Chile is a great country but was disappointed in the program. Past Review

By (International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Chile - Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think I grew a lot as a person because I was alone a lot and had to create my own happiness many times. I definitely learned some about the host country, but I do not think it changed any of my interests/plans/awareness.

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.

Not very much work, very low grading standards, and in general not a very challenging or ambitious program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They meant extremely well and were very nice, but were fairly disorganized and slow to get things done.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a lot of unexpected problems with my host families (ended up living with five over the course of the semester), which led to a fairly fractured experience. The houses were all very accessible and safe, and provided all necessary living items. One of my host families was wonderful, but I felt treated somewhat like a client at some of the other ones.

* Food:

Just in general about Chilean cuisine - not very many vegetables, lots of salt/fat. Not specific to host families.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Excursion to the North - academic but separate from how the program generally was. Visit to museum of human rights.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

No safety problems!

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Meet/speak with as many locals as possible! Join a gym, music group, anything... People on the program only spoke English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursion to the North! It was absolutely incredible and made the whole experience worth it.
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
  • Efficiency
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think the academics of this program are more geared towards sociology/anthropology students, and I would just advise them to do some pre-research on the topic they think they want to investigate for their ISP to be able to track down relevant resources in-country as soon as possible.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Cultural Identity, Social Justice & Community Development Seminar

Course Department: LACB-3000
Instructor: Various
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was not challenging and though some of the instructors held very interesting positions and had a lot of experience in the field, the class was kept to a very basic level. I felt it could have made more out of the location. I participated in class probably about the same about as at my home institution.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Field Study Seminar

Course Department: ANTH 3500
Instructor: Sergio Fiedler
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class did not meet very often and seemed irrelevant - we could have learned what was taught by doing assigned readings.
Credit Transfer Issues: n/a
Course Name/Rating:

Intensive Language Study: Advanced Spanish III

Course Department: SPAN 4006
Instructor: Virna/Carola
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The professors were great but I had already learned most of the things taught in the course.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not trying for major/distribution credit so it was fine.
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department: ISPR 3000
Instructor: n/a
Instruction Language: n/a
Comments: I had a challenging time with my research; see comments above. I think more support from the program especially for those working in a different location from the headquarters would be useful.
Credit Transfer Issues: n/a