An academically intense but rewarding experience Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/21/2017 to 06/05/2017 with

SIT Study Abroad: Chile - Comparative Education and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It is hard to qualify what I learned in four months abroad in just a few lines, especially having just gotten back. I think my answer to this question will develop as I reintegrate. Academically, I learned a great deal about the historical and present political context of Chile, the education system, and the society as a whole. My Spanish definitely improved, especially my listening skills. Personally, I learned a great deal about adaptability, independence, confidence, approaching new situations, and more. I also gained an immense appreciation for international students at my home university studying and living in not their first language as this really is a big challenge in many unexpected ways.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It is academically a very intense program. You learn a great deal but days are very long and very structured, so just be aware of whether this is the kind of experience you are looking for when choosing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My main homestay family was difficult, but most people had good experiences and my excursion families were amazing.

* Food:

Dependent on host family, but Chile is not know for it's cuisine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was accessible, high quality, and SIT's insurance plan makes it free.

* Safety:

Street harassment is unfortunately common in the forms of yells and whistles, but I never felt unsafe. You are well prepared on safety during orientation.

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

I would say "Maybe" is more accurate. I would likely have chosen a program outside of a big city if I were to do it again, but this is just personal preference. There are a lot of amazing aspects to Santiago, but I do prefer smaller cities. I would still chose an SIT program and am very grateful for the experience.


* 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)

Only social activities outside of the program cost money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you stay out late you will have to take a cab home which can get expensive, so be aware of this.


* 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? One semester of college 300 Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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?
  • Homestay families
  • Excursions to different cities and Argentina
  • Access to amazing communities and individuals
* What could be improved?
  • Opportunities for interaction with local peers
  • Grouping students living in suburbs to be able to commute together
  • Slightly less class time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that the days would be very long although rewarding.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Integrated courses

Course Department: N/A
Instructor: Program staff
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: All courses were in Spanish. Though there are technically distinct courses, that seems to be more for credit purposes and it's just one sort of continuous educational experience. You have access to communities and individuals that are very unique and incredible opportunities.
Credit Transfer Issues: