Winter break in the summer? A guide to your vacation time in Santiago

Headshot of Leah Henevald on a mountain
Leah Heneveld
August 6, 2023
A stained glass ceiling with a wooden fish sculpture hanging from it

During my 2 months abroad in Chile, I interned at a school assisting in English classes and performing social work duties.  What I didn’t realize going in was that about halfway through my program all schools would be on winter break for 2.5 weeks.  If you’re in a similar position to where I was, here’s a guide to some of my favorite things I did during my time off, as well as some tips to transition smoothly from work to vacation and back again :)

During my winter break, I stayed in Santiago and took advantage of the opportunity to go exploring the city.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I LOVE lists, so I prepared one of all the places I wanted to see before I left Chile.  Here are a few of the highlights from that list, in no particular order.

  • Parque Bicentenario in Vitacura
  • Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos
  • Barrio Italia
  • Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral
  • Museo Solidaridad Salvador Allende

As we have all certainly gathered by now, I’m a big planner.  So, suddenly having a 2.5-week break come up caused a bit of ungraceful floundering on my part as I struggled to adjust to a completely different daily routine.  Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely loved sleeping in & seeing the city, but I also missed the structure that my daily work provided, as well as having a way to fill my days that felt more meaningful.  One thing I did that I found to be helpful with this transition was continuing to plan out my days during vacation, so I kept some semblance of a daily routine even without the stricter start and end times of my work schedule.  Also, I tried to use winter break as a chance to relax and refuel, as well as learn to appreciate the value of free time as I prepared to return to a busy last few weeks abroad.

Headshot of Leah Henevald on a mountain

Leah Heneveld

I speak four languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, and Pashto), and I LOVE holidays, especially Christmas. I also love watching new shows, specifically fun reality shows like the Great British Bake-Off and Queer Eye.

2023 Summer 1
Home University:
Indiana University
Zeeland, MI
International Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
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