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SIT Study Abroad participant SIT Study Abroad participant

Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Viva Chile!

My experience abroad would not have been the same if it wasn't for the administration and staff with this program. They made my time in Chile (and Argentina) so very valuable and special. They were so hungry to teach and have us experience the culture and the city. I always felt safe and cared for, but with enough space to be social and feel independent.

I chose this program because I knew Chile would be different than other countries I had visited in Latin America. I also am a fan of education and wanted to learn about the systems that Chile and Argentina are using. Learning about all the history and the political activism that is ingrained into the culture was very sad, yet exciting and inspiring. It was cool to be learning about the student movements and the changes that were beginning to happen. It helped me see the world differently and see where I am in the middle of it all.

They put lots of time into matching the students with host families, which was one of my favorite parts. I have been back in the States for about a month now and I still text my host mom. She encouraged me a lot as I tried so hard to communicate with her and the kids in Spanish. By the first few weeks, I felt like part of the family. That was something that I expected and was glad to experience that kind of immersion into the culture.

The traveling that you do within the program is hard to come by. It's very well-planned. My favorite place was in Temuco, where we lived with indigenous families. I enjoyed it so much and went back for part of my Independent Study Project. They could have just taught us about the Mapuche people and their unique culture, yet we were able to go and be a part of it and live with the community. They were so willing to let us live and learn in their homes, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Adventures in Chile

One of my most memorable experiences was in Argentina when a group of us went to a popular drum concert called La Bomba de Tiempo. Here we danced outside to the beat of a wonderful drum ensemble. It was a place open to any type of person to be care free and open-minded. The music had no words, it was just intense beats and rhythms. This is something that I think made it so attractive to so many different types of people. It is an environment where no one is judgmental or negative and I don't find that very often.

I chose this program because I wanted to be surrounded by Spanish in a country that I wanted to learn more about. I have had trouble learning Spanish in school for years and people always tell me just go to a country where they speak it and you will be forced to learn it. I wanted to go to Chile specifically because of its sad but inspiring history. I wanted to learn more about the dictatorship and the activism opposing it and how today the young people are continuing this activism and speaking openly about their rights to free, quality education. It sounded like a place of political energy and progressive conversation.

I had the most wonderful home stay experience I could have imagined. I could barely hold a conversation in Spanish with my host mother for the first week but she was extremely patient and kind to me. She cooked delicious meals each night and made sure I was safe and comfortable at all times. We formed a strong relationship, something that I did not expect at my level of Spanish. I met her family and spent a lot of time with her wonderful grandson. I found that many Chilean families have strong bonds and live close by to one another. I loved watching this with my Chilean family and feeling a part of this loving connection.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Adventures in Chile

SIT Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change is an amazing program. This program started almost 3 weeks into my winter break so I had the perfect amount of time to pack and prepare mentally but maybe too much time to create every bad scenario that could occur while abroad. I stepped off the plan with tons of emotions and quickly felt comforted by the warm smiles on the Staff’s faces. This was just the beginning of their kindness and support. We spent a month and a half settling into the beautiful and unique city of Santiago. I loved the character of this city. Although the neighborhoods were distinct from one another, together this city was inviting and peaceful. We then travelled south to another enchanting city called Temuco, into the small town of Chapod to live and learn from the indigenous group, the Mapuche people. Then we flew to the stunning city of Buenos Aires to soak in the culture and art of a European influenced South American city. Together, the group, professors, and staff, we accomplished so much and each day we took away another lovely memory.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

SIT Chile Was Awesome

I felt completely immersed in the culture. The academics provided a perfect mix of classroom and hands on field learning (visiting schools, talking with students, politicians, teachers, etc). I had a wonderful host family, and my program directors encouraged us to challenge ourselves and stretch our boundaries, but were always there for support.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

A life in the city

I feel incredibly lucky to have chosen this program for my study abroad experience. The Chileans I met and worked with were/are incredible. I am lucky enough to have met a variety of people both from the U.S. and Chile that I am still in contact with. I enjoyed exploring Santiago, but also having the opportunity to go to Chapod a more rural area and Buenos Aires in Argentina. I felt this program gave me the best of many worlds and taught me how to interact academically where I was.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    6

Eye-opening, Valuable, Worthwhile, Fun and Educational

Living with my host family is my most memorable experience. I learned so much about the language, culture and daily life.

I chose this program because I wanted to study in South America, and because I wanted a program that was relevant to my degree (Social Welfare & Justice) and where I could live with a host family.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    9

Stimulating

Staying with the indigenous Mapuche in the south of Chile was definitely the most memorable experience of the program. I had never met a family or a community so willing to open us up to their life and take us in as their own. It was one of the most refreshing experiences I have ever had, and I enjoyed living every moment for what it was. Even though it was such a short time, I learned so much about myself.

I chose this program because I am an education minor planning to go into teaching at some point, and possibly bilingual teaching abroad. I am very interested in the education systems of different countries and how they compare to ours, as well as the movement to change the face of education globally. I think teachers are some of the most important and impactful people out there, and I would like to be one of those teachers who changes the way students see learning and themselves as agents of their own learning. SIT: Chile definitely presented the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the area of teaching and meet students, teachers, and people of all different backgrounds who want to see that change in the world.

I stayed with 3 different host families in Santiago, Temuco, and Buenos Aires. Meals were paid for, and for the most part there was always ample food available. I always felt safe, and had the privacy of my own room (or roomed with another student on the program, which was also a very positive experience). Families always welcomed us with open arms and I developed lasting relationships with them. I didn't feel like just a boarder temporarily staying in their home. They played a major part in my adjustment to and experience of the culture.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    8

Culturally and Academically Stimulating

Overall, my experience on this program was a very positive one. Right away I had 16 automatic friends in the program who were always there for support. Every day, we were challenged to immerse ourselves in the culture, through homestays, visits to schools, interactions with local students and teachers, and experiences with the local culture. Days were long, but the time we spent in a classroom was short in comparison to the time spent in actual schools and in the city, interacting with and getting to know the Chilean culture. We had three different homestays, all of which were wonderful learning and growing experiences for me--each family was unique and welcoming, and really took me in as not just a boarder, but as a member of the family. We had the opportunity to experience many different cultural perspectives: from the heart of the bustling city of Santiago, to the more off-the-charts rural charm of Temuco in the south, to the spectacular sights of the impressive city of Buenos Aires in Argentina.