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Study Abroad in Chile

LONG OVERDUE UPDATE

Hi everyone! Sorry for my lack of posts in the past few weeks. I have been really busy with school, being sick, and travelling, so I haven’t been as diligent with keeping my blog updated. So here are a few updates on life in Valpo and sneak peaks at my next few posts. TERREMOTO: I experienced my first earthquake in Chile today and it was terrifying for me, but everything ended fine. I was just mentally freaked out by it. At its origin the earthquake was a 7.1 and where […]

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COAST OF THE POETS TRIP

This past weekend was my first overnight excursion in Chile on a tour called “La Costa de los Poetas” and the translation is fairly straight-forward: Coast of the Poets. We left Friday morning to head to Isla Negra, the home of Pablo Neruda, arguably Chile’s most famous poet. Photos are not allowed within the house so, sadly, you’ll have to try to visualize it or google to see if anyone was brave enough to break the rules and post the results on the internet. His home is now preserved as a […]

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Everywhere is Having an Environmental Crisis

The landscape in Chile leaves me in awe time and time again. With the coast on one side and Andes on the other, Chile is a picturesque country. However, its land is not immune to being reshaped and extorted for natural resources. During my cultural geography course last night, my professor was discussing environmental issues in Chile. The first example we talked about was a mine in southern Chile, the Pascua-Lama, that is contaminating the glacier water reserves. The mine was the first bi-national open mine in the world and […]

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Month #1 of Chile

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NOT JUST HERE FOR THE EMPANADAS (I GO TO SCHOOL TOO)

Despite what my blog posts and Instagram pictures show, I’m not just in Chile for hiking, sightseeing, and eating. My main purpose for travelling to Chile is to improve my ability to communicate in Spanish and one of the ways I am doing this is by attending classes at La Pontificia Catolica Universidad de Valparaíso (PCUV) three days a week.  Through my program, I was able to enroll directly in classes at La Catolica, in the international studies program, or in classes taught exclusively for CIEE (the program I am […]

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LA CAMPANA HIKE

My legs really hate me today, but yesterday was so worth it. I left my house at seven a.m. to meet six other girls from my program in Valparaíso to take a train and a bus to La Campana National Park. The park is about 25 miles from the coast, but the landscape changed dramatically once we left the city. In Valparaíso and Viña del Mar the geography is flat near the beaches and then extreme hills a mile or so inland. However, in the countryside there are more mountains than […]

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The Arrival, The Family, and The Market

I’m three days into this adventure and already I have some things I want to share. I took off from Chicago on Wednesday and landed in Miami, where the plane to Santiago was delayed by over two hours. Eventually I arrived in Chile and met up with the CIEE group. From the airport thirty five of us took a bus to Valparaíso on the coast of the country. From the get go, the program has kept us busy with activities to better acquaint us with our new country. I met […]

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Los Estados Unidos A Chile

I’ve sat patiently waiting for this day to come, the day a plane will take me from the familiar comforts of my homeland to Valparaíso, Chile. Since I left Minnesota last semester, I’ve been counting down the days until I would set foot in Chile. Finally, the countdown is over and I am terrified/ecstatic. The next four and a half months will be scary and full of new adventures, but I can not wait to experience them. While in Chile I will be attending La Pontificia Catolica Universidad de Valparaíso. I’ll […]

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Giving Thanks for Travel, Friends, and New Experiences

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home, of course this holiday is not celebrated in Chile, but I wanted to take this day to reflect on some of my journeys the past few weeks and my thoughts about my final weeks abroad. Since my last post I have traveled to San Pedro in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, I have finished all of my classes, and my best friend from home came to visit me. The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world and one of the most […]

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Travel, Independence, and a Natural Disaster

These past few weeks have been some of the best so far. Following my last post, I had the trip of a lifetime to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, and also got to experience one of the biggest parties of the year; Independence Day. I am becoming more and more comfortable in this beautiful place and I am continuing to enjoy each and every minute, as this journey is already half way over. ​On September 11, a group of 6 girls including myself, set off for an amazing adventure to […]

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Vive, Ríe, Ama, Chile

Here we are, exactly 6 weeks into my study abroad journey. I have decided that I am going to try to write every 3 weeks, that way I will have enough to say that is hopefully exciting but not so much that you will all be bored. When I write I try to have a few major themes in mind, which I will elaborate on, so this post is going to focus on adventure, anxiety, communication, and spring! These past 3 weeks have been full of adventure and exploration. A […]

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Arriving in Chile

After 3 days of treacherous rain, and minimal activity, it’s a perfect time to reflect on my first few weeks abroad. The first 20 days of my adventures abroad have been amazing and have revolved around a few different things; friendly Chilean people, new friends, public transportation, bread, and rain! Before I left for Vina Del Mar, Chile I was warned of the many creepy, cat calling, “gringo” preying people that I would encounter on a daily basis and I was told how to handle those situations, but to my surprise […]

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Extranando mi país: The Not So Easy Aspects of Being Abroad

As I mentioned in my last post, seeing all the families together during Fiestas Patrias caused a bout of homesickness. And it still isn’t quite over. It’s been 2 months since I arrived in Chile, and the honeymoon stage is coming to end. We’re now in the daily grind of school and all the initial excitement is starting to wear off. Please keep in mind throughout this entire post that I am extremely and eternally grateful for this opportunity to be abroad, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. […]

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Fiestas Patrias

Happy belated birthday Chile! For those of you who don’t know, Chile’s Independence Day was September 18th. Instead of a measly day off and some lame fireworks like in the U.S., however, Independence Day turns into a week of celebrations. There are asados (BBQ) literally every three houses. People cram into fondas (I’m still not entirely sure of the best way to translate this..they’re basically like state fairs in various places where various vendors set up shop and people eat outrageous amounts of food). If you’re not drinking terremotos (a […]

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And so it begins.

Over the course of my stay here, I have come to realize my host mom very much believes in psychics and their associated practices. One night, she asked her pendulum if I was going to find a boyfriend over the next few months. The affirmative response then prompted Luci to look through her entire contact list for friends who have younger, single sons. Not only did she look, but she called a couple of said friends to inform them I am in search of Chilean friends. Last night, sitting in […]

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