Participating in the program
Chile Undergraduate Students
updated October 20, 2010 by TW
If you are an undergraduate, your visit to Chicago will be similar to our successful Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. We expect that your visit will occur during your summer break---January-March. Here are the steps we anticipate.
Check our Web sites:
From these sites, you should get an idea of what projects look interesting to you. We have newer researchers and projects not shown on these sites.
Tell us about your interest Write an email to Prof. Witten telling about your interest. The letter is supposed to give him and the Chicago professors an idea of what you would like to do and how you might help them. Tell us
We suggest that you depart on Thursday December 30 through Saturday January 1, 2010. The airplane ticket seems cheaper on the Thursday. Your work would begin on Monday , January 3. You should plan to stay at least until March 12, 2011. Do you have any conflicts with that schedule? If so, maybe we can arrange a different schedule.
Provide Visa Information When we reply to your letter, we'll send an email with many routine questions needed for us to get you a United States visa and enroll you here as a special student. If you return this form right away, it will enable you to get a visa on time. To speed the process, we ask you to answer these questions even before we have definitely accepted you for an internship. Visas are arranged through the University's Office of International Affairs. Our administrator Ms. Pegg Anderson is in charge of this process. Her contact information is here:
- Why you are interested in participating, and what projects or subject areas appeal to you,
- When you expect to get your undergraduate degree,
- What big projects, science or otherwise, you have done, if any,
- What courses you have taken that made a particular difference to you,
- What summer jobs you have had. What skills and experience did you gain?
- Any lab experience you have had, even undergraduate labs. Describe some of the more interesting or challenging experiments you did.
- Your experience fixing or making things. This would include repairs on your bike, motorbike or car or your electronic equipment, like a radio, TV or computer. Have you used a machine shop or a wood shop? What did you make?
- Your experience with computers. What is the most challenging data analysis program you did with the computer, eg with excel, Matlab, Labview, or Mathematica? Do you have programming skills? What programming projects have you done?
- Any foreign travel you've done,
- Your level of English competency
Ms. Pegg Anderson
Meet us. We Chicago people would like to meet you so we can get an idea of how you could fit into our research. We'll arrange a remote meeting with you in Prof. Mujica's or Cerda's office, using their computer. In this meeting you will talk to your prospective Chicago supervisor about what projects would be suitable.
929 East 57th Street #E121
Chicago IL 60637 USA
|Telephone: || +1 773 702 7126|
When we have accepted you, we'll write you a letter inviting you to come. We'll send you the government form that you need to obtain a visa from the embassy in Santiago (see below).
Prepare to come here
Work on your English. Every bit of English skill that you gain before coming will make your internship more successful and fun. Read web pages in English. Listen to English language news broadcasts. Practice talking English with your professors and colleagues.
- Are you eligible for las Becas Chile? The University has a bilateral agreement from October, 2008 with the Becas Chile organization.
- Buy airplane tickets. Look for cheap flights. You'll likely have to buy a ticket before you have received a visa.
- Make arrangements to leave your classes early. Does our program start before your classes in Chile are finished? Often students can get permission from their instructors to leave classes early in order to participate fully in our program.
- Apply for a visa at the US Embassy in Santiago. These visa formalities can take weeks to process. You have to pay a fee to the US government in order to get the visa. At this writing there was a $131 visa processing fee and a $14 call center fee. You receive a receipt when you pay these fees. Bring the receipts to us and we will reimburse them.
- Immunization record: Our local government requires that our registered students be immunized (vaccinated) against certain diseases. This means that the Student Health Care Center on campus must approve that you have the required immunizations. You handle that by printing this form and instructions (a PDF file). It has to be filled out by your doctor or clinic before you leave Chile. Please bring the form when you come to Chicago so they can be processed by the health service here. If you need any immunizations, get them before you come. Otherwise you must get and pay for the vaccinations here. It is much cheaper to get them in Chile before you leave.
Get some sun, bring warm clothes. You will miss some summer months that you would normally have. Compensate by spending extra time outdoors before you come here. Bring warm clothes. The temperature in Chicago will be well below freezing for most of your stay.
Read about your upcoming project. Often your supervisor can recommend background reading so you can get familiar with the research area before coming.
Payments and arrangements for your visit.
We make the necessary arrangements for you to live and work here. Here is a summary including what we pay and what you pay.
- Student enrollment: While you are here, you will be enrolled as "exchange students in the Physical Science Division." The enrollment allows you to use the library and have a computer ID here. It allows you to use the sports facilities and other student services. To complete the enrollment, Pegg will send you an email form to return. She will also ask you for a copy of your passport pages that identify you.
Fees: The University charges a tuition fee and other fees to all students. There is an extra fee for the health service. There is another fee for the student health insurance called SASI. We give you the money to pay these fees. They are normally paid when you receive your first stipend check from us (see below). This check includes extra money to pay the fees
- Housing: We provide the money for your lodging. We expect to provide lodging in the University's International House, a ten-minute walk from our lab. You will no doubt have to sign a form agreeing to be a good tenant. We're only planning to pay normal costs for your housing, not costs to pay for damage or fines.
- Stipend: We provide a stipend of 450 US dollars a week for up to ten weeks. For longer stays, we would have to make special arrangements. The stipend is intended to cover your expenses while you are here.
- Food: There are many places to eat near where you will be. There is a kitchen and vending machines in the International House. You pay for your own food using your stipend. There are grocery markets and several student restaurants within walking distance.
- Travel: You should buy your plane ticket. Our program doesn't cover your travel cost, but there may be Chilean sources to help you pay for it.
- Bring money. Plan to bring at least $700 to cover your basic expenses until you receive a stipend check. You may be able to withdraw money from your Chilean bank account by using an automatic teller machine here. Ask your colleagues in Chile what is the best way to take money to America.
- Arrange a way to phone home. You will want to telephone your relatives in Chile while you are in America. As a student you will have free access to the internet while you are here, but you may not install software for telephoning on our computers. You may want to set up an account or buy a calling card so you can telephone to Chile economically.
- Browse through our Information for international students.
After you arrive
There are some administrative things to take care of when you arrive. We will accompany you for these procedures. You will need: your passport, the letter of invitation from Prof. Witten, your visa issued by the US State Department, and your immunization form.
At the airport You will go through airport passport control when you first land in the US. This is usually in Dallas or Miami. The passport authorities check that you have the valid visa forms. We normally come to get you at the Chicago airport and bring you to the International House to check in.
On your first working day
After a few days,
- Visit the Office of International Affairs to register your arrival.
- Go to the Regenstein library to obtain your University of Chicago Identification Card, called the Chicago Card. It normally takes only a few minutes.
- Visit the Local Business Center to arrange to be paid. This requires filling out some forms.
- Visit the Student Health Care Center to turn in your immunization form and arrange for any needed immunization shots.
- Meet your supervisor.
- Visit the Social Security office and apply for a Social Security Number. This number is required for us to pay you. The office is a 30 minute walk from the lab. Normally Prof. Witten accompanies you. The wait can be two hours or more; bring something to do. The office gives you a paper to prove that you have applied. This form has to be given to Ms. Anderson.
- Open a bank account. For this, you need your Chicago Card, your passport and some money. The money becomes available to spend after three days. Then you can withdraw money with an ATM card.
- We make arrangements for you to get paid early in your stay. In past years this payment has been made less than three weeks after your first day of work.
-----T. Witten 10/27/10