An amazing opportunity to learn to find your community in a new culture. Past Review

By (Texas Christian University) - abroad from 07/24/2016 to 12/02/2016 with

IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I felt as though I learned the beginnings of how to come to know a new culture and to find my fit within it. I learned to live out of my comfort zone and how to adjust in not only language but social cues and jokes even. I cam to appreciate different foods, music, and greetings.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago Photo IES Abroad: Santiago - Study in Santiago Photo

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.

These weren't throw away classes, I felt like I was really learning applicable information about culture and life in Santiago all with an emphasis on bettering your Spanish.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration here cared so much about every single person, I have never felt so loved and cared for by an administration team in my life.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing and were so kind to let me into their lives. If for some reason there was a mismatch in host homes, IES was very good at making sure you were comfortable in the place you were living, even if that meant you needed to switch host families.

* Food:

Being a vegetarian I thought this might be a hard one, but turns out I feel like I ate well. It was not the food I was used to, so I will admit there was a bit of an adjustment there, but IES worked with me and my host family to make sure that I was getting all the right nutrients.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Learning to become a part of Chilean culture was one of my favorite things while abroad. I felt as though without the orientation IES provided us upon arrival it would have taken quite a bit longer and I would not have come to know nearly as much.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually had an allergic reaction to an medication while I was abroad. It was a quite frightening experience but the administrators of the program could not have been a better help. They called and made appointments with me, always offered to go with me if I wanted, and I was made aware of how the healthcare worked during orientation so that if something like what happened to me were to occur, I would know what to expect. I felt as though the visits were very similar to my home visits (except all in Spanish).

* Safety:

Over all, we were very prepared to prevent getting pick pocketed etc. Unfortunately I was a victim of a robbery but it was vary much something that even the locals were shocked to hear had happened. Keep your eyes pealed, pay attention to what is going on around you and try to not ever have too many valuable things on you at one time. If it is unavoidable, take taxis/ ubers/ etc. to get safely from place to place and always use the buddy system. Don't let stereotypes scare you too much though either. Live life, be smart, and know sometimes things happen so be prepared (save police phone numbers in your phone/ have traveler's insurance/ emergency numbers from your program/ etc.).

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

This program had everything I was looking for. I felt as though the city allowed me many opportunities to find things i loved (hiking, dancing, meeting new people) but also challenge me in ways I never would have expected.


* 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 and the ATM fees are what get you, that is the money you may not be expecting to add up so quickly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 25-50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to do anything other than live, it is necessary to save a good amount of money ahead of time. I would suggest $2,000 would allow you a few traveling experiences and fun activities in your city!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The care they have for their students
  • The availability to take classes at the local university
  • The familial environment provided at the IES complex.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between the host universities and the program
  • Anticipation about how grades work at the university (announcing grades out loud)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had done more research, even if just a little bit. I feel then I would have really appreciated the little things when I first arrived a little more.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.