No Falta Palta; Bountiful Avocado, Open Hearts and Beautiful Vistas. Past Review

By (Sociology., The College of Wooster) - abroad from 08/26/2014 to 12/08/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to engage in a new kind of community I had never experienced before; living with an indigenous group really alters the way we understand our roles within the world and especially from the US. I have never been more continually shocked by US involvement in Chilean politics and never been more impressed by the openness and continuous love I received from locals who have been so negatively affected by my own country. The program was absolutely worthwhile. I cannot wait to go back.

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.

While the classwork itself was not incredibly rigorous, the classes were in Spanish, taught by Chilean professors, and so that in itself was a challenging aspect. While I learned a great deal from the seminars, the ISP period at the end was by far the most challenging and rewarding period of my abroad experience; SIT gave me great connections in order to complete that project .

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Victor and Sandra (Choqui) couldn't have been better. The most loving and helpful directors I could have asked for.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved by Valparaisían family, but I LOVED my Mapuche family. SIT did a wonderful job arranging both.

* 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:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-$30 dollars; but many expenses were souvenirs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be thrifty in your souvenirs; people are so pleased to receive whatever thoughtful gift you buy!


* 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? Intermediate Spanish 201
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Always take risks with your language, always ask questions and never stop engaging; practice is so necessary to get it right!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • Host Families
  • ISP Period and Opportunities
  • Excursion to the South
* What could be improved?
  • A more bipartisan understanding of the country's politics; at least trying to understand both sides.
  • More excursions and field trips.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The times you feel most uncomfortable are the times you learn the most.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.