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Fields of Study: Social Sciences, Science

In Villarrica, you begin the course work that addresses the themes of the program. Courses are offered in a sequence that builds gradually to prepare you for the final planning projects. The first week is completely focused on the Latin American Conservation course to give you a broad background. Next, the first fieldwork trip brings you together with all of the instructors to introduce the three courses that will run the length of the program and provide the basis for much of your work: Forest Ecosystems, Interculturality, and Planning.

Several other fieldwork trips to different national parks will help you to define your own project and gain the necessary expertise. A five-day visit to Kod kod, a natural retreat area with cabins and meeting spaces, will be the location for much of the intensive Field Methods course.

Additional time in the field and the classrooms will culminate with the final presentations of your team's environmental planning project and the celebration of the program.

Unique study opportunities

  • Participate in an environmental planning project with a team of classmates.
  • Attend a five-day cabin retreat to learn skills and approaches to field research.
  • Examine the impact of human settlement and tourism on the natural settings of the country.
  • Address environmental management and socio-ecological sustainability in Latin America.


Language of Instruction: English

Spanish Language Study: Required

A two-week survival Spanish course in Santiago begins the program to assist you in your interactions with locals. Thereafter, all program courses are instructed in English, and some indigenous language (Mapudungun) will play a part as well.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Six courses for a total of 24.5 quarter/16.3 semester UC units.
  • Complete a mandatory safety workshop on site to learn basic first aid and outdoor safety skills.
  • Participate in outdoor academic field activities, including moderate hikes (e.g., up to 8 miles).

Current Program Courses

All courses are required:


While independent research is an integral component of this program, other independent study is not available.

Catalogs and resources

  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location. There are currently no listings for this program in the database.

Academic culture

The Socio-Ecological Sustainability Program offers five courses that have been carefully planned to work together and provide not only multidisciplinary material but a range of experience as well. Reading, writing, field research, and a planning exercise are all closely coordinated into the academics. Some of the courses will run during the length of the program, one or two will be intense and offered during a limited period. The group planning project occurs near the end of the program so that you can take apply everything that you have learned to that point.

In addition to the setting in Villarrica itself, there will be several trips to National Parks in southern Chile to explore different natural settings and consider the different impacts of nearby human settlements.


Grades for this program will be available between early January to early February.