The GoGlobal Blog

Time to (Santia)go to school

Time to (Santia)go to school

After an entire month of traversing essentially the entirety of Chile, I was definitely ready to get back into the routine of being a student. However, to take a page from The Wizard of Oz’s book, “we’re not at Loyola anymore.” School in Chile, and more specifically at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, is kind of wild. You sign up for a bunch of classes and then drop the ones you don’t want. Professors and students show up 5-20 minutes late to each class (Chilean time is too real). Students cook food and sell it on the very small, very crowded campus. The wifi will inevitably not work.  It is a learning experience and takes some patience, but vale la pena because you also learn cool things and meet interesting people.

It certainly hasn’t been easy. Some professors are hard to understand, while others are extremely conscientious of the intercambio students and will speak slowly and repeat things often. We don’t have access to the UAH equivalent of Sakai yet, which has been a blessing in disguise, as it forces us to make friends with the other students in our classes. The students here are generally extremely friendly and really willing to help us (one even called out to me when we passed each other on the steps of the metro!). I’ve also been able to meet other international students from all over – Germany, Belgium, France, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil.

Part of the program at UAH is a class called Pobreza y Desarrollo, which is a class that focuses on the issues facing Latin America from a social, political, and theological perspective.  It also involves volunteering at an organization for four hours each week, immersing the students in parts of Santiago that are less developed than the ones in which we live and study.  So starting tomorrow, I will be heading out of my little Santiago bubble and beginning to work at my service site, where I will be hanging out with kids and teens. Vamos a ver, I’m super excited to start and encounter a new community.

While life has certainly slowed down some since the traveling has stopped, it has been anything but boring. What have I been up to, you might ask? Let me fill you in:

  • Hiking Cerro Manquehito and admiring my beautiful city from above
  • Planning a surprise party for a dear friend with the help of her sneaky host mom
  • Exploring the exhibits of Museo Nacional de Las Bellas Artes
  • Baking Irish soda bread with my friends and host sister to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
  • Finding real coffee in a country that seems to only have two extremes: instant and espresso
  • Eating a Santiago delicacy: a strawberry fields waffle from Buffalo Waffles (imagine this: a waffle filled with nutella, dulce de leche, strawberries, bananas, and topped with whipped cream…heaven)

While I will be back on the road again this weekend traveling with my parents, it’s nice to be growing some deeper roots in Santiago. Stay tuned to hear more about my many adventures to come!

Chao, ¡nos vemos!

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