I will always consider Chile my second home Past Review

By (Speech Pathology and Audiology, Towson University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Valparaíso/Viña del Mar, Chile

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad program made me a person with a much wider view of the world and people around me. I am no longer stuck in my North american bubble. I am interested in more things and I want to learn more about the culture that I was living in. I hope to be able to move back to Chile soon and live there for a longer period of time. I am interested in living there for a year or two and teaching English.

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.

The workload was just enough so we learned something, but we were not stressed out by the amount that we had. The classes were very small and more like discussion based classes than lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ladies that run ISA in Chile are incredible. They were always there for each and every one of us. Even down to the smallest of problems they would be there to help us. They are all Chilean so they are very knowledgeable about their country and they always provided us with opportunities to learn more about what was going on in the country. The program size was about 50 students, which seems big, but we all got along great. My expectations were superseded, I had the most incredible time on my study abroad program and I am so happy I went to Chile with ISA.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was perfect. I had as much freedom as I wanted ( could go out when I wanted, come back whenever I wanted) but I always had the family element which was always very comforting. I was welcome to eat every meal with them and they even invited me to other family outings. Every basic thing that I needed was provided for me; my own room, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. My house was very close to the metro which easily accessed all parts of viña del mar and valparaíso. I loved my host family and I would have never chosen a different one.

* Food:

I was provided three meals a day and my host mom was a great cook. I am not a picky eater so they did not need to make accomodations for my food, but I am sure they would be willing to if needed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on many different trips with ISA. In particular, we went on a long weekend trip to the South of Chile.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Overall, Chile is a very safe country, especially where I was living. There is petty crimes such as pick pocketing and thefts, which could happen anywhere in the world. ISA addressed this thoroughly during our program orientation at the beginning of the program. I did get sick once to the point where I needed to go to the doctor. My host mom easily set up and appointment for me at a doctor's office and she took me. Our healthcare through ISA was very easy to use and helpful.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about 10-20 dollars each week on personal expenses. It depended on the week and how much I went out to eat or went out at night. Also, even though transportation is cheap, it adds up quickly. I think a majority of my money went to transportation.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? My parents sent me a package that ended up costing a lot of money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

All of my Chilean friends, my host family, the staff of ISA, sometimes my north american friends, and my european friends that did not speak English. I did need to use Spanish every single day because most people did not speak English.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The staff, the people in the program, my host family, the classes I took,
* What could be improved?
  • The expenses for the trips that we took
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You will have the time of your life on this study abroad program! I do not think there was one student on my program that had any regrets about studying in Chile with ISA. The type of student that would most benefit from this program is someone that would enjoy having the structure and support from their program, but also all the freedom in the world to do the things that they want to do while they are studying abroad. ISA made us feel safe and like we had a second family while we were there, but we were given enough independence and could do pretty much whatever we wanted.