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What I Did in Santiago …

Current Student Advisors

Christie Brydon — Winter 2011-12
MAJOR: Human Biology


Deciding to study abroad in Santiago was not difficult for me. I knew I had to study abroad in order to be fully satisfied with my Stanford experience and escaping the harsh Stanford winter in favor of a hot summer quarter in Santiago seemed like a no-brainer. Little did I know, that quarter would not only improve my Spanish and push me out of my comfort zone, but it would also introduce me to some of my new best friends and make me appreciate Stanford even more than I already did.Read full profile »
Will Troppe — Winter 2011-12
MAJOR: Atmosphere/Energy


I’m not BOSP’s typical study abroad student. For one, I’m majoring in Atmosphere/Energy Engineering. Many Stanford students majoring in engineering immediately dismiss the idea of studying abroad, believing there’s no room in their schedules to take a quarter of mainly humanities classes. This is terribly unfortunate, as I firmly believe studying abroad benefits all those who fully embrace it. With enough planning, it’s almost always possible to fit studying abroad within a four-year Stanford undergraduate experience.Read full profile »

Past Student Advisors

Helen Bolton — Winter 2010-11
MAJOR: International Relations

MINOR: Latin American Studies

It was an incredible experience to be able to hear about the dictatorship from an expert in a classroom setting, to hear a bit of my host mother's perspective on the period, and then to also be able to visit the newly opened Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, dedicated to human rights abuses that occurred during the period. Getting all of these different perspectives on a period of history I had studied at Stanford in other Latin American Studies classes provided a unique academic experience.Read full profile »
Jesus Salas— Winter and Spring 2010-2011
MAJOR: Science, Technology and Society

ADVISOR: Robert McGinn

Why Chile? This is the question I always hear from people after I tell them I spent six months studying abroad there. I am sure the question stems from a multitude of reasons, including that most people cannot fathom why I would choose Chile over Madrid as my Spanish study abroad destination. I did not regret it before going and definitely do not regret it now. Read full profile »


photo of Katharine Donner Katherine Donner —
MAJOR: Science, Technology and Society



When I flew into Santiago to begin my three months of studying abroad I was extremely excited for such a new experience, nervous about meeting my host family and hopeful that my one year of Spanish courses and watching television in Spanish would allow me to learn and thrive in this new country. The first time I walked into my new home, I was greeted by my host parents, five new siblings, extended family, as well as their dog, bird, and hamster. It was overwhelming but I have never felt so welcomed. I was instantly greeted with hugs and kisses from each member of my new family.Read full profile »

photo of Ana Portillo Ana Portillo —
MAJOR: Economics



When I first decided to study abroad in Chile, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Having spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Mexico, I assumed that living in Chile would be no different from my prior experiences in Latin America.  I was expecting to reacquire the high tolerance for spicy food that I had lost since coming to Stanford, to gain weight from eating tortillas with every meal, and even to be catcalled by locals on my way to school.  I quickly discovered that would not be the case.  In fact, Chile was different from anything I had ever encountered before.Read full profile »

Margaret Tankard — Autumn 2008-09
MAJOR: Psychology


ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Culture, social identity

I am standing in the sand looking out at La Portada, a natural stone archway just off the coast of Antofagasta, Chile. Behind me, cliffs rise up to the vast desert north of Santiago. As fellow students and I clamber along the beach, beginning to sweat in the heat, someone calls, “Hey, are those penguins?” Sure enough, a nearby rock in the middle of the water is covered with birds that look suspiciously like penguins. We later learn that this flock has migrated too far north and will soon be transported back to the cold south, so the birds won’t die in the desert.Read full profile »

photo of Arelys Villeda Arelys Villeda — Santiago, Winter 2008-09 & Madrid, Spring 2008-09
MAJOR: Sociology
MINOR: Urban Studies


ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Educational Policy

When I got back to the United States after traveling so much of the world, people would often ask me about my time in Santiago. Stanford students knew it as the Spanish student location for studying abroad. My Hispanic family thought it was a random place to visit among the twenty seven other countries in Latin America, and other friends found it extremely exotic. But to everyone I would say, “I can’t imagine a more underrated city.” I applied to study in Chile with no idea of what Santiago would be like. I heard it wasn’t tropical like other parts of Latin America, it wouldn’t be like my usual visits to Guatemala, and that Chileans would speak ridiculously fast Spanish. Everyone was right. Chile was everything and nothing like what I expected. Read full profile »

photo of Erin Dizon Erin Dizon — Spring 2007-08
MAJOR: Human Biology


ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Infectious Diseases and Virology
The classrooms in Santiago not only introduced me to the roots of South American independence and the history and culture of Chile, but made me realize the importance of learning about a subject while living in-country.Read full profile »
photo of Christina Guros Christina Guros — Santiago, Winter 2007-08 and Madrid, Spring 2007-08
MAJOR: International Relations
MINOR: Human Biology


My quarter in Santiago was the first time in my Stanford career in which I had less than 12 people in each of my classes. For this reason, I learned more in that quarter than in any prior. My favorite course was on Latin America’s role in the international political arena. The professor helped us to view Latin America from our temporary role as residents of the region, and challenged us to discover why certain socioeconomic and political problems persist there today.Read full profile »
photo of Jonathan Miller Jonathan Miller — Stanford Program in Santiago, Winter, 2006-07. Overseas Seminars, Energy and Development in the Brazilian Amazon, Rio de Janeiro & Manaus, Brazil, Autumn 2005.
MAJOR: Civil Engineering
MINOR: Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies
ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Construction, Real Estate, International Business

Before attending Stanford I had rarely traveled away from my hometown of Chicago, let alone outside of the country, so I was extremely excited to study abroad once I arrived at college.  My parents have still never left the comfort of the U.S., so the unique experiences I have had in these foreign environments have greatly influenced my life.

Read full profile »