World heritage site in Chile

Valparaíso aims to attract foreign students for higher education

An international seminar will analyze strategies for promoting its universities as destinations for international study.

Friday, October 08, 2010  
Houses of UNESCO World Heritage site, Valparaiso. Houses of UNESCO World Heritage site, Valparaiso.

Specialists from Germany, the United States and Spain will address strategies for  attracting students to institutions of higher education in the region of Valparaíso. The seminar to be held at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (UCV), organized in conjunction with ProChile, will take place on October 19.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the central port and hills of Valparaíso are known throughout Chile for their vibrant architecture and thriving cultural life. The country’s bohemian capital is home to some of its best musicians and artists, as well as some of Chile’s most exciting restaurants and bars. All this adds up to make Valpo, as the city is affectionately known, a particularly attractive destination for young people.

Approximately 1,600 exchange students study in the Valparaíso region each year, about half of those choosing to study at UCV. Another 36,000 students come to the region from elsewhere in Chile. Including locals studying at regional institutions, a total of about 106,000 students study in the Valparaíso region each year. Regional officials hope to increase this number by 5-7% annually, though according to UCV the industry of higher education in the region already generates some US$470 million each year.

Affiliated with more than 100 institutions of higher learning in 27 countries, UCV alone has attracted students from nations as far away as Japan, with others arriving from countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia. 16 other institutions of higher education in the region are also working to make themselves even more accessible to students around the globe. Valpo is particularly popular with students from the United States, who constitute roughly half of all study abroad students in the region.

The website www.studyinvalparaiso.com was launched in May 2010 to promote the city and region as major educational destinations for Chileans. The website currently includes information on housing, living costs and survival tips. A section designed for foreign students is currently under construction.