Arica: The Total Opposite of the United States Past Review

By (TESOL/Spanish-Teaching, University of Northern Iowa) for

University of Northern Iowa: Arica - Culture and Intensive Spanish Program (CISP)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad has impacted me greatly, I wasn't expecting the culture to be so different from the U.S. However, coming here as made me realize that I chose the right career path for me because I want to teach English to non-native English speakers.

Review Photos

University of Northern Iowa: Arica - Culture and Intensive Spanish Program (CISP) Photo University of Northern Iowa: Arica - Culture and Intensive Spanish Program (CISP) Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt that the workload was too much at times. The teaching methods were okay but I would have liked to have been able to get involved more in the lectures so I could have learned more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The University that the program was supposed to attend, the native students went on strike so we weren't able to use facilities like the library and recreational facilities. I was able to get things done but it was hard at times. The program size was good and for the most part, my expectations were met.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I felt safe in the neighborhood that my host family lived in but it wasn't close in proximity to the downtown area. I didn't have to buy items to settle-in, just some personal items. I was treated like a member of the family from my host family.

* Food:

There was always a great quantity of food however I thought it was unsanitary that people here leave food sitting out on the counter or table for hours at a time without covering it up with a napkin or something.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All four excursions that the program offered were pretty fun. We saw various things like churches, museums, Inca ruins, spent the night in the mountains, visited a olive and banana farm and local tourist spots.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I didn't have any health problems while in Chile. But there were some students that got sick and they were taken care of as quickly as possible. For safety, I felt safe walking around by myself during the day. However at night, I felt more safe walking in big groups because the men here are very aggressive towards white women.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced Spanish with everyone in the group, professors, my conversation partner and my host family. Yes I had to use Spanish in everyday interactions because not many people spoke English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students that would benefit from this program would be hard-working students who aren't afraid to look silly sometimes. It will be hard to adjust at first and speak Spanish 24/7 but it will get easier. Don't be afraid to look silly if your speaking skills aren't the best, they will get better with practice.