Discover the Experience


Culture

Chile is located in South America. Its bordering countries are Peru and Bolivia in the North and Argentina to the East. Its natural borders are the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Magellan Strait to the South. Chilean geography is best known for its variety of climates and sceneries. Arid desert, fields of fruits and beautiful beaches, volcanoes, lakes, world's second largest rainforest, plus fjords and canals, pampas and glaciers. Well known Easter Island is off the coast. The deserts in the North, the central valleys, and the Lakes Regions in the South make Chile an ideal place for vacation and adventure. Throughout the years, Chile has become a politically stable country with a growing economy which, in turn, makes it a safe and perfect place to immerse oneself in the culture. Chile's population is about 16 million. Official language is Spanish, and its currency is the Chilean peso. Overall, it is a "mestizo" country, of mixed European and indigenous extraction.

Viña del Mar, known as "The Garden City" was founded in 1874. It is considered as the capital of Chilean tourism, for it is the most important resort area in Chile along the Pacific shoreline. Viña del Mar is part of the Valparaiso Region and it is located next to the Capital City of Santiago, as well as links with sister-city Valparaiso with is the main seaport and seat of Parliament. The climate is similar to San Francisco in the US, Blue Coast in the Mediterranean Sea, Cape Town in South Africa, and Perth, Australia. Average summer temperature (December – March) is 68 degrees (F), and in winter, -59 degrees (F). The crime rate is very low in Viña del Mar, and staff there advises students about it.

Chilean Spanish has its own characteristics. You will notice that in general Chileans speak fast and do not have the clearest pronunciation in the Spanish speaking world. However, you will get used to it, so don't worry. They commonly do not pronounce the "s" on ends of words. Chilean Spanish has some words for things that are different than Standard Spanish. You may hear the second person singular pronounces as "ai" rather than "as".  For example, "¿Como estai" rather than "¿Cómo estás?" It may sound strange at first, but it's part of the beauty of the language.