There's no place like Montevideo March 26, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/01/2018 to 12/24/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Montevideo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think I gained a pretty thick skin, knowledge of Spanish, knowledge of Rioplatense culture, among other things. Worthwhile, overall.

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.

Good overall. More host university-provided resources could have been useful

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Terrible at first; bad luck. I had to evacuate household midway through the program. The second housing arrangement was much, much better

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the end, I felt as Uruguayan as a gringo could

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Comparable to US system

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would do this program again, definitely. However, I would make absolutely certain that I would be able to get a different host family than the one that I started out with that almost ruined the experience for me.

Finances

* 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)

Uruguay is an expensive country by Latin American standards, but after a while you can learn the ways to stay within an efficient budget

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask the locals. They'll know what spots to go to/if you've ben going to the wrong spots. Also, take advantage of the cheap Antel phone data plans — cellular data and phone service is all nationalized and the Uruguayan government makes financing a phone in Uruguay for anybody absurdly affordable. What costs $40 in the United States per month costs $3 in Uruguay per month. no joke

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Program encouraged strict Spanish usage

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 350
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Know local phrases and key vocab. Otherwise, be ready to dive into a unique and fast-spoken dialect

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Middlebury on-ground infrastructure
* What could be improved?
  • Host university interactions w international students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew the potential for a bad host family to impact an experience

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Uruguayan Economics and Society

Course Department: Communications
Instructor: Juan Barrios
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Not difficult. Well taught course, good for language learning. Learned some good economic material too
Credit Transfer Issues: Haven't tried to transfer credit yet
Course Name/Rating:

Uruguayan Politics

Course Department: Intl. Studies
Instructor: Alfonso Lessa
Instruction Language: spanish
Comments: Good class for learning about Uruguayan history and politics. The exam seemed graded arbitrarily, though. Test was also 100% of class grade
Credit Transfer Issues: Haven't tried to transfer credit yet
Course Name/Rating:

The English-speaking World and the Challenges of the West

Course Department: Intl. Studies
Instructor: Pedro Isern
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Cool course to take in Spanish, as it was about Western politics. The Uruguayan perspective on Western politics was cool to take in. Overall a good elective course
Credit Transfer Issues: Haven't tried to transfer credit yet