True Life: I'm and American in Chile Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of the Pacific) for

ISEP Exchange: Valparaíso - Exchange Program at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad really helped me realize what is important to me back home. Things I took for granted, things I held to too high esteem - it puts things in prospective. It also is something that teaches you about yourself and how you interact when speaking or cultural norms are completely different than what you're used to. I am so lucky to have had this experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

As I stated before, it would have been a better academic experience had there had been REAL school but unfortunately I only had classes with other foreigners (mostly Americans) because the school was in Toma for the first 3 months I was here.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Chile was awesome in general but not necessarily due to the educational aspect of it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Once I changed houses (due to the false information given to me in my first situation) my host family was great. I was in the center of a really safe and nice part of town, close to nightlife as well as the mall and recreational activites (gyms, the beach, etc.) My hose Mom and brother were extremely welcoming, helpful and understanding.

* Food:

My host mom cooked healthy food but in general Chilean food does not have that much variety. I ate more hotdogs, pizzas and hambrugers than I ever have in the states. Alcohol is very cheap here - be warned!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My program didn't have arranged events that I know of.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare easily accessible because I lived with a host family and my host mom helped me a lot. The safety issue is, you really cannot hold anything valuable on you (most of the time) especially late at night. The robbers do not discriminate, I'm sure they would have done what they did to local people as well its just the foreigners would find themselves in situations locals know to stay out of aka walking home at night alone JUST DON'T DO IT. I had my phone stolen but that was minor compared to other incidents. I would definitely say keep it smart and do not be surprised if something valuable gets stolen if you pull it out in front of people and don't keep a good eye on it.

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? probably about $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The bars and discos start to add up - be careful!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I like the freedom
* What could be improved?
  • Actually having class in a university without strikes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Chile is a place you can see a little bit of everything. Traveling in South America is easily accessible and the country itself has a lot of land to explore especially if you are the outdoorsy type. That being said, people who like to be outdoors, camp, etc. this is a great place for you. Also, the night life is incredible so if you're looking for a good time out, no one parties like Chileans.