Santiago love <3 September 07, 2022

By (international and global studies, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/23/2022 to 07/15/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was very worthwhile, I learned a more beautiful way of life and a lot of how I build and maintain relationships.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes at the host university in Santiago, la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. A major plus was having such small class sizes, and I always felt like my professors were readily accessible, either in class or online.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Middlebury team in Chile worked so hard to ensure I not only felt safe and taken care of but that I was genuinely enjoying my experience abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with my host family was my favorite part of being abroad. Getting to know them was a beautiful experience, and I plan on staying in touch forever, hopefully to visit them again in the future or to host them as visitors in the US. They understood me and took care of me in ways I never expected before going abroad.

* Food:

I always felt like I had access to good food at home and most of my meals were provided by my host family. I also loved going out to eat with friends in Santiago.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was what I put into it. I certainly could have put myself out there more and integrated myself, but I do feel in Chile, or at least in Santiago, 'integrating' walks a fine line with assimilating. The fact that I was foreign was reflected in many visible/tangible parts of my being, including my skin color/features, body type, my grasp of the language, etc., and I would describe any form as integration there as seamless.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fine, the Middlebury staff (Lindsay Auger <3) helped me with everything I could have possibly needed, including testing and everything when I had covid. She also helped me navigate the health insurance policy and file for my reimbursements.

* Safety:

For the parts that I interacted with as a foreign host student, I would describe Santiago as very safe considering it is a huge city. However, the program intentionally put all of us in safer neighborhoods of the city. I felt they gave me good advice in navigating the city safely. I did have my phone stolen on the metro, but it was not at all violent and it was in part that I ignored the advice they had given us about where we should keep our cell phones in public spaces.

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

The Middlebury program in Chile set us up so well and played a big part in my interacting with many different parts of the country, which is something I do not feel I could have done on my own, financially but also in navigating cultural spaces.


* 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)

here and there -- the dollar does not go as far in Chile and so paying rent, after the currency transfer service fees, became a little pricy albeit still much cheaper than living at a hostel. Going out wasn't necessarily expensive, museums were mostly or almost free, and there were a lot of good cheap food options in the city as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? anywhere from $20-$100 a week, depending on the week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? no


* 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

encouraged us to exclusively use the language and avoid English

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? one advanced level class (300+)
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? listen to as much Chilean audio (talk radio, movies, television shows, etc.) as possible -- acclimating to the speed of the accent was the biggest adjustment.

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?
  • my host family
  • the people in the city, spending time with friends
  • the sushi
* What could be improved?
  • communication (from program) around food while living with host family
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? x

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Pedagogías y Feminismos de y para el Sur

Course Department: OFG
Instructor: Leonora Beniscelli
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Loved this class and found it very relevant and helpful to my studies at Middlebury. The professor was very kind, although it took a period of adjustment to understand her more (like language-wise). All of the assignments gave us a lot of creative freedom, which I loved.
Credit Transfer Issues: I wouldn't know because my transcript is being held from me until I file this review....