Universidad de Chile
The Universidad de Chile, especially the Facultad de Economia y Negocios, is very well established and has all the facilities you need to study. The building and facilities are very new and modern and most importantly, very clean. It is cleaned and mopped all day. A gym is available for free use and numerous sports courses are offered. Since the construction of the entrance hall is very open, it gets very cold in winter in all rooms that are not heated. However, during the summer it is very pleasant and the classrooms are air-conditioned. The library is equipped with numerous computers, workstations and group rooms and nothing is missing. The support from the International Office was really great and all employees were friendly and helpful to us. A so-called “Buddy Program” was introduced, ie every international student was assigned a FEN student, which of course should also serve as a language partnership. In addition, various events were held, such as dance evenings, cinema evenings, trekking tours, visits to wineries or the stock exchange in Santiago. I have never experienced this in other exchange programs and found it very positive.
Courses at the UDC
I chose English-language courses and chose a total of four courses, each of which was awarded 10 UDC credits. I chose the courses “Globalization, Trade and Trade Agreements”, “Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America”, “Global Strategic Management” and “Latin America in World´s Affairs” and was very satisfied with my choice. With around 20 to a maximum of 30 students, the classes were very small compared to Germany and you had a very personal relationship with the professors. They were always friendly and, for example, took travel plans into consideration during the semester if you discussed it with them early enough. In our case, even extra exams were postponed, but experience has shown that not every professor does this. I learned a lot about Latin America and the country’s economic relations and can only recommend these courses. Overall, the UDC’s way of working and teaching is very different from Germany. The Chilean system is much more intertwined. On the one hand, there is a compulsory attendance of 80%, which corresponds to approx. 4-6 absent hours per course and semester, depending on the length of the semester. On the other hand, great value is placed on collaboration and some courses even give grades for it. Courses that take place on Mondays are repeated at the same time on Thursdays, as do courses on Tuesdays and Fridays. Depending on the subject, there are also tutorials that may take place on Wednesdays. The schedule doesn’t look full and demanding, but the workload should not be underestimated. In the above-mentioned subjects, presentations had to be given or reading controls and essays had to be written. Homework is also more common than in Germany. Overall, the level is no more difficult than in Germany and with a little diligence it is very easy to reach the upper grades.
Since the Universidad de Chile was not a partner university of my home university and I did not get any foreign student loans, I had to pay the semester fees myself. This was US $ 750 + US $ 500 registration fee per course taken, for a total of US $ 3,500. However, you did not have to transfer this amount directly at the beginning, the invoice came after about 3 months.
Life in Santiago
Santiago in itself is not a city that has many extraordinary sights to offer. Especially in the Chilean winter (June, July and August) it can often be very dreary and gray because of the strong smog that lies over the city. However, I have always felt very comfortable and really enjoyed the variety.
- Learn more about Chile and South America, please check ehistorylib.
Santiago serves as a good starting point for all trips and generally has very good and, above all, cheap bus connections throughout the country. The metro and bus network is also well developed, but also quite expensive in the long run.
Life in Santiago is generally much more expensive than in Germany. One should be aware of this before deciding to go to Chile. How much you should plan for per month is hard to say, as it naturally also depends on your personal lifestyle. In general, it can be said that the supermarkets and especially basic foods are very expensive. A cheap alternative was therefore the “La Vega” market, where you can get fruit and vegetables very cheaply and in good quality. Sausage, cheese, pasta and, above all, hygiene articles are a lot more expensive than in Germany.
When it comes to nightlife, there is never a dull moment in Santiago. This mainly takes place in Bellavista and Las Condes. The famous “Miercoles Po” student party takes place every Wednesday under a different motto and in different locations. The “Santiago Exchange Network”, a group for exchange students from all universities in Santiago, also offers the no less well-known “Passparty” every Tuesday. Not only the parties, but also the organized leisure activities such as rafting, paintball, trekking, skiing etc. and the short trips to the most popular destinations in Chile are a great alternative. Those who prefer it a little more “quieter” will find numerous restaurants and bars in every price range in the Lastarria and Bellavista. The popular drinks Piscola.