Spanish is the official language of Chile, but German, English and some native languages, including the Mapuche language Mapudungun, as well as Quechua, Aymara, and Rapa Nui, are also spoken in some parts.
  • The main religion practiced in Chile is Catholicism, although the church and state have been officially separate since 1925.
  • Currency is the Chilean peso (CLP).
  • Chile received independence from Spanish colonial rule in 1913.
  • Major exports include copper, fruit, fish and paper.
  • Borders with Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the Pacific Ocean.
  • National dance is the cueca.
  • Popular sports include soccer (association football), tennis and polo.
  • Chile is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of wine.
  • Easter Island, 3,700km off Chile’s west coast, is the most isolated uninhabited island in the world.
  • Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest in the world.
  • Chile is approximately two times the size of Japan and the 38th largest country in the world.
  • In Chile’s mountainous region there are over 1,300 volcanoes, a number of which are still active.
  • Chile owns a portion of Antarctica as well as the southernmost island known as Joses.
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