On thoughts for the road

Avery Haugen
July 13, 2016

Seven weeks ago we landed in this foreign country as strangers. Today, we depart as dear friends. 

How incredible that 40 people from across the country can come together, united by this unique experience that threw us into new situations and lifestyles. To each and every one of my fellow peers, I extend the biggest thank you I can muster. For challenging me, guiding me, supporting me, and bringing me lots of joy and laughter, you 39 other students are the reason these seven weeks have been so impactful. Of course I did a lot of work on my own, spent many mornings alone on the metro, and time alone with my host family. However, for the weekend trips, group projects, classes, and organized gatherings… YOU ALL ROCK.

I have never been so profoundly overwhelmed by the ease with which such a large group of people all connected, I find it is rare that 40 people can get along as well as we did. We came from different walks of life, states, universities, backgrounds, and majors, but the diversity everyone brought to the group only made it richer. If only there was a way we could all stay without missing out on the continuation of our lives at home. Unfortunately, another academic year is quickly approaching and we have only a few weeks of true summer left before we will return to our respective campuses.

Being said, here are my last words to all of the people I have come to know and love here: good luck. Good luck to each person who braved the continental barrier that separates our home country from Chile. Good luck to each person who gave 7 weeks of their summer to be here, learning, growing, and living. Good luck to each person who will soon be making huge strides in their respective fields to change the world, or rather re-define it in the best ways. I see bright futures ahead of all of us, not just because we had the motivation and drive to come to Santiago and be present in this new world but because the people I met are in fact incredible. We are loud, rambunctious, fun, kind-hearted, studious, eager, knowledgable, and inter-culturally aware (you know who I’m talking about here). We stand as tomorrow’s doctors and nurses, leaving our most recent adventure in the quest to pursue our medical careers. I don’t see us as just another group to leave their study abroad program, though. I see us as world changers, and I ask you not to forget that.

A great and powerful blessing has been bestowed upon us, one of understanding and growth. A very small number are afforded the experience of living abroad and I, for one, will not take that for granted. All I hope is that we don’t forget our time spent here and what exactly it is we learned, and I don’t mean the medical vocabulary we had to memorize…

Take these memories and run with them. Let them push you closer towards your goals and be an ever constant reminder of what you achieved and how cool you are. No, really. It’s pretty cool if you ask me that we all managed nearly 2 months in one of the biggest cities in South America. Go us, right?! But as I said, today we depart as dear friends and so my time as come to say goodbye. I wish you all good fortune, good food, and good times back home; may you bring Chile back with you in spirit. 


Cheers, Salud, and With Love,


Avery Haugen

<p>Hi everyone! Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime with me in Santiago, Chile! I am a biochemistry and Spanish double major from Dallas, Texas who loves horseback riding and playing polo. I also love plane rides, spending time outside, cooking (or at least attempting to), reading, trying new teas, petting animals, and watching old movies. I have traveled a lot in Spanish-speaking countries and pretty much nowhere else, currently working on a travel bucket list to at least 3 more continents.</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home University:
Texas Christian University
Biological Chemistry
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