TFAS Santiago

*2025 Program Dates: January 4 – 18*

Start the new year at TFAS Santiago with young leaders from throughout Latin America and the United States studying economics, political philosophy and the basis for the rule of law and institutional governance. Accredited through Universidad de los Andes, the two-week long academic program offers a unique opportunity for young leaders to learn about the political and economic necessities of a free society while exploring the vibrant metropolis of Santiago, Chile.


The program’s academic goal is to engage students in a thorough and philosophical examination of government and economics in order to shed light on the political and economic necessities of a free society. This is done through two course components, divided between week one and week two. Students will receive 6 ECTS credit hours (equivalent to 3 U.S. credit hours) from UANDES upon successful completion of the program.

The first week’s curriculum examines the theories, structures and principles governing the American system of constitutional government. Lectures will focus on the structure, role and relationship of constitutional government, as well as the role of political parties, media and civil society in developing and enforcing the laws that allow societies to prosper or fail.

Students gather together in small groups to discuss a case study.

In week two, participants examine the structure and functions of a market economy in the context of such fundamental issues as competition, trade policy, fiscal and monetary policy, capital flows and foreign investment, and international financial markets. The course will explore the benefits and challenges of globalization as well as the impact of government intervention in the economy. The economics component will examine the case of Chile’s economic performance, compared to other countries in the region, to illustrate the differences between current economic systems.

Nikolai Wenzel, Universidad de las Hesperidades


Nikolai Wenzel is a Professor of Economics at the online start-up Universidad de las Hesperidades, where he directs the English-language MA program in economics. He is a Research Fellow of the Institut Economique Molinari (Paris France); from 2008 to 2019, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Paris Law School (Center for Law & Economics). Dr. Wenzel has held appointments as Associate Professor at Flagler College, Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Wallace and Marion Reemelin Chair in Free-Market Economics (Assistant Professor) at Hillsdale College.

Dr. Wenzel has a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University (where he was an H.B. Earhart fellow) and a BSFS cum laude in international affairs from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Dr. Wenzel is a former Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department; for two years, he worked at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where he was vice consul and special assistant to the US ambassador. He subsequently worked for various free-market think tanks while completing his doctoral coursework.

Dr. Wenzel is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, and the Association of Private Enterprise Education. He sat for four years on the Executive Committee of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and is currently on the Board of Scholars of the Foundation for Economic Education. From 2014 to 2019, he taught political economy for the Asia Institute of Political Economy, co-sponsored by George Mason University and the Fund for American Studies at Hong Kong University.

Dr. Wenzel has published more than fifty scholarly articles and book chapters, and is the co-author of a book on the libertarian-conservative debate (Stanford University Press, 2016). He is on the editorial board of Cosmos and Taxis and the Journal des Libertés. Since January 2020, he has been the editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.

When not writing on political economy, Dr. Wenzel dabbles in wine economics. He is a member of the Georgetown Chimes, Georgetown University’s male a cappella singing group, and a novice bluegrass guitar picker and singer. He has traveled to 61 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe, and to 49 US states. He is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, with conversational German and Italian.

Soledad Bertelsen Simonetti, Universidad de los Andes


Soledad Bertelsen Simonetti holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard University in the United States.

She also obtained a Law Degree from Universidad de los Andes and now teaches at the Law School of her alma mater and specializes in Constitutional Law and Human Rights.

Juan Ignacio Brito, Universidad de los Andes


Juan Ignacio Brito is a professor in the School of Communication at Universidad de los Andes and served as dean of the department from 2013 – 2020. He is also the Associate Opinion Editor at the newspaper, La Tercera, and previously worked at El Mercurio and Qué Pasa.

Brito is a graduate of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He received his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Carlos Budnevic Headshot

Carlos Budnevich Le-Fort, Universidad de los Andes


Carlos Budnevich Le-Fort is a professor of Finance at the ESE School of Business at the Universidad de los Andes. He is the author of several academic publications in specialized magazines and books in Chile and abroad.

Budnevich previously taught at the Institute of Economics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and at the Faculties of Administration and Economics of the University of Chile and Finis Terrae. He worked as an Economist in the Department of Studies of the Superintendent of Banks, CIEPLAN and then in the Central Bank of Chile, of which he became Manager of Financial Analysis. Budnevich also served as Coordinator of the Capital Market Commission of the Tantauco Groups.

