Santiago may lack the hype of Rio or Buenos Aires but it is both cleaner and safer than its South American neighbours. Its spectacular setting between the Andes and the Pacific makes it perfect for trekking, climbing, skiing, sunbathing, or wine tasting. Plazas, parks, and fountains share space with street performers, urban photographers and historical buildings. Downtown, the subtle mix of old and new is interfused by neo-Baroque architecture and glass towers, haute cuisine and streetside sopaipillas (fried dough), bank and stock market branches together with arts and performance spaces.
- Stable political situation and growing economy
- Higher education system is highly privatised and expensive
- Increasing outbound mobility further enhanced by scholarship opportunities
- Long-term traditions in student exchange
Although an overall economy slowdown is noticeable in the region, Chile saw growth of 2.4% in the first quarter of 2015, projected to continue accelerating. This is a prerequisite to more affluent household income and increased capabilities of supporting students abroad.
Chilean higher education holds the second place in terms of cost among OECD countries, preceded only by the USA. 80% of Chilean students are enrolled in private institutions seeking better education quality, although public universities also charge tuition fees. The plans for reform offering free education from March 2016 at the expense of what is seen as the biggest corporate tax increase in 50 years remain uncertain.
According to data from UNESCO, the number of Chilean students abroad steadily increases since 2008 with the US being the top destination preference. The Becas Chile (CONICYT) scholarship programme provides financial support for international enrolment for masters, PhDs, technical and postdoctoral degrees in the following disciplines: energy, biotechnology, IT, environment, health, education, science, and engineering.
Chile maintains strong relations for exchanging students with USA, Australia, South Korea and China. Other popular destinations for students are Spain, France, the UK, Germany and Argentina.
Find out how to recruit Chilian students in our special e-guide, which can be downloaded for free here.