See Kat and 3 other students talk about their exchange on Vimeo.


It´s been crazy, frustrating, amazing, daunting, liberating, and definitely worth it here in Chile.

The highlight of academia here would be the Antropology course I took – travelling in a sixties caravan painted with animals and forest scenery to the mountains a scan 2km from the border of Argentina to stay with a Pewenche family (one of the indigenous tribes in Chile)for a weekend.

The hair-tearing part of academia would be the Antropology course that required 500 pages of reading in for the first test just 2 and a half weeks into the semester. Getting a solid foundation in reading before coming would really, really help. The language barrier may look like the Andes mountain range in the beginning but it really does get better as the semester goes on. Pick classes with professors who have a style of teaching that you are comfortable with, and find out about assessment requirements too. Trial week before enrolment can be quite trying, and make sure you sign up quick for classes because spaces get filled up quickly! Mario Lillo is a great professor.

Also, printing in uni is free in the Salas Cristoles if you bring your own paper. Size ¨Carta¨ is the way to go here. A4 only gets you printer jams.

Chileans speak a form of Spanish inextricably weaved with ¨modismos¨ or slang that not even other native Spanish speakers understand. Buy and read ¨Chilenismos: A Dictionary and Phrasebook for Chilean Spanish¨ before you come.

Also, buy strawberries. They are much cheaper than back home. And the season lasts for more than half a year.

Craiglist and compartodepto.com are great sites to use to find accommodation. Compartodepto is probably the facebook of finding accommodation. Look for accommodation near a metro stop (although be aware that the metro shuts by 1030) for easy access to uni and other popular parts of Santiago.

The metro during rush hour is an experience in itself. Be prepared to get bowled over by anyone or anything, including luggage. You can get student tickets if you ask for a Certificate of Provisional Enrollment in Hall Universitario, take that Certificate to the office of transportation on Eliodoro Yanez, and get a paper that says that you are a student in the university. It only lasts until May because that is when the Pase Escolar cards come out (if you´re staying for two semesters, apply for this. They don´t give this to students staying for only one semester) but it does save quite a lot of money on transport – about a third of the price of an adult ticket.

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