Capital: Santiago  |  Population: 17.46 million

Country Overview

Welcome to Chile, a beautifully mountainous country and one of the most prosperous nations in South America.

Chile’s natural geography is breathtaking in its diversity, boasting volcanoes, lakes, islands, forests, canals and lush valleys. While most of the country experiences four distinct seasons, Chile is home to seven different climate types.

Chile is a constitutional republic, led by a president and congress.

Spanish is the official language in Chile, though it is spoken with a distinctive accent and rhythm all its own. Because of the sprawling, vertical nature of the country, cultural traditions and observances vary widely between its different regions.

Daily Life

Family is important in Chilean daily life, and extended family gatherings and congregations are frequent and enjoyed. Many small businesses are family run and close-knit.

Roman Catholicism is a very influential part of Chilean life, with the overwhelming majority of citizens identifying as Roman Catholic and most national holidays being religiously connected. 

Food has a very special place in Chilean culture, with families usually eating four times a day. Dinner is typically served much later than in the U.S., usually around 9 p.m. and features delicious seafood from its extensive coastline and oftentimes corn, squash and beans.



Students attend school in Chile from 4 to 17 years old, and 93 percent of them are covered by Chile’s school voucher system.

High schoolers attend one of two types of secondary education school: “Scientific-humanities” which prepares them for further university studies, or “Technical-professional” which is geared toward preparing students for the workforce with practical and technical skills.


Chilean teenagers enjoy spending time with friends and going to the movies. Many of them play sports or are involved in other activities.

Chilean teens dress similarly to American teens, though most are required to wear uniforms to school.