Chile, a widely different experience Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., University of Hartford) - abroad from 07/14/2012 to 12/16/2012 with

API (Academic Programs International): Valparaíso, Chile - Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have gained an outlook into a culture and society that is so different from the US and from Europe. It was amazing to see this country that is in Latin America, but so incredibly advanced. I gained the ability to talk without fear, and to live away from my family.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I felt as though some of the families in the country were only doing i for the money or status, and my initial family was not a good experience. After I changed my host family, I loved the experience.

* Food:

The cuisine of the county is on the boring side, and the dinning times can take a bit to get used to. The style of eating is a large lunch and a late night snack. The sweets in the country were amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor my 1st week there, and I went to a clinic and it was an easy experience. I had to pay up front but it was given back to me.

* Safety:

It is not that the country is dangerous, but it certainly can be a little seedy at times. Between student protests, very poor hills, and destructive youth; the city can be a little scary. That being said, almost none of the crime is violent against other people, and if you are smart, everything can be avoided.

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)

The country is not very expensive, but is not as cheap as other Latin American countries. Many of the prices are similar to the US. Travelling through the counties and cities is very affordable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I didnt drink very much, so i didnt end up spending a lot of money on that. But bar drinks in the country are very cheap.


* 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

Neither of my host families spoke english, nor any of my college teachers, so I had to speak only in spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPA 360
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk with your host families, try and make friends with locals, order food, and travel around.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 sites of the country
  • the home university
  • Our program director
* What could be improved?
  • More host families
  • More excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? he incredible beauty of the wild architecture.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.