Chile, Que Bonita! Past Review

By (International Relations, Boston University) for

USAC Chile: Santiago - Spanish Language, Latin American Cultures, Journalism, and International Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was definately worthwhile. I would recommend going somewhere as different from what you're used to as possible. Being somewhere with a different culture and language is very eye-opening.

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.

The USAC academic program itself was too relaxed. Classes were very difficult to take seriously, and although I enjoyed my teachers as people as Professors I was not impressed. I was satisfied with the choice of classes and times offered.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators are tremendously helpful. Although they could have offered more trips and excursions, those things are difficult to arrange on your own in another language.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I could not have learned Spanish like I did without my host family. I am now studying abroad and living in a dorm and I must say that the homestay experience is invaluable in understanding a different language and culture.

* Food:

Chilean food is in a word, bland. I enjoyed the food at first but by about month 3 I was pretty sick of it. I wouldn't go to Chile for the food but I wouldn't avoid Chile because of the food either.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The trips provided by USAC were good. I was able to see things that I never would have otherwise seen. I would highly recommend participating.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety in Chile has alot to do with yourself and not being out late at night in bad areas. Thankfully, cabs are inexpensive so taking a cab home from anywhere is not a problem.

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
Language acquisition improvement?

The language courses were average, although the total immersion and homestay aspect of the program is what really teaches you the language. So few people speak english in Chile that you are forced to speak Spanish all the time and I improved my skills a great deal.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you want to learn Spanish this is a good country to do it. The first couple of months were difficult but by the time I left I felt so much more confident in my Spanish abilities than before. Also, because Chilean Spanish is so difficult, if you can understand Chileans you can understand about any Spanish speaker.