Learning Abroad Center
mountains in Patagonia at sunset

Natural History of Patagonia, Chile

LAC Program

Experience the wildlife and mountains of beautiful and highly biodiverse Patagonia; co-create a community mural celebrating that.

Program Details

Puerto Natales, Chile
Winter Break
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Graduate Students
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prererquisite


Conservation biology addresses the tradeoffs inherent in providing ecosystem goods and services for a range of human needs (i.e., people with different background and interests). Our discussions always include the biophysical science of ecosystems and the human resource science of decisions. This class engages you directly in understanding and communicating about sustainable resource management in Patagonia, the fabulously beautiful, highly diverse, end-of-the-word in South America. You will explore mountainous and marine landscapes, places where you will (at least hope to) see Elephant seals, Mountain Lions, Emperor Penguins, Guanacos, Patagonian Foxes and more. You also will encounter invasive rabbits and beavers, gigantic salmon aquaculture pens and an open pit mine. You will work with local community members to develop a permanent mural depicting all that, and you will work with peers to develop a video documenting your experience.

Housing & Meals

Students will stay in hotels or lodges with other program participants. 

A welcome and farewell meal, breakfasts as well as several lunches and dinners will be provided. Much of this program will be conducted while we are hiking mountain trails or boating on a glacier lake, so adaptive meals will be necessary. When we are in towns or cities, students may take meals at local eateries. 


Students will go on several excursions throughout the Patagonia region. Excursions may include: 


All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
  • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches
  • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting

Faculty & Staff

This program is led by Professor Jim Perry, H.T. Morse Distinguished Professor of Water Quality and Environmental Management and Undergraduate Coordinator for Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Professor Perry has led over 10 LAC programs, and speaks conversational spanish. 

Program Structure

Program Level
3000 Level Course

One 3-credit course

Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

  • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
  • Small groups of 15–25 students
  • No prerequisites or language requirements
  • Included excursions and cultural activities
  • Instruction in English


Student assessment is based on participation, discussion leadership, reflective writing, and video participation, both in Chile and on campus after we return. You are responsible for participating in and occasionally leading a group of peers; these experiences will be graded.

You will be assigned membership in a Patagonian Mountain Team, and an iconic animal representing that team. Professional readings will help you understand your animal and its habitat, as well as any human conflicts. Those will form the basis of a team video project.

Before we leave, you will prepare a prospective essay describing your academic, professional and personal goals for the experience. At the end of our Chilean experience, we will create a public mural. When we return, we will host a public screening of five team videos. At the conclusion of our experience, you will another reflective essay discussing ways in which the class has influenced your academic, professional and personal goals. You will receive in advance a detailed metric for each unit of grading; that metric will be used to grade each assignment.

Receive credit for: CFAN 3527

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Program Term Program Dates Application Deadline
Winter Break 2021-2022 December 26, 2021 - January 17, 2022 October 15, 2021

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term Abroad Date/Time Location
Winter Break 2021-2022 TBD TBD


Winter Break 2021–2022 Cost of Participation forthcoming

Due to the location, cost of living, timing of the program and specialized guides that are needed, the program fee will range from $8,300-$9,800.

Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.


Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

Due to COVID-19, US passport processing times are currently delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.


You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Roslyn Udairam or call at 612.625.0475