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USAC CHILE: Santiago-Latin American & Anthropology Studies
University Studies Abroad Consortium participants University Studies Abroad Consortium participants

USAC CHILE: Santiago-Latin American & Anthropology Studies

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

A Semester in Chile - Four Months of Growth, Friendship, and Memories

I spent four months living in Santiago with USAC in the spring semester, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Santiago is a marvelous, huge city that at times seemed a little overwhelming, but always offered a new experience and so many opportunities to learn.

I would recommend USAC Santiago to anyone who wants the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to live in a city of 6 million, but be only a half hour from the most gorgeous nature and mountains you could ever see. You don't have to choose between mountains and the beach because you can get to either within two hours! Chile offers so many incredible travel opportunities. From the Lake District, the breathtaking scenery of Patagonia, and the out-of-this-world Atacama Desert, it truly does have something for everyone.

Academia wise, the program is based on Spanish language tracks, so you have the opportunity to earn four semesters of college Spanish classes in just one semester. I thought the classes were challenging enough that I felt like I was learning, but were not so demanding that I could not immerse myself in my host family/local culture. The campus is very urban (i.e. no central campus area), but there were many parks and places to hang out and eat nearby.

Overall, the four months I spent in Chile were probably the best of my life and I will always remember my experience here thanks to the incredible people I met and the exciting city I called my home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

An Urban Experience in a Fantastic Program

I studied abroad with this program in the spring of 2017, and it was a fantastic experience! The coordinators of the program who live in Santiago and assist the students in their experiences (Jorge, Brenda, and Isabel) were outstanding individuals who were always willing to help in any situation. My Spanish language professor, Gabriela, was the best language instructor I have ever had, and I can say with confidence that I am conversational in Spanish (as well as the unique Chilean dialect) because of her instruction. Furthermore, there were only eight students in my Spanish class, which facilitated close relationships with the students and a fun and educational atmosphere. My homestay experience was instrumental in developing my skills in Spanish acquisition, and I had some fantastic home-cooked meals as well. One of the best parts about studying abroad in Santiago was learning how to live and thrive in not just a foreign country, but in an urban environment as well. Outside of Santiago, this program had excursions to Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Pomaire, Isla Negra, and a field study in Patagonia, which can all be great ways to experience more of the vibrant culture and history of Chile.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

Santiago is a unique travel experience!

I didn't know anything about Chile when I decided to study abroad there- only that they spoke Spanish and that it wasn't in Europe (where all of my friends and classmates were going). I wanted something unique and unusual in a study abroad program- and I got in through USAC in Santiago! The location cannot be beat. Both the beach and the mountains are only an hour away from the heart of the city, and just a few hours to the north or south are some of the most amazing sights in the world! The program director & assistants really made this trip amazing. They were always there to answer questions, arranged our field trips and cultural experiences, and made us feel at home by being our friends. I can't wait to go back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

My Experience Abroad

I have taken in consideration the cost and opportunities before participating in this program. I say, it was a challenging, diverse and unique experience. I had fun too, especially when we traveled to Patagonia.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

USAC Santiago: Simply Incredible

Studying abroad was immensely beneficial. Studying abroad allowed me to gain a certain confidence in my own ability to survive and thrive independently. Studying abroad with USAC in Santiago was a calculated decision that I made based on comparisons I made with other abroad organizations. I compared price, support from the program, and optional activities offered. USAC was the best option for me and I'm glad that I chose it. The staff on-site were incredible, and helped me get through the culture shock that everyone goes through when they study abroad. USAC offered a variety of optional field trips on weekends to places that I would have no idea about. I was able to visit Moon Valley in northern Chile, where it hasn’t rained for hundreds of years and the Mars Rover was tested because of similarities in terrain. I had the opportunity to go sand-boarding on the sand dunes of Moon Valley. I was able to take an oil painting class in Aconcagua valley from a famous artist. I also took the chance to play soccer with my host brothers in an organized league in the center of Santiago. Santiago is also unique because it's the only city that offers flights to Easter Island. Of course I took advantage of that opportunity to visit the most isolated place in the world.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    6

My Study Abroad

My study abroad experience with USAC was more than I could hve hoped for or imagined before landing in Santiago. All of our programmers at Andres Bello were helpful, kind, friendly, and informative. I was placed with a great host family who I still stay in contact with. I would recommend USAC to anyone who asked.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

A Summer in Chile

The month abroad in Santiago, Chile is one I won't forget. The staff working in the USAC were super awesome and we became friends though spending time in the office and on the planned trips in the area. The teachers were fantastic and I learned a lot in the classes I took and was able to transfer that knowledge back to my home college. Santiago was easy to navigate and the staff and host families were super helpful in showing us around the city.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

¡Vamos a Chile!

