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Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice and Community Development

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics


  • Living Situation


  • Cultural Immersion


  • Program Administration


  • Health and Safety


  • Social Life


No Falta Palta; Bountiful Avocado, Open Hearts and Beautiful Vistas.

Living in Valparaiso, Chile is an unexplainable experience. The city is by far the most colorful I've ever seen; every wall is covered with murals and graffiti, complemented by the bluest sea and multicolored houses. The program spends the majority of its time in Valpo, with students attending classes during the day and having the entire night to wander and explore the beautiful vistas Valpo has to offer. I made such worthwhile, life-long friends within the steep neighborhood streets and there isn't a day I don't miss the friendly street dogs that would accompany us everywhere. While I loved Valparaiso, I absolutely LOVED living in a Mapuche community outside of Temuco, in the Southern part of Chile. Living with the Mapuche, I was able to experience a culture so distinct from my own, really engage my Spanish full time and become fully connected to a family, which quickly became my own. Returning to live with my Mapuche family during my ISP period, I was able to fully experience a different way of life, making Sopapillas and eating endless amounts of avocado daily with my mom and playing futbol and Palin with my dad and brothers. Those moments are the ones I will never forget and I still talk to my brother almost daily. Chile changed my life, and SIT definitely set up a great foundation for it to do so.