A Semester in Santiago Past Review

By (Elementary Education, Boston College) for

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile: Santiago - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely. I loved studying abroad in Chile and can't wait to go back.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was directly enrolled at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. There was minimal on-site support; we were treated like regular university students. This meant that we did not receive assistance choosing classes, finding housing, etc. For me this was a challenge I welcomed, but this was definitely a more independent program for those who feel comfortable doing things on their own.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I used a Chilean apartment finding website to find housing. I looked up apartments online and made arrangements to visit them. I actually found my apartment through a referral from an apartment I visited but did not decide to live in. My housing was awesome! My land-lady was a 60-something Chilean woman who had lived in the US for several years, and my roommates were other international students studying abroad in Chile. I could not have asked for a better situation. I had the language and cultural exposure of a homestay, but my land lady also understood that we were exchange students and that we would want to go out, etc.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My program did not arrange many social or cultural experiences - the university does have a student group that arranges some events for the exchange students but I did not participate in these. I was able to plan many of my own trips with friends - all over the country - and had a fantastic time on these.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Santiago, like other big cities, has its safe and unsafe areas. I was living in a middle to working class area (not one of the nicer parts of the city) and I never felt unsafe. The food and water were fine, and I did not have any health issues while there.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I lived with other international students, but we agreed to speak in Spanish at home so that we could all practice. Many people within Chile speak English, but I made an effort to use almost exclusively Spanish, since language acquisition was a primary goal of mine.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you are an independent person who enjoys the challenge of moving and settling into a new environment, this is the program for you. If you also have a solid command of the Spanish language and are able to read and write at a university level in Spanish, this is the program for you. If you are not confident in your Spanish abilities, would like more support settling in, or would prefer to take classes in English, this is not the program for you.