As an international business and international security student, study abroad was of the highest importance to me. Santiago is what I would consider a more unconventional study abroad experience, but in a great manner. I have traveled to other parts of the world, and I desired somewhere that was not the "usual" study abroad experience. I desired a location that tested me culturally and linguistically, and Santiago was the place for that exposure.

I further had the opportunity to explore literally every end of the country (from San Pedro de Atacama, all the way down to Patagonia). Chile should be considered further, you never know what you will learn there!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    7

2nd time with USAC

My semester in Chile was the second time I went abroad with USAC; I had a good experience the first time so I went with them again!

Pros:
- semester lines up with the US semester, good if you're trying to intern/work in the summer
- host families were great
- staff members were helpful and excited
- price; one of the cheapest programs I found (this heavily affected my decision)

Cons:
- only people from the US on the program... Didn't meet very many Chileans although USAC tried to organize opportunities, there's only so much you can do
- sometimes you feel like there is a lack of connection to the culture in the country because the program is mostly made up of people from the US...
- the attendance policy is ridiculous

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Great professors in an integrating city!

USAC, Andres Bello was awesome at planning trips (weekend), supplying information, etc.

I also loved my professors!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    6

Say YES to Everything That Chile Has To Offer

Chile is an incredible place to travel, study, and extend your love for Latin American culture! One big reason I choose this program is that it is one of a few that align with the US semester terms, but I didn't realize this would come with the consequence with little interaction with local students who are on break during a considerable time of our semester. This made it hard to facilitate activities with local students. Otherwise, I loved the staff and teachers who were able to support and challenge students to the right degree. The USAC staff are incredibly kind and helpful.
Be prepared for some shock when it comes to the type of Spanish that Chileans speak as well. It is very different but so fun to learn the unique influences that make their Spanish so different. The art culture in Santiago is as unique as their Spanish with there being endless exhibits and gatherings for the community. All the events and exhibits helped is where I learned most about Chilean culture and grew to love and admire it.
The experience is definitely what you make it to be! I loved traveling on weekends and breaks to the most unique places. Chile has everything from the beach (surfing), the mountains (trekking), the desert (endless activities), and Patagonia (ultimate backpacking). It is hard to choose where to spend your time because there are so many great options! The times I spent exploring were definitely the highlight of the semester! It's a great opportunity to say yes to ideas that become adventures!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    7

Decent program

I'm currently studying in Santiago through this program. I love the geography and beautiful country of Chile. I also love how kind and accepting my host family is, and they are willing to help me understand them and their way of life.

Santiago is perfect for just about any type of person. Every Wednesday, "gringos" can get into clubs if you're into the night life. If you'd rather go alone, there are tons of museums. It is close to other cultural centers like Valparaiso, only an hour and a half away. It has plenty of cerros and mountains to climb, and you could likely go to the beach every weekend!

The program offers opportunities to volunteer while you're here, something that I wanted to do more of. It also offers club activities through Universidad Andres Bello, the host university, in which you can interact with locals.

The courses overall aren't very challenging. Since so many people take weekend trips, that is probably a good thing to most, but since I'm a nerd, it doesn't work as well in my favor.

I've had a few problems with the program administration being too slow to respond to certain things. It's part of the Chilean culture to some extent, but when it takes days to respond to a simple question, it can be frustrating.

Overall, this is a positive experience that I would recommend to anyone! It is the perfect way to get to know something about Latin American culture with awesome slang words -- cachai? It was worth every penny and was superbacan!

  • University Studies Abroad Consortium responded to this review October 19, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Thank you for your feedback. We’re glad you love Santiago! We appreciate hearing how our programs can be improved. Feel free to email me with more specifics at daniellelongley@unr.edu