I chose Chile because I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish. I spoke next to no word of Spanish and thought that it would now be the perfect opportunity to do so in my semester abroad.
Everything went perfectly with MicroEDU and nothing could stand in my way. After you have decided on a country and a university, everything happens pretty quickly. And MicroEDU answered all questions via email within 24 hours and were also very helpful with questions over the phone. Universidad de Chile only took a little time to confirm the semester abroad. But you also have to remember that you are going to South America and not studying in Europe. Everything takes a little longer in South America and it never hurts to be more patient. Everything went very straightforward in advance. No letter of motivation or other things that you have to submit separately. So already very good prerequisites.
- For information about Chile and South America, please visit cheeroutdoor.
During the final preparations before you really start, you should clarify which visa you would like to have. With the student visa (everyone who goes to Chile for a year should definitely apply) you have to do some paperwork in advance. The authorities in Santiago then give you a real Chilean ID card or ID card. With this card you get discounts on the metro, national parks, etc. But you can actually save all of that if you stay for half a year. The alternative is the tourist visa. Totally straightforward. You just have to enter Chile as normal and stay there for a maximum of 90 days. (When entering the country, you shouldn’t necessarily say that you are studying. Always say that you are traveling and that you are backpacking.) After the 90 days you can quickly go to Argentina (Mendoza is the first city after the Argentine border) to get a new visa. This is what most students do in Chile, and it is simply the best and less stressful. And you can already take advantage of a weekend trip to try Argentine wine and real Argentine steak. Definitely not to be missed. Depending on how you plan your travel route during the semester, you can of course also travel to Peru or Bolivia. Maybe briefly inform which countries you want to travel to in South America. Accordingly, I would have the yellow fever vaccine vaccinated and everything else refreshed. Some health insurance companies take over something.
When I was still in Germany, I said I had to find out what flats and shared apartments are available in Santiago. There are pretty good websites such as www.compartodepto.cl (comparable to Wg-searched), where you can find something useful. Providencia or Santiago Central are pretty good places to live. I personally lived in Manuel Montt (Providencia) and would go back any time. Three metro stations to the university and you were always somewhere quickly. Top area with nice restaurants and bars. I had a bike there and always cycled everything. Is also a fun adventure;). I would think twice before that.
But now back to the actual search. I advise everyone to do this on site. The most beautiful pictures of apartments can be posted on the Internet. But that doesn’t mean that it looks like that there. That’s normal too. For example, I experienced nice surprises there. In addition, you can just see your roommates in front of it. Is also sometimes helpful in making a decision. For example, I just wanted to see Santiago, get an overview and estimate where it is best to live. For example, if it says: “4 blocks from the nearest supermarket” it is pretty much relative how far it really is. So just book a hostel in advance for the first few days and then check out everything from there. You can get something at short notice and most students got something within the first 2 weeks. So no stress in advance. Just go there and look for something on site. The rents are like in Germany. I paid CLP 200,000 (approx. € 250) for 13 square meters of room.
Life in Santiago
You can already do something in Santiago. There are a few sights that you can visit. Or the best is to do the free-walking tour in the first few weeks to get to know the city a little better. There are many parks where you can just hang out. The party life is definitely not neglected either. Barrio Bella Vista takes care of that. One bar after the other, also with discos and nice restaurants.