My Spanish improved dramatically Past Review

By (Political Science & Human Rights, Barnard College) for

Syracuse University: Santiago - Syracuse University in Santiago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, I gained a much-needed perspective of the role played by the US in Latin America, and the important and tragic history of a nation under dictatorship that is still recovering. Made great friends on the program, a few close contacts in Chile, and all in all had a wonderful time.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Chile Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Catolica
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The intensive spanish language component in Ecuador was incredibly helpful, although the contineud Spanish classes in Santiago were less so. The program course "Dictatorships, Human Rights & Historical Memory" was fantastic, as was the other primary course I took, "International Human Rights Law."

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mauricio and Isa were helpful and available every step of the way.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Providencia in an apartment building, with an older woman. <br /><br /> Great location, although I had less interaction than I would have liked with my host family.

* Food:

Chilean food is nothing to write home about.......

* 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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Metro - we didn't get student cards until very late in the semester so the cost of transportation (about $1 a ride) added up. Student discount brings that cost to about 20 cents.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
Language acquisition improvement?

I improved dramatically - the first 4 weeks in Ecuador were very important for this.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This is not an abroad program to Europe. If you want to go to Europe, do so. But if you enjoy city life, Latin culture, and want to actually get away from the US this is a good way to do it. Get ready to be adventurous - lots of hiking and outdoor activity opportunities.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Dictatorships, Human Rights & Historical Memory in Chile

Course Department:
Instructor: Mauricio Paredes
Instruction Language: Spanish (w/ English hep if needed)
Comments: Spectacular course, thought-provoking, fascinating, very reasonable amount of work/assignments. I cannot imagine having lived in Chile as a student or foreigner without having taken this course. Mauricio is incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. Yes, there were relevant field trips.
Credit Transfer Issues: Pre-approval is always helpful but I had no major issues.
Course Name/Rating:

International Human Rights Law

Course Department:
Instructor: Claudio Nash
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Although the class structure was a little dry for an exchange student that has never taken law courses before, the content was equally fascinating and Professor Nash took the time to make sure that his international students were keeping up with the material and understanding the core foundations of the class. Very heavy reading, difficult theoretical readings if you have trouble in Spanish. Worthwhile over all.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.