With MicroEDU, the application process was quick and easy. I sent my completed forms to MicroEDU, and they checked the information to make sure it was correct. After their approval, I then sent the forms by post to MicroEDU, who then forwarded them to the Universidad de Chile. For my application, I did not have to present a language test in either English or Spanish. The acceptance came approx. 2 months or 5 months before the start of the semester abroad, so that there was enough time to prepare.
University / Faculty:
The Universidad de Chile Facultad de Economía y Negocios (FEN) is very centrally located in Santiago. The districts of Providenvia and Bellavista are within walking distance. If you take the subway to the university, it is best to get off at the “Universidad Católica” stop. There is a relatively large range of English courses at the FEN. It is pleasant that you can change courses up to 3 weeks after the start of the first lecture. That was very useful to see whether the courses chosen beforehand really correspond to your own interests.
Description region / city:
Santiago is much greener than I expected before. In addition, the city is surrounded by mountains all around. In about 1-2 hours you can reach the coast (Valparaiso or Vina de Mar) and it takes just under an hour to drive to the Cajon del Maipo region, which is great for rafting and hiking. From June to August the mountains become ski areas that can be reached quickly. Santiago and its surroundings offer everything your heart desires.
Unfortunately, there is always smog over the city and it increases quite a bit, especially in the winter months. To be honest, he hardly bothered me and he is simply part of Santiago.
All over Santiago there are many colorful and beautiful cafes, bars and clubs. The main districts for this are Providencia (Manuel Montt), Las Condes, Barrio Lastarria and clearly Bellavista. The selection is huge and there is something for every taste. Classic Chilean restaurants are very rare as there is hardly any traditional Chilean cuisine. Therefore, the restaurants are often American.
- For information about Chile and South America, please visit computergees.
Those who like to go shopping will of course not miss out, as the largest shopping center in South America – Costanera Center – is located in Santiago.
For a few day trips, it is worth strolling through the numerous parks or climbing the Santa Lucia hill or Cerro San Cristobál. In the summer months you can go to the outdoor pool on top of Cerro San Cristobál and enjoy a great view of the city.
In general, you have to be very careful of your valuables everywhere in South America. Nothing ever happened to me in Chile, but valuables were stolen from many of my friends. This is particularly common in the discos in Santiago. It can also happen on the street to be ambushed, but rarely with physical violence. As long as you watch out where you walk at night, prefer to take a taxi (which are very cheap in Chile) and generally keep an eye on your valuables, you are pretty safe.
About a month before the semester started, our supervisor Kaia Range sent us a small apartment catalog with dormitories and host families.
You will definitely find what you are looking for on the compartodepto.cl page. However, you may have to be prepared to make deductions in your standard of living. The standard of living is lower (for the same money paid) than in Germany. It is best to book a hostel in the center of Santiago before you arrive so that you can start viewing the apartment from there. I opted for a 15-person flat share. This would have been unimaginable before my stay abroad, but it was a great decision because we were like family and the time in the shared apartment made my stay in Santiago what it was after all. The only drawback is that you hardly learn Spanish as a result. If you really want to learn Spanish, you should go with a host family or in a small flat share with exclusively Chileans.
The course catalog at UDC contains a selection of courses in both Spanish and English. The lectures per course take place twice a week. During the semester you have clearly more work than in Germany, as tests are pending almost every week or you have to give presentations. On the other hand, the end of the semester is not that different from the rest of the semester in terms of workload. There are also midterms in which more intensive exams are pending. There are no lectures for 10 days because the Chileans write their exams during this period. The internationals have free time during this period, at least for the English-language courses, as they write the exams before or after this period. This gives you the chance to travel to a more distant destination. Basically it turns out to be complicated to travel during the semester, because, on the one hand, you usually have to be present at 80% and on the other hand, tests are only announced a few days in advance. Ultimately, however, the compulsory attendance was not taken too strictly in any of my courses.
Statement of costs and financing options
I spent about as much on everyday life in Chile as in Germany. Supermarkets are much more expensive there. But you can get away very cheaply by taxi, bus and metro. You should plan around 300-400 € for rent and around 200-300 € per month for groceries. What else is added is up to you. Of course, you also spend a lot of money in your free time, but as an international student you usually get free entry to the discos, at least. The legendary “Miércoles Po” party takes place every Wednesday and is aimed at the internationals, or “gringos” as the Chileans call them.
At the FEN you pay 800 US dollars per course. I was lucky that I got a foreign student loan as it covered all of my tuition fees. Even if you do not get a domestic student loan, you can still have a chance of getting the foreign student loan, as the latter is awarded with different conditions.
I was really excited about my semester in Chile. I got to know so many people, saw the most beautiful landscapes, had the best parties and my life was enriched in many ways. I didn’t feel really unsafe for a single second in Santiago and my expectations were more than exceeded. I really recommend it to everyone.