I had an interesting semester studying in Santiago that included some fairly challenging moments.

I thought the university had very good facilities, most of my classes were well delivered and the professors open to having a good discussion with the students. I did have trouble with one professor who seemed a bit hostile towards the idea of having an exchange student in his class, partly exacerbated by a lack of communication between staff personal.

The Spanish in Chile is definitely different and at first difficult but after a couple of months I began to feel more comfortable with it and by the end was really enjoying all the quirkiness and slang.

The countryside in Chile is extraordinarily beautiful, the south especially is stunning and the 5 weeks I spent in Patagonia were amongst the best of my whole time there, I would definitely recommend doing as many trips around the country as possible. Santiago itself is very polluted and was not somewhere I would chose to live in the long run for this reason, there is, however, definitely a lot of opportunity for socializing and a huge variety of activities and cultural events.

Chileans are generally very friendly and love to talk to foreigners although at times this foreign status can be a little oppressive and more of a barrier than something positive.

Overall, I found this a good opportunity to improve my Spanish, see a very beautiful country and meet some lovely, interesting people but would personally not choose Santiago if I were going for a longer stay.

A few little tips would be…

  • Take notes in class, as they are normally not available online.
  • Make sure you have a proper look around in order to find good accommodation.
  • Try the sopaipillas from the stall at the entrance to the San Joaquin campus, cheap tastiness.

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