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Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Latino Psychology Specialty

Chilean Exchange

In 2015, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology's Latinx Psychology Specialty established an international exchange program with the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) in Chile. Since then, Latinx Psychology Specialty students have traveled to Chile for two to three weeks each winter, where they have gained a firsthand understanding of the mental health care systems to which our clients are accustomed. Students work alongside mental health professionals in the community and experience growth in career development. (Note: The availability of this travel opportunity may vary from year to year, please contact Dr. Hetty Pazos with questions.)

Check out footage from the 2017-18 trip:

Visit the GSPP YouTube channel for footage from previous trips!


We are proud to host our third (and largest) cohort of UDD exchange students yet! They are completing five-month clinical training practicums in community centers within Denver and its surrounding areas. Currently our exchange students are partnered with Aurora Mental Health, Mental Health Center of Denver, and Salud Family Health Centers.

  • Joaquin

    Joaquin Brieba

    My name is Joaquin Brieba Fuenzalida and I am 23 years old. I have lived my whole life in Concepcion, but my family is from Santiago de Chile, which means that my first language is Spanish. I attended several schools, but when I was little I went to a private English School, so I have a B1 level of English. I've always been very into reading and practicing all kinds of sports, although I primarily skateboard and play football. Traveling to the US for my psychology internship at Salud Family Health Center, Longmont has been my first experience living abroad or leaving Chile for more than a few days. I am interested in primary care because of the poor quality and coverage of hospital services in Chile. My goal is to learn the most I can in the US so I can use that knowledge to improve the public health system in Chile. I'm also deeply interested in education and learning psychology, because I think the fundamental pillars that support any society and allow its development are health and education. Once I return to Chile, I hope to continue working in research, education and public health.


  • Jose

    José Francisco Gurruchaga

    José is from Santiago, Chile, and attended college in the same city at Universidad del Desarrollo. There, he has been working on a master's degree in psychology. He has acquired experience in the field of social psychology during an internship at Servicio País, a non profit organization whose main objective is to generate sociocultural transformations in vulnerable communities. He has also worked at Hospital Padre Hurtado Santiago in the cardiology rehabilitation program, doing individual and family therapy with cognitive and systemic approaches. José is passionate about social transformation through the empowerment of communities, and increasing awareness of social conditions to help individuals live their lives to the fullest.


  • Nicole

    Nicole Portrude

    Nicole is from Cranbury, New Jersey and attended college in Santiago, Chile. She is currently working toward a master's degree in clinical psychology from Universidad del Desarrollo located in Santiago, Chile. Nicole has acquired extensive experience in cognitive and systemic psychology with cardiology and oncology patients while interning at Hospital Padre Hurtado in Santiago. She plans on specializing in health issues by reinforcing the relationship between patients' physical and mental health and encouraging adherence to treatments and health education.

    Nicole is passionate about cooking, crafts and service work which is integrated into her clinical work. She is bilingual and working on becoming trilingual. Her language abilities are integrated in therapy sessions to better understand the needs of her patients.

    In addition to Nicole's clinical psychological endeavors she has considerable experience in business development, digital marketing, and organizational psychology.


  • Fernanda

    Fernanda Rojas

    My name is Fernanda Rojas, and I'm an exchange student from Chile. I study psychology in Universidad del Desarrollo, and I'm about to get my degree when I return home, which has me excited and nervous at the same time. I'm now participating in the Latinx Psychology specialty in DU's Graduate School of Professional Psychology, which has opened my eyes to understanding the challenges that members of the Latinx community experience every day and how hard it can be to access mental health services.

    I studied at The Southern Cross School, where I obtained the skills living in a foreign country requires, including using a secondary language 24/7, interacting with a diverse community and living independently. I studied at Southern Cross from pre-kindergarten through high school, followed by 5 years of psychology studies at Universidad del Desarrollo. I am not used to changes like this, as I have always stayed in the same place. This experience has been challenging, as I have had to learn to separate from my loved ones and get outside of my comfort zone. Yet it has been extremely rewarding, as an amazing opportunity to learn many new things that I otherwise would not have had the chance to experience. Also, I have gotten to know amazing people that have made this experience easier through their support and caring.

    During my stay here I am interning at Aurora Mental Health Center, which so far has been an excellent experience in terms of both personal and professional growth. I have had the chance to work with great clinicians who specialize in different techniques. The sense of community has made a huge impact on me in the time I've been here. I look forward to returning someday to this amazing city and the diverse community that it hosts.


  • Francisca

    Francisca Solar

    My name is Francisca Solar Meissner and I'm 23 years old. I come from a little town near the mountains in the south of Chile. I am currently in my last semester of psychology at Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. I am doing an internship at Salud Family Health Center in Longmont as an exchange student of the Latinx Psychology Specialty at the University of Denver.

