There are muchas diferencias (many differences) in Chile compared to the United States. It has been amazing taking in all of the differences and noticing some similarities too. Before leaving for Chile, every member of our class was assigned a group role on our trip. I was chosen to be the Ambassador. My job entails helping my classmates be aware of their cultural presence in Chile. I try to help everyone be the best representative of our culture, country, and school while we are here in Santiago. Any Chilean cultural differences that I have found and researched, with the help of our professoras, have been shared with the group so that we can be more aware of the customs and become more acclimated to the change.
One very large difference that I have noticed here is everyone is able to speak or understand English! Language is a very large part of a country’s culture. Although that is a huge help to me because I speak very little Spanish, that is not something you see in the United States. Every person I have talked to, such as a waiter, a pharmacist, a clerk at the grocery store, or the bus driver, have been able to understand what I am saying and sometimes respond back in English to help me. In the United States there are foreign languages present, in fact a large number of different languages are present in Buffalo alone, but people who do not speak English as their first language are expected to assimilate and learn fast. For the most part, the States’ culture is monolingual, and we are one of the only countries, if not the only country that is like that.