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The international experience is a cornerstone to the Alzar School semester and a critical component of the leadership development program. Every semester, Alzar School spends approximately six to seven weeks in Chile. Fall semesters end in Chile and Spring semesters begin in Chile.
While in Chile, students continue their academic curriculum with faculty traveling with the group. Students will spend approximately three to four weeks living at Base Patagonia, our 375-acre campus near Coyhaique, Chile, in the Aysén region of Patagonia. Here, students continue their academic courses while getting to know the towns, people, and activities of the area. Lessons, guest speakers, and 0ff-campus activities leverage these unique locations to help students draw connections to the towns, country, and current issues. Examples include grocery shopping at local markets, volunteering at the recycling center, paddling with a Chilean kayaking club, and practicing Spanish comprehension in cooking lessons with local chefs.
The international experience is not limited to the time spent abroad. This experience is integrated throughout the semester. Chilean students are part of each semester, living, studying and exploring alongside students from the U.S. No prior study of Spanish is required, but it is the only language we offer, as we want all students to be prepared to immerse themselves into life in Chile.
Differences between Fall and Spring Semesters in Chile
- Students who participate in our Fall semesters experience “spring/early summer” weather in Patagonia, with river levels being higher, snow at lower elevations, and green scenery. For Fall semester students, they fly to Chile with Alzar School staff, leaving our Idaho campus together. At the end of their semester, students celebrate graduation in Chile, then depart Chile to return directly to their home city.
- Students who participate in our Spring semesters experience “summer/early fall” weather in Patagonia, with lower river levels, more tourism traffic (though still sparse), and generally drier conditions. For Spring semester students, students will fly to a common meeting point in the US (typically Atlanta) and fly to Chile with Alzar School staff. At the end of their time in Chile, Spring students will fly directly back to Idaho with staff, to resume the semester there.