A group of students from the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Biology Department completed a full-time overseas study program which lasted for one semester focused on ecology, biodiversity and conservation biology. This course was given in English by four professors from the University of Massachusetts Boston and Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC) in the city of Concepción, Chile, and will be repeated in autumn 2020.
Concepción, located in the south of Chile, is known as a gateway to the country’s Patagonia region. The course paid special attention to flora, fauna and ecosystems unique to the south of Chile, making it a one-of-a-kind experience. During their stay in Chile, the exchange students were able to explore La Campana National Park, Las Trancas, the Itata Valley and the San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation.
Classes were also held at USCS’s marine biology station in Lenga, in addition to field excursions and night trips. The night expeditions involved visits to major cities, national parks and coastal areas, where students were able to put into practice everything they learned in the five courses held during the semester. Transport, accommodation and food (or food subsidies) were provided for all trips outside of Concepción.
2020 and the solar eclipse
Students who register for the 2020 version of this program will also have the unique opportunity to experience the total solar eclipse which will take place on December 14 next year, with coverage in Concepción reaching 95%. The sun will be 100% covered in nearby cities such as Temuco, Villarrica or Pucón.
This program is not exclusively for University of Massachusetts Boston students—students from other universities can also register. So, if you want to experience an adventure full of natural and astronomical phenomena, prepare yourself for the start of the next exchange, which will take place from August 27 to December 16, 2020.