Tufts-in-Chile: Check it Out! Past Review

By (Latin American studies, History, Spanish, Tufts University) for

Tufts Programs Abroad: Tufts in Chile

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think for me, my study abroad experience showed me what it is like to simply LIVE in another country, another culture, another language, another way of life. For me, it was extremely rewarding, exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, day-to-day and extremely new experience. I think I learned to accept that people aren't going to think or act how I expect, and that's okay...that taking time to do something other than school is also okay...that you have to recognize that there's a lot to life, that it's an adventure, and you've got to embrace everything that comes with it. Studying abroad has confirmed that I want to live abroad, and that I love Latin American culture, that I want to always be, in some way shape or form, a traveler. There's a lot to see and learn about in the world, and I hope to keep having experiences that expose me to these new things!

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Chile, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Workload: light. This is partially due to classes taken (history, art, culture), and that at UChile students usually take 6-8 courses, while I only had to take 3-4. I think it's also partially due to a different work ethic. Grading System: seems similar. I did extremely well in all my classes, and I think sometimes foreigners get the "benefit of the doubt" or the "foreigner's advantage", since I felt my work quality was generally not as high as it is at Tufts. Teaching Methods: relatively similar, not quite as "hands-on/involved". Don't seem to like to read a lot of papers, so most assignments are in groups. Differences in Educational System: highly, extremely unorganized, especially at UChile. I am a very organizationally-minded individual, so this was a big stress factor for me at times. This is something you kind of just have to deal with, though.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program director and assistant are FANTASTIC. They do everything for us, are so kind and friendly, and are just incredible. The size of the program was great, support services were great, knowledge superb. Everything was wonderful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My house location was great, pretty easy to get downtown and to classes. I had to buy a few things for my room, but not much. I loooooooooved my host family! My host mom was amazing, she and I chatted every day and she definitely helped me improve my Spanish exponentially. So kind and caring, treated me like her own child. My host brother was also very nice, but he wasn't around too much.

* Food:

I'm a picky eater, but my host mom made a great effort to make food I liked. Food is just different in other countries and it takes getting used to. Places to eat: any Peruvian restaurant, places in Bellavista, if you're craving Thai I found a great place at Manuel Monnt & Bilbao ;)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

-Program trips were wonderful -going out on the weekends, to bars and clubs and parties and movies etc -Lollapalooza! -trips to Peru, Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Patagonia, Pucon....every time I traveled it was amaaaaaaaazing. Loved loved loved it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Santiago is a big, metropolitan city. As a girl, you have to be careful. Mostly, though, just have to be extremely aware and cautious of pickpocketing on the public transportation or while walking on busy streets...I never got anything stolen though! Wouldn't walk around by myself after dark, but that's pretty typical. I had multiple experiences with healthcare: two doctor's trips, eye doctor visit, and due to a holiday, a 24-hour clinic. Everything was accessible and my program was wonderful in arranging all the doctors' visits. The local healthcare system is high quality but, typically, disorganized and 1 step in the US becomes 4 in Chile....made me appreciate the US medical system! I did not need any vaccines and there were no health issues in the country.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80-100 dollars per week. The program gives apx 85 dollars....I like to shop and go out, so I'd spend that amount, and sometimes a little more.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? MAKE SURE YOU RENEW YOUR PASE ESCOLAR--that way you don't have to deal with the horrendous bureaucratic system of attempting (and failing) to get it renewed, and then just saying you "lost it" and then paying to get a new one.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 122
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I did not have to take the foreign language component class. The Tufts-in-Chile program strongly encouraged and improved my language acquisition. Talked with director and assistant entirely in Spanish by halfway through first semester. Spoke with my host mom entirely in Spanish, host brother 3/4 in Spanish. With people in my program, I spoke English, unless we were with Chileans. I used Spanish in everyday interactions. The only times I did not speak Spanish were when I was with other Americans after class or with people in the Tufts program.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think a student who is willing to expand beyond their boundaries and willing to learn and embrace a new and exciting culture is one who will get the most out of this program. Just get out there and enjoy another part of the world! There's so much to learn from it!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Prosa de Borges

Course Department:
Instructor: Mario Lillio
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was wonderful! Like a Tufts course in every way--excellent professor who loves his subject, is organized, and easily accessible. Class had regular tests & readings, interesting topic if you like Borges
Credit Transfer Issues: