Preparation / selection
Because a semester abroad is required in my degree program and I didn’t want to go to Spain like all the others, I found out about alternatives on the Internet. MicroEDU also introduced itself to us at the university.
Aline from MicroEDU did all the prep work. I just sent my application form to MicroEDU, as stated on the homepage, and from that moment on I didn’t have to worry about anything anymore.Until my arrival, I was not in direct contact with the university, which is a great advantage for those who who do not speak Spanish yet. Many thanks again to the nice ladies from MicroEDU, who have made everything so much easier.
On the university’s homepage you can find the exact dates when the semester starts and when the students have to be present. It also states when Carlos, the coordinator, will pick up the exchange students from the airport. He only does this once per semester, so if you don’t arrive that day, you have to find your way from the airport to Viña on your own (which is very easy, however).
During the first week we had a different program every day, we went to see the city in addition to the campus tour and those of us who entered the country with a student visa (which by the way is not compulsory) have the formalities with Carlos at the offices regulated. During the semester there were always individual program items, such as a ski trip to the Andes, a visit to Isla Negra, we were playing paintball together, Carlos showed us Santiago…
Overall, I can say that the on-site support is at least as good How good was the supervision from MicroEDU when it came to the preparation.
Carlos and the other nice employees in the “international relations” office took great care of problems
Carlos was / is there for us at all times, we got his cell phone number right at the beginning and had to promise to call him as soon as we had any difficulties. Which some of us had and we didn’t shy away from calling him in the middle of the night to ask for help.
Many exchange students have accepted the offer from MicroEDU or from their American university and have moved into families. For me personally, this was nothing, that’s why I first arrived in Chile without a place to stay, slept in a hotel for the first night and then looked after an apartment the next day, which worked without any problems. In the end, I paid CLP 100,000 a month, which is perhaps slightly below the average price.
- For information about Chile and South America, please visit franciscogardening.
For people who don’t mind going to university to live cheaper, it is also a good idea to move to the neighboring town of Valparaíso.
Because I also study Spanish in Germany, I mostly only took Spanish courses in Chile. Unfortunately, these do not take place on the same campus as the “normal” courses. A lecture, or rather a lesson, lasts 70 minutes and is very much like a school lesson. Usually you only have lectures with less than 30 other students, and these cannot be compared with German lectures. The examination system is also different than in Germany, you write a “Prueba” in each subject at the end of each month, and at the end of the semester you do not always have to take a final exam. Pruebas ”has an average of 5.0 or better. The rating system here is from 1-7, with 7 being the best grade.
The level of the lecture cannot necessarily be compared with German lectures. For example, at the beginning of the semester I attended the lecture “Risk Management”, which at my university in Germany has a lot to do with mathematics and is not uncompromising. Here you learned what you can do to avoid accidents (such as wearing a helmet). This is just an extreme example, in other subjects such as microeconomics you are already discussing similar things, only everything a little more slowly.
Chile is a wonderful country where traveling around is only an option. It has everything to offer from beautiful beaches, desert landscapes, mountains… So far I’ve got to know the entire north and the “Sur chico”, since I’m still here, I still have time to travel and I will have a look at Easter Island, Patagonia and the “Sur grande” before I return to Germany. During the semester, too, it is very good to travel, I always had Fridays off and on Mondays I didn’t start until the afternoon, so that I could go away for a long weekend without any problems, which is also highly recommended. There is always someone to travel with, after all, the other exchange students also want to get to know the country.
Even if I will return to Germany without really having any savings, I have to honestly say that so far every euro that I have invested in traveling here has been worth it. Better get into debt somewhere before you miss out on a trip.
Chile is one of the safest Latin American countries, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any raids here. An estimated 70% of the exchange students were stolen somehow, mostly only small things like the camera or cell phone torn from their hands, but it also happened that entire handbags were stolen and that someone was injured with a knife and robbed. So always take care of your things and don’t take anything with you that you don’t need. A copy of the ID is sufficient and who needs a credit card in the disco?
Chile is a lot more expensive than I expected. In the supermarket, the products are about the same price as in Germany, only fruit and bread are significantly cheaper. You shouldn’t buy fruit in the supermarket, but better at the market or at small stalls in the center, there it is fresher, cheaper and tastier:-)