Multi-Country: The Most Diverse Experience - Spanish Language, Business & L.A.S. Past Review

By (International Studies, Criminal Justice and Spanish, University of South Dakota) for

International Studies Abroad (ISA) - Reviews from Former Locations

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was absolutely worth it. As a result I have now returned to South America less than a year later to be a teacher in Santiago, Chile. Even though I had never been to Chile before, I felt well prepared because I had a great overall understanding of Latin American culture. Studying abroad was one of the best decision I ever made.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad del Pacifico, Universidad de Belgrano
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Teaching methods were different. Sometimes a professor might not show up, sometimes the lecture would go off on a tangent. South Americans have a very different sense of time and teaching style than North Americans, so sometimes it was a little frustrating, but overall I learned a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sometimes it was difficult, especially in Argentina, because the South Americans could not understand why North Americans would have issues with certain things (personal space, etc) However, everyone was incredibly helpful and tried their very best to help us at all times.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our host family was incredible in Peru! They were fantastic and very helpful and are still like a second family. Our host mother in Argentina was a little crazy sometimes and treated us a bit more like house guests or a paycheck, but she was a wonderful woman. Safety was never an issue and I loved the locations I was in.

* Food:

Peru had delicious food and our host family was wonderful about providing varying and tasteful dishes. Our host mother would only give us the required meals (breakfast and dinner) and often did not give us enough to eat at breakfast. However, any restaurant or cafe you go to will usually have delicious options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved the nightlife and going out with friends and meeting locals. Also, traveling around and seeing as much as possible of both countries was awesome. I could not have asked for better social experiences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never ever felt unsafe and just being aware was usually good enough. Common sense is the best sense. Also, I did get a very bad case of food poisoning in Peru. I was with a friend very far away from Lima, so we had to take care of it ourselves, but it was cheap and efficient. The health care providers came to the hotel to set up and IV and a nurse stayed with me. ISA was great about helping me figure out insurance forms when I came back. However, if you got sick in Argentina or Peru, it could be difficult trying to explain symptoms, etc for yourself.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My host family, people on the streets and teachers. It was absolutely necessary to use the language each and every day, and most people did not speak English.

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

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who already has an understanding of Spanish but wants to delve deeper into the culture and learning of accents. For someone who doesn't know Spanish well, this may not be the best fit, as grammar courses are not included for the entire length of study.