People and Memories to be Grateful For! January 20, 2020

By (Duke University) - abroad from 08/27/2020 to 12/09/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Before studying abroad, I had no idea what to expect. I knew very little about Chile or what it would be like to live and study in a country I'd never been to before. That being said, I think this program was the best one I could have chosen for where I was. It gave me the knowledge I needed to be aware, the support system I needed to feel comfortable, and the uncertainty I needed to be more empathetic. I know that the friends, lessons, and memories that I took away from this program will stay with me long into the future.

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.

Experiential learning is a big part of this program's academic approach, and it made the experience of learning that much more memorable and meaningful for me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

One of the top reasons why I had such a good experience with SIT Chile was because of the program staff. They were all so incredibly kind, passionate, and knowledgeable about the themes of the program and they created a very welcoming space throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with host families is a unique opportunity to learn about Chilean culture and the program themes from a different perspective. It can be difficult at times, but the overall experience is truly worth it.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since all of the courses are done within the program, there aren't as many opportunities to interact with other college-aged Chileans. However, if you make an effort to spend more time with your host family and participate in community events outside of the program's requirements, you can meet a lot of new people and learn so much from them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The program staff always say that the students' safety is their number one priority, so they make sure to have protocols in place that will keep everyone safe in the event that something unexpected occurs.

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)

Besides transportation and phone charges to add more data/service, it's pretty easy to stick to a minimal budget. Most other costs you would need to worry about (food, laundry, etc.) are taken care of by your host family.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid eating out too often since your host family prepares three meals a day for you. Rather than using Uber, DiDi is a local rideshare app that is usually much cheaper. If you can walk rather than taking the metro/bus, you'll save more of your transit stipend.


* 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

Ideally, students in the program would always be speaking in Spanish (during class, meals, field trips, etc).

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? Spanish 302 - Advanced Spanish Grammar
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? Get into the habit of always speaking in Spanish, even with your friends outside of the program activities. The more you practice, the easier it will become to speak more fluently.

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?
  • location
  • social activism
  • internship
* What could be improved?
  • communication
  • scheduling of assignments
  • progress updates
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Feeling disconnected at times is normal, but don't let the temporary nature of the program discourage you from putting yourself out there and forging the relationships and experiences you want to have.

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.'