4. Course offer and course choice at the foreign university
As already described, the course catalog includes 200 pages of business administration courses, which cover all classic subject areas, such as marketing, finance, human resources, etc. and range from beginner courses to master’s courses. But there are also more specialized courses included, for example I have the three courses International Business Challenges in Latin America ; Globalización, Tratados y Acuerdos Comerciales and Liderazgo en Grupos y Organizaciones.
You can choose both English and Spanish courses and combine all courses with each other (as long as they do not overlap!). All courses are surprisingly time-consuming and you have to submit essays, read texts and give presentations on a regular basis. Attendance is almost always mandatory and oral participation is also assessed in one or the other course. Even if this learning method reminds you of school, it has the advantage that the effort is evenly distributed over the semester and you don’t run the risk of missing an important exam because you B. did not understand the question in Spanish. In addition, I was lucky
There are two general rules for choosing a course: First, English courses are easier on average than Spanish ones. This is because Chilean students are extremely poor at English and the difficulty of the foreign language is taken into account (to the advantage of international students). Second, anything to do with mathematics should not be underestimated, because even if Chilean students lag behind when it comes to English, they are very far ahead in deriving logarithms and providing mathematical proofs.
Regarding my courses in particular, I have to say that Globalización, Tratados y Acuerdos Comerciales was the easiest to master, but it was also the most uncomfortable course. I would have recommended International Business Challenges in Latin America to everyone at midterms, despite the great amount of work involved in weekly case studies and essays. Towards the end, however, the good Chilean mess got out of hand, so that ultimately nobody knew how many more essays were left and when and who should present. Despite everything, the course covers a wide range of interesting topics and the many guest speakers are experts in their fields. Liderazgo en Grupos y Organizaciones is a somewhat alternative course in which the students sit in a circle of chairs and discuss.In addition to knowledge of psychological approaches to leadership and group behavior, it is an ideal opportunity to improve your Spanish and learn a lot about the Chilean culture and its approaches.
- Learn more about Chile and South America, please check philosophynearby.
5. Arrival / mobility
A regular flight to Santiago is not cheap at around 1200 €, but it is worth looking for offers and so some exchange students came there and back with 700 €. The sooner you book the better, of course, at the beginning of May, with confirmation in hand, but it’s still okay. Cheap and safe transfers to the city center are available at the airport. I booked a fork-lift flight straight away and flew back from Lima, so you don’t lose time and money to return to Santiago at the end.
Before entering the country, you have to consider whether you want to enter with a student visa or just a tourist visa. While the first variant gives you a few advantages, such as a discount on the metro, I only entered the country with a tourist visa, which I would do again. You will then receive a residence permit for 90 days, after which you have to leave the country, but can re-enter directly without any problems. Since September is both midterms and national holidays, you have a wonderful opportunity to get to know the neighboring countries better.
The FEN is located right in the center of Santiago and can therefore be easily reached on foot, by bike, bus or metro and restaurants, bars, supermarkets and shops are all in the immediate vicinity.
To ride the metro, you buy the so-called BIP card and top it up again and again with credit. If you are in Chile with a student visa, you get a discount. The metro network is well developed and reliable, but the metro is chronically overcrowded and the favorite stop for pickpockets. Still the easiest means of transportation.
At night you take a taxi, which is not expensive, but it is safe. Walking around alone for the time is not recommended. Even if Santiago is the safest city in South America and you can quickly become reckless, you should not forget which continent you are on.
Longer distances are covered in South America by bus, which can be cheap and luxurious at the same time.
The FEN does not have its own apartments, but the center of Santiago is full of high-rise buildings with small apartments that are ideal as student shared apartments. Concierge, gym, BBQ areas and sometimes the rooftop pool are included. In addition, before the start of the semester, the FEN will send around a housing guide in which the apartments that have been checked and the contact details of the associated landlords are listed.
My room in one of two shared flats, a five-minute walk from the university and with its own bathroom, cost me € 300 per month including all ancillary costs. You can still save if you choose a smaller room or rent a room directly from Chileans without a written rental agreement. In addition to the immediate vicinity of the FEN, Santiago Centro, the districts of Providencia, Recoleta and Independencia are also ideal for living. Las Condes is the rich district, which is more reminiscent of the USA and Bella Vista is the bar district of Santiago, where you don’t necessarily have your studies on your mind in the evening.
7. Financing / costs and funding opportunities
Tuition fees are charged per course at the FEN, so hard-working students pay on top. Each regular course costs (as things stand) USD 750, with an additional registration fee of USD 500.
Chile is by far the most expensive country in South America and the supermarket prices are well comparable with our German ones. Nevertheless, you can quickly find out where groceries are cheaper, the cheaper taxis are and where you can shop wonderfully cheaply. And as soon as you leave Chile to travel, you can also find whole menus for € 2.50 (Bolivia is not only recommended because of its low food prices).
My fixed costs are therefore as follows:
Flight 1,200 €
tuition fees 2,200 €
living (5 X 300 €) 1,500 €
∑ 4,900 €
Add to this food, leisure and travel, which can be high or low depending on your lifestyle.