Valpo is one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience June 07, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/20/2018 to 06/04/2018 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 100% worthwhile, and I'm so glad I chose this program. It was the perfect blend of topics of history, politics, economics, anthropology, social justice, community development, culture, and more. I learned more outside the classroom than within it, and am so grateful for the experiential learning structure that is emphasized in the program.

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.

* 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:

Be on your toes in public spaces--thefts are common, and foreigners definitely stand out!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

This program threw me into one of the coolest cities I've ever been to, and forced me to integrate myself completely into porteño life. I made amazing lifelong friendships, was able to explore places all over Chile (not just the program city of Valparaíso), and left a piece of my heart there after having to leave.

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)

You don't have to spend money on anything you don't want to--the program covers all costs aside from personal expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Because I wanted to, anywhere from $25-100 depending on the week

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? seminar courses taught entirely in spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* 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?
  • independent study project (1 month at end of program)
  • excursions around Chile
  • staff/teachers
* What could be improved?
  • lecture classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How structured the program is--there's little room for flexibility in the first month or two, at least during the academic day. Outside of that, the experience is entirely in your hands, and I liked that balance between structure and freedom.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.