In Fall of 2020, the Department of Biology of the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción in Chile will offer a semester-long full-time study abroad program focused on ecology, biodiversity, and conservation biology in Concepción, Chile, with special attention to the unique flora, fauna, and ecosystems of this beautiful and diverse South American country.
The program will be taught in English by a team of four different professors from the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción.
The Chilean city of Concepción, like Boston, is known as ‘the university city’ for the number and quality of its institutions of higher learning and research. In addition to its universities, Concepción is known for its intense artistic and cultural scenes, as well as for the easy access it provides to all of the conveniences of a large city but with the feel of a small town.
Students participating in the 2020 edition of this program will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the Dec. 14, 2020 total solar eclipse which will cross the south of Chile a mere five hours (by car) from Concepción.
Courses & Credits
Successful completion of the program will grant a total of 18 credits, consisting of twelve 300-level credits in Biology and three credits in a course on Chilean culture and history. All Biology credits count towards the twenty credit 300-level coursework graduation requirement for Biology as well as the Biology residency requirement. The three laboratory credits of the program also count towards the Biology major four-credit upper-level laboratory requirement.
Coursework for the program is as follows:
BIOL 306/382: Marine & Coastal Ecological Research (lecture & lab, 4 credits)
BIOL 381/382 (special topics): Forest Ecology (lecture & lab, 4 credits)
Biol 355/356: Introduction to Data Science for Biology (lecture & lab, 4 credits)
LATAM 101: Latin America: Contemporary Society and Culture (lecture, 3 credits)
SPAN 101/102 or SPAN 201/202†: Elementary Spanish 101 or 102 or Intermediate Spanish 201 or 202 (lecture, 3 credits) †Based on prior Spanish language coursework or a placement exam taken at the time of acceptance to the program.
Marine & Coastal Ecological Research, Forest Ecology, and Latin America: Contemporary Society and Culture will make a number of day field excursions over the course of the semester, as well as one overnight or multi-day trip to another region of Chile for each course.
*Specific coursework details & course codes are subject to change.
All program logistics will be handled by the Office of International Affairs at the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC; http://www.ucsc.cl). UCSC staff will facilitate homestay arrangements with local families and program-related excursions. Homestay lodging will be within walking distance from campus or readily accessible via public transport. Included are three meals per day, an individual room, a shared bathroom, laundry, Internet access, and housekeeping of common areas in the home.
While in Concepción, all instruction will occur in classroom space provided by the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, with access to campus-wide Wifi, library system, health services and athletic facilities available to full-time UCSC students. Instruction also takes place at the UCSC marine biological station in Lenga (https://ciencias.ucsc.cl/estacion-costera/), or during field excursions and overnight trips.
During the overnight field excursions, students visit major cities, national parks, and the coast, putting into practice what they have learned across all five courses of the semester. Transportation, housing, and meals (or a meal allowance) are provided for all trips away from Concepción.
During typical weeks, on-campus instruction will usually be restricted to Monday through Thursday permitting program students the freedom to explore the Concepción region and southern Chile in their free time.
Schedule & Fees
August 27 - December 16, 2020
Students should plan to arrive to Concepción by Thursday August 27, 2020 for an orientation that will occur on Friday, August 28. Classes begin on Monday, August 31. The last day of programmed activity in the semester will be Tuesday, December 15.
Tuition and costs portion for the five courses, payable to UMass Boston, is to be determined. Tuition for the 2019 program was $4,395. This course is open to all University of Massachusetts Boston students. Students from other colleges and universities are also welcome to apply.
The logistics fee (housing, meals, excursions)
Participants may make their own logistics arrangements, for housing and meals for the semester, or take advantage of the homestay services provided by UCSC, payable to UCSC, at a cost of $5,600. Please note: The UCSC logistics fee includes the costs of excursions & other curricular programs. Participants who make their own logistics arrangements are still responsible for paying an excursions fee (TBD) to UCSC.
The cost of RT airfare is not included and is the responsibility of each participant (typical RT fare: $800 - $1,100). Participants receive standard travel insurance afforded to all UMass Boston participants on sponsored travel. Program fees do not include health insurance, visa costs, or personal expenses.
Individuals from other colleges and universities are also welcome to apply.
Application Deadline: March 2, 2020, or until filled
Liam J. Revell
(Instructor: Ecological Data Analysis; Program Academic Director)
University of Massachusetts Boston
Iván A. Hinojosa
(Instructor: Marine & Coastal Ecological Research)
Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción
(Instructor: Forest Ecology)
Universidad Católica de la Santisima Concepción
Course instructors for LATAM 101, SPAN 101/102, SPAN 201/202 are TBD
Program coordinator (Chile)
Head of Student Exchange Programs, UCSC
Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción
For more information on academics, please contact:
Liam J. Revell, Professor, Biology Department
Chile is a beautiful country that is home to an extraordinarily diverse array of landscapes and climates, ranging from the driest desert in the world, to temperate rainforest, to warm beaches, to snow-capped mountains. Chileans are warm and welcoming to the over three million foreigners who visit the country each year. Apart from being a site of great natural wonders and resources, Chile also has a rich cultural tradition and history. Finally, Chile is a stable, highly developed country with strong democratic institutions and excellent public safety.
Concepción is considered to be ‘the door to Southern Chile.’ Major attractions nearby include a variety of national parks and reserves, as well as easy access to outdoor activities such as skiing, rafting, rock climbing, hiking, horseback-riding, and fishing.
The climate in Concepción is cool Mediterranean, with a mild, rainy winter, and summer months that are warm and dry, but almost never hot. The city itself is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, and offers unforgettable cultural and natural attractions for visitors.
Please note: study abroad programs are subject to change at any time due to circumstances beyond our control; this includes any and all fees, dates, itinerary, and program activities. We will do our best to inform all applicants of any changes in as timely a manner as possible.