Tent City - Backpacking in valleys & on glaciers with some of my favorite people Past Review

By (Oberlin College) - abroad from 01/17/2017 to 04/11/2017 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I came away from the program with so many new friendships and a much deeper understanding of what it means to be a conservationist. Also, I learned how to be a more flexible and successful member of a community.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

In comparison to the rigor of Oberlin, the courses with RRCS were less academically demanding. However, it was challenging to get academic work done while in the field, and I found that my time management skills were often put to the test.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Tent city was a great time!

* Food:

When out in the field meals got repetitive, which was to be expected. However, some of the meals we cooked at base camp have become some of my favorite dishes - I have cooked them back at home for family and friends.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

Backpacking and living in a tent alongside 8 other college students and my instructors while studying conservation was one of my favorite experiences. Every day we woke up right next to the plants and animals that we were studying... there really is nothing like it. There were hard days where the sun never shined and my feet were never dry, but through it all we were able to laugh and learn and grow.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not more than $10


* 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

We were often working with locals, and we were always encouraged to interact with them. However, for students who were shy or did not have lots of Spanish speaking experience, it was easy to avoid.

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? A course on Spanish literature - poetry and plays
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? Speak it as much as possible, in and out of the classroom.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The backpacking
  • The seriously breathtaking views while hiking
  • Being in remote areas and having to problem solve
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to speak Spanish would be great
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's not so bad living out of a backpack for four months.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.