Get ready for your MISTI experience in Spanish-speaking South America! Training sessions and resources are designed to familiarize you with Chilean culture in and outside of the workplace.

Country Prep Subpages

Culture Courses

This list is provided as a guide. Not all courses are offered regularly. For pre-requisites and further information, consult the registrar and/or relevant department. The list below includes courses in Global Studies and Languages taught in English.
Course No. Course Name
D-Lab: Development
Economic Development and Policy Analysis
Advanced Seminar in Transportation Finance
Introduction to International Development Planning
Business Model Innovation: Global Health in Frontier Markets
Entrepreneurship Without Borders
Political Economy of Technology and Development in Latin America
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Transitional Justice
Introduction to Latin American Studies
Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution
Latin America: Revolution, Dictatorship and Democracy, 1850 to Present
From Coca to Cocaine: Drug Economies in Latin America
Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction
Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Film

Language Courses

This list is provided as a guide. Not all courses are offered regularly. For placement advice, pre-requisites and further information, consult Global Studies and Languages Headquarters. Courses 21G.711-21G.714 are designed for students who have completed Spanish IV or its equivalent. They serve as a transition between language study and more advanced subjects in literature and culture. Although each subject has a different emphasis, all provide students with additional practice in reading, speaking, and writing. Native speakers of Spanish who have studied Hispanic literature at a high-school level must obtain permission from the instructor to enroll in any of these subjects.
Courses 21G.S01 through 21G.S02 - not listed here - cover special subjects in GSL and offer opportunities for undergraduate study of subject matter that is not covered in the regular curriculum. Consult GSL headquarters for more information.
Course No. Course Name
Spanish I
Spanish I - Globalization
Spanish II
Spanish II - Globalization
Spanish II (Study Abroad)
Refresher Spanish
Spanish III
Spanish III - Globalization
Spanish IV
Spanish IV - Globalization
Spanish: Communication Intensive I
Spanish: Communication Intensive II
Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition: Perspectives on Technology and Culture
Spanish Conversation and Composition
Spanish Conversation and Composition - Globalization
Advanced Communication in Spanish: Topics in Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture: Refining Communication Skills
Topics in Medicine and Public Health in the Hispanic World
Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Film
Introduction to Hispanic Culture
Creation of a Continent: Representations of Hispanic America, 1492-1898, in Literature and Film
Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film
The Short Story in Spain and Hispanic America
Literature and Social Conflict: Perspectives on the Hispanic World
Globalization and its Discontents: Spanish-Speaking Nations
The New Spain: 1977-Present
Spanish I
Spanish II
Spanish II (Study Abroad)
Independent Study
Pre-Thesis Tutorial: Global Studies and Languages
Global Studies and Languages Thesis
Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research

Additional Resources

MIT Language Conversation Exchange Sponsored by Community Wellness at MIT Medical for all members of the MIT community, the Language Conversation Exchange (LCE) will give you an opportunity to practice a language you're learning with a native speaker and share your culture and interests while learning about those of other MIT community members.


Recommended Reading

Latin American Network Information Center Internet portal for Latin American studies content: news, economy, education, society and culture, etc. Search by country or theme.
Memoria Chilena Resource from the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile: primary sources, thematic modules, all types of media (videos, photos, music, etc.)
A History of Chile, 1808-2002. 2nd ed. Collier, S. and W. F. Sater, Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 2004.
The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Hutchison, E.Q. et al., eds. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.
Chilenismos: A Dictionary and Phrasebook for Chilean Spanish Joelson, D. New York: Hippocrene Books, 2005.


Every student needs a valid passport. If you are a US citizen and need to apply or renew your passport, please visit the US State Department's website for more information. Routine service requires 4-6 weeks. Note: your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your planned return. 


Program managers can advise students about the application process, timeline and documents required. Please visit Chile's Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores to find out if you need a visa based on your country of citizenship.

Reciprocity Fee

Students who hold passports from Mexico and Australia must pay a reciprocity fee upon entering Chile. This fee, paid by cash or credit card, is paid prior to going through immigration control. Once paid, you will receive your tourist visa, good for 90 day intervals, and a fee receipt, which will be stapled into the last page of your passport. This one-time fee is good for the life of your passport.

For more information, visit the Chile's Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores page.




MIT-Chile's internship stipend covers the cost of a round trip flight. Flight costs tend to average between USD$800-$1500, depending on the purchase date, airline, route, seat choice, etc. Baggage fees are usually waived for international flights.

Students book their own flights and should do so immediately after confirming internship, teaching, or short-term research project dates with their hosts. Keep in mind that airlines often charge a hefty fee to change flight dates. Also keep in mind that one-way tickets are not necessarily less expensive than a round-trip ticket.


MISTI provides resources and advice for housing throughout Chile. Housing options vary by location, so it is best to start your search early.

Host family

Staying with a host family is a great way to immerse yourself into the Chilean culture. If you are interested in staying with a host family while you are in Chile, please contact the Program Manager as soon as possible, as matching you with a family takes time.

Apartment (in Chile, departamento)

Many MIT-Chile students, especially undergraduates, like to share a place with other MIT students on the program. You can also find a non-MIT roommate; if you want to do this, please speak with the Program Manager.

Check out the cost of living guide to get a sense of how much things cost in Chile. Rent should cost between CLP 160,000-250,000/month (USD$315-500/month) depending on location and the amenities offered. Utilities, including internet, may or may not be included; be sure to ask your point of contact.

Keep in mind that you'll want to look for a furnished apartment, whether you're planning on living alone or looking for a roommate. Also, most apartment buildings have gastos comunes, or building fees that may cover some utilities. Consult your point of contact.

Shared Apartments

Getting Around

If you are placed at an internship in Santiago, use the Metro when you can. The capital’s subway system is generally fast, efficient, and clean. Instead of purchasing single tickets, buy a plastic BIP! card (say BIP! out loud in Spanish and you’ll understand why the cards are named that way) and reload as necessary. The bus system in Santiago can be tricky although buses have fixed routes and stops. Using the bus system takes some getting used to, but  it may be more convenient depending on where you will stay in the city. Visit the Santiago Metro website and the Transantiago (buses) website for more information.