Una gran aventura August 05, 2023

By (Haverford College) - abroad from 02/26/2023 to 07/15/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish improved a lot and I got great professional experience through my internship. I also got more independent and had a lot of fun. Definitely worthwhile!

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.

The classes I took at my local university were great! I had wonderful professors and the material was interesting. The assessments were different than what I expected; I am used to writing essays since I am a humanities/social sciences student, but there were a lot of exams.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They did a great job getting us ready for the program and taught us a lot about the host country. However, some aspects of the program were disorganized and communication could have been clearer.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was great! Super friendly and supportive, and I hope to stay in touch with all of them :)

* Food:

I did probably 80% of my own cooking, which was a good arrangement for me. Anyone who is vegan should probably do this as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Through my program-arranged internship and volunteer work through my university, I felt the most like I was part of the local culture. I definitely got accustomed to Santiago and really liked living there, but comfort and familiarity with a city is not the same as feeling integrated into the culture as a whole.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctor once and it wasn't great. The only office that I could go to that I could get reimbursed for through GeoBlue was a 90-minute bus ride away each way, and the doctor didn't really listen to my concerns. I had a hard time explaining to the people at the office that I had international health insurance. Also, make sure you check the requirements for what a receipt needs to have on it to be reimbursed through GeoBlue. I needed to get the typhoid vaccine before doing this program. It was hard for me to get and insurance didn't cover it. Bear in mind that the oral vaccine (Vivotif) will go bad if stored at room temperature and make sure you figure out how to get the vaccine well in advance of leaving.

* Safety:

No incidents. I went to a lot of different parts of the city and some felt safer than others, but just use common sense and don't go alone to areas that you don't really know.

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

It was a good experience for me overall. I learned a lot and met some wonderful people.


* 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)

My host mom bought most of the food so I had very low expenses outside of rent. I did buy vegetarian food and had to fill up my tarjeta bip, but had minimal expenses outside of that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20ish including food and tarjeta bip, could be more/less depending on the week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget for transportation and maybe buying some of your own food.


* 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? 300-level
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? Just do what the language pledge says and don't speak in English to other international students/program participants unless you really have to. Also, try to find music/podcasts/shows/books in the host language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?
  • host family
  • new friends
  • classes
* What could be improved?
  • communication
  • consistent use of language pledge by all students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The time will pass quickly and slowly at the same time.

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!