He graduated as a Commercial Engineer from the University of Chile, and did his postgraduate studies in the United States, reaching the degree of Doctor of Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

As a TFAS Santiago participant, you will have many opportunities to see the sights and sounds that make Chile such a special place, including excursions to enjoy the history, heritage, and natural beauty of Chile.

Tour of Santiago
Over the first weekend of the program, participants will enjoy a tour of historic downtown Santiago, where they will visit the historic La Moneda presidential palace as well as other well-known sites.

Students in front of La Moneda Presidential Palace
Stopping in front of La Moneda Presidential palace during the Santiago city tour.

Cultural Presentations
During this annual event, students showcase their countries or cultures through traditional dance, costumes, songs, poems and cuisine. This is a unique opportunity for students to share their traditions and provide information for others to come and visit their homelands. Each group is given 5-7 minutes to present something entertaining for every student to enjoy.

Chilean Asado (Barbecue)
At UANDES, TFAS Santiago participants will have a chance to enjoy a Chilean “asado,” or barbecue, which features authentic Chilean food and folk dancing. This event allows students a chance to experience the country’s culture and history with staff, university personnel and fellow students.

Trip to Valparaiso
Students will spend a whole day in Valparaiso, the beautiful coastal city that is home to Chile’s government. While in Valparaiso, participants are given a guided tour of the Chilean National Congress, a visit La Sebastiana (the former home-turned-museum of Pablo Neruda), and a chance to explore the city’s bustling shoreline, where shops and restaurants overlook the Pacific Ocean.

Accommodation + Meals
Students participating in the program will reside at the Hotel Diego de Velazquez in the Providencia neighborhood of Santiago. Each double occupancy room has free WiFi and air conditioning units. TFAS staff will assign same-gender roommates from different countries to promote cross-cultural exchange.

4 Women hiking in Santiago
Students hiking the hills behind campus as the sun sets.

Breakfast will be served daily at the hotel and lunch will be provided during the week at the dining facilities on the UANDES campus. Every effort will be made to include alternatives for students with special dietary requirements (kosher, vegetarian, etc.) due to religion and/or lifestyle. Students are responsible for dinner throughout the program, as well as lunch on the weekends.

Participants will ride a private bus between Hotel Diego de Velazquez and the UANDES campus, as well as to other scheduled events. Students also have convenient access to explore the city using public transportation, as the hotel is just steps away from two metro stations (Metro Los Leones and Pedro de Valdivia Metro) and multiple bus stops.

The hotel is located in downtown Santiago in the bustling Providencia neighborhood. Providencia has a variety of shops, restaurants, parks, and other attractions within walking distance for participants to enjoy in their free time.

Please note this schedule is only meant to give an idea of the program’s general structure. It is subject to change according to events and lectures. Participants will receive schedule prior to the start of TFAS Santiago.

2:00PM – 6:00PMRegistration
6:00PM – 7:00PMWelcome Orientation
9:00AM – 1:00PMWalking Tour of Historical Santiago
8:15AM – 8:45AMBus Ride to Campus
9:00AM – 11:00AMWelcome Activities & Campus Tour
11:15AM – 12:40PMIntroduction to Chile
1:00PM – 2:00PMLunch
2:00PM – 3:30PMPolitical Phil. Lecture 1: Ideas Have Consequences
3:45PM – 5:00PMProject Orientation
5:15PM – 5:45PMBus Ride to Hotel
8:15AM – 8:45AMBus Ride to Campus
9:00AM – 11:00AMPolitical Phil. Lecture 2: Ideas Matter
11:15AM – 12:45PMPolitical Phil. Lecture 3: Marxism, Socialism, Liberalism, and the Totalitarian Impulse
1:00PM – 2:00PMLunch
2:00PM – 4:00PMCultural Presentations Preparation
4:15PM – 4:45PMBus Ride to Hotel
5:30PM – 7:30PMOptional Outing to Costanera Center
8:15AM – 9:30AMBus Ride to Valparaiso
10:00AM – 12:30PMVisit to Chilean National Congress
1:00PM – 2:00PMLunch
2:15PM – 4:30PMVisit La Sebastiana, Pablo Neruda’s Home and Museum
5:00PM – 6:00PMExplore Harbor Marketplace
6:15PM – 7:30PMBus Ride to Hotel