Tough living and good classes in a beautiful, if harsh, place February 09, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/22/2017 to 12/15/2017 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Cultural immersion, Spanish practice, and community engagement were worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

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?

* Food:

Patagonia is very far south, and as a result produce is less abundant and more expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Spent most of my time around other students, but interacted with community members frequently as well.

* 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

I've made some incredible friends and we made it through some hardships.

Finances

* 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? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring some snacks.

Language

* 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? Accelerated Intro Spanish
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? Go into town! Put yourself in situations where you have to communicate.

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?
  • Homestays!
  • Experiential learning
  • Fieldwork
* What could be improved?
  • Timing of trips
  • Scheduling
  • Team-building
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known how changeable our schedule could be.

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: Shalynn Pack, Elizabeth Brunner
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Useful intro to Conservation Biology.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Biological Field Methods

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Shalynn Pack, Elizabeth Brunner
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I learned many new useful field methods!
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Humans and Environment

Course Department: Environment
Instructor: Shalynn Pack, Elizabeth Brunner
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course definitely made use of location and engagement with communities.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Natural History of Patagonia

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Shalynn Pack, Elizabeth Brunner
Instruction Language: English
Comments: So many new species and ecosystems to see!
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Restoration Ecology

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Valeria Briones
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Enjoyed learning about land-use history and what we can do to heal scars we've left.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.