The center, in my case in Santiago, manages the whole program. The CIEE in Maine only selects candidates. The center picks home families, is in touch with the university, takes care of all the paper work, organizes trips (including the one to Patagonia) and solve problems.
They actually do a lot of things for you, so if you are perspective student and you are worried that you mean not like your experience, they will really make it better. Let me give some examples.
Quite a lot of students, including myself, had to change home stay families. The center always finds you a new host family to make the home stay experience better because truth is that you spend a lot of time with them, so it is important to have a good relationship with them.
Secondly, they assisted you with any type of problem. In my case it was dealing with a phone robbery, not delivered package or just helping to get gluten free food. When my phone got stolen they helped me with the police and insurgence paper work. All students studying in Santiago have insurance, so I will get money for my phone and a doctor visit. The doctor visit was not related to the robbery, I had a flu. They do truly help and assist the students with any reasonable type of work.