Chilean experience enhances University education for international relations student

Arianne Rodriguez Saltron revels in her experience while on exchange in Chile.Arianne Rodriguez Saltron revels in her experience while on exchange in Chile.

The support she received both in preparing for her exchange and once she arrived in Chile made for a smooth experience, says Arianne Rodriguez Saltron. A student of international relations with a minor in Spanish, she spent a semester at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile, and calls it the best decision she ever made.

“Living in Chile definitely improved my Spanish fluency,” she says. “And the campus is in the heart of (the Chilean capital) Santiago, so there are always cultural events happening, many museums to visit and so many cool neighborhoods to discover.”

Rodriguez Saltron says she felt well-supported both by the UWindsor exchange office and her Chilean hosts.

“The exchange staff at both universities are helpful and attentive, making sure that you are not thrown in the dark and answering any questions you may have along the way,” she says.

Faculty were accommodating and her courses in history and comparative politics gave her a broader perspective on world affairs. She even had opportunities to travel through the region.

In short, says Rodriguez Saltron: “Living in Chile was amazing!”

The University of Windsor has joined the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) Learning Beyond Borders initiative to get more Canadian students to take advantage of learning experiences in other countries. Despite reports from the students on the transformational nature of the experience, only about 3 per cent of Canadian undergraduate university students opt for international exchange.

“Arianne’s experience reflects that of most our students who go on exchange,” says Ryan Flannagan, associate vice-president, student experience. “Spending time abroad contributes to their academic and career achievements and enhances their communication skills, self-awareness and adaptability.”

He says the University aims to increase exchange participation in its students by 30 per cent over the next two years.

Find more information on the national campaign to inspire learning abroad on the CBIE website.