Conservation and Backpacking in Chilean Patagonia Past Review

By (The College of William and Mary) - abroad from 01/15/2018 to 04/07/2018 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really got a good understanding of what conservation means in the field, and how much of an impact each individual can have on the larger projects that are going on. It didn't feel like I was just a student, I felt like I was a researcher in something much bigger than just a class or an individual project that lasts a few weeks.

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

Family-like enviornment in Round River, everyone really cares about each individual student, as well as the larger picture conservation projects that are happening across the semesters

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely loved living outside for all hours of the day, although it might not seem perfect for everyone, it really does connect you to the place and land you are living on

* Food:

Very local, fresh meat and cheese, wonderful sopapillas and lamb

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Absolutely the best part of this program was how integrated I felt with the culture and the people. Round River is always invited on all of the projects that they take part in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The instructors really are trained for our safety in the outdoors, as well as being excellent field biologists

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

Really I can't say enough how much of a family Round River has been for me, and how close I became with the people on my program. The program creates such a community of like-minded people.


* 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? I only spent about $20 per week


* 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

Spanish was no required, but added on to my experience and connection with the local population

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? 200 level spanish/AP spanish in high school
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Broad scale research projects
  • Connection to local communities
  • Hands on field experience
* What could be improved?
  • The food situation is not the best for vegetarians and vegans
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had reached out to the people on my program to set up traveling before or after

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'