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Culture Corner

The ISA Valparaíso and Viña del Mar Offices

There are two conveniently located ISA offices in Chile. Students are encouraged to visit the ISA facilities during regular weekday business hours to check e-mail, receive tutoring, obtain travel advice, or to practice speaking Spanish and visit with the ISA staff.

The main ISA office is conveniently located directly across from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso's main building and only a five minute walk from the ocean. The office is a large house where the friendly resident staff is available to you during office hours and is on call after hours. They will provide support during the enrollment process at the host university and assist with housing and travel advice. In addition, the office serves simply as a place where you can chat with the staff and your peers, practice your Spanish, and use the kitchen and computer resources.

The Viña del Mar office is located on the University of Adolfo Ibáñez campus, and is a smaller location dedicated to providing basic student support such as tutoring for those attending the UAI. Since the Viña del Mar office is only open part-time, students attending the UAI also have access to the Valparaíso office.

View the ISA Offices on a map.

The Universities

Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso:
Founded in 1928, the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso (PUCV) is one of the most prestigious institutions of the Chilean higher educational system. With an enrollment of over 13,000 students, the university hosts around 250 international students each semester. Although the PUCV's academic facilities are located in both Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, its main complex is located on the northern edge of Valparaíso across the street from the ISA office. Surrounded by palm trees, and only a short walk from the pier in Valpo, the PUCV is located conveniently in the heart of the city.

University of Adolfo Ibañez:
Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez is an AACSB accredited university which originated from the Business School of Valparaiso in 1953. Since then its faculties have expanded to cover areas of study such as Commercial and Civil Industrial Engineering, Law, Journalism, Psychology, History, Literature, and Government. It has an enrollment of more than 7,000 students among its campuses, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The campus also boasts facilities for playing tennis, soccer, volleyball, rugby, basketball, swimming, weight training and more.

View the universities on a map.

ISA Housing

ISA Housing in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar provides students with the opportunity to enjoy a truly memorable experience by living in a Chilean home or pensión with a local family!

Homestays and Pensión locations are chosen based on the safety and feel of the neighborhood. All home stays and pensiones are located in middle to upper class neighborhoods throughout Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, and offer glimpses of everyday life with easy access to your university and to city amenities.

Although some locations are close enough to the university for you to walk, "micros" or "colectivos" are the best form of transportation to get to school or the ISA office. Both forms of transportation are inexpensive, and most routes run by the PUCV and/or the UAI. Since the PUCV is located in downtown Valpo and most housing neighborhoods are on the hills, you should be prepared to walk up or downhill from a micro or colectivo stop. Many students living in Viña del Mar take the newly built Metro, which runs along the beach, to school in Valparaiso. This is likely the fastest and most inexpensive mode of transportation between the two cities, although micros are another great option.

To find out more about housing assignments, please visit the "Housing" section of the Valparaíso/Viña del Mar page.

Typical Chilean dining room in a Valparaiso homestay.