Amazing views, field work experience, and interactions with locals. Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/16/2017 to 04/11/2017 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Language skill, field work experience, and yes it was entirely worthwhile

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were interesting but because no Environmental Studies/Biology background was required they were mostly a review of concepts learned freshman year with a focus in the area. At times the instructors, not all of whom came from a science background, did not seem to know the material they were teaching. However, you simply cannot compete with the incredible field work I was able to complete through this program; the hands-on experiences made this program 100% worth it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program director was incredible, always engaging and making arrangements to accommodate all students' needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

We always had plenty of delicious food, and could ask for anything we wanted.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We got to interact with the local community through work with the guardaparques, homestays, and work with local gauchos and their families.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program took great care of all the students, and was incredibly helpful in making arrangements for one of them to go to the hospital when it was necessary.

* Safety:

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

Like I've said you simply won't find a better program for field work and the location is beautiful


* 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)

Tuition is expensive and they aren't good with financial aid, but all meals and housing is provided

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $5


* 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? Intermediate
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?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Really engage yourself with the locals; they don't care how good your language is, they want to converse with you and learn about your background, and trust me you'll want to know theirs too.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Field work
  • Local Interactions
* What could be improved?
  • Class material
  • Instructors' knowledge/preparedness
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been more experienced in backpacking but they teach you everything you need to know.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Conservation Biology

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: All instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not challenging, but interesting material after we got through all of the basics that I had learned previously. Some instructors were better prepared than others while teaching this class. Participated more often, there were only eight students and I knew all the material so participation was easy. We were assessed by papers, exams, and reading discussions.
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't think so, I haven't gone for major credit yet but Midd didn't have an issue with my credits.
Course Name/Rating:

Restoration Ecology

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: All instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not challenging, used the surrounding area to our benefit. Some instructors were more knowledgeable and better prepared for this class than others. Participated more, only 8 students. Was assessed mainly on two exams in which we designed restoration projects.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Humans and the Environment

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: All instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class covered many different issues with humans interacting with the environment surrounding them, and though it wasn't challenging it was very interesting. Each instructor got to teach to their areas of strength, which made teaching more effective. Participated more, only 8 students. Assessed on papers.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Natural History of Patagonia

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: All instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Most challenging class, had to learn many species names (common and scientific) in the areas of our field work. Used the environments we were walking through to learn and practice species. Participated about the same amount as I would have at home. Assessed on identification exams.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Field Methods

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: All instructors
Instruction Language: English/Spanish
Comments: You simply cannot beat the field work in this program. It was challenging at times and interesting to work in the environment and interact with the local communities and landowners. Instructors were great in this area. Participated more often, there were only 8 students. Assessed by our data sets and a final project lab report.
Credit Transfer Issues: No