PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

ISA (International Studies Abroad) participants ISA (International Studies Abroad) participants

ISA Service-Learning in Valparaíso/Viña del Mar, Chile

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteering in Valpo!

I can only think positive things about my experience in Valparaíso. Volunteering at Centro Bellavista, the Special Education Center, and working with the psychologist was such a great experience for me and so much fun. In the US, I have heard the statement, "The only disability in life is a bad attitude." Working at this placement allowed me to see the truth of that statement. Working with the students and helping them in their everyday school life was such a joy for me. The children always put a smile on my face no matter what. I loved the Chilean culture (especially the food), and my host family was SO caring and friendly. They made me feel like one of their own children. I still keep in touch with my host brothers on a regular basis. I really wish I could have stayed longer than a month so that I could have traveled more, but I will definitely have to return to Chile in my future. Overall, this was an amazing and valuable experience. I was able to immerse myself in the culture, strengthen my Spanish-skills, and gain life-changing skills that allowed me to grow in so many ways.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Work Environment

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

Valpo, mi media naranja

Valparaíso, Chile is a city filled with colorful historical buildings and graffiti by artists from around the world. Every day while walking around town, to school, or to my internship, I would see something new everyday. It took a few months, but I became an expert in the nooks and crannies of this wonderful quirky, historical city. I fell in love with the dancing, the drinks, the families, the people, and the strays that wandered the city. If I need an American refresher, I would head to neighboring city Viña del Mar that was filled with American brands such as Starbucks and architecture that resembled the United States.
I worked in a public school meant for the impoverished of the city. My students were sixth to eighth graders. This experience became one of the most challenging for me, but it is my proudest moment by far.
I traveled a lot and felt completely safe as a woman in South America. Just be street smart and you'll be fine. This country is great for hiking and outdoor activities and is cheaper to European countries.

I chose to take tougher academic classes to really challenge me, so don't expect classes with locals to be easy. But it was manageable and it improved my Spanish greatly!

Great experience and I am dying to go back to see all the friends I miss!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

Viva la Vida in Valpo!

Service learning with ISA was a life-changing experience and hands-down the most fun 2 months of my life. I had the opportunity to teach English to Chilean business professionals in a legitimate government institute called BestWork where I was given the responsibility of giving lectures to full classrooms and holding private tutor sessions. The volunteer work was amazing, and equally remarkable was life outside the office. ISA set me up with an incredibly loving family whose house immediately became a home away from home. Another huge perk of the program was the fact that ISA attracts students from all across America, so I made a ton of friends from Texas and California during the numerous social outings and tours organized by ISA. Saying goodbye to my host family and friends (and to my Chilean girlfriend!) was extremely difficult, but I remain in contact with them via Facebook because we formed lifelong relationships as a result of this very positive, quite unique shared experience abroad.