Study Abroad at University of Viña del Mar (9)
In addition, you will be assigned a Chilean Hermano / Hermana (brother / sister) and someone from another country. During the semester there are a few tasks that you can do together and you also do some things together and the hermanos / hermanas help you with questions and problems.
Since I chose the English program, all of my courses were in English except for my Spanish course. To be classified for this, all students had to take a Spanish test in the first week. In order to take Spanish-language courses, you needed a level of B2 / C1, which was far from the case with me. However, I would recommend everyone to take a language course at the university. It makes learning the language a lot easier and so much faster. Before my semester abroad, as I said, I could hardly speak any Spanish and the first 1-2 months were sometimes really not easy, but you are all the more happy when you understand everything at some point and can converse in Spanish. Really the best feeling!
With the courses at the university in Chile, I was able to cover the main subject “International Management” at my home university and thus did not have to plan an extra semester for a stay abroad. I chose the subjects “Negotiation Strategies”, “Management Skills” and “Indigenous People of Chile” and had everything covered. The courses are not very demanding compared to Germany, but they are very interesting.
In the first two weeks you have time to look at the courses in peace before you finally choose your courses, which has made the course selection a lot easier.
Our contact person during the semester, Carlos Torres, was always at your side with questions and over time we have all built a very friendly relationship with him and took him very deeply.
Leisure and travel
Of course, I didn’t just want to study, I also wanted to get to know Chile and the surrounding countries. The UVM supports you very much in this regard, as there are no English-language courses on Fridays and, since the compulsory attendance is “only” 80%, you can be absent from time to time.
- Learn more information about Chile and South America on harvardshoes.
Chile is so diverse and the different landscapes are simply impressive. In the north is the Atacama Desert, a salt desert with a wide variety of excursion destinations that can be reached either with a rental car or on tours offered on site. I was particularly fond of the south of Chile, where I hiked for 5 days through the Torres del Paine National Park and then took the bus to El Chaltén and El Calafate in Argentina. Valle de Elqui and La Serena in the central part of Chile can be easily reached by bus from Viña and are also well worth seeing.
I was also in Buenos Aires and Mendoza in Argentina and spent a week in Rio de Janeiro and was able to get to know other countries in South America.
Since Viña is right by the sea, we spent a lot of time on the beach, be it between lectures, after university or in the evening before the next party. Since there are many students in Viña, there is a party almost every day and you often get “Free Entry Passes” from the International Club, with which you can get to the clubs for free before a certain time. It was always a great way to mingle with the Chileans and meet new people in Viña and the surrounding area.
Viña was perfect for me in terms of size and location, you have everything you need and I felt at home very quickly. Chile itself, especially Viña, is very safe and I didn’t even feel uncomfortable. The neighboring town of Valparaíso is only 10 minutes away by bus and, with its colorful streets, is very impressive and worth seeing. Santiago (and the airport) are also just under 1.5 hours away and can be easily reached by bus.
Everyone goes to Chile, I can only recommend it! It was the best experience of my life and I wouldn’t want to miss it. Since the country is so different from Germany, you learn a lot very quickly and see things from a different perspective. The people are so friendly and helpful and welcome you with open arms. During my time in Chile, I learned so much about myself, about other cultures and about the country itself and that shaped me a lot. You get to know friends for life who come from different countries and cultures and with whom you grow very closely in a very short time. The four months in Chile were by far not enough and I miss the country and the people every day!