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Chile: Space Atacama - Exploring Art, Culture, and the Environment in the high Andean Desert
Santiago, Chile (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring
Program Cost Spring
Fact Sheet:
Academic College: College of Creative Arts Language of Instruction: English
Program Options: Faculty-Led, Spring Break Credits Earned: 4
Faculty Leader: Gerald Habarth
Program Description:


Chile: Space Atacama: Exploring Art, Culture, and the Environment in the high Andean Desert
Space Atacama, Chile is a 4-credit, adventure art course exploring ideas about space, perception and the landscape in the context of art and digital media. The highlight of the course is a week-long, spring break trip to the high altitude Atacama Desert in Chile and Bolivia. The trip features a 3-day trek by 4x4 vehicles across the remote and stunningly beautiful Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. It also includes a day-long trip to the Valley of the Moon, an overnight desert astrophotography workshop, sandboarding on the dunes of San Pedro de Atacama, and a visit to the world’s largest radio telescope installations, the ALMA observatory. The course is open to both art majors and non-art majors alike - there are no prerequisites.

During the semester, students investigate themes of space, perception, virtual reality and other notions relating to the experience of the landscape in the context of multimedia art. Students also learn about the history, politics and culture of Chile and the Atacama region.

While in Chile these themes are explored through daily expeditions into the extraordinary natural landscape surrounding the remote desert town of San Pedro de Atacama. During their journeys students record and document their experiences, gathering data and information for a final art project. Finally, students learn about the particular aspects of the Atacama that distinguish it in terms of its flora and fauna and geology, and its unique astronomical characteristics. Upon return to the US, students complete the course with the creation a final, multimedia art work inspired by their experience of the Atacama. Non-art students and students with little technical experience are encouraged to apply; the skills needed to complete the final project are learned on location and during the final week of study.

For more information, please visit the following link:


City: San Pedro de Atacama

Country: Chile

Population: 2,500

Information: San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, overlooking the Licancabur volcano. It features a significant archeological museum, the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, with a large collection of relics and artifacts from the region. Native ruins nearby now attract increasing numbers of tourists interested in learning about pre-Columbian cultures.

Places of Interest:
Church of San Pedro de Atacama
Pukará de Quitor
Miscanti Lake
ALMA Observatory
Puritama Hot Springs
Salar de Uyuni


ART 493W - Space Atacama, Chile: Exploring Art, Culture, and the Environment in the high Andean Desert - 4 credits

Space Atacama Chile is a 4-credit, adventure art course exploring ideas about space, perception and the landscape in the context of art and digital media. While in Chile, students collect data, photographs and recordings and maintain a travel log that documents their experiences, discoveries and ideas. Upon return to the U.S. students work to organize and structure their data in the creation of a final multimedia artwork that synthesizes their experiences in the field.
Graduate Students: In addition to the regular coursework, graduate students are required to produce a research paper analyzing the work of a contemporary Chilean artist, artist collective or artistic movement. 




Student Cost: $3,175

Program Costs Include:
 - WVU Course Credits
 - Roundtrip Airfare from Dulles
 - Lodging
 - Some Meals
 - Academic Excursions
 - Comprehensive Travel and Health Insurance

Billing for the Spring 2018 programs will occur upon registration into the courses associated with the Study Abroad program in STAR. The payment deadlines for the program will be the same as WVU Spring Semester Tuition and Fees. Students will receive correspondence from OGA with registration instructions upon acceptance into the program after the application deadline. All payments are due in full before trip departure. Payments can be made through STAR or by contacting the Mountaineer HUB at (304) 293-4006.


Visa Required for US Citizens? No

Useful Links:
How to Apply for a US Passport
Comprehensive Travel and Health Insurance

Dates / Deadlines: