SFS-Chile: The Patagonian Winter

Program Details

Program Location Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35012
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Past Dates
Summer 2024 06/03/24 to 07/02/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


With June comes the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, a significant period of the year for both ecology and society. Join SFS Chile in the rugged landscape of Southern Patagonia, at 51 °S latitude, for a deeply interdisciplinary exploration of how ecology and society intertwine to usher in the new season. Travel to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park to study how terrestrial and freshwater plants and animals have adapted to meet this yearly challenge in the land of glaciers. Celebrate the indigenous New Year on the night of the Winter Solstice and learn how lifeways adapt to the extreme southern environment. Take time to explore the various facets of winter at the southern end of the Americas.

  • Spend three days in Torres del Paine National Park, where you’ll see guanacos, flightless ñandús, and traverse the broadleaf evergreen forests of coigue and canelo trees near the ice wall of the Grey Glacier.
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 in good standing 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.

GPA Requirement: 2.6 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) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

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.

Major academic themes include:

  • Interdisciplinary critical thinking
  • Socio-ecology, conservation, and globalization
  • Winter ecology
  • Climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Southern Hemisphere high-latitude indigenous cultures
  • Conservation challenges posed by climate change and resource extraction


You will visit locations and meet people that will help provide context to explore the implications and impacts of the coming of winter and the longest night of the year. This includes visiting Patagonian ranches (estancias) in the hills and forests of Southern Patagonia, hiking through the forests, along the rivers, and up to glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park, and learning from Kawesqar and Mapuche-Williche people living in the region.


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.

  • Up to 8-person, dorm-style rooms with shared baths
  • Classroom and student lounge
  • Kitchen and dining room, and on-site cooking staff
  • Just a few blocks 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.

The program and housing fees cover: room and board for one four-week session, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, orientation and pre- and post-program advisory services. Total Program Cost does not include transportation to and from the program location.

The fees below are for the one 4-week summer session with SFS. Please speak to your study abroad advisor for the program costs for participation in two summer sessions with SFS.

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

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $6,400.00
Study Abroad Fee $609.40
Housing $2,500.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $2,000.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,200.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

In order to qualify for financial aid (incl. loans), students need to register for at least six credits during the summer. Participating in this program in Costa Rica will only result in four credits, therefore students planning to use summer aid will need to enroll in at least two more credits during the summer at Purdue or combine this program with another 4-week session at a different SFS location.

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.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 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.