After I decided to do a semester abroad, I didn’t immediately know where to go. I was sure that I wanted to spend this semester outside of Europe and Australia or North America were also out of the question due to the high semester fees and living costs. For these reasons I came to South America and through my supervisor Stefanie Drügg I found out about the Universidad Viña del Mar (UVM). I was immediately enthusiastic, because Viña del Mar is not a huge city with around 300,000 inhabitants and is also located directly on the sea.
English-language courses can be taken at the UVM and Chile is also the economically most stable country in South America and therefore relatively safe. I then asked other students who had spent their semester there before me and everyone was very enthusiastic and recommended the university to me without reservation. In any case, I can pass this recommendation on to anyone who is interested.
With the help of MicroEDU, I planned my semester abroad and applied to UVM. Applying using the application form was very easy; no additional letter of motivation was required. In addition, MicroEDU helped me with all of my questions and other topics. You also pointed out to me that I can apply for a scholarship at PROMOS. I was very pleased that my stay abroad was supported and promoted with this scholarship.
After applying to UVM, I started looking for apartments online. I found a nice apartment on the Contact Chile website, which is on the 19th floor of a high-rise building and very close to the campus. But there were still enough shared apartments on site that still had a room to rent. So it is definitely possible to start looking for an apartment on site and to book into a hostel for the time being. The room in a shared apartment, but also the apartment in which the two of us lived, cost the equivalent of around 300 euros per person. The UVM also offers the placement of a host family in advance. If you want to improve your Spanish outside of university,
If you do not speak Spanish, it is very advisable to start learning Spanish as soon as possible, as almost no one speaks English in Chile. I took a language course at my university and later one at the adult education center in Bonn, which helped me a lot to find my way around Chile right from the start. When I arrived in Chile, I had a level of A2, which was sufficient as a basis. Just don’t despair when you arrive in Chile, as the Chileans speak a very fast and unclear Spanish. It takes a lot of time to get used to it, but since everyone is very helpful and likes to repeat sentences slowly and clearly, you can still get along well.
- For information about Chile and South America, please visit topb2bwebsites.
For my semester abroad, I applied for a student visa at the Chilean embassy in Frankfurt. This involved a lot of effort, as many documents still had to be obtained and you had to go to Frankfurt in person to pick up your visa there. In Chile, too, you had to go to two different authorities to get your Chilean identity card.
I sublet my apartment in Bonn abroad for the time being. It is advisable to close your apartment early and discuss the plan with the landlord so that you can find a subtenant in good time. Furthermore, you should take care of a credit card with which you can withdraw money as cheaply as possible. I got along well with the DKB credit card and was able to withdraw cash at Scotiabank without any fees. This is especially important because in Chile rent is usually paid in cash. You should also remember to take out foreign health insurance.
Course of studies
One day after my arrival in Santiago there was a pick-up service from the UVM, with which I drove from the airport to the campus. It was there that I met the other students and Carlos Torres for the first time. He was our contact person throughout the semester and always helped us with everything. From campus I took an Uber to my accommodation. Uber is widely used in Viña del Mar, so it can be helpful to download the app beforehand.
The first week there was a get-to-know program from the UVM, during which we also went on a tour through Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, for example. During the week there was also a Spanish test, which is used to assign a language level. In order to be able to take the Spanish-language courses, you need a level of B2 / C1. Since I only wanted to take English-language courses, the classification was only important for me for the Spanish course. I highly recommend taking a Spanish course (even if it is not recognized for business administration students) as the teachers are very good and you learn a lot in a relatively short time.