Year Abroad Country Profile: Chile

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Cameron Ridgway, Universidad de Concepción, Biobío Region

Why should people choose the destination?

Chile is quite possibly one of the most varied countries in the world with a huge range of geography and attractions to explore. Although travel costs are expensive, living here is a lot cheaper than in the UK and transport across the country via a network of cheap coaches makes travelling far and wide a real possibility.

What are the Travel / Cultural Highlights?

Regardless of where you end up in Chile, make sure to pay a visit to Santiago. Alongside the huge range of attractions and things to do in the city itself the spectacular backdrop of the Andes offers a wide range of opportunities, from skiing to visiting the surrounding nature. Chilean vineyards are also worth a visit.

How was the process of adjusting after being in the UK?

For someone used to living in Britain, moving to Chile was a bit of a shock. The huge metropolis that is Santiago as well as differences in weather due to the country being in the Southern Hemisphere and the peculiarities of the Chilean Spanish dialect made it difficult at first, but after a few weeks you start to get used to the peculiarities. It takes time to adjust, but it will be rewarding.

How expensive is it to live there?

Apart from the cost of getting here, life in Chile is generally cheaper than the UK. Food, drink and socialising are much cheaper than in Britain once you convert the costs from the Chilean peso into pounds. Travel within the country via the coach network is also much cheaper than trains or national express in the UK and is often more luxurious, as many coaches have onboard catering and adjustable bed type seats.

Best piece of advice?

Always ask if unsure! Information about how things work here isn’t always clear online or in the documents you are given.

Study abroad options?

University in Santiago or Concepción, a work placement or working as an English language teaching assistant through the British Council or Chile Open Doors schemes.

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Deputy Editor 2017-18, International Editor 2015-17. Languages student adjusting to being back in the UK after a year in Chile. Interested in Latin America, world news, media and politics.

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