Study abroad as study abroad was intended to be July 28, 2017

By (Vanderbilt University) - abroad from 02/21/2017 to 06/05/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was incredibly gratifying to integrate into another culture (and another language!) and learn about the social issues that exist in Chile. I felt like every travel experience was purposeful and taught me something about Chilean culture and society.

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.

This program was a truly incredible experience. It's uniquely structured in a way that allows students to explore many, many different aspects of Chilean culture and society. From the laid back vibe in Valparaíso to the Andean communities in the north and the gorgeous volcanoes of the south, I left this program feeling like I had a really comprehensive experience of Chile as a country, both from the classes as well as the experiential learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The SIT Valparaíso staff was amazing.. SO helpful and dedicated to the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The home stay was one of the best parts of this program. I felt right at home with my family and it helped improve my spanish a ton.

* 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

Finances

* 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)

Prices were typically comparable (if not a little cheaper) than the US.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to spend money on experiences.. (it's study abroad!) but if you like to go out to eat/for drinks regularly, always be on the look out for places that are reasonably priced rather than finding a place you like and going there every time. Touristy areas tend to be pricier.

Language

* 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

The home stays were amazing for improving my spanish.

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? 3000
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? Watch movies/tv in Spanish.. For me, conversational spanish was harder than academic spanish when I first arrived.

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?
  • Home stays
  • Language practice
  • ISP
* What could be improved?
  • Shorten orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to practice conversational/everyday spanish before arriving.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'