Middlebury in Montevideo Past Review

By (Biopsychology, Tufts University) for

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Montevideo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. As I said, it was a great immersion experience, and I really was living on my own and starting from scratch in many ways (although the program had good resources to fall back on). I got the chance to study things I normally wouldn't in a more culturally relevant context.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de la Rep├║blica

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

As I said, I was in one class that was too hard. However, I do think I learned a lot and it taught me that I can do a lot more than I thought I could! The other classes were manageable. The classes are less organized and they don't teach to the test the same way they do in the US, which can be good but also frustrating at times. It is also at times unclear what you should actually be reading for each class, because the teachers assign a larger number of books than could ever be read for one class in a semester. You must be pretty good at staying on track--it's impossible if you leave it all for the end.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program local director was great. She was super prompt in emailing back and helping to figure things out, and met with me multiple times for coffee during the semester to talk about issues I was experiencing. The latin america coordinator, claudio, was also very helpful. He was very in tune with the differences between US and latin american universities. The program was small (4 people), which I wanted because I knew it would force me to make friends with Uruguayans. It was tough at times, but worth it. I think it's bigger this semester (11). The program also supported me with one-on-one tutoring for my tricky class.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family was very warm. It was a 15 minute bus ride to class/downtown, which was kind of a pain, but not as bad as other programs I've heard of.

* Food:

My host mother was very understanding of my being a vegetarian, but I still didn't really enjoy the food she gave me. It was mostly fried and not enough vegetables.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

got to travel to cordoba argentina, which was awesome! also got to do a tango class, go to a play, and a city tour.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Montevideo is fairly safe. You shouldn't walk around in the old city at night though.

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

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Since lunch is not provided, I would definitely recommend buying food for sandwich materials or cooking a big thing once a week to keep in the fridge. You'll save a lot of money that way.

Language

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

Language acquisition improvement?

Uruguay is a great place to learn Spanish. Many fewer people speak English. Middlebury is very language focused and students must take a language pledge. I spoke only Spanish with the 3 other students in the program, as well as all my Uruguayan classmates. I also had a host family.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • independence
  • good academic support system
  • non-program classes
* What could be improved?
  • directors' knowledge of different classes