Chile: The Greatest Country to Study Abroad in Ever! Past Review

By (Management and Spanish, Pre-Law, Kansas State University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Valparaíso/Viña del Mar, Chile

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, I not only became much better at Spanish, but I also matured immensely and made friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. It also made me realize how many things we take for granted here in the U.S. Finally, it reassured the fact that someday, I wish to use Spanish everyday for whatever job I may obtain.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were always able to help out if a student had any problems with anything. Many times they were much too strict.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Viña del Mar, which was incredibly safe, even at night. My family provided everything that I needed to enjoy my stay in Chile. Most importantly, they welcomed me as one of the family and treated me as such. I cannot wait to go back and visit them.

* Food:

The food in Chile is incredibly bland, apart from empanadas. Yet I loved dining with my family because it gave me opportunities to practice the language and get closer with them.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went to the Northern Beaches (Reñaca, Con Con, Horcón and Zapallar), Isla Negra and Santiago.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city, for the most part, was very safe as long as you used common sense. I never once got sick enough to see the doctor, nor were there any health issues that needed to be addressed.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan a lot of money for going out and for travelling. These will definitely be your two greatest expenses


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 700
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced everyday with my host family, especially my host brother. He spoke English quite well, yet only spoke to me in Spanish. My host family made me incredibly proficient in the language.

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

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go into it with and open mind and a willingness to make new friends! It honestly will be the best experience of your life if you just live day to day and make as many new friends as possible! And also, just do as the locals do! Hang out with your family as much as possible and visit places that locals only go to, such as Club Estación which is a club almost exclusively for young Chileans.


While it is understandable that Cameron was frustrated with having to go through our orientation, it is mandatory for all Study Abroad Program participants, since we are not aware of each student's degree of knowledge about traveling abroad. I am not sure why Cameron did not feel we helped prepare him for his experience, and would like more information regarding what else we could have done to help.

KSU October 10, 2011