Chile — Spring 16

Naomi Martínez
Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication (Spanish) and Health Administration and Policy




I chose to study abroad in Chile because I knew that I wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America, and I was drawn to Chile because of its diverse geography and rich culture. What other country in the world has a desert in the North, mountains and an ocean to the West, and volcanoes and glaciers in the South? I also chose to go to Chile because two of the classes that I am taking, Modern History of Chile and 20th Century Chilean Poetry, will transfer back and count towards my Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication major.

The educational system in Chile is very different than back home. We are expected to stay on top of the readings for each class, and each class usually only has one exam or a few essays that are graded throughout the semester. It has been challenging taking four classes in Spanish, especially with local Chilean students, but also extremely rewarding as I am definitely improving in my Spanish reading, writing, and oral skills.I would say that I am learning just as much as I am in my classes, and if not more, by simply living in Chile everyday. From communicating with locals everyday, to having to learn Chilean Spanish, to navigating the educational system, living abroad has forced me to advocate for myself and put myself in situations that are uncomfortable at first that I wouldn’t normally go through at home. One of the first things I learned in Chile on my first day of classes is that it is very typical in Chile for teachers to not show up to class the first day without any kind of warning! During the first week of classes, my classes also kept switching times and days without any notice, which was extremely frustrating as I kept having to rework and rearrange my schedule. Living and studying in Chile has taught me the art of patience and flexibility, and how to adapt to situations when they turn out differently than you expected.