A new and great experience! January 11, 2020

By (Sociology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/27/2019 to 12/09/2019 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 was able to go out of the country for the first time and learn so much more about Chile. I feel like I really learned about myself and was able to get a non-western perspective of life and social conflicts. I'm so grateful for this opportunity.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The experimental learning offered by SIT gave me a wonderful and rewarding educational experience. The classes and excursions helped me learn about the neoliberal system, non-western perspectives into the social, cultural, and economic situations, and indigenous communities. I learned about the unity and power of the people to resist oppression in the country and the fight for equality and justice.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff were amazing, sweet, and very caring. They were so helpful and were easy to talk to when a concern would arise. As well, they really cared about the learning and experience of students. Towards the end of the program with the social revolution things were a bit complicated with the structure of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my homestay family and they gave me a wonderful connection to Chile and the community.

* Food:

The food is quite great but for me lacked in spice. I loved the pastries and coffee!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The homestay experience and excursions were the pathways that helped me feel the most connected to the local culture however I felt a lack of connection to students my age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no problems with health issues.

* Safety:

I felt safe and aware of my surroundings at all times.

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

I loved the experimental learning aspect of the program and the intensive project towards the end.


* 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)

I was mindful of what I bought and looked for the best prices.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I saved a good amount of money before coming to Chile and I brought cash with me to change my dollars to pesos. I would avoid taking out small amounts of cash in the ATM cause there is a fee.


* 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 staff and homestay families were the most encouraging and helpful in using the spanish language. At the end, it was up to students to speak spanish or not.

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? an intermediate course
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? I would say to practice spanish before you come to the study abroad program but as well be open to learning and making mistakes! You will only learn the language by practicing and being ready to embrace the language.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the country
  • homestay family
  • culture
* What could be improved?
  • class structure
  • more engagement with the local youth
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To be open to making mistakes with the language, it's okay and will help you improve if you're happy and ready to talk.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!