It’s official! I am back at home in Buffalo and I am so happy to be back. I missed the United States and I have a greater appreciation for my country. When I look around, everything seems so beautiful. When I see the American flag on a flagpole, I admire it. Chile was a life changing experience and I will never forget it. It changed my life because it showed me how big this world. There are people all over the world living their day to day lives just like the way we do but they may be in different climates and have different ways of life and cultures. People from all over the world look and speak differently but at the end of the day, we are all the same. All of us have the same wants and needs. Learning that people are more alike than different is the biggest take away from Chile. When I remember the country, I remember the places, the streets, the people and the craziest part is that it is all still there! Chile feels likes something of the past but in actuality, Chile didn’t disappear. The places, the people, everything is still happening but I am no longer there. Studying abroad is an amazing experience that one can only get once in their lifetime. It is different from vacationing because studying abroad gives a person the ability to live with a host family, learn in a school like the Spanish school ECELA, and make friends with the Chilean people. When a person travels, they take a piece of each country with them. The experiences, the culture, become a small part of you. My next journey is Italy in 2020 and I will take a part of that country with me too. I will never forget my Chile experience. It showed me what it is like to travel outside of the USA. I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect before traveling to Chile. I didn’t know what studying abroad experience was like and now I am not nervous at all about Italy. I remember stepping off of the plane from Peru and walking out into the Chile airport. I remember waiting in the Panama City airport for our flight home. It all feels like it wasn’t that long ago. I still can’t believe I saw a part of the world that I never would have seen without IPDS. I cannot believe I got so lucky. Thank you Buffalo State.
Leaving our apartment felt like the scene when the Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey, Ross, and Rachel move out of the Friends apartment because Kelly, Dr. Schmidt, and I's apartment was apartment where everyone would hangout. When we picked our bags and put them near the door, it felt emotional. We had to take a group picture to capture the moment!
I am sitting in my bed wrapped in blankets listening to the live band playing in the bustling city below me. It is a Spanish band so I recognize the sound of the drums, guitar, and bass, but i don't know the words! I love that this band is playing right below my apartment because it feels like home. Buffalo and the USA in general has live music at every corner on a Saturday night. I want to head down there and dance like I am from Buffalo! I am reflecting on last night and I knew I had to write about it in the blog so I could look back on it whenever I wanted to be reminded of how much happiness my Chile trip brought me. At around 4 p.m yesterday, we had a meeting with the previous delegations of Chile cohorts. In other words, the Chileans students who study abroad in Buffalo in the previous years such as 2015, 2017, and most recently, 2019 came to meet with our group of Buffalo State students who came to Chile this year (Us!). There was a student named Claudio who studied abroad in Buffalo in 2015. We have a pen pal relationship with the Chilean students who come to Buffalo. For example, my pen pals were Paul and Valentina. We exchanged messages with each other before they came to Buffalo and exchanged Instagrams, Facebooks, etc. When the Chileans finally came to Buffalo, we took them out to places like Anchor Bar, Niagara Falls, the outlet mall, and Mighty Taco. Kelly’s pen pal was Ben and now they are dating. They met through being pen pals. Claudio became such good friends with his pen pal in 2015 that she invited him back to Buffalo for her wedding! The Buffalo exchange is in February so all Chileans come to Buffalo during Buffalo’s winter. Claudio was fortunate to attend the wedding during the summer time and he loved it! He loves Buffalo and especially loves it during the summer time. His pen pals wedding was Buffalo Bills themed. He still had the videos of the wedding on his phone and showed us all of the Buffalo culture the wedding had to offer. It is amazing that Claudio was shown such a common love that all Buffalo people share and an important part of our culture. All of us in the Buffalo Chile group became friends with the people Chileans who came to Buffalo even if they were not our pen pals. The exchange between the Chileans who came to Buffalo this year and the Buffaloians who came to Chile this year became very close. It is incredible that we live in different countries yet we are such good friends with such different cultural backgrounds.
