I didn't want to come back to the states Past Review

By (University of Vermont) - abroad from 09/24/2019 to 12/16/2019 with

Round River Conservation Studies - Patagonia, Chile Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about ecology obviously, but I also learned a lot about human's place in nature and about my place in nature. I learned about Chile's history and people and relationship to nature as well. My Spanish improved over the months, but I wish I had begun the program with more. I learned about living outside, and living in small group settings, which can be tough, but you make very close friends. I loved everything about this program and recommend it to anyone who cares about the environment and is up for an adventure.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classwork was at a great level that challenged us, but did not overwhelm. The school work was applicable to all of the research we did and helped deepen our experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the instructors were lovely and things were run as smooth as they could.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If you're happy sleeping in a tent, the arrangements are lovely!

* Food:

We did all of our own cooking and it was healthy and tasty.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had a lot more time than I expected to interact with locals and learn about culture in Patagonia. The home stay experience was an extremely important piece of this. My Spanish improved as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not need any vaccines which was lucky, though I did have to go to a hospital for my achilles. It was a pleasant and easy experience.

* Safety:

Cochrane is a pretty safe place.

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

Round River was everything I could have asked for and more. All of the readings we did for class were interesting and actually applicable to the work that we did. The research experience was not only a learning experience, but a lot of fun as well. It was special doing work that felt like it mattered.


* 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)

Food and transportation is all paid for, so you really don't need much money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? alcohol 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

We were always being taught new Spanish. Kids that came into the program with no Spanish learned at least some.

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? no clue
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? Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The instructors- all amazing humans and role models
  • The overall pace of the program- It gave us time to learn and do research, but also to interact with locals and with each other in non-academic ways.
  • The classes/materials- I learned more in that semester than I have in 2 years of college
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe a little more interaction with locals in Cochrane/Base camp.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Patagonia is cold in December. Also, knowing Spanish is very useful.