Tag Archives: study abroad

US scientists cloned human stem cells for the first time

A group of scientists from the University of science and health in Oregon, USA and Primate Research Center managed for the first time the cellular reprogramming in people.


A group of U.S. researchers, led by the scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, managed for the first time to clone human stem cells, being the largest so far in the matter advance from the cloned sheep Dolly.

Though the authors have said that the new development is not copy people,  the new achievement of science has as one of the purposes restore damage from diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple escleorosis, heart disease or spinal cord injury.

“It is believed that stem cell therapies hold the promise to replace cells damaged by injury or disease”, reported the University of Oregon.

“A careful examination of stem cells taken by this technique demonstrated the ability of becoming just like normal embryonic stem cells, several different cell types, including neurons and heart cells, liver cells. In addition, because these cells are programmed again they can generate nuclear genetic material from a patient, so there is no concern of transplant rejection”, explained Dr. Mitalipov.

Continue reading US scientists cloned human stem cells for the first time

Summer Business and Culture Program Visits Valparaíso

The whole group in the public port of Valparaíso

On Friday, July 6, students from the Santiago: Business and Culture in the 21st Century Summer Program, took a day trip to Valparaíso, Chile’s third largest city, its most important seaport, and the home to the National Congress of Chile since 1990.

The first stop was at Sudamericana Agencias Aereas y Maritimas (SAAM) for a presentation of the shipping industry and the company. The company was founded over 50 years ago and has since provided tugboats, storage, and land transport in and around various ports in Latin America.





The whole group in the National Congress with the Proclamation of Independence in the background

From there, the students took a tour of the public port before a presentation at the Terminal Pacifico Sur (TPS), the private sector of the port. This section of the port has only been private for around 15 years, but it is responsible for the majority of the imports and exports in Valparaíso. After the presentation, the students were given a tour.

Then, after a break for lunch at a typical Chilean restaurant, the students toured the National Congress of Chile, which was relocated to Valparaíso in 1990.

National Geographic: The Many Corners of Santiago

Students from CUP Spring 2011 at the Peluquería Francesa for the farewell dinner. Photo by Lauren Bateman, CUP Spring 2011



A recent article in the Intelligent Travel section of the National Geographic webiste highlights one of  Santiago’s most attractive qualities: it is a city of many hidden corners. ven though the population of the capital city has almost reached 7 million people, it doesn’t seem as big as that. There are many small neighborhoods with their own unique characteristics that come together to make up what is Santiago as a whole. For this reason, no two people have the same experience living in Santiago, and many people talk about “their corner” of the city.

Some of the places the author describes as “her” Santiago are:

When I crave ice cream I always go to Emporio La Rosa, which has homemade concoctions such as vanilla with rose, spicy chocolate, and mango with green tea.

This ice cream shop is located right near the IFSA-Santiago office in the Bellas Artes neighborhood. The office staff is always up to go with you to get a cone or two. :)

If I want to surround myself with lovely old-world architecture, I go to Barrio Yungay. This neighborhood transports me to another era with its turn-of-the-century European buildings, antiques shops, and restaurants such as the Peluquería Francesa.

This neighborhood in the western part of downtown, is an up and cominga area with interesting grafitti, and is a favorite place to explore among IFSA Santiago students. In the past we have gone to the Peluquería Francesa for the farewell dinner at the end of the program. The restuarant is in an old house, and on the first floor there is an old style barber shop that is still functioning.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I shop for produce and other food items in La Vega, the recently renovated food market in downtown. Then I grab lunch at one of the dozens of food stalls that serve typical Chilean dishes at bargain prices ($2 to $5 for a full meal).

You can’t miss La Vega while in Santiago, although make sure to be very careful with your belongings while in this busy market. As part of the Summer Global Business and Culture program, students take a field trip to La Vega.

Come study in Santiago and discover your own Santiago!

New York Times Features Viña del Mar, Chile

The New York Times recently  featured the coastal city of Viña del Mar in their travel section.

The beaches of Viña del Mar

Just a short hour and a half drive from Santiago, and right next door to Valparaíso, home to our sister program, CUP-Valparaíso, Viña del Mar has an interesting history, beautiful beaches and offers a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of Santiago.

Every semester, CUP-Santiago visits these twin coastal cities to learn about different Chilean realities. Valparaíso and Viña, although neighbors, are quite different cities, and offer a contrast to the big city life of Santiago. After spending the morning in Valparaíso, we head over to Viña del mar and visit the Quinta Vergara park, where the founders of Viña del Mar, the Vergara family, had their estate. Currently the large park has trees from all over the world, a fine arts museum (which is currently closed due to the 2010 earthquake) and a large ampitheater where the International Viña del Mar Song Festival is held every February.

CUP Fall 2010 Students in front of the flower clock in Viña del Mar


During the trip we also visit the flower clock which welcomes guest to the city. Local legend says that if you take a picture in front of the clock, some day you will return to Viña del Mar. Finally, we go to Reñaca beach, which is just down the road from Viña del Mar.


In addition to the program trip to Vaplaraíso and Viña del Mar,  students on the CUP-Santiago program enjoy going to Viña for day or weekend trips.

The Santiago Times: Start-Up Chile Expands to include Local Entrepreneurs

Start-Up Chile,  an initiative of the Chilean government that has, until recently, brought foreign entrepreneurs  to Chile to start their businesses with a US $40,000 grant, will expand to include Chilean talent as well. This represents a shift in the program’s goals, to not only attract foreign direct investment, but also to retain it.

Start-Up Chile recently selected 110 entreprenuers from a pool of 329 to recieve the start-up grant and begin their businesses in Chile. These 110 projects represent 28 countries, from neighbor Argentina to India, and many projects hailing from the U.S.

