It all started in January 2014 when I was looking for a suitable university for my semester abroad on the MicroEDU website. I decided on South America pretty quickly because I wanted to expand my language skills to include Spanish this semester. So I came across the Universidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile and decided to do my semester abroad here, because Chile is the safest country in South America and the nature should be simply breathtaking. I contacted College-Contact with my decision and forwarded all the necessary documents. The processing was really very quick and in March the UDC was already at my home. Since I hate planning, I booked the flight at very short notice (but it was also very expensive!) And didn’t even look for an apartment in Santiago beforehand. So I went to the hostel for the first week and a half(Terra Extremus, 5 min walk to the UDC) and started looking for an apartment there via the internet portal compartodepto.cl. Pretty quickly I came across an international student house that was reopened in August and then moved in there. The house was in Bellavista, the party district of Santiago where you can find great bars, restaurants and clubs. In addition, I only had to walk 20 minutes to the UDC. I took 3 courses at the UDC. International Management, International Business and Español para Negocios I.
In general, one can say about the courses that they are quite school-oriented, so homework, lectures, cooperation and presentations are part of everyday life, as well as compulsory attendance. But since I only had to go to university 3 days a week, this was not a problem and because the courses are very practice-oriented, you learned more than in Germany at the university, where it is mostly just about memorizing. The on-site support was also excellent. You could go to the international supervisor with any questions, requests or suggestions and there was always an open ear.
For leisure activities, Santiago is simply ideal, as it is in the middle of Chile and weekend trips are very easy and simple. The hiking opportunities in the Andes or in the Cajon de Maipo are highly recommended. Among other things, excursions through the university were offered here, which in my opinion were a bit overpriced, but can also be easily organized privately or in a smaller group, as the bus network in Chile is very well developed. Those who prefer the beach can also take the bus to Valparaiso or Vina de Mar within 2 hours.
- Learn more about Chile and South America, please check neovideogames.
Valparaiso is really worth seeing and for me personally more impressive than Santiago de Chile. Valparaiso is a colorful, lively city with street art and graffiti in every little corner of the city. However, it is not for everyone. Either you like the “crazy” Valparaiso or the more conservative, more well-kept Vina de Mar. The beaches in Chile are not suitable for swimming. Due to the cold Humboldt Current, the sea is really bitterly cold and you can only enter the water with a wetsuit, which I tried once while surfing with a tour group in Pichilemu. If you want to take the bus a little further (5-6 hours) you can explore La Serena, Pisco Elqui and Vicuña. Here it is recommended to hike in the incredibly colorful mountains and just enjoy the view. You can also look at the stars in observatories here at night. All in all, one can say that it is very easy to escape the big city of Santiago.
Santiago is a big city and Chile is also a country in South America, even if at first glance it is very European. Because of this, it was more common for foreigners in particular to be victims of robberies or thefts. I can therefore only recommend that you follow the general precautionary measures, such as not walking through the streets alone at night, not presenting expensive valuables in public on the street, such as your iPhone and even after the party, to take a close look at the taxis before you get in (rather one Walk a few steps to the main street and don’t get into a taxi right in front of the club, especially not at MiercolesPo (the foreigners’ party every Wednesday with a changing location). Personally, I was never robbed in Chile, but I have many friends and acquaintances who do happened more often.
In summary, I can only recommend a semester abroad at the UDC in Chile. I have had great experiences and it was exciting to live in a country at the end of the world. I made many friends all over the world and learned to love Santiago. Chile is a country where you can experience everything! In the north the Atacama Desert and in the extreme south icebergs and amazingly beautiful national parks. What I mean to say is that traveling after the semester abroad is an absolute MUST!