"Mi corazón no está divido, sino ha crecido." Past Review

By (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill) - abroad from 07/25/2013 to 12/07/2013 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Because I cannot put into words what I gained, it was absolutely worthwhile. I have an appreciation, a knowledge and a love for a country I hardly knew anything about a year ago. I'm a more confident person now because of it. I have deep relationships with people across the ocean, and I've rediscovered my love for nature. It was hands down the best semester so far.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

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?

Best part of my experience!

* Food:

A little bland at times... but Chileans agree with that too!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got very sick and was in the hospital at one point. The program helped me out and was very efficient in making sure I was taken care of.

* Safety:

Keep everything in front of you, including backpacks, even if it looks ridiculous. Never set your stuff on the floor beside you at a restaurant either.

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)

Having a host family helped with that! I didn't have to go out to buy my own food unless I wanted to for fun.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Tell your host family what you do and don't like- they're willing to work with you and it saves money if you don't have to go behind their backs to buy what you really like.


* 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? 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? Conversational spanish
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? It goes without saying, but ONLY SPEAK IN SPANISH. Even to your American friends, which gets way harder as the time goes on.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • My host family
  • Being able to travel and see such diverse and beautiful nature
  • The dieciocho weeklong celebrations in September!
* What could be improved?
  • Connection because classes at PUC and classes at the IES Abroad Center
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the political history of Chile (in regards to September 11, 1973) and the role that the U.S. played in that overthrow. People had very strong and sometimes negative opinions about the U.S. and I was not expecting that and didn't know how to handle it at first. After learning about their history and the reasons the people felt that way, it wasn't as uncomfortable because I could sympathize with them and even agree with them.