Applying to FCFM

Practical information

Living in Santiago

Santiago has more than 5 million inhabitants. It is in the central zone of the country (33ºS), in a valley next to the Andes mountain range, at about 100 km from the Pacific coast.

     
Climate The climate in Santiago is Mediterranean, with some rain from May to August and dry the rest of the year. During winter (June-August), the average minimum and maximum temperatures are 4ºC and 15ºC, respectively. Sometimes the temperature goes down to 0ºC. The summer is relatively hot and dry (maximum temperature is around 30ºC in January). Due to an unfavorable topography (the city is surrounded by mountains) and little ventilation, together with the climatic conditions of the region, there are periods of high atmospheric contamination during autumn and winter.
Safety Santiago is not a particularly dangerous city. It has the same safety problems any big city has. That is why we suggest you to follow the basic rules to prevent thefts and attacks in the street: don’t wear valuable jewelry, always keep an eye on your valuable objects; don’t walk in areas you don’t know without safety references, especially at night; only change money in authorized places (banks, official changing houses, hotels), etc.
Arriving in Santiago from another country We recommend you to arrive in Santiago at least one week before classes start. At the airport (Arturo Merino Benitez or more popularly known as Pudahuel), you can use baggage carts for free. It is useful to change money at the airport because people won’t normally accept dollars as payment and during the weekend the banks and official changing houses are closed.
- Transfer to the city center:
The trip from the airport to the city center takes about 30 to 40 minutes.
Where to live First, check with the National Tourist Office (SERNATUR) at the airport. They have information about hotels and temporary places to stay, as well as a lot of other interesting tips (http://www.sernatur.cl). To find a permanent place to live, there are different offers to stay in family houses with a wide range of prices according to the place and services offered. Some might only offer a room or also include meals and washing clothes. Another alternative is to rent a house or apartment. In this case it is important to remember the payment of “service costs” which is a monthly payment of a fixed amount, independent of the rent or utilities. The rent of an apartment is paid one month in advance. When paying the first month’s rent the lodger must also pay an extra month, this is the guarantee; this payment will be reimbursed at the end of the leasing contract.
Other information Local time: GMT minus 4 hours in summer, GMT minus 5 hours in winter. Electricity: 220[V], 50 [Hz]
Measures: Metric system.
Emergency phone numbers:
- Police: 133
- Ambulance: 131
- Fire fighters: 132