Most life changing experience yet Past Review

By (Drake University) - abroad from 03/01/0014 to 06/19/2014 with

AIFS: Vina del Mar - Universidad Adolfo Ibanez

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
How to relax and focus on relationships. Yes.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I definitely learned a lot, but the classes were easy/flexible enough that I had plenty of time for travel as well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

So helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family. They made my experience ten times better.

* Food:

I had a great time trying new foods. However, the cuisine wasn't incredibly different from the U.S.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My program advisor at UAI helped me when I had to go to the doctor with translation. However, it was very expensive and I have yet to hear from my AIFS insurance on any kind of refund. No vaccines or prevalent Chilean health issues.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I spent too much money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? When I stayed in Viña, it was 40-100 dollars a week. When I traveled for the weekend, it was closer to 200-250 dollars a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try not to eat out that much. You have food at home that you've already paid for, take advantage of that.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had taken 3 college Spanish courses (the last one was span 051 I believe)
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make more Chilean friends than gringo friends. I was fine with how much I learned though, because I made some amazing relationships with people from the states. I also practiced my Spanish a lot, but not as much as I would have if I would've only spent time with Chileans.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the beach
  • the people (our advisor, my gringo and chilean friends, my family)
  • the university
* What could be improved?
  • more excursions!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You really need to practice your Spanish in the months approaching your trip. Try to be prepared for this new culture.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.