Beautiful People, Places and Work Past Review

By (College of Saint Benedict and Saint Johns University) - abroad from 01/14/2018 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 learned a lot of outdoor and backpacking skills as well as good conservation strategies and techniques.

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.

This is an excellent way to gain hands on research experience in the field. You learn a lot of useful field techniques and you get to practice them a lot. The courses are also very interesting and pair very well with the fieldwork you do. The academics of this program challenge students to think beyond a textbook and apply solutions in real world situations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Patagonia instructors are very helpful and willing to make

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had great campsites throughout the whole program.

* Food:

Most of the meals are typical camp food: a lot of rice, lentils, pasta and beans. However, there are opportunities to get some fruit and vegetables on a fairly regular basis.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There is plenty of opportunity to experience local culture, and the people of Patagonia are warm and welcoming. However, students do have to take the initiative to talk to local people and get involved in the culture, but it is very worth it if you do.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Any health issued were dealt with effectively by instructors.

* Safety:

Instructors take safety very seriously and I felt completely safe for the entire duration of the program.

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

I loved this program and often wish that I could go back and do it again.


* 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)

Once you pay tuition, all your essentials are paid for. All the rest of the money you spend comes from personal shopping for souvenirs, food, or alcohol at group dinners since the program will cover food but not alcoholic beverages.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably about $5-10, though there were several weeks that I did not spend any money.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure all your gear is in proper shape if you can since last minute gear is expensive.


* 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

I did not know any Spanish before going to Patagonia, yet I was encouraged to try to speak to people and I made it through the program just fine not having prior experience with the language. Your language skills will improve if you use them.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had studied Franch but never taken one course in Spanish.
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you don't know Spanish try to learn it a little bit before you go and if you do brush up on it. Podcasts are a good way to do this.

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
  • 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?
  • I loved the people I was with
  • I enjoyed the projects that we worked on
  • I really liked all the different places we got to visit and hike in
* What could be improved?
  • Sometimes the organization of things could be a little better, but its not alwas something that can be controlled
  • Sometimes communications between students and instructors could also be improved
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It would be helpful to understand that conservation work often changes a lot and sometimes at the last minute, so just learning to relax and go with the flow will ease frustrations.

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.