Chile: the most amazing ride that makes me want to live in that paradise forever! Past Review

By (International Studies, California Lutheran University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Valparaíso/Viña del Mar, Chile

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I ended up changing my major just so I could go back for another semester during my undergrad and I plan to be there within one year of graduating from my university.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso
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.

Very different academic experience than what I was used to but after adjusting, I learned to respect and excel in the system.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people at the on site office in the host country were absolute angels and helped with any and all challenges without even batting an eye. I still communicate with them to ask questions and they always have a way of finding an answer.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was treated as a guest and was given a great room and more than amazing food. My only complaint is that I wanted to be treated like any other Chilean university student and they treated me like royalty.

* Food:

The food was beyond restaurant quality at all times.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We held celebrations at the on site office with the host country staff helping us by having celebrations to practice what the big celebrations we would be having when with friends and family of the host culture. We also took trips (very inexpensive) with the program to help get a broad prospective of the culture we were living.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Transportation does seem a bit more dangerous than our transportation system here in the United States. However, the on-site staff always made sure to help us with hospital visits, insurance claims, and of course translations for anything needed.

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?

I lived with a host family and made many friends of the host culture. I spent everyday with Chileans and spoke Spanish as much as I could. The people around me were more than understanding and laughed with me as I learned to speak better and better.

Other Program Information

* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I loved the on site staff. They were always available and helped walk us through all challenges without completely taking over and not letting us live our own experiences.
  • The culture of Chile is one that makes me feel that I want to call Chile my home.
* What could be improved?
  • Currently, the majority of the country's universities are on strike so none of the exchange students have the choice of taking classes with Chileans. Hopefully, reform will come soon.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you are trying to better your Spanish quickly and be able to understand Spanish all over the world, this program is for you. Take the time to be away from Americans. Make Chilean friends and go out with them. Chilean culture is very loving (proven by the kisses) and you will quickly learn just how loving it is.