Culturally Stimulating, Perfect for an Education major Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Vassar 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?
Studying abroad is really what you make of it. Every moment and every small detail was a step in the growth and learning process. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is one of the most valuable skills you can have. Learning a language is a slow process and there will be many bumps along the road, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences.

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.

I liked that we weren't just based in one institution or university. We were able to experience many different facets of Santiago's education system by visiting schools, organizations, and even participating in some public demonstrations. It was awesome that the program allowed us this much interaction with the culture, but I will say that the schedule was very strict and set in stone, resulting in a lot of time spent under supervision rather than being able to explore on our own.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Santiago is like most big cities; there are safer parts and more dangerous parts. As long as you are smart and don't openly carry valuables with you, along with making sure you aren't walking alone at night or in dangerous areas, you'll have a safe experience.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? $50-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be mindful of how much money you are spending on weekends when you are out and about, because it really adds up. That is when I spent most of my money, and I realized about 3 weeks in that I was already halfway through the budget I had set for myself. Space it out!


* 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? A Spanish literature course at Vassar 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? Try to stay in touch with the language by speaking it any time you have the chance; i.e. at restaurants, or reading books/newspapers/magazines in the language. Try and take classes in the language, or use any resources that your college offers. I will be working with a Spanish professor this semester to keep my language skills up, which will definitely keep me accountable for continuing to work on my proficiency.

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?
  • Homestays
  • the friends I made and people I met
  • ISP period
* What could be improved?
  • administration of the program
  • freedom to travel
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that during our independent study period, it wouldn't be allowed to travel to different places. That was a downfall of the program.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!