What made last night so special was that many Chileans from this years Buffalo exchange, so our friends, came to hang out with us and saw us again! It was amazing to see them in their country showing us around when it was the exact opposite in February. The pen pal relationship is one of the most rewarding and unique friendships you can have. You really look out for each other. You look out for each other because when your Chilean exchange group is in your country (USA), you want them to have the best time possible and to be safe because they do not know they way around and they are from a completely different country so they may be experiencing culture differences. In Chile, I have experienced cultural differences. The greeting and goodbye here are different from in the United States. In Chile, people greet their friends by hugging them and touching cheeks. When people touch each other with their cheeks, they make a kiss noise, like kissing each other on the cheeks without actually doing it. All Chileans do this. It feels very intimate to me. In the States, we wave hello or hug if you are pretty close with the person. When I see people I know in Chile, my first reaction is to wave at them when they walk into a room. It is a cultural difference to be mindful of because a person might seem unfriendly for not hugging on kissing someone on the cheek but it just because they have a different greeting in their country. When we are in Chile, our Chilean friends who came to Buffalo walk us home, take us out, and are there for us whenever we need anything. They make Chile feel like home and it makes me feel safe. I really appreciate them and I want to invite them to my wedding like how Claudio was invited to the wedding of his 2015 pen pal from Buffalo!
Today, we went to the famous poet Pablo Neruda’s house. Pablo Neruda won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his literary works. He was also an important political figure for his time. I was excited to see his house and what it was about because I learned about Pablo Neruda from my 10th grade English class. We read one of his poems for the poetry unit. Also, in my Children’s Literature class, we read a book about the life of Pablo Neruda. It was about his childhood and how he became the famous writer that he is. His home was in front of the beach. It was a million dollar view. Spanish is the primary language here so for our tour, we used cell phone like devices to put up to our ears to listen to a guided tour. It was like having a tour guide attached to your ear. My favorite part of the day was going to the beach and climbing a giant rock. I have never gone rock climbing before and it was SO MUCH FUN. The group walked along a sandy trail that lead to the huge rock in the picture. I saw the students from Ecela ahead of me on the giant rock. I knew that I wanted to do that no matter what. We walked farther and I asked Krista if she wanted to go with me. Rock climbing gives people a huge sense of accomplishment because you can see the top and you if you keep climbing, you will reach the destination and look at the view. Let me tell you, the view today was out of the world. We made our way to the top and looked at the view. I saw people playing on the beach and people sitting on the rock below me that was sitting in the ocean. I loved every minute of it. I felt like I was in heaven because the view was so beautiful and I was up so high looking at the people.
Chile has truly changed my life. The Buffalo and Chile exchange program is one of the best things that had ever happened to me because I have made friendships that who I hold dear to me, I’ve seen a different culture and seeing a different culture shows you that people from different parts of the world have thoughts and beliefs that are not the same as ours. There is so much to learn from having a friend from a different part of the world. They are a person who grew up with a totally different life than you did. It is crazy that I have friends who are so different from me and who grew up VERY far away from me. I am livin’ la vida loca.
Today, our friend Valentina who came to Buffalo to study abroad in February 2019 and was my pen pal hosted a party for us in her home! When the Chileans were in Buffalo, we created a Super Bowl Sunday party for them and had wings and pizza. Valentina, her mother, and two sisters cooked us a plethora of classic Chilean dishes that we’ve tried out all over Santiago and have grown to know and love! It was all home cooked and we sat, ate, and drank like Chileans!
It feels amazing to lay in bed and relax after a day of adventure. My feet are snuggled against the soft blankets. The past two days have been full of education. My first placement took place at Colegio República de Siria, an elementary school in Chile. The school is built like a motel, as in the classrooms are built on the inside but when you walk outside of the classroom, you are outside. Carmen and I stopped for Middle Eastern food before heading over to the subway to meet Benjamin. He was taking us to our placement to show us what teaching in Santiago is all about. The food was delicious and the waitress did not speak english so Carmen and I paired up to determine how to ask the waitress we wanted the food to go and that we wanted to pay for it right away. The waitress was able to pick up on what we wanted by us using hand gestures and speaking slowly. Carmen wanted to tell the waitress that the money we left was a tip and I said, “Propina!” and she smiled and said “Muchas gracias!” Dr. Schmidt, Carmen, and I jumped on the subway and headed to Benjamin’s school. Ben is an English teacher. English teachers are foreign language teachers here in Chile because the common language in Spanish. Being an English teacher in Chile is like being a Spanish teacher in the USA. Ben’s placement was in first grade. I was looking forward to working in a first grade room because my favorite grade is first grade! The classroom had a projector and the alphabet lined the top of the walls. It had about thirty students. Chilean schools have many more students than in the USA. The rooms can have about 45 students. The children were VERY cute. I went over to a group of girls and they were learning things such as the colors, how to say their name, and the date in English. I wrote sentences in Spanish to them on the white board and I spoke to them in Spanish. I was there to help them learn English but at the same time, they were helping me to learn English! The end of the year project for the first graders was to learn how to sing a song in English and sing it to the entire school. The children could pick out what song they wanted and the groups chose We Will Rock You by Queen, Sorry by Justin Bieber, Wannabe by Spice Girls, Diamonds by Rihanna and more. The students were given the lyrics and they were asked to read the lyrics and sing the song. It was a bit challenging for the students who has Wannabe by the Spice Girls because lyrics reads, “zigazig ah” and the children could not make the “z” sound. I couldn’t help but smile when the children tried to say “zigazig ah” because the could not make the sound but they kept smiling and repeating it back to me when I told them to repeat after me. I took the other groups of children out into the hallway with other songs and one boy memorized parts of the song just by hearing it! Music from the United States is very popular in Chile and not only Chile, but all over the world. During recess, the children play outside in the courtyard located in the middle of the school. Colegio República de Siria reminded me of the schools I’ve had placements in the USA but with much less technology.
Today, I had a placement that really touched me. Abby and I went to a middle school to do our English teaching placement. The commute was an hour and a half and we went with a Universidad Mayor student, Steve. Steve is going to be an English teacher in Santiago and his placement is to teach middle schoolers English. First, we took the subway to get us to the correct bus stop. It was still dark outside because it was so early in the morning. I watched the city of Santiago wake up. In Santiago, many people do not drive because Santiago is similar to New York City it is much easier to use public transportation. It can get you wherever you need to be. Men and women in business attire boarded the and subway ready to start their work day. We arrived at the school. It is in a low income area. The school does not have technology and the teachers do not have computers in their classrooms. The classroom was barren and there was not many materials. The school held a special breakfast for Abby and I. They gave us peach juice, tea, coffee, and Chilean sandwiches made of pepper and chicken. The principal, director of pedagogy and the school staff continuously thanked Abby and I for our dedication to teaching the children English. During our breakfast, the principal took a phone call from the superintendent of the school to tell him about us. The seventh graders were completely amazed by Abby and I. They asked us what we thought of our president (we were asked this question many times by students throughout the trip), what we thought of Santiago, and if speaking Spanish was difficult for me. The eighth graders were even more excited about us being there. A girl named Catalina said she could not breath because she was speaking to someone from the United States. She started jumping up and down and was completely star struck. In front of the entire class, she told me how beautiful I was. If I had a dollar for every time I was called beautiful today, I would be rich! One of the activities I brought for the children was the fly swatter game. I taped words of fruits in English onto the white board. I called out the Spanish name for the words on the white board and the students had to swat the world that was the English word for the Spanish word I said. The students worked in teams and they had so much fun! I felt great that I was getting them to learn and have a good time! Their smiles made my day.
The highlight of my day was during the lunch period of the middle school placement. The principal, director, and teachers went into the principal's office to award Abby and I a certificate and pin for our work in the school. They took pictures of us and pinned us. I decided to give Steve my gift from Buffalo during this time. The gifts I brought to Chile for the Universidad Mayor students were sponge candy packs from Fowlers because what could be more Buffalo then sponge candy?! He was grateful and I said, “You can only get that in Buffalo!” Today opened my eyes to what schools are like in different countries. Overall, kids are kids no matter where you go!
Hey everybody! Everyday, I think that today was the best day of the trip, then, the day after tops it! The trip is so much fun that everyday just gets better and better and better. Everyday is a new adventure and we see something we hadn’t seen yesterday. Today, for $35 dollars our Spanish school Ecela took us to the city of Valparaiso, Chile which is a port city on Chile’s coast. Ecela is a school in which students from all over the world stay with host families and attend Ecela 9 am through 1 pm, Monday through Friday to learn Spanish. The students who went on the trip with us are in a program in which pre-medical students travel to Santiago and shadow in hospitals to see how the doctors work here. They go to Ecela during the day and this week they will be shadowing the doctors. It is similar to the program that Buffalo State has but we are partnered with a university in Santiago and the teacher candidates at that school (Universidad Mayor) and partnering with us. Tomorrow, I will be going to a first grade classroom in Santiago and teaching them how to speak english. The children do not know a lot of English so listening to the them speak Spanish will immerse me in the language and help me to learn it. I am helping them to learn english and secretly, they are helping me to learn Spanish. It is a win-win! On the trip we traveled to a beautiful town and explored the entire day. We took a funicular to the top of a tall point and saw the view of the entire city. There was a stray dog at the top and I was seriously wondering how he/she got there because we took a funicular to the top! The picture will tell the entire story of what we saw during our day trip. The other group who went in the van with us on our excursion was a group of people from an Air Force academy. They are here to learn Spanish as well. Santiago is huge on seafood. After we did a ton of exploring, we stopped for lunch. The lunch was in a restaurant that overlooked the beach. In Chile, if you bring a big group to eat at the restaurant, the restaurant gives you a complimentary shot of pisco sour to thank you for being there. It is a tradition and a tradition that I really like! A mariachi band began playing for us. At times, they came up to our table and played right near our ears. It was truly a Latin American experience! I drank a pineapple soda for my drink. We were given the choice of 7 Up, pineapple soda, or orange soda. The food was good and my favorite thing was a cheese filled dough stick. It was YUMMY! We walked up a hill and found a candy shop. All 20 of us piled in and the shop made homemade candies. The workers were rolling out the sugar and shaping them into candies. We went to the front counter and the worker let our entire group sample candies. Most of the candies were hard sugar but my favorite was a soft sugar candy. After more exploring, the last place we saw was Viña del Mar. Viña del Mar is a beach and a pier. Along, the beach, there was shops, restaurants, and hotels. It reminded me of Miami, Florida. At the beach, there were many people relaxing and playing with their children. Carmen bought an ice cream at the beach. The ice cream here is like our gelato. It is all very fluffy and not hard. As the sun started setting, the lights of the city twinkled. On the beach, two stray dogs played with each other and they were just having the time of their lives. It was cute to see them running in the sand near the water. As we walked along the sand, Kelly wrote IPDS Chile 2019 in the sand. A few seconds after Kelly wrote that, the waves erased it. Kelly is lucky she got the picture! Everyone in our group is very nice to each other. I am very happy with all of the people who went on this trip.We adventured around Chile from 8:30 am- 8:30 pm. The car ride home was mostly silent because everyone was exhausted from the day’s activities. After 1 hour and 40 minutes, we arrived back in Ecela and afterward, we walked home with Dr. Schmidt. Our host mom had dinner waiting for us after a long day. Our host mother’s son, girlfriend, and daughter were there tonight. On the TV, Mulan in Spanish was playing. It was neat to hear the words in Spanish and being able to translate it in my head because I knew what the story and lines of Mulan are. The little girl who is six played with her toys and worked on a school project. She reminded me of the children I am going to see in the Chilean schools tomorrow. I should get some sleep for tomorrow. I am so happy with my trip! ¡Buenas noches!
Hey everybody! Today was one of the best days of my life. When I do things in Chile like go out with the Chileans I just met a Universidad Mayor and afterward we walk down the street of Providencia buying an arrangement of different flavored empanadas, I know I am created the best memories of my life. I think of the day when I am living back in the USA and I begin to live in the moment each and everyday in Chile. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience which you can only do when you are in college. My homestay is in an apartment right in the city. Santiago is the South American version of NYC so think of an apartment in NYC. We are located next to a Subway. Our friend Benjamin thought we would have a hard time sleeping at night because of the sound of the movie cars and the bustle of the city but Kelly and I live on a busy street so we sleep like babies at night! Chile is something I will never do again in my lifetime and I was reflected back on to November when I applied to Chile. In April, the Chile trip was only 2 months away. My friend Claire told Kelly and I that we had no idea what we were about to experience. Her words truly stuck with me and I look back at them as I am on this trip. I remember how nervous I was for Chile and I had no idea how amazing this experience is. I am so happy! Everyday, I wake up excited to go to Spanish school (Ecela). My Spanish teacher’s name is Yesika. She is an immigrant from Venezuela. She said that the country is not safe so she immigrated to Chile four years ago. My friend Carmen and I are the only two in the class and it is a dream come true. It is like having a one on one tutor for Spanish. My Spanish has improved tremendously for being able to speak it. I realized that when people are learning to speak another language, it is very helpful to talk to a person who knows the language that you are learning. A person can ask them, “How do I say this?” Then, the native speaker person will tell them and the words will slowly be memorized. Afterward, the language will become automatic because the person has all of the phrases memorized. My group members and I want to become Spanish teachers now. Teaching a language is so fun! What makes it fun is the ability to be creative. Language teachers can sing songs, use music from the countries of where the language is spoken, and bring in food from the countries of the language spoken. I love it so much. I want to be a teacher who teaches people english when I graduate because people who do not know the language have a burning desire to learn it. They want to be able to speak to other people of the country they are living in and they want to be able to function and thrive in the country. In the future when I teach immigrants English, I will help them to be able to change their lives for the better. There is nothing more rewarding. By attending class at Ecela, I want to learn Spanish BADLY. In the USA, more and more Spanish speakers are coming in. By knowing Spanish, I will be able to communicate and connect with more people. The purpose of life is to connect with people and to be happy. When I speak Spanish to my host mother, it is such a gift to know a different language and to communicate with a person from a different culture.
Today, we presented to a group of about 40 Chilean students in an education class about the education system in America. All of the students who know English and can speak it well are in college to be English teachers. In the United States, our foreign language teachers are French and Spanish teacher but in Chile, the foreign language teachers are English teachers. The education systems are similar in both countries and Chile is actually very similar to the United States in general. The Chileans had so many questions and thought it was the coolest thing that we were from the states. They thought we were so cool that they all came to go out with us after the presentation. We stopped at the Walmart of South America which is called Lider. The cookies isle in the store has many different items that are not found in America. I bought a liter of cherry, apple, and raspberry juice and cookies with strawberry yogurt on the inside. They were amazing and I am going to bring them home when I come back. We also stopped at an empanada shop. There we so many to choose from such as chicken and cheese or the most classic one with beef and eggs. It might sounds strange that beef and eggs would be put together but it is very good. Empanadas are cheap and everywhere! When we went out with the Chileans, we sat on the patio and we had the entire thing to ourselves! The restaurant had a jukebox so in order to play music, we had to put money in it. Some of the Chileans who were our pen pals and who came to Buffalo for the exchange program in February came with us. It is so rewarding to show the Chileans a good time in Buffalo and to be reunited later and then they are showing us there country! What I have come to realize is I pictured Latin America to have piñatas, sombreros, Quinceañeras, tacos and burritos but these are all parts of Mexican culture! I told Fernanda, a Chilean student who came to Buffalo my thoughts and she said that all Latin American countries have their own unique cultures. A few of the Chileans who we met studied abroad in Kansas. I asked them one thing that surprised them and they said that they football games were just like the movies how they had cheerleaders and marching bands. In Chile, they do not have college sports teams and they do not have a bookstore that represents their school. The football game was like a movie for them! We danced as they played Latin American music from the jukebox. It was a night for the books and I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.
We’ve officially arrived in Chile! Currently, I am sitting in the airport waiting for the shuttle to take us to our host family. As we are sitting here, a stray dog walked through the automatic doors and is wandering around the airport. It is brightening my day :). First, we had our first stop in Panama City, Panama. We were at that airport for about an hour to connect our flights. It was very warm as soon as we walked off of the plane. The Saturday before I left for Chile, my boyfriend and I visited the Buffalo Zoo. We saw the rainforest exhibit and we noticed that the rainforest is all around Panama. I peeked outside of the window when we were descending and saw all of the luscious green. I wondered if that was the rainforest! Another thing I saw outside of the window was the beaches. Panama’s beaches looked like paradise. The beach’s waves washed up to the sand and the water was a bright blue color. Our next stop was Lima, Peru and then finally, Santiago, Chile. At the Peru airport, I picked up a magnet for my refrigerator to add to my family’s collection. We add a magnet each time someone in the family travels and have almost the two doors of the refrigerator filled up. I bought a very cute magnet with a picture of a girl hold maracas and wearing a sombrero. When I picture Latin America, I picture fiestas, sombreros, and lots and lots of dancing. The different countries I passed through showed many aspects of American culture. I