My Santiago Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 02/24/2014 to 07/10/2014 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I cannot even describe everything I learned while abroad. The most valuable thing I learned, however, was how to truly be myself , even when I was uncomfortable.

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.

Educational experience was what you made of it. If you just took classes at IES, it was a fairly easy ride. If you took advantage of taking classes at Catolica or UChile, academics were a little more intense.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration was full of lovely people, however they seemed a little unresponsive to student needs and weren't very willing to listen to any concerns we had about administrative problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom was so loving and wonderful! After living in a dorm situation, transitioning to living with a family was difficult, especially since the families in Chile are typically very conservative and family oriented. My room was comfortable and my bathroom was kept clean.

* Food:

Portions in Chile are SMALL, without a whole lot of variety. I ate a lot of white bread, sliced cheese, and avocado.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Incredibly integrated, especially since I had the opportunity to live with a family, take classes at the local university, and have an internship.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues while I was abroad, but I had friends that did and the hospitals were fast and effective.

* Safety:

I felt much safer walking around Santiago than I did in my home city! Very safe city, just stay away from the barrios that people warn you about.

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)

Chile is an expensive country relative to the rest of Latin America. In comparison to the US, it was about the same.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save your money for TRAVEL. Eating out is a luxury in Santiago, but I would suggest definitely trying some Peruvian food, even if it's expensive.


* 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 were encouraged to only speak Spanish in the program center and in all of our classes.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Spanish 2
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? Read articles, listen to music, practice conversational skills

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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
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?
  • Lifelong friends
  • Travel opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • more time off to travel
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I'm glad I figured everything out as I went!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'