The student life in Concepción
Concepción is a student town.
English is not commonly spoken, so we recommend a Spanish course
prior to your university challenge. Many “penquista” (from Concepción) universities have student and investigation agreements with European, American, and Australian universities and colleges, so fees are low or even non-existent.
The oldest and major public university is the Universidad de Concepción (founded 1919), which is followed by the Universidad del Bio Bio, in terms of quality.
Many students of Mapuche (indigene: Mapu = earth; Che = people) origin study at the “Bio Bio” as it is commonly called. As a result, university life is enriched by cultural activities.
Another important university is the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción which is more closely aligned with the Catholic Church.
A special technical university is the Universidad Técnica Frederico Santa María or “simply” UTFSM.
Private universities are generally more expensive and are not accessible for all Chileans due to their self- financing policies. The most important private universities are Universidad de San Sebastián, Universidad del Desarrollo, Universidad Santo Tomás, but also the regional Universidad San Marcos.
The university of technology INACAP offers technical and undergraduate careers. In addition, the institute for applied professions DUOC UC offers a broad variety of much valued carreers.
Most universities and colleges are located in close proximity to the city center and can be reached easily by foot, bike, or the modern and reliable public buses (cost per ride: 450 CLP = 0,6 EUR = 0,8 USD, March 2014). Students can generally apply for a special student card to take advantage of special student discounts.
Nightlife in Concepción
Obviously, a very modern and developed university infrastructure creates the so-called university districts, full of typical student-oriented pubs with inviting prices that encourage enjoyable get-togethers with the Chileans and or a full-evening of the penquista nightlife.
The typical student “barrios” can be found close to the UdeC and in the Barrio Estación. A very good option is Barra Birra, at the Plaza España. If you have more money to spend, you can visit the more “posh” Pedro de Valdivia area or San Pedro de La Paz with their pubs, restaurants, discos, and night clubs, e.g. Durango, Sport Life, and Tijuana.
Accommodation, that means basic student rooms, is widely much cheaper than in the capital of Chile and costs around 80.000 CLP = 110 EUR = 160 USD (state June 2010) per month, mostly with internet access and private bathroom included.
HelloChile can organize your convenient accommodation.
The cost of living in Concepción is approximately 300 EUR = 440 USD per month, university expenses not included.
Schools and school life in Concepción
Like all of Chile, there are three different types of schools: private schools, semi-private schools, and public schools. In terms of education quality, the private schools are followed by the semi- private and the public schools.
The official language is widely Spanish, nevertheless, many private schools teach in foreign languages such as The Kingston College, Lycée Charles de Gaulle, and the Deutsche Schule Concepción, amongst others.
There are around 60 private schools in Concepción, although the very best ones, according to the national standardized testing program PSU (Prueba de Selección Universitaria) are the Charles de Gaulle, followed by the Colegio Concepción San Pedro and
the Deutsche Schule Concepción (German School Concepción – state 2005). The three best semi- public schools are Liceo Salesiano Domingo Savio, the Colegio Arturo Pratt Chacon, and the Colegio Inmaculada Concepción.
Most public schools are generally low performers
All schools create their own emblems that have to be worn on the school uniform. It is also necessary to buy a track suit with the school colors.
All pupils get a student card within the first weeks of the school year which allows them to get cheaper public bus rides. The ride for the youngest schoolboys- and girls is free, nevertheless, most private schools offer a private shuttle service.
School hours are generally from 8 am to 4pm. Academic instruction is realized during the morning hours and the afternoon is dedicated to extra-curricular workshops and sports.
Field trips include such activities as visits to museums and zoos. In the so-called Tercero Medio (the last level before leaving secondary education) longer trips are taken, mostly to the south of Chile.
A Chilean tradition are the so-called “desfiles”, parades realized by almost every school around Chile’s National Day, September 18th.
The pupils march in military- like organization, accompanied by their “Banda de Guerra”, the “War Orchestra”, through the main streets of Chiles towns and cities where local or national authorities watch them. This seems to be a relic of the military regime.
Housing search assistance
Do you need a student room, an apartment or flat, a house or a bungalow? Do not hesitate to let us know. We will find the ideal housing option for you in Concepción and its surroundings.