Learned the most through personal experiences Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 06/07/2020 to 12/04/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned the most from my personal conversations with international students from Latin America. We spoke of our mental health, our political beliefs, and the violence we witnessed. Though it was a very valuable experience, it was frightening and cost many students a few credits.

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.

There are very few resources throughout the semester and very few spaces to complete work or study. On the other hand, university administration is amazing and very friendly but they have very little control of the programs and professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration working directly for Middlebury and not in the host university had very little communication with the students throughout the program. When the violent protests began, we had no communication until days after and we were not given answers as to the program's continuity. I flew back to the US at the end of the program after sending two emails to the head of the department in Chile and they never responded even to say goodbye.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family barely spoke to me even when I tried to start conversations. Most of the dinners were arguments between the family. I lived outside the home in a room built in the backyard and was constantly locked out of the actual house.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The local healthcare system is great with its easily accessible pharmacies.

* Safety:

Stealing is extremely common. I was constantly told not to take my phone out in public because people passing by would steal them from people's hands. I had this happen to a friend on her third day. I had to hold my backpack a certain way and I would constantly be told I was at high risk because of my gender. After about 3 months, violent protests began and I was hit with tear gas. The country was on curfews and the military ran through the streets blinding people with rubber bullets. These protests are not over and my host family refused to speak about any of this. When streets were destroyed, buildings were broken and the grocery stores were robbed, everyone pretended nothing was happening because we were housed in the higher privileged homes but my host university was at the center of various protests.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Chile is a beautiful country and the culture is equally as amazing. I had a very positive experience before the violent protests. After a state of emergency was declared, a curfew was set, the military was in the streets, stores were robbed, buildings were destroyed, the metro was destroyed and all classes were cancelled, I had very little left to do in the country and I felt unsafe. I had been hit with tear gas near my host university and protests with millions of people were constantly taking over the streets. Academically and as a student I felt that I had no reason to stay. It was not a safe environment and all my classes were cancelled with the grades set to those we had in place before the protests. I had no transportation and I had nothing to do for months. We were constantly told to stay home through emails.


* 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? $200 each week with food, personal expenses and travel to school


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? Span 300
How many hours per day did you use 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

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host university administration
* What could be improved?
  • Host Middlebury administration communication
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The academic system in Chile teaches very little

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Political Ethics

Course Department: Political Science
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: It was not challenging. We had a few papers and two exams.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Comparative Politics in Latin America

Course Department: Political Science
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was not challenging. The professor was usually always 20 minutes late and we had two exams.
Credit Transfer Issues: