- Maybe it was after flicking through yet another friend’s study abroad pictures in Europe – grinning in scarves in front of Big Ben, pretend-sustaining the weight of the Leaning Tower or toasting glasses of sangria – when you decided to seek out an alternate continent. With its breathtaking colonial cities contrasting natural beauty in all corners, South America offers a diverse palate of countries to choose from for an abroad experience.
- While South America lacks the jet-setting ease and affordability of Europe, each country has incredible landscapes and cultures to explore. You will eat, drink, dance, talk, listen, learn and spend hours on uncomfortable buses with questionable safety standards. “Gringo” foreigners are still enough of a novelty in many corners of the continent to merit you overwhelming kindness and generosity from locals.
- Compared to other study abroad destinations, many South American countries will be kind to your wallet. Food and transportation are often very cheap. Drinking at corner tiendas will be your weekend go-to once you learn the higher price of popular bars and discotecas. You will save money studying in smaller cities – Mendoza versus Buenos Aires or Valparaiso over Santiago. Similarly, countries like Bolivia and Ecuador have lower living costs than Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. No matter where you find yourself based, it’s recommended to fall into a frugal day-to-day lifestyle and splurge on weekend trips or vacations. Eating lentils all week is absolutely worth the money you can spend on a boat trip in the Amazon, scuba diving or an Andean climbing adventure.
- The countries of South America offer unique and fulfilling study abroad experiences full of legitimate adventures and academic experiences that truly come to life outside the classroom. You will be exposed to diverse walks of life – different cultures, classes, social groups, religions and family units that will enhance and shape your view of the world at large. The continent offers every kind of experience you can imagine, from cosmopolitan city life to rural villages to rainforest immersion – and there is ample opportunity to try them all during your time abroad.