The most unforgettable experience of my life! Past Review

By (Franklin & Marshall College) - abroad from 07/22/2019 to 11/07/2019 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Health Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My classes and professors were fantastic and taught me so much about culture, medicine, and helped me to improve my Spanish greatly. I also learned a lot about myself and my independence while abroad.

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.

Courses were so helpful and I learned so much about culture and medicine, all while improving my Spanish tremendously.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Admin are such kind and genuine people that helped me with everything from picking courses to suggesting a place to get my nails done in Santiago. They really care.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was so sweet and I lived a 5-minute walk from the IES center.

* Food:

My host family weren't really fantastic cooks, but they always had food and the food available in Santiago is sooooo delicious

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have never had a more in-depth integrated cultural experience than I did through this program. Our classes taught about culture and there were always opportunities to meet Chileans and get out there in the community.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I needed to go to physical therapy for an issue with my IT band in my knee, and the Admin helped me to find a great clinic to go to for really good medical care comparable with US facilities.

* Safety:

We got frequent updates on situations in the area or the country and would check in after earthquakes or little similar situations. I always felt informed and well taken care of.

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

This program was more incredible than I could have imagined. I loved the life and energy in the city of Santiago, and lived a 5 minute walk from the IES center. I loved being able to shadow medical professionals in the public hospital- I even befriended some surgeons and got to play tennis with them on the weekends! The program allowed a lot of weekend time so my friends and I took advantage of every opportunity to travel and explore all of the amazing nature and experiences Chile has to offer like surfing in Pichilemu, skiing in the Andes, sand boarding in the Atacama Desert, summiting a volcano in Pucón, and hiking through Patagonia after my program finished. I made some incredible friends, both from in my program and from the class I took at the local university with Chilean students. My abroad experience was the greatest experience of my life and I learned so much about culture, medicine, Spanish, travel, and about myself while in Chile with IES Abroad.


* 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)

Santiago is a pricer city so eating out can get expensive, but relatively, it is simple to live comfortably on under $100 a week. I saved most of my money so that I could dedicate it to traveling and trips. Travel expenses are also very reasonable, you can take a 3 hour plane ride for $30 round trip to some places.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60-$80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I saved up starting a year before going abroad with the primary goal of using the money to travel. I keep meticulous spreadsheets to document my expenses and set a budget for myself so that I could have sufficient money to travel and enjoy those experiences.


* 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

The program was full immersion, from classes to free time to time with our host families

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? 300 level Spansh course
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? Just putting yourself out there to make conversation with Chileans in class or through IES' peer mentoring program was a great chance to keep speaking. Speaking with your host family is also incredibly valuable and great practice.

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
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 relevant classes
  • The program trips and traveling
* What could be improved?
  • More advising early on about choosing courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Abroad I learned that the best way to get out into the culture is to start conversations with people even when you're not 100% confident in the language, because most people genuinely want to talk to you and want you to practice the language.

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.