    I'm very interested in learning languages and new cultures. I speak Spanish, English and German. One of my main reasons for coming to the US is to learn different ways of practicing psychology with patients and to find out more about the differences in mental health systems between Chile and the United States.

    I think it is a great learning experience to be finishing my academic career in Denver. I am sure this will impact my professional development in the future by learning different perspectives. Working with Latinx and immigrant patients from different countries has helped me understand other lives and contexts, which will be useful as my country is receiving a large number of immigrants who will be a challenge for our mental health services.


  • Francisca

    Francisca Arancibia Yufer

    My name is Francisca Arancibia Yufer and I am 23 years old. I have lived my whole life in Santiago de Chile, which means that my first language is Spanish. I also have Switzerland inheritance and nationality. I attended a private German School, so I have a B2 level of German and a moderate level of English speaking skills. When I was 17 years old, I traveled 2 months to Germany, which was my first time outside South America, and in 2012, I graduated from high school. This year (2017-2018), I traveled for the first time to the USA to participate in a 5-month internship as an extern student in psychology at Salud Family Health Centers. This was a great way to approach and experience living in another country, and to interact with the Latinx and immigrant community as patients in an integrated health care environment. This has been both challenging and rewarding. I understand firsthand how getting used to a new country with a new language, new customs, and new relationships can be a very challenging task. This opportunity has allowed me to gain new perspectives, to approach problems differently, and to experience my own acculturation process which I hope has allowed me to better serve my patients/clients here. The exchange program between the Latinx Psychology Specialty at DU's GSPP and UDD has been an experience that has been invaluable and enriched me as a future psychologist. I hope to be able to apply my trainings in the future, wherever that may be. One of my hobbies is to make crafts. I have sung almost all my life and took classes for more than 7 years. I like to exercise, watch TV, and spend time with the people I love.


  • Francesca

    Francesca Cordero di Montezemolo

    Francesca Cordero di Montezemolo is in her last semester as a Psychology student at the University of Denver's Latinx Psychology Specialty exchange/intercambio. She studied Psychology in Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), Santiago, Chile, and after getting a scholarship to go to Denver from the Psychology Department at UDD, she decided to do her practicum as a child and family therapist at Denver Children's Advocacy Center, while also attending a class at the University of Denver. She is very interested in working with children and families that have suffered some kind of trauma, including child sexual abuse, to do therapy as an individual and as a collective as well. She is also interested in prevention work and reaching out to Latinx communities that do not know where to find resources.


  • Matias

    Matías Lopéz

    Matías López is a student in Concepción, Chile. He's part of the University of Denver's Latinx Psychology Specialty 2017 exchange/intercambio. Matías is from Valdivia, Chile, known as 'La Perla del Sur' and has participated for three years as a volunteer for "Sonríe UDD" where students from different careers go into rural towns to help the community in different matters. He completed his practicum within the exchange at the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) North Federal Child & Family Outpatient Clinic because of his interest in working with children, adolescents, and families. He is especially drawn to MHCD because of their community approach in addition to the many clinical services they offer. Throughout the exchange, Matías was able to attend different trainings offered by MHCD to learn how mental health services are provided in the United States, become familiar with the values of the organization and gain skills needed from child & family therapists. He had the experience of treating children between 5 and 13 years old individually, in family settings, and in group therapy. Play therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy have been the most utilized techniques during the different services given, under constant supervision during the whole internship. Once Matías returns to Chile, he wants to apply for a child & family therapist position in the public service in order to contribute to the community using knowledge acquired during the internship. He states that one of the biggest lessons during his practicum training was to focus on the person and not the pathology. Coming from an academic program which promoted the clinical view of symptoms and disorders, MHCD helped him to observe the person he's serving as a human being.



  • Daniela

    Daniela Pacheco

    Este intercambio académico ha sido de gran enriquecimiento tanto en lo personal como en lo profesional. Mi interés por la psicología clínica y comunitaria empezó cuando realice mis primeros voluntarios en zonas vulnerables del sur de Chile. En los voluntariados trabajábamos en equipo junto a compañeros de todas las carreras de la universidad de una manera integral y multidisciplinar. Es por este motivo mi gran emoción cuando tuve la oportunidad de trabajar en un centro de práctica de cuidados primarios que incluía todo lo anterior, dirigiéndose especialmente al cuidado y entrega de servicios a la población latina en Colorado, Estados Unidos. Esto ha hecho que mi experiencia de intercambio sea muy distinta a posibles otras y voy a estar siempre muy agradecida de la asociación de la Universidad de Denver y la Universidad del Desarrollo por la oportunidad. Acá se aprende bajo la práctica, un aprendizaje que no lo podría haber encontrado en mi país y que espero que después de 10 meses de training en la clínica de cuidados primarios Salud Family Health Centers sea capaz de llevarlo a Chile, para hacer el cambio en la comunidad, sobre todo en el sistema de salud público.