My educational experience at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Chile has been fantastic and memorable. It has given me the opportunity to learn and gain new skills that I will be able to take back home with me, and apply them to all aspects of my life.
“In my specially-designed courses, which are only for exchange students, guest-speakers came to our classes and we got to make site-visits off campus to businesses such as Alonso Olive Oil and Wayra, a telecom innovation incubator.”
This university is highly-ranked in the QS World University Rankings, which names it one of the top five universities in Chile and within the top 2.5 percent of the world’s universities. In business and management, the school is ranked No. 2 in the country and places within 101-150 in the whole world. Meanwhile, the Business School is accredited by three of the most prestigious international associations.
I truly enjoyed it there, and the class sizes made it more enjoyable. The class sizes are smaller than at San Diego State University, averaging about 35 students. At first, I had a difficult time understanding the grading scale here because grades are measured on a 1 to 7 scale, with 7 being the best you can receive and anything below a 4 is not passing. Additionally, attendance is counted for every class and is a percentage of the overall grade, so a student can’t miss several weeks of lecture or not go at all.
In my specially-designed courses, which are only for exchange students, guest-speakers came to our classes and we got to make site-visits off campus to businesses such as Alonso Olive Oil and Wayra, a telecom innovation incubator. Also, in my pregrado courses (undergraduate classes with Chilean students) like Liderazgo (Leadership) I & II, we had group activities, analysis and assignments related to class that helped us understand the material better.
Furthermore, my professors would make great effort to keep the classes interesting and maintain student attention. Interaction during class which really me learn and understand the material.
Specifically, I am pleased I chose to attend a private university in Santiago. I would have been less pleased at a public university because, being an exchange student, would not be allowed to participate in protests; The students at public universities were in protest very often and for long-periods of time, which could have hurt my experience. I’m not saying I’m against the causes the students stood for — the most recent protest was about sexism in education — but I wouldn’t have been permitted to participate and the shutdowns would have impacted my education.
Moreover, I felt there was much more emphasis on learning rather than worrying about grades. There was less pressure to score high notes, and less reporting of the notes. At the same time, it would have helped to know where one stands in the class.
The professors were great in their styles of teaching and sharing their personal real-world experiences related the topics in class. Nonetheless, it was a bit challenging to navigate the different dynamics of the courses and their structure. In the US, it’s simple and straight-forward: readings, quizzes, group projects/presentations and exams form a beginning, middle and end. In Chile, it was a mixture. The exams were only toward the end of the semester, but the workload was more spread out for most of my courses.
This week I concluded my last week of classes here. Over the next two weeks, I will have exams and final assignments due for my courses.
Then, I will have officially completed my semester abroad!
Rodrigo Polanco is a fourth year international business major with an emphasis in Spanish and Latin America. He is studying spring semester at Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile.
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