Exploring the Ends of the Earth: Chile Past Review

By (Mechanical Engineering and Spanish, Boise State 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?
This experience was exceptionally worthwile! I returned to the states with more confidence in my spanish speaking skills and a broader picture of the world outside the States. Also, I made lifetime friends, most of which have Facebook accounts where I can keep in touch. The memories I gained are unforgettable and the experience was lifechanging! Pictures of my Chile experience are uploaded on my Facebook account under my name, Kevan Hyde.

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 workload was fair, allowing students to travel and spend time outside of class visiting with their host families.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My roommate and I avoided the housing options provided for by USAC because they were too expensive for our needs. We made our own connections and found housing just two to four blocks away from the University. I think it's more likely that you will end up staying with a family you may not like if you allow the progam choose for you. With a little more work, you can select for yourself the family that is more compatible to your own needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We started off looking into a work-stay at a Hostel, which didn't work. Then, with the help of the USAC program coordinator in Santiago, we located an apartment elswere in the city. This place was kind of trashy, not very well taken care of by the owner. It was temporary housing for a couple international students, including a Frenchman, and an English teach from the states. They were all great friends but my roommate and I didn't like the environment. We came across a local church, where we began attending regularly on Sundays. Attending this church was the family we ultimately ended up living with for the remainder of our time in Chile. This family treated us very well, fed us two times a day, did our laudry once a week, and was supportive of our studies.

* Food:

Great food! Nothing strange, but some new kinds.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My most memoral trip was one that some of us students planned on our own. We books a flight to Punta Arenas in southernmost Chile and from there took a bus just north into Torres del Paine, where we spent close to a week backpacking in the mountains. It was phenomenal!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

All the safety issues were made clear prior to our stay in Chile and before each field trip.

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?

I tended to speak English with the other students in my Abroad Program. Aside from that, I only spoke in Spanish as much as I could with my host family and Chilean friends I made.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The best thing you can do in a foreign country is make connections with the locals. Be friendly and inform them of your study aboad experience. More than likely, if you make it known that you are a student learning the language and interested in the culture, you'll find that people are very friendly and willing to help!