Round River Patagonia: Learning and Living in the Austral Wilderness Past Review

By (Carleton College) - abroad from 09/15/2016 to 12/22/2016 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned an incredible amount of detail about local species of plants and animals, and also a lot about the complexity and necessity of planning well for large, long-term group expeditions. It was absolutely worthwhile and the skills and knowledge I gained there will serve me for a lifetime.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing is excellent if you enjoy the outdoors, nearly every night of the term is spent sleeping outside in your tent.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Although, due to the remote nature of Round River's expeditions, we were not near any established hospitals or medical facilities, Round River's instructors dealt with any and all injuries professionally and effectively, demonstrating their knowledge and familiarity with backcountry medicine.

* Safety:

Despite navigating some dangerous terrain, I never felt unsafe with Round River. All river crossings and steep descents were well-supervised and assisted by either Round River instructors or Chilean Military personnel

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I absolutely loved Patagonia, and had no complaints whatsoever with the program, the only reason I would choose differently is because I think Round River runs equally incredible programs in other areas of the world that I would love to visit (Mongolia, especially)


* 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)

Most of the time you are in the backcountry with no need or ability to spend any money, and when you are back at basecamp it is extremely easy to stay within a small budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? <$20


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? If possible, talk to someone who speaks Chilean spanish, since there are some colloquialisms that are difficult to pick up. If you know basic spanish and then just familiarize yourself with the sound of Chilean spanish you will have no problem.

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?
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife
  • Travel
* What could be improved?
  • Planning
  • Food
  • Language emphasis
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Better Spanish. I think having a stronger grasp on basic Spanish before going to Patagonia could have enhanced my experience greatly, allowing me to communicate more with locals and meet more people, who I loved talking to towards the end of the program once my skills had developed a little bit.

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.