Would do again September 03, 2019

By (Psychology, Bates College) - abroad from 02/26/2018 to 06/11/2019 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 am now more comfortable in who I am as a person. I learned what my goals are and I was able to do this abroad because of the lack of experience and comfort many have in a foreign place. I had to really reflect and evaluate what I wanted to put out into the world and this opportunity encouraged me to do that.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program had courses taught by visiting Chilean professors, where they lectured about their own research and interests in many different topics. Essays and papers help the improvement of your Spanish but are very manageable. Your host family will be happy to help you with these assignments as well!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt like I had multiple mothers, my host mother and the staff members. They were fantastic to see everyday and to have in your corner. They are there for your well being and they do a wonderful job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was the best part of my program experience. I cannot say enough about everything they did for me and I hope to able to visit them sometime in the future. I still keep up with my host mom and text her often.

* Food:

In my opinion, the best food in Chile is Peruvian. However, I am a vegetarian and was not able to enjoy the meat they prepare. I also do not eat seafood, so I did not take part in the plentiful food that is provided by the ocean. Even with my food restrictions, I was able to eat plentifully and my host family was extremely understanding and accommodating of my preferences.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not make many Chilean friends myself, I found myself getting close with the other students in my program. However, other people did reach out to local people and participated in activities such as a language exchange, and were able to have more success.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick only once and my host family and program staff took fantastic care of me.

* Safety:

The orientation is very comprehensive in covering safety concerns. I personally never had a problem, but some girls had their backpacks stolen on buses. Just keep your belongings close and pay attention. You should be fine.

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

I had such a positive experience that when I left I felt like I was a part of the community. I miss my host family and the connections I was able to make with the staff.

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)

Host family provided the food, if you do not want to spend money there is no reason you would have to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do what you feel comfortable with, not what others are doing.

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

It was a strict requirement to only speak in Spanish and your language will improve like you would not believe.

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200 level college seminar
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? Try to spark conversation with your host family, that is where I learned the most. Also do not be afraid to speak to people on the street, ask for directions, etc.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Excursions
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • Community Engangement
  • Integration with students our age
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that everything was going to turn out fine. This did not effect me so much when I arrived in Chile, but more when I was preparing. All the stress I put in was not necessary.