Chile stretches along the South American coast from the tropics almost to the Antarctic. It is over 2,500 miles long but seldom wider than 120 miles. The Andes Mountains provide a natural border with Argentina and Bolivia. Santiago is Chile's capital and is located in the middle of the country. It is also the country's cultural, educational, and financial center. The old downtown remains the heart of the city, but one can still get a glimpse of Santiago by wandering through the pedestrian thoroughfares that lead to the old Plaza de Armas.
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) was founded in 1888. Its 17 faculties are distributed on four campuses in Santiago. Over the last few years, the university has had considerable influence on the country's cultural and scientific development. In addition, the PUC has established itself as a strong supporter of international student exchange and is well-equipped to provide academic and personal assistance to CSU students.