UQ Program: Bachelor of Arts/Journalism

A helpful guide to exchange in Chile:

Accommodation – the most comprehensive place to look for rental accommodation (be it a room / apartment / house-share) is www.compartodepto.cl - you can register for free and create a profile, plus list or search for accommodation. You should always go and inspect the room / house before you agree to any contract (and enquire about extra costs such as gas and electricity which are quite expensive in Chile, especially when it comes to heating in winter).

When you are looking for somewhere to rent, the best areas to look in are Providencia (near any of these metro stations: Salvador, Banquedano, Manuel Montt, Los Leones); Nuñoa; or Bellas Artes (this area is generally a bit more expensive, but it's the bohemian part of town and the apartments are huge).

Opening a bank account – this is nearly impossible to do as an exchange student. So it is definitely worth the effort to shop around before you leave Aus to find a good credit card or travel-cash-card deal… ATM fees are about $5 per transaction for overseas cards so it quickly adds up!

Student concession cards – it’s not really worth buying an international student card, because once you attend your orientation you will be given your Chilean student ID card which seems to be accepted everywhere. The only thing to keep in mind is that you will not be able to get concession on public transport if you are only on exchange for one semester – even if  you’re here for two semesters, it takes about three months to apply for and receive the student card which entitles you to public transport discounts.

Useful websites: sign up to Miercoles Po on facebook for social events and updates on the parties that are organised every Wednesday. www.cauc.cl is the website for social activities and general student help for students on exhange at La Catolica. They have a facebook page too: search for Comision Acogida UC on facebook.

In terms of selecting your courses, PUCC offers a couple of courses each semester specifically for exchange students  - it’s worth taking one if you can fit it in, especially as the work load in these courses is a lot lighter than in the general courses. Plus the lecturers tend to speak a lot more clearly and slowly and once you’ve had a taste of Chilean Spanish you will definitely appreciate this. The workload for most subjects is generally a lot higher than what is expected at UQ so beware!

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