With its characteristically warm people, complex and beautiful landscapes, savory cuisine, and rich cultural traditions, Chile can make you feel good inside and out. It’s the perfect balance of comfort and intrigue, making it an ideal place to call home for a summer, a semester, or a year abroad.
Gringo: a term of endearment!
AFS students who studied abroad in Chile say that one thing they love about the country is how friendly the people are. They remember fondly being called “gringo” by everyone they met. Yep, that’s right! In Chile, “gringo” is the supreme term of endearment for foreigners.
Chileans also kiss on the cheek when they see each other, and visitors are often surprised by how easily they form close relationships. This same friendliness is seen in schools, where students are very collaborative and go to great lengths to help their friends learn and succeed. It’s a far cry from the competitiveness of many American schools, AFS Returnees have said.
Asado: An integral part of Chilean life
Throughout Chile, in the countryside and major cities, families make asado (barbecue) part of their daily lives. Family members, friends, and neighbors gather to grill up items like parilla(chorizo sausages), steaks and racks of ribs. All come accompanied with the country’s national condiment – a sauce made with tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, olive oil, and chili peppers. Vegetable dishes like tomato salad and potato salad round out the meal. Yum!
Pablo Neruda: Poet, activist, diplomat
You know a place must be inspiring when it gives rise to a world famous poet. Chilean native, Pablo Neruda, has captured the hearts and minds of millions with his words. In 1971, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and today, his poetry is present throughout the Chile. While you’re there, you can even visit his three homes.
Fun fact about Pablo: Green was his favorite color, so he wrote his poems in green ink! He believed it was the color of hope.
The mysterious Moai statues of Easter Island
Few things in the world are more mysterious and fascinating than the Moai statues of Easter Island. Nearly 900 of these enormous statues were built by the island’s earliest inhabitants out of volcanic stone. No one knows what they mean or how exactly they were created, but visitors unanimously agree: they’re a stunning relic from another age.
Ranging from 3 to over 70 feet tall, the statues rise majestically out of an otherwise barren landscape. It’s no surprise that they were named a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Unparalleled geographic diversity
Chile forms a slim line down the western coast of South America. Though never more than 221 miles wide, it extends more than 2,500 miles from north to south (roughly the distance between San Francisco and New York). As a result, its territory passes through multiple climates, giving it some serious geographic diversity.
Chile boasts subtropical deserts, temperate rainforests, gorgeous beaches and breathtaking Andean mountain peaks. Among other outdoor delights, it offers world class skiing from June to August, and perhaps best of all, penguins!
Ready to begin your own study abroad journey in Chile or one of our other 90+ destinations? Start your application here.