So this is what it feels like to be a foreign exchange student..
Yesterday I had my first real day of meeting the other college students here at Alberto Hurtado! My university is very different than Loyola for a lot of reasons, first off there is actually an equal ratio of sexes, if not even more boys than girls.. my life feels more like it is at an equilibrium that way! My school is also a lot smaller than Loyola, it almost feels like high school honestly, how the classes are smaller, everyone here is more laid back similar to high school oh and just overall all the students and teachers and people as a whole are shorter and look younger. It is nice because I feel like finally I am tall or at an average height! My friends and family are always telling me that I look really Chilean too!
I really do have so so so much more respect for foreign exchange students! I am only here for 6 months, I don’t know how all of the students that are at loyola for 4 years do it..it is such a change and you feel so strange and out of place, but I guess that feeling is only something that can help you grow as a person.
So, yesterday was freshman and exchange student orientation, and lets just say I really did feel like I was a freshman all over again. It was over 100 degrees yesterday, I literally felt like I might pass out at some moments. We ended up in a huge tent outside having to listen to speeches from the president of the school, student leaders, professors, etc.. it was quite boring honestly but really good practice for my spanish. Orientation started at 8:30 yesterday but I accidentally ended up sleeping in until 8, and the school is about 45 minutes away from my house on the Metro, but when I woke up and my Chilean mom told me don’t worry you will be right on time for Chileans, I was a little less worried although I still did act like I was in Chicago and ended up half sprinting and half power walking to the metro while my water bottle in my backpack broke and ended up pouring water all down my back..embarrassing start to my day.
The metro was SO JAM PACKED with people!!! I literally had to push and squeeze my way in and hold my arms really close to my chest so I could fit inside the doors while they were closing, guess that is something I will have to get used to! The metro was just mostly filled with lots of businessman in suits going downtown to work, woman going to work and lots and lots of college and high school students. I only ended up being 2o minutes late to school, and the majority of the students were just showing up! Typical me I got lost in the building and couldn’t find the journalism class room but ended up outside of the Political Science room and just went in since that is my double major too. Most of the day I was just stared at and pretty sure a lot of people were talking about me in spanish but I would never know..I did make a really good friend who is also a foreign exchange student from Guadalajara, Mexico. Her spanish is much easier to understand and she even told me that she had trouble understanding the chilean spanish because of how fast they speak! I did also make a few chilean friends who really want to learn english! They agreed to help me with my spanish and I’ll help them with their English- win win!
Today I was finally able to catch up on sleep a little bit, and I woke up to my chilean mom knocking on my door saying that she had a gift for me! A big pink package from my family back in the states!!! The best thing that I could ever imagine!!! It was filled with all my favorite things, dark chocolate, clif bars, sundresses and skirts, and of course a card from my mom Little things like that really make me realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing family that will always be there for me, no matter if I’m literally on the opposite side of the world, down the street, or in Chicago.
Today is my host brothers birthday, he is turning 30 years old, but of course he looks like he is 20. He is so nice and I just met him the other day but he teaches palates and Tai-Chi and invited me to go to one of his classes soon, so I can’t wait for that! Tonight my mom is going to make a Torta or Birthday cake and we will have a little get together at the house! My host sister has also been helping me find a used bike on the chilean E-bay called Mercado Libre, we found a really good one that costs about 40 pesos or 80 U.S dollars and tomorrow night we are going to pick it up!! I can’t wait to get my hands on the bike and start to explore the city
Well, today I just plan on taking it easy, relaxing and maybe going to the university today to meet up with some friends!
I uploaded a picture of us in Torres del Paine, and I’m sure there will be more to come, because the pictures are so amazing and breathe taking!
Besos y Abrezos!
“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammad