Chile

University of Auckland students have the opportunity to study at two partner universities in Chile:  Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile and the University of Chile.

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Let’s hear what our students have to say…

  • The people I met, the challenges of speaking Spanish in Chile, the classes I took at the university, and travelling around Chile and also in other countries after the semester. (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • My exchange university (Pontificia Catolica de Chile) was beautiful! As the top university in the country, the campus was immense and the grounds amazing. They offered a pre-semester intensive language course which I think was really useful, not just for the language aspect, but it familiarised me with the way the uni worked, the layout and I was able to start the semester with an established group of friends. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Chile is incredible, the people lovely and it is a truly unique country with a lot to offer! (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Living and studying in a Spanish speaking country was very difficult at first. I spent my first week asking questions of official people and not understanding a word of their replies. But I learnt, and slowly it got easier. (Lydia Turley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • . The city of Santiago was huge, and had heaps of interesting places hiding away; I quickly fell in love with the metro, which could take me wherever I wanted to go. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

On culture

  • I took a football class at the university which was heaps of fun. I often went to a plaza where you can dance the Cueca and went to a couple of Salsa bars. I also did a few hikes around Santiago. There are a lot of opportunities. (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Living in Santiago was great, there’s an awesome network of exchange students and always activities going on. Once you get to know the city (and get used to the accent) there are a huge number of awesome cultural things going on. The metro system is also great so it is very easy to get around. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • While I was there I played volleyball for the university team, which was my favourite part of day to day life, I loved training with the girls, I was so incredibly welcomed into the team, they were so kind, and many of them are now good friends of mine, the coach was great to and he went out of his way to make me able to play for the team at official matches, which was a huge bonus that I was not expecting. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

On orientation

  • The orientation was interesting, we had the first 2 weeks to enrol which was a difficult system to deal with. However, once you found the right person to talk to you could get great advice on what courses to take. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • On arrival I was thrown into university life in Chile, which I did have prior experience in summer school; however a proper full semester was much more daunting. I was absolutely confused by the school system and their course and marking as it is quite different, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t understand the lecturers speaking in Spanish, and for the first few weeks I really did struggle, but I stuck at it and by mid-term I felt confident that I was understanding fully what I was hearing, which was an absolutely amazing moment, not just for the university work, but for the language as well. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

On housing

  • It was very easy to sort out accommodation after arriving. I stayed a week in a hostel and was very quickly able to find lots of flats that I would have wanted to live in. I lived in a house of 13 foreigners, a mixture of students and young professionals. It was a very fun house with a mixture of people and we spoke in a mixture of English and Spanish. There are lots of accommodation options in Santiago. (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Cost of living was really cheap, I had a double bedroom (furnished) in a shared house close to the centre of town with 6 others and a weekly cleaner for around $500 a month including all bills. My landlord was also amazing, he would fix everything we needed and introduced to other Chileans and students. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • I found a house to live in in the first week there, I was living with 5 other students, they were Chileans, and we had two lovely elderly ladies who were sisters, who cooked and cleaned for us, as well as look after us, for whatever we needed. It was nice and quiet and homely feel to my house there, which was great, because it was somewhere that I was happy to go home to everyday and a place where I could have time to myself if I needed it. The cost of living as a whole was cheaper than Auckland, but not as cheap as I thought it was going to be, Chile was on the more expensive side of Latin American countries. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

On academics

  • I really enjoyed the courses I took at the university. I highly recommend Mapuche lengua y cultura. The course I took did not require a lot of work during the semester which was great if you want to travel, they were also really interesting. However there is a huge variety of lectures and lecturers so I suggest utilizing the first week where you can attend whichever classes you like before choosing. The intensive language course before the semester is really helpful for orientating yourself, familiarizing yourself with Chilean Spanish, and making friends. (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • My courses were great, the professors were used to having exchange students and wanted to help however they could. The local students were also very patient when doing group projects. I also did a exchange student class about Chilean Culture, which was sometimes interesting and really easy to pass. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • I was fortunate enough to be able to enrol in a variety of courses, some quite different to what I would have been able to study in Auckland, and still credit a full semester back to me degree here. From the department of Agronomy, I studied Climatology and Physiology of Plant Production. It was the second of these two courses which really caught my interest and showed me another potential field of study. (Lydia Turley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • The course and lecturers were interesting and challenging at the same time, it was especially interesting to see moments of history taught from a different perspective than what I had been taught. All my lecturers were approachable lovely, and were leaders in their field and they were especially welcoming to the exchange students who were taking their classes. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

On travel

  • There are a lot of amazing places to visit in Chile (e.g. Valparaiso, Chiloe, Torres del Paine, San Pedro de Atacama) and the bus service is excellent. Santiago is a fun city to live in because there is always lots going on. (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • I did a lot of weekend trips, the bus companies are great in Chile and you can get around pretty cheaply! I was part of an exchange students organisation also which organised activities and trips too. (Blanche Bradford, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Travelling around Chile, was incredible, I met some great people, both Chilean and other exchange students, and saw some amazing places. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Tips

  • Chilean Spanish is practically a different language and can be a really challenge at times. Just in general getting used to a different country and how things work can be a challenge, but it’s also fun! (Ashleigh Lee, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Studying in Chile forced me to grow up and it was just an amazing experience and opportunity to get out there and see the world. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone interested. (Lydia Turley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • I did my own socialising. I joined a salsa class. I worked up the courage to talk to people in my classes. The power to make the most of the experience was in my hands. (Lydia Turley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • My advice for someone going to study in Chile would be don’t be worried about struggling with the language to start with, it will come, and you will do great, and don’t be worried about meeting new people, Chileans are extremely welcoming and king people, and there are plenty of exciting exchange students to meet. (Aneta Buckley, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

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