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Country Handbooks


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Chile
| Before You Go


HEALTH AND SAFETY

Before you travel, check the State Departmentís travel advisories:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html

Health

No vaccinations are required, but it is recommended that all immunizations be up-to-date. If an emergency arises in Chile, rest assured that you will receive proper medical attention at one of their hospitals. Although emergency rooms in some major hospitals accept credit cards, many doctors and hospitals in Chile expect immediate payment in cash. Prescriptions written by local doctors and over-the-counter medicines are widely available.

Air pollution is a major source of health concern in Santiago, resulting in severe bronchial ailments and eye irritation. The most severe air pollution occurs during the winter (May through August).

The ozone layer is especially thin at the bottom of the world and in Valparaiso. Travelers should take proper precautions to protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation.

Traveler's Health Books/Links

Centers for Disease Control - Health information for travelers to Chile
International Travel Health Guide
CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012: The Yellow Book
Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Crime

The general rule to keep in mind in Chile is to be mindful as if you were in a large city in the U.S. While violent crime is very rare, petty crime such as pick pocketing is prevalent. Petty crime happens to Chileans and Americans alike. The best policy is to be aware of your surroundings and not to leave your belongings unattended.

The emergency number for the police (Carabineros) is 133.

Terrorism

The potential for terrorist activity is low. Potential for civil disturbance is low, although demonstrations, sometimes violent, do occur. Particularly violent days are March 29, the Day of the Young Combatant, and the anniversary of the September 11, 1973, coup against the government of President Salvador Allende.

WHAT TO BRING

Consider contacting former participants or ISEP Ambassadors for advice on what to bring to Chile. General advice on packing for traveling abroad: put everything you want to bring on your bed. Then, cut it in half. Almost everything you need will be available in Chile.

Due to the different weather patterns throughout Chile, students should bring appropriate clothing if they wish to do some traveling while abroad. Chile has three main climates. The north has desert-type weather: very dry and hot during the entire year. The center of the country is very dry and hot during the summer (especially in Santiago) and cool and rainy during the winter. The south is cool, windy and rainy almost all of the time. Temperature changes can be drastic throughout Chile. Therefore, it is advisable to bring clothes for all climates, especially waterproof clothing and gear. Camping gear is a must for the nature lover.