FSA Chile Course and Credit Information


The FSA in Santiago begins in late August with intensive language study designed to help students of all abilities gain/improve proficiency and comfort with Spanish. Students will be placed in language levels according to their abilities – from beginner to advanced. Students continue their study of Spanish throughout the semester with local faculty and take three courses taught in English by Bates and University of Chile faculty. These three courses, described below, will be supplemented by weekly meetings with the program faculty to discuss the intersections that develop between the individual courses and to prepare students for engagement with healthcare providers in hospitals and clinics. The program ends in mid-December.


The Zombie Scare: Viruses, Difference and the Question of Security and Order (Professor Claudia Aburto Guzmán)

The course examines Chilean, Argentinean and Mexican graphic narratives and film based on ‘weird fiction’ strategies.  It studies the use of alternative and post-apocalyptic realities to comment on contemporary anxieties, fears and discord. The course also takes a temporal and geographical comparative approach in order to better understand the influence of Western dominant-nations and modern science on cultural texts that comment on national historical processes such as modernization or mechanization, national memory, displacement and immigrations using ‘weird fiction’ strategies. The importance of place is explored to tease out the adaptations and modifications being made to the genres in order that they address global concerns as the local concerns of non-hegemonic locales. The question of adaptation and application is examined as a dialogical relationship which comprises both an aesthetic response and the potential of a practical model (identifying questions that shed light on the process of transformation from global to local concerns). The model and/or process is then used to examine Chilean ‘anxieties’ (immigration, citizenship, post-dictatorial memory, HIV, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights) as well as to approach the choices made by Chilean science researches and Public Health education as they pertain to said anxieties. A purposeful dialogical relationship is established with the science and public health courses’ method of inquiry in order to gain a better understanding of the impact scientific advances have on conceptualizing or identifying ‘anxieties’ and their representations on popular texts.


Genetically Modified Organisms: Science and Latin American Perceptions (Professor T. Glen Lawson)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to biotechnology, one of the most important revolutions in the life sciences that has occurred within the last two hundred years, and its impact on humanity, particularly South American populations.  While learning about the scientific approach to solving problems, students will explore biotechnology as it has been applied to medicine and agricultural food production through the generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including the supporting science and history that begins with the migration of humans onto the South American continent around 15,000 years ago.   GMOs increasingly contribute to food supplies worldwide, and the extent to which they are cultured and consumed in modern day Latin America will be examined, along with the attitude of Latin American people toward including GMOs in their own food chain.  The potential benefits to humanity, the potential harm, and the ethics associated with the large-scale commercial manipulation of organisms released into the environment will also be considered.  The intersections of science and human interests with human health and welfare will be a core theme for this course.


Introduction to Public Health in Chile (Professor Oscar Arteaga Herrera)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to public health and the development of public health perspectives.  This includes the context of of public health development in society, public health systems, and the identification of areas where these systems act.  The determinants of health, the different levels of disease prevention, and societal needs and security will be explored along the solutions provided by public structures.



This program is part of the Bates curriculum. The 2018 Fall Semester Abroad in Santiago provides students with four Bates credits and a complete General Education Concentration (GEC) upon successful completion. Students also earn: two Spanish credits, which may count towards the major/minor – the actual number depends on the level of the language; three credits towards the Latin American Studies major. In addition, students will fulfill the Scientific Reasoning (S) General Education Requirement