Aventuras Inolvidables en Santiago Past Review

By (Biology and Psychology, Tufts University) - abroad from 07/23/2014 to 12/05/2014 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I now understand how study abroad really is a learning experience and so much more than an extended vacation. At first, I was a tourist in Santiago, but after a month or two of living there, I developed a better understanding of the people, their values, and the culture. Near the end of my time abroad, I thought I had mastered life in a new country. I quickly learned this was not the case when one day I found that the traffic had reversed directions for the morning commute and my bus was not going to come. I learned to embrace the challenges, laugh at my mistakes, and live in the moment.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The IES courses were very organized and provided all course materials, while courses at La Catolica were less structured. Overall, the workload was significantly less than I had expected.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES staff significantly contributed to my wonderful experience abroad. The director, student and academic coordinators are very knowledgeable in their respective areas, and they were enthusiastic and supportive. They even dressed in costume for our Halloween party!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The homestays were in safe parts of Santiago and were carefully picked by IES. Many families have hosted students for several years.

* Food:

The food in Chile was rather lackluster, as they tend to stick to simple carbs (rice, potatoes, bread, more bread, even more bread). I was able to remain vegetarian while abroad pretty easily.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe my entire semester, and IES ensured that we were aware of any scheduled protests or safety issues. A few people in my program were robbed on the trains, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings.

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)

Transportation really added up!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Walk to the program center if possible! I walked about 35 mins each way, twice a week and saved on transportation. Also, there are free events around the city to take advantage of rather than spending lots of money on food and drinks.


* 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? Spanish 4
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? Try to eat meals with your host family because these are great times to converse and ask questions!

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • freedom to select a mix of IES and university classes
  • IES staff
  • program size-excellent student dynamic
* What could be improved?
  • organization of university classes
  • Clinical Observation course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about the concept of "Chilean time," referring to the more laid back attitude of showing up late or waiting until the last minute to get things done. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it took some getting used to.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Medical Spanish

Course Department:
Instructor: Claudia Flores
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was my favorite because I learned a huge amount of vocabulary that will be useful in the future in the medical field. Claudia was a fantastic professor, and she encouraged class discussions and comparisons between Chile and the US in relation to the material in each unit.
Credit Transfer Issues: