10/10 would reccomend! Past Review

By (Grinnell College) - abroad from 07/23/2019 to 11/07/2019 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Health Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to learn about the health care of Chile while learning many medical terms and health-related topics in Spanish. On top of this, I gained shadowing experience in a public hospital in Santiago where I saw many fascinating medical cases and surgeries. Our group trips and personal trips around Chile were amazing and I experience things I had never done before such as canyoning, rafting, and holding a newborn lamb! I was able to practice my Spanish and learn so much about another culture that I never knew before. The experience was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Santiago - Health Studies Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Health Studies Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Health Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were very chill but not it a way that we did not learn. The instructor's incorporated city life and culture with our classroom discussions as a way for us to learn in and outside the classroom. We had many funny activities and presentations in class that helped us to work on our language skills.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in the administration was amazing. They all made sure that they connected with each and every student on a personal level so that our relationships did not feel as if they were only professional but as if we were friends or family. They did all they could to give us the best experience possible

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was more than satisfied with my living arrangements. My host mom and sister were welcoming and friendly and never isolated me. They treated me as a part of the family and provided me with whatever I needed.

* Food:

The food my host mom cooked was always different and amazing. I have no complaints. The Chilean food, in general, was interesting and I loved their empanadas. However, a general consensus from my peers and I was that some of their food lacked flavor or spice.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

While I did not take classes with students at the university, our program found ways to connect us with the Chilean youths and the local culture. We went on many excursions with some Chileans students and i met a friend through a program organized by the university to help students practice their Spanish.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Our program director always assisted us with finding healthcare options throughout Chile so that we did not have to navigate it alone. She helped explain to us how our insurance worked and where we could get the best care.

* Safety:

While we were warned about safety issues in Chile, I never felt unsafe during my time there. A major issue people may be concerned about is pickpocketing, but it was never something I experienced.

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

My study abroad experience was incredible and I would encourage any student looking for a pre-health and Spanish speaking program to consider this one. I will never forget the people I was able to meet in my program and Chile. The bonds that were created are some that I will never forget. Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience 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)

Having host families provide 2 meals a day was a big help so that I did not have to spend a lot of money every day. Money for transportation is a big expense depending on where you live in the city. Any other expenses students should consider is mone to travel is that is something they wish to do, money for medicine or personal items. Overall it was fairly easy to live on a students budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On average i spent about $40 a week on food and other personal expenses.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find local places that sell relatively cheap food you could purchase or buy food in bulk for the one meal that you will have to provide for yourself so that you do not have to go and find food every day. Try and bring any personal items that you made need with you so that you do not have to buy them there in Chile. Spending money on transportation is inevitable so there not much you can plan for 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

We had one professor who encouraged us to speak Spanish all the time to really practice and work on our speaking abilities and it really motivated us all to work harder at it.

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? 285
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? Practice with your host family! Practice with the students in your program Find Chilean students to become friends with so that you are having regular conversations in Spanish with them. Think of being a part of the tandem partner program that the university offers so that you are paired with someone who can help you practice and in return, you help them practice their English.

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

  • 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 people (host family, friends, admistration)
  • The location
  • The trips (group organized and personal)
* What could be improved?
  • More group oranized trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Going abroad really changes you and your view on certain topics and when you come home from that experience you will never be the same as you once were.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!