For more information, see the full text article from The Santiago Times or the Start-Up Chile Website.

Continue reading The Santiago Times: Start-Up Chile Expands to include Local Entrepreneurs

Santiago Times: Yagán Archaeological Sites Found

Yagán Women. By ●macv on flickr.

The Yagán (Yaghan) people historically inhabited the islands of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the South American continent. They were fisherman who did not wear clothes until European contact, despite the frigid and harsh conditions of southern Patagonia. The women would even routinely swim to collect shellfish in the freezing waters.  Unfortunately, the vast majority died after contact with European diseases, and today only one full blooded Yagán survives, Abuela Cristina Calderón.

Recently, a team of archaeologists from COANDI, Chile’s indigenous development group, have found 27 sites that belonged to the Yagán culture of Tierra del Fuego. The sites were found on a remote island in the Beagle Channel, and on first analysis appear to date back at least 2000 years. The sites were apparently housing communities as many tools were found.

To find out more, read the full text article from The Santiago Times below.

Continue reading Santiago Times: Yagán Archaeological Sites Found

Santiago Times: Chile and the Chocolate Factory

By lovlihood on flickr.

The Santiago Times recently published an article about Coanil, a nonprofit foundation that helps mentally handicapped children and youth in Chile. The article specifically highlights Coanil’s job training project, in which young adults work in a choclate factory, making chocolate easter eggs and other sweet treats. This opportunity provides invaluable work experience, which allows many participants to go on and work for other companies. Check out the full article below.

Chile And The Chocolate Factory

By Kendra Ablaza

Located in what was once an abandoned preschool in Santiago’s Estación Central community is a full-fledged chocolate factory bustling with activity.

The factory is just one of the many enterprises and schools run by Coanil, the Corporación de ayuda al niño limitado (the Association to Help Mentally Handicapped Youth), a private, nonprofit foundation begun in 1974 by Margarita Merino, wife of the navy admiral who was one of the four military leaders in Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s coup against Pres. Salvador Allende.

The factory offers practical work experience–an important way that Coanil helps integrate the mentally disabled into society.

Andrea Paz Deledone del Sura, 29, has worked at Coanil Services for three years. She lives with her parents and enjoys making “huevitos,” or little eggs, for the factory’s seasonal Easter gift box.  Continue reading Santiago Times: Chile and the Chocolate Factory

Santiago: Latin American City of the Future

Santiago, Chile from Cerro San Cristobal
Photo by Anthony Navarrete, CUP-Santiago Fall 2010

Santiago has been named Latin American City of the Future by fDi Intelligence Magazine, part of the Financial Times Group. fDi awarded Santiago with this distinction due to its ability to attract foreign direct investment. Since 2003, Santiago has received 84 FDI projects, with one fifth of those each worth US $100 million or more.


Lima, Peru came in second in the ranking, while Bogotá and Barranquilla, Colombia coming in at number four and eight, respectively. Sao Paulo, Brazil, rounded out the South American representatives at number ten.

New York City came in first in the North American rankings as well as the overall rankings for all of the Americas.

The magazine analyzed more than 405 cities in the region and looked at factors such as economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness.

SOURCE: La Tercera, fDi Intelligence Magazine

CUP-Santiago Visits Doñihue

Students from CUP Santiago recently visited the VI Region of Chile, which is known for traditional Chilean rural culture. The capital of the region, Rancagua, is known for its rodeo and huasos, which are Chilean cowboys. However, we visited Doñihue, which is a small town that is most well-known for being the only place where chamantos are made. Chamantos are woven ponchos with intricate designs that huasos wear. Each one is unique and takes around 6 months to make and therefore valued at more than US $3000. Students were able to observe a weaver making a chamanto, learn about their signficance and try out weaving for themselves.

Students also got to visit other workshops in the area, including a woman who grows hydroponic lettuce and a woman who makes creams from aloe vera. At each place, students were able to converse with the owners of the workshops and learn about the reality of this part of Chile, which despite being so close to Santiago is an entirely different world.

We also enjoyed a typical Chilean lunch of perníl, which is a leg of pork, and saw a demonstration of the cueca, Chile’s national dance. At the end of the day students tried their hand at making a traditional Chilean bread, called pan amasado.

Check out the slide show to see pictures of the trip.

Find more photos like this on Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University

Chile looks to produce bioenergy from prickly pear cactus

By simounef on flickr.

The Northern Atacama Region of Chile contains the driest places on earth. With little rainfall and an extremely arid climate, there are not many species that thrive. However, one that does is the prickly pear cactus, and it may be the key to producing a new type of bioenergy in arid areas.

Chilean scientists from the Universidad Mayor, headed by Dr. Alex Vega, have started to plant prickly pear in Copiapó. The plan is to create biomass from the cactus and with that, produce energy. They anticipate that the project should be functioning by 2013.

This cactus can be used to produce two types of clean energy. The first method is to dry out the cactus with solar energy, and then make a pellet out of the dry material to be used as fuel in power plants instead of using so much coal. The second method is to produce methane gas which can be used to generate electricity.

The project’s organizers hope that by 2013, two of the companies that have invested in the project will be able to light their factories using energy from a prickly pear power plant which will hopefully produce 1.5 megawatts of energy.

The prickly pear has many advantages as a bioenergy  source. It can be grown without its fruit (known as tunas in Chile), which is useful because the green part is the most efficient energy producer. It tolerates extreme conditions and therefore provides a good option for climates where other plants can not be grown for bioenergy. It also can be harvested two times a  year. The price is right as well, as prickly pear energy will only cost around $35 per megawatt-hour. And finally, the residues from the drying process are highly nutritive and can be used as fertilizer to grow more cactus.

Source: El Mostrador

For more information in English, see this article from the Santiago Times.