Chile: Advanced Spanish Language Immersion with UBB

With two primary campuses, Concepcion and Chillan, UBB offers a wide range of curricular options. UBB has approximately 13,000 students and two primary campuses: Concepcion and Chillan. The Concepcion campus houses Engineering, Architecture, Business and Sciences. The Chillan campus houses Health and nutrition, Education, graphic design, and English. UBB is most suitable for Spanish majors and minors, but it is also a great location for those interested in English education. The vast majority of courses at UBB are taught in Spanish, with the exception of the courses taught in the English Department. Students must have a minimum of 5 semesters of college-level Spanish to participate in this program. UBB is a premier regional University in the Bio Bio region. 

Students who have previously studied abroad at Universidad del Bio Bio (UBB) have often spent free time traveling throughout Chile. Chile is the longest country on earth! It is home to the driest desert in the north, Patagonia to the south, and beautiful coastline and mountains throughout the country. Students typically stay in homestays which offer students a full immersion into the host culture. 

Host University Website

GVSU's partner universities are largely independent programs; prospective participants should carefully consider if this form of study abroad suits their needs before registering. These partnerships allow students to experience a more independent international study abroad, but also require students to have a high level of flexibility and the ability to navigate much of the program independently. Those who prefer additional support may wish to consider other study abroad options such as external study abroad providers and our faculty-led options.


2.5 GPA Required
Spanish Language Requirement
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Winter 2024

Estimated Program Dates: March 2024 - June 2024
Application Deadline: September 1, 2023 (Closed)


NOTICE SEMESTER DATES MAY FLUCTUATE: During the past several years, UBB has occasionally experienced student strikes which caused delays in the semester start or completion in several faculties. Due to these delays, the UBB calendar has been affected, and now operates with different semester start and end dates based on the faculty you plan to take courses in. Participants will be required to exercise a great deal of flexibility while UBB continues to regularize operations after the disruption of the strikes. Dates listed above are all estimates and subject to change. The Padnos International Center will keep students abreast of any necessary schedule adjustments.

During the 2017 academic year, several faculties began their semester 1 in April and ended semester 1 in mid-August. This is an example of an adjusted schedule. The Padnos International Center will keep students informed of any updates on calendar changes.


Students attending UBB during the Fall semester may be eligible to return home in December provided they are passing all of their classes and have approval from their instructors. Otherwise, students will be expected to stay until the end of the semester which is in January. In past years, GVSU students have been approved to return home in December; however, this is not a guarantee.



UBB offers a wide range of course options in Spanish for undergraduate students. 

Concepcion and Chillan Campuses

Students will select a campus based on the type of coursework that they want to take. The list below indicates which subjects are available at each campus.

Undergraduate programs on the Concepcion Campus include: Architecture, Building Engineering, Industrial Design, Statistics Engineering, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Wood Sciences Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Automation Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Business Administration, Informatics Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics Engineering, Accountancy & Auditing and Social Work,

Undergraduate programs on the Chillan Campus include: Graphic Design, Early Years Teacher Education, Primary Studies Teacher Education, Language and Communication Teacher Education, Mathematics Teacher Education, Natural Sciences Teacher Education, History and Geography Teacher Education, English Language Teacher Education, Physical Education, Social Work, Psychology, Natural Resources Engineering, BA in Sciences, Business Administration, Computer Science and Informatics Engineering, Accountancy and Auditing, Food Engineering, Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Speech Therapy

Available Courses at UBB:

Chillan Campus - Castellano y Comunicacion

Chillan Campus - Malla Curricular Ingenieria Comercial

Chillan Campus - Castellano

Chillan Campus - Pedagogia en Historia y Geografia

Concepcion Campus - Formacion Integral (General Studies)


Pre-approved Courses: Other GVSU students have studied abroad at this partner institution. The button below will take you to a list of GVSU equivalencies they have received. PLEASE  NOTE: This list indicates courses that have been previously approved. This is NOT a list of all available courses on this program.

Pre-Approved Courses 

Students registering for courses that have NOT been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions: Course Approval Process 

For information on fulfilling general education courses abroad, visit: General Education 


Students studying at the UBB will have the option of living in home stays or shared houses that are off-campus

Concepcion campus: homestay, shared house with other international students, or a pension (renting a room in a local home). 

Chillan campus: homestay or shared house with other international students.

*Most housing placements are in walking distance to campus or within a short bus ride. All payments for housing is paid directly to landlord or family.

Cost and Scholarships


Cost Breakdown     

Financial Aid FAQ's


Questions? Contact [email protected] or 616-331-3898 

 Additional Scholarships


Open to all majors: 

Students must be degree seeking and have completed a minimum of 5 semesters of college-level Spanish. 

2.5 GPA required

All applicants must have completed at least 1 semester at GVSU at the time of application.

Additional Information

Host University Website


When studying abroad, it is important to learn about the culture of your host country.

For information on music, food, language, history, news and more; view Cultural Information

UBB link on Culture (Viña del Mar) (Villarica)

Chile in 6 Minutes

Videos on the Bio-Bio Region and the Nuble Region

Campus Info / Campus Life

UBB's academic year begins in March. Students attending UBB during the Fall semester may be eligible to return home in December provided they are passing all of their classes have have approval from their instructors. Otherwise, students will be expected to stay until the end of the semester which is in January.  

For students who have a choice on which semester to participate, winter semester is highly recommended.  During the 2017 academic year, some of the faculties started the semester in April and ended in mid-August.

Campus Life

Google Map

Already Applied

Visa Requirements

Students applying for one semester (or more than 90 days) at Universidad del Bio Bio will be required to secure a student visa from the Chilean Consulate in Chicago. The student visa guide provides information regarding the application process. Please note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information.

Students applying to study at UBB for a semester or year will be required to secure an FBI background check in order to apply for the student visa. The FBI background check may take any where from 2 - 10 weeks for processing. We recommend that students apply for the FBI background check at least 5 months prior to your intended departure.

CDC Report

CDC Report

US State Department Information

US State Department Country Information (Chile)

US State Department - Students Abroad

US Embassy in Chile

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Report - Crime and Security Report


Application Timeline

UBB Credit System

UBB Travel Information

Grand Valley in UBB News

Resources for Emergency Situations

Health and Safety Resources

Reporting an Incident

PIC Emergency Procedures

Contact Information

Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
[email protected]

"I was absolutely terrified going in because I was the only NON-Chilean student in my classes and Chilean Spanish is more difficult to understand than other dialects of Spanish as I quickly found out. BUT, all of the students and professors were very helpful, and excited to have a foreigner in the classroom. They helped me understand and keep up in the classes, and the challenges of 1) the Chilean dialect and 2) reading Spanish Literature, improved my Spanish immensely. I also stayed with a wonderful Chilean family, and made many Chilean friends who I still keep in touch with - and I fell in love with Chile so much that I have returned and I am currently teaching English in Santiago with a B Corporation called "Beyond English."" -Barbara Jandernoa


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