Maravilloso!!! Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Bates College) - abroad from 02/25/2014 to 06/09/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Chile - Comparative Education and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Perspective, motivation, confidence, knowledge, and a new way of living! It was 100% worth while.

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.

Each lecture and seminar session was engaging and interesting, that being said classes aren't particularly intense. However, most of the academic rigor comes from school visits and the home stay environment. I am an extremely hands on learner and prefer class time that is outside a standard lecture room so this program was the perfect fit for me in an academic sense.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors of this program are intelligent, loving and extremely organized. We stuck to our given schedule the entire time and arrived safely and smoothly to each of our planned excursions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a wonderful, loving home stay family! The staff is very receptive to home stay feedback from students, so those who did not mesh well with their family were immediately relocated. I was also living very nearby to my classmates and while there was a somewhat lengthly commute to school everyday I was able to travel with friends.

* Food:

The food was delicious but did lack some nutritional value. The food is very carb and salt heavy and lacked green vegetables. My host parents however, were wonderful cooks :) You are never underfed, that's for sure.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The local culture was amazing and very welcoming. While you only take classes with the other american students in your program you are located at a local university so there is ample opportunity to mingle with students your age. If you are proactive there are a lot of opportunities to get out in the community and meet amazing chilean locals!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues while abroad. However, some of close friends made visits to the clinic and the directors translated and stayed with them the whole time. There is usually a very long wait in the clinic but any health concern, small or large, is taken extremely seriously by the directors.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe in my host city. My home was located in one of the safest areas of Santiago. We would normally take taxi cabs when it was late and never had a problem.

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


* 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)

I was able to live on a student's budget relatively easily. Chile is more expensive in comparison than other South American countries so prices weren't as low as I was expecting. That being said, there are always specific areas in the city less expensive than others so if you are diligent about not spending too much money it is possible. Unfortunately public transportation is quite steep, which is where a lot of my money was going to toward the end of my visit.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 plus a week (depending on the week)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Your home stay family is there to feed you so you can make sure to eat the majority of your meals with them! This is a great way to save money and very easy.


* 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? 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? 207 level course at my College
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? Speak with your american friends! Having light conversations with the people you spend the most time with is a great way to practice. It also takes a lot of pressure off rather than jumping into a conversation with a local (although that is always encouraged). Don't be embarrassed, everyone is at a different level. Have fun with it!!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The vibrant, activist culture and community
  • The amazing American students I befriended
  • The excursions and school visits
* What could be improved?
  • Opportunities to meet chilean locals
  • Communication between students and directors (some aspects were "lost in translation")
  • Course work
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how expensive some aspects of Chile were going to be so I could have better prepared for this financially. I was never strapped for money but some things, like public transportation (most of which is covered by the program) was pricier than I had anticipated.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.