Greetings from the Atlanta, Georgia airport! I am currently in route to Santiago! I have successfully made it to Atlanta from Chicago O’Hare. I have never flown by myself before so this was definitely an adventure. Before arriving to the airport, I was extremely anxious because one, I haven’t flown by myself and two, I am going to a foreign country where I really don’t know what to expect and that is honestly a little crazy. I did, however, email my host mom to introduce myself and say that I’m coming and she emailed back and said that she and her family are excited to meet me and then she sent a picture of my host brother and sister. I definitely felt a lot better knowing that someone in Santiago is excited for me to come and is awaiting my arrival. It’s nice to feel welcomed!
I am definitely looking forward to my study abroad and internship experience a lot, despite the nerves and the fear of the unknown. I keep telling myself that although I am nervous, I felt the same way when I went to Indiana University in Bloomington. Now, I consider IU to be my home (and my Chicago home is my “homeland” or where my family lives.) Who knows, will Santiago become my new home?
I am very optimistic for this experience and the opportunities I’m going to have in Santiago. I can’t wait to try the food and really experience Santiago and learn from my new family and new friends from Chile and the US. I’m a picky(ish) eater and so I’m definitely going to have to push my limits and try some new things.
Additionally, I am excited to start working at ASEXMA. ASEXMA is a union sort of organization that helps exporters and merchants in Chile. I am excited to be working with their communication team and practice my writing, photography, and video skills.
I am also looking forward to really practicing Spanish. Throughout my years of Spanish education, English was always a crutch. If we didn’t know how to say a specific vocabulary word, we would use Spanglish or completely switch over to English. So, I haven’t really had a full emersion process. I can usually understand when people are speaking to me in Spanish and I can read Spanish well, but speaking is a completely different story. It is going to be a challenge for me to push myself to speak in Spanish but I’m ready for it. My aunt a long time ago told me to “SPEAK” when I was ordering food at a restaurant and so, I’m going to keep that memory in mind while in Chile.
Since I have a few more minutes (actually like two hours until the plane leaves), I am now going to explore the F concourse for some food before I’m on a plane for a very long time!
I look forward to keeping you updated on my trip in Santiago!
Goals for my trip
- Experience Santiago like Chileans
- Utilize my Chilean host family to show me around and teach me about Chilean culture
- Try new things (especially food)
- Feel more comfortable speaking Spanish