Universidad de Chile

International Visiting Students

Information about Chile


Location: south-west South-America

Surface (continental and insular): 756,247 km2.

Capital: Santiago

Type of Government: Representative Democracy, Presidential Regime, Law State

Total population of Chile: 18.006.407

Number of Students in Higher Education:

650,000, equivalent to 37% of people between the ages of 18 and 24

Higher Education Institutes:

16 Public Universities

44 Private Universities (9 of them with state financing)

42 Professional Institutes

58 Technical Training Centers

Official language: Spanish

Official currency: Peso (for its equivalence see: www.bcentral.cl)



Chile borders in North with Peru, in the East with Bolivia and Argentina, and in the West with the Pacific Ocean and in the South with the South Pole.


Because of it topography and its length from north to south, Chile has a great variety of climates. Barren from Arica to La Serena, Mediterranean in the central region until Concepción, tempered rainy from Concepción to Punta Arenas and the polar ice of Antarctica.

Most important cities

The most important cities apart from Santiago (the capital with 7.314.176 inhabitants) are: Antofagasta, Concepción, Temuco, Valparaíso/Viña del Mar (main port of the country), and Puerto Montt.


In the capital city Santiago there is a wide network of public transport through taxis, microbuses or micros. It also has a wide underground network Metro (with five lines). For national trips there are local airlines and very good buses from the capital city to most of the destinations in the country. At the International Airport of Santiago "Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez", at 20 km. of the city, there are minibuses, buses and taxis to get to the city.


The most important and longest paved road is the Panamericana, which joins Chile from Arica to Puerto Montt. There are other very good crosscutting roads and roads that go to bordering countries. The Carretera Austral starts in Puerto Montt. This road will join, in the future, this city with Punta Arenas. The road is 1,200 km long and goes through almost virgin landscapes and territories and is one of the main tourist attractions of Chilean Patagonia.

Update: January 2015

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