Santiago is a Carrete (party) Past Review

By (International Business/Spanish, Ohio Northern University) - abroad from 06/19/2012 to 07/27/2012 with

USAC Spain: San Sebastián - Spanish Language, Basque, Psychology, and European Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was immensely beneficial. Studying abroad allowed me to gain a certain confidence in my own ability to survive and thrive independently. Studying abroad was a catalyst in changing my major. Originally when I departed for my abroad experience, I was a Pharmacy and Spanish major. When I returned to my university, I decided to change my major to International Business, Economics, and Spanish. My abroad experience reaffirmed my love of the Spanish language and allowed me to network with other international professionals. I determined that I was more interested in the business and economics aspects of pharmacy, rather than the physical dispensing of drugs. Studying abroad also made me open and available to exchange students at my home university. I have developed meaningful friendships with many exchange students from South America and Asia since my return to the university.

Review Photos

USAC: San Sebastián, Spain - Spanish Language, Basque, and European Studies Photo USAC: San Sebastián, Spain - Spanish Language, Basque, and European Studies Photo

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.

In my 20th Cenutry Latin American poetry class, I was the only student. This class was the best I've taken in my life. I learned about the nuances of famous Latin American poetry and improved my Spanish greatly through conversation with my instructor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was excellent. All of the excursions were well-planned and when I got sick, all of the logistics were taken care of to get me to the hospital.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homsetay family was great. The first weekend I was there my host brothers took me to the center of Santiago to play soccer in an organized league.

* Food:

Avocado will grown on you. Every time I ate out, I was impressed with the quality and quantity of the food. The service is not as prompt as it is in the United States, but the food will never be cold.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was definitely an adjustment period, but I felt very integrated iwith the local culture after a few weeks. I made some lifelong friends in Santiago that took me to places only native Chileans knew about.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was very ill over the 4th of July, and one of the staff members set up a doctor's appointment, lent me the money to pay for it, and gave me some key word sto explain how I was feeling. She even gave me directions to the hospital. I was able to recover within the week after visiting the doctor and receiving medicine at a local pharmacy.

* Safety:

The city is safe, but there are areas that are less safe than others. Listen to the advice of the program director and locals. if you are going to be traveling around at night, it's important to travel in a group. I never felt uncomfortable while I was there.

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)

My homestay provided 2 meals for me every weekday and 3 meals a day weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Less than $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is important to understand the fees charged by your bank for ATM withdrawals and credit card charges. Make sure to limit the frequency of withdrawals from the ATM's.


* 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

My classes were taught completely in Spanish, and all of the essays I wrote were required to be in Spanish. USAC will gauge your level and place you in the classes that match your abilities and where you wish to be.

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? 300 level Spanish courses at my university
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? One of the best ways to practice the language is to select a homestay with a family that speaks only minimal English. In addtion, it is helpful to request a language conversation partner that is just as eager to learn english as you are to practice his or her respective language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The program offered optional field trips on the weekends that took me places I would never have known about.
  • The program allowed me time to take excursions to places I wanted to visit.
* What could be improved?
  • This program did not leave much to be desired because of its organization and opportunities to experience local culture.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew I was going to want to stay for a lot longer than i had previously planned. I also wish I had taken into account the fact that the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite those of the Northern Hemisphere.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.