Chile: Sarah Ketterhagen

Photo of Sarah Ketterhagen
Sarah Ketterhagen at the house of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda

Program: CIEE Liberal Arts in Chile, Spring

Sarah’s Majors: Spanish and LACIS

Academic Life: I took classes with the CIEE program and at a private Catholic university in Santiago. I took four classes: Advanced Spanish, Chilean Poetry, Indigenous Cultures of Chile and Latin America, and Colombia: The Dilemma of the Peace. Classrooms at the universities tended to be small lectures of less than 40 students with one professor and two TA’s. There were usually 3-4 other international students in my classes.

Most Memorable Moment: I spent my 21st birthday hiking in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

Advice for Someone Considering Chile: Absolutely pick Chile! Chileans made me feel very welcome. It was so great to be invited by my Chilean friends to leave Santiago with them on the weekends and visit their parents and grandparents in other parts of the country.

Housing: I lived with a host family in an upper-class neighborhood in Santiago. The family included two parents, two siblings, a cat, and a dog. My host mom became one of my closest friends in Chile and I practiced my Spanish by having long conversations with her every day at dinner.

“Even though the Spanish can be a little tricky because Chileans use so many ‘chilenismos’ (words specific to Chile), the challenge is fun.”