Best semester ever <3 January 30, 2023

By (Anthropology, Wesleyan University) - abroad from 07/26/2022 to 12/15/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent and take responsibility for my well-being. I also tapped into my love of exploration and embraced my curiosity.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My host university wasn't very rigorous compared to my home university, but I really liked my professors and my classmates were nice and helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I LOVE my host family and I had an incredible time.

* Food:

My host mom was an amazing cook and I really enjoyed our meals together.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe when I was in Chile. The worst thing that happened to me was someone snagged my phone at an intersection. Just keep track of your stuff and don't use your phone on the street and you'll be fine!

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

I had an incredible time in Santiago and the Middlebury staff in Chile made me feel very supported the whole time I was there. I loved almost every second of my experience abroad.


* 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)

Inflation made prices go up but I saved a lot by not eating out and I was fine. I spent less money than I anticipated.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent between $70-$125, depending on the week. I sometimes spent more when I was traveling (i.e. for hostels, groceries, bus tickets, excursions)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out a lot. Make friends with local people and socialize in the park or at your friend's house. You don't need to go to a club and spent lots of money to have a good time!


* 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish electives post 221
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Read books, listen to podcasts, watch movies, all in Spanish.

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people I met
  • The places I saw in Chile (the nature)
  • Speaking Spanish every day
* What could be improved?
  • Culture classes could have been on a more consistent schedule
  • More time on program trip (quick trip for a long way traveled)
  • Help with Visa process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's all going to work out how it's supposed to

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.'