FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please comment on the quality of the high school education and
describe how the high school would vary from a typical US public high school.
The schools we work with are private or semi-private, which allow for more opportunities for Chilean and international students. Our schools are consistently listed as the top schools of the region and some are among the best in the country. We know many Chilean students who have graduated from these schools and have gone on to study to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, etc.
Do students go to school five days a week?
Yes, Chilean Adventures students are expected to abide by the same schedule as Chilean students. During holidays or planned adventures, we may take a student out of the classroom and into experiential learning environments.
On an average of two weekends per month, students participate in experiential education and outdoor leadership activities in the mountains or on the coast.
What does an average day look like for Chilean Adventures students?
On Monday through Friday, the school days begin at 8 am and end around 4:15 pm. Some of the upper grade students have Wednesday and Friday afternoons off to pursue team sports, while Chilean seniors study for the PSU (SAT equivalent). All students in Chile wear uniforms. Depending on the length of stay, international students are also expected to wear uniforms.
What are the ages of students at these schools?
Many schools have students with ages that range from Play Group and Kindergarten through senior class. Chileans are very family oriented and support their schools which add to the quality of education.
How do we get high school credits to transfer?
During the application process, we ask students to make initial contact with school counselors and administrators. Once lines of communication are established, Chilean Adventures will facilitate the process by speaking directly with school officials. It is important that validation of credits is confirmed before the start of the program.
Will the classes be in Spanish?
We try to match schools and families with students` Spanish abilities and interests. Most schools have strong English programs so students will always be able to ask questions and communicate. Each school atmosphere will vary but most classes will be in Spanish. As part of the Chilean Adventures package, we provide Spanish classes twice a week to assist in students´ learning.
What are your efforts to keep the students safe? kayaking
risks, social interaction, political upheaval, street crime, etc.
Active curriculum such as kayaking, hiking, etc. . In the mountains and on the water, our efforts begin with educating our students in safety. Our policy of preventing dangerous situations before they become an issue has been a successful approach. Our ratio never exceeds 3 beginning students to 1 instructor.
Chile . We are fortunate to be located in a very safe town. We have established a positive working relationship with a supportive and educated environment within Curico. We encourage our students to contact us in the event they have any concerns. We are involved in the educational community in Curico and are available 24 hours a day.
Chile is very secure economically and politically.
Considering the above, we have not had any security problems with any of our students since 1994 when I first arrived in Chile . I feel as safe in Chile as in the United States .
What is the drinking policy?
The drinking age in Chile is 18. This means that some students may have access to alcohol that they previously were not exposed to in the States. We found that the best approach to this issue is education and to speak openly about alcohol as a cultural difference. We do not put unrealistic rules on our students. They are in a different culture and will need to act responsibly. Students, who show they can not act responsibly, put themselves and others at risk and will be sent home without refund.
How do you select the host homes for student home stays? Are they new
homes each year or repeats?
With the assistance of the school directors, we match our students with the most compatible available families. Although we strive to find new families each time, some are repeat families. This reflects the positive experiences our programs have provided for our students and host families.
We almost always match students with Chilean home stay “brothers” and “sisters” of the same gender and same age group. This facilitates the initial meeting process as well as helps the home stay family entertain their exchange “sons” or “daughters”.
How many students a year are in your high school programs?
The number of international students in our programs over the years has varied, from 1 student in a semester to as many as 14 students in group programs. Semester programs have fewer students which allow us to facilitate each individual’s needs. When relevant, we do supplement these programs by accepting Chilean students to join our programs. This adds more multicultural, language, and experiential learning opportunities.
What is your track record with program safety?
Excellent! We are proud of our safety record.
What is the process if there is not a good fit between the host family
In many cases, the reason for a poor fit is the result of cultural differences. These issues usually can be solved through communications with the individual student and the host family. Other times it is obvious that a more drastic approach needs to be taken and the student is transferred to another home. Both options have been successful. Either way, we believe that communication be open between student and family, as well as with our facilitators and coordinators.
Are the host families reimbursed or are they volunteers?
Host families are volunteers without pay. In the past, Chilean Adventures has supplied allowances to families to assist them with the inclusion of home stay students during family activities and trips.
How much spending money is expected.
We recommend that students have $300 US dollars per month to spend on snacks, personal supplies, an occasional meal, and extra activities. The best way to provide this money is through a bank account established in the States which is easily accessed by debit/ATM card here in Chile.
Any other thoughts you want to share?
I would like to let you know that we are a small operation and care for each student individually. We are educators who love what we do and where we are doing it.
If your student’s goals are to be adventurous, to learn Spanish and experience the Chilean culture, we are confident that Chilean Adventures is by far the best, safest and most exciting experience.
* Prices include airport transfers in Chile, home stay host family, supervision by Chilean Adventures coordinator, 24 hour emergency assistance, enrollment in Chilean high school, student visa facilitation upon arrival, welcome and orientations to Curicó, Chile.
** Prices do not include airfare, medical insurance, initial U$ 100 reciprocity fee upon arrival to Chile , or personal expenses. We can assist in validation of courses but credit must be approved by students´ schools in his or her home country. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org