SFS-Chile: Wild Patagonia

Program Details

Program Location Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35012
Duration Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Spring 2025 01/06/25 to 05/09/25
Fall 2024 08/31/24 to 12/12/24
Past Dates
Spring 2024 01/30/24 to 05/10/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


This program fills quickly, often before the application deadline. Students wanting to participate in this program are strongly encouraged to complete the application early. 

Patagonia is a land of fire and ice. Here massive glaciers and active volcanoes form a wild landscape unlike any other. Spend a semester amid the soaring peaks, massive glaciers, and narrow fjords of Patagonia, where the trails of national parks like Torres del Paine become your classroom for research and field work. Embark on expeditions to the southernmost tip of South America and the volcanic lakes region of northern Patagonia to study climate change impacts, diverse ecosystems, and conservation in one of the world’s most iconic regions.

  • Hike through the dramatic landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park, and take an expedition to neighboring Argentina and the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Explore the dramatic shifting landscapes, from sub-polar, broadleaf evergreen forests growing alongside glaciers to broad open plains where flightless rheas and guanacos roam
  • Journey to northern Patagonia’s lakes region, home to the lush Valdivian temperate rainforests, the active Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes, and endangered blue whales
  • Conduct a comprehensive field research project: Develop a research question, collect and analyze data, write a paper, and present your findings.
For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.


The program is open to Purdue students who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity and a desire to experience another culture.  

Prerequisite: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science

GPA Requirement: 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture] [College of Liberal Arts] [College of Science]
Specifically from: EAPS & BIOL (SCI)

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Chile.

Participants take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Major academic themes include:

  • Climate change impacts and resilience
  • Glacial and freshwater dynamics
  • Geology and volcanic activity
  • Penguin behavior
  • Endangered species protection
  • Coastal and alpine ecology
  • Conservation strategy and practice
  • National park visitation and protected areas management
Please see SFS website for full course details.



Students will visit different ecosystems and communities, which may include glaciers and ice fields, fjords, coastal villages and port cities, Valdivian temperate forests, protected areas surrounding the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes, penguin colonies, freshwater ecosystems in the Lakes District, and popular national parks.

Excursions subject to change.


Surrounded by the jagged peaks of Cerro Benítez and the deep blue waters of the Señoret Channel lies the port city of Puerto Natales – the gateway to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. Located in the heart of this bustling tourist hub is the Center for Climate Studies, your home base for expeditions throughout the region.
  • Dorm living with 2 to 4-person bunkrooms
  • Classroom and student lounge
  • Kitchen and dining room, and on-site cooking staff
  • Nearby hiking trail and running routes
  • Steps away from the town square, shops, and cafes of Puerto Natales
  • Short walk to the Señoret Channel, a scenic fjord with views of the Andes

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.
Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

Program & housing fees include: tuition, program/class-related travel, all meals, and accommodations.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2024

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $21,050.00
Study Abroad Fee $914.10
Housing $7,950.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $2,000.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,800.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

SFS offers many scholarships and/or 0% interest loans (no FAFSA form required). Please see the SFS website for more details.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

This program tends to fill quickly. Students should apply earlier than our stated deadline.
Program Application Deadline
Fall Semester Mar 1
Spring Semester Sep 1

Returnees Information

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email studyabroad@purdue.edu.