Santiago - Weeks 1 and 2

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Amanda Mohamed
December 30, 2023

After an amazing week-long trip in Peru trying some of the best food I have eaten in South America (and probably in my life) it was time to go to Santiago, Chile to complete the second half of my Emerging Economies program. After spending most of the day traveling, we landed in Santiago and IES Abroad organized an airport transfer for us to our homestays. I was really excited at this point because funny enough one of my friends from my university at home lived with the host family I was going to live with in Chile! He had amazing things to say and I was really excited to live in a house in the suburbs rather than a tiny apartment. 

After arriving at my homestay, I could already see why my friend liked his time there so much. My host family, which consisted of a mother, father, and two brothers, were really nice and our dinner was amazing that night, leaving a great first impression of Chile!

We arrived in Santiago on Saturday and had Sunday off to rest and do whatever we needed to do before orientation, so my roommate and I went to get Chinese food and explore our neighborhood. The rest of the day we spent resting, unpacking, and getting our things together for our first day of IES Abroad orientation. At IES Abroad orientation in Chile, we met the staff, had breakfast, and went over a lot of similar things that we did during the IES Abroad orientation in Buenos Aires. They gave us our metro cards, our sim cards, and our class schedules and we spent some time bonding with each other and learning some history about Chile. Overall, I really enjoyed the orientation here as it felt comprehensive.

My class schedule consists of a continuation to my Spanish class from Argentina, a continuation to the Emerging Economies core class that we all have to take about the Argentine and Chilean economy and emerging economies in general, a history class, and a business and sustainability class. I am taking more classes here than I did in Argentina, but overall I am feeling good about the workload. At the same time, however, I am in the process of applying to graduate schools for my master of higher education, therefore I have the extra stress of applying to internships and graduate programs. I know everything will work out, but it is quite stressful to apply to these things in the U.S. let alone abroad. 

I am looking forward to exploring more of Santiago in the upcoming weeks. Additionally, I have a trip planned to San Pedro de Atacama which is the world's most arid desert. I also have a trip planned to visit Paraguay and the waterfalls that stretch through Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil with my Paraguayan friend who studied abroad in the U.S. I will not be traveling as much while I am in Chile, but nevertheless, I am still looking forward to the experience in Chile!

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