Founded in 1888, Pontificia Universidad Católica is a private, Catholic university located in Santiago, Chile. It is one of the oldest universities in Chile, and is recognized as one of the top universities in Latin America. PUC is home to 18 schools on four campuses throughout the city of Santiago. Approximately 20,000 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students are enrolled at PUC.
Chile is often ranked as one of the most desirable countries in Latin America for students and tourists alike, and thus the country has seen a steady increase in international student enrollment in recent years. The country has a population of approximately 16 million people, while the city of Santiago is the largest in the country, with 6 million inhabitants. PUC’s campus is located in the capital city Santiago, located in the country’s central valley, where they can enjoy being in the modern, cultural hub of the country, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Andes mountains.
The exchange program at PUC completely immerses students in Chilean culture and education, as students take classes in Spanish alongside local Chilean and international students taught by distinguished PUC faculty. Learn more by visiting the university website as well as the website for exchange students.
The majority of courses at PUC are taught in Spanish, and thus students willing and able to take courses in Spanish will have a much broader selection of courses to choose from. In addition, a small selection of courses at PUC are taught in English. Information about academics at PUC can be downloaded here.
Selecting courses: Students may choose from PUC’s complete course catalog. Be careful to browse only those courses offered during the “segundo semestre” which is fall term. Students hoping to take some coursework in English should click on "cursos dictados en inglès" in the course catalog.
Course Approvals: As part of the application process, students are required to have Drexel equivalent course numbers and credit approved by the appropriate Drexel department. For example, to take a Literature course abroad for Drexel credit, the course equivalent must be pre-approved by Drexel’s English Department.
Credits and Grading: Students are taught and graded by local faculty at their host university. Grades are noted as "CR/NCR" on their transcript and will NOT affect their GPA. In order to receive CR, students must earn a "C" or above. Students must take a course load that fits within the full time credit range of both their host university (varies) and Drexel (12 – 20 credits). Students are strongly discouraged from taking the minimum credit requirement.
Drexel Majors Available at PUC:
Fall term: late July/ early August - mid December
PUC is a semester school. Students will attend PUC’s 2nd Semester and receive fall term credit. Students will need to arrange early departure from their spring/summer co-op early in order to arrive in late July/early August. Please review the PUC academic calendar for more detailed information.
Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile believes that maintaining an active exchange program with foreign universities is crucial to further develop the academic environment. This has led to exchange agreements with more than 300 universities in 45 countries, making for a vibrant local and international university community.
All students will attend an orientation program the week before classes begin in order to meet other students and become familiar with the many opportunities and services available to exchange students. Students may join clubs and extracurricular activities, including PUC’s “welcoming committee” which organizes activities typical to local Chilean culture.
While there are no university-administered dormitories on campus, students may live in apartments or nearby student residences. PUC offers a variety of housing suggestions and resources to students seeking convenient options near the university.
Visa Instructions: Students are required to obtain a student visa for entry into Chile. This process may take 6-8 weeks, so students should plan ahead. Accepted students should contact the Chilean Consulate, and may refer to PUC’s visa instructions for further assistance.
Cost and Finanacial Aid
Students are billed their normal Drexel tuition and keep all financial aid during their term abroad. Please refer to the program Budget Sheet for cost details. If you receive Federal Work Study, consider applying for the Study Abroad Online Journalist work study position (only available to students after accepted into the program). To seek additional funding, review the Scholarship & Funding Opportunities. Students who receive Federal Pell Grant should apply for the Gilman Scholarship. Remember that scholarship deadlines may be much earlier than study abroad deadlines, so plan accordingly.