Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts

Academic experiences

I did two philosophy courses, the Mujer y Sociedad option for exchange students as well as the pre-semestral and semestral Spanish courses. Please keep in mind that you will have to pay for the Spanish courses out of your own pocket and they are expensive. I spent one sixth of all my funds on these courses and they weren't very helpful at all.

Philosophy was extremely challenging and it put a number of doubts in my head, but I passed everything and am better for it. My advice would be to do subjects that interest you and avoid any Spanish/foreigner only classes.

PUC ChilePersonal experiences

I made some great friends and I feel like this is almost inevitable for anyone who goes on exchange. Even though the language will make your exchange that much harder (especially considering that Chilean Spanish is the hardest of all dialects), it is worth it. One of the greatest assets I have is my Spanish and I wouldn't have the high level I have if I hadn't jumped in the deep end in Chile.

Accommodation

I lived off campus given there are no on-campus options. There are a number of Facebook groups. Try to live with native Spanish speakers as this will help you a lot.

Los tres mosqueteros wns qlosBudget

I spent a huge amount on the useless Spanish courses. I think you could easily survive with $9000 for 6 months including travel. I paid 200 000 pesos per month for rent (a bit more than AUD$400). Be careful with the bank fees because they will smash your bank account and they are ultimately unavoidable.

Academic development and employability

I have an extremely high level of Spanish after studying in Chile. Don't take any classes in English and try to talk to Chileans. Ask them questions about their history. "La Católica" is easily the most prestigious university in the country so take advantage of this.

Prepare yourself to learn patience - things won’t work nor will they turn out the way you expected them to. You will be a far more resilient, tolerant and stable individual as a result.

The view from La Católica of the AndesHighlight

The highlights of my experience (as superficial as it sounds) were the hardest moments. We were trapped in Mendoza for a week because the border closed and we went on bus. It was highly stressful at the time but overall it was great to realise that my destiny was completely out of my control and to just accept that.

Buenos Aires in Argentina is also a must visit. It is in my opinion the most beautiful city in the world and the Porteño Spanish is beautiful comparatively with what you will hear in Santiago.

Riding bikes in MendozaTop tips

 

Don't do the Spanish courses and realise that Chile is a tough country that is rough around the edges. Exchange was great and it was the time of my life - I learnt a lot, however Chile is still a tough country with an oppressive history and you will see and hear it in Santiago. You will see the darker side of modernity after living in Chile.

 

I do recommend booking a plane ticket as going on the bus to Argentina can be very unreliable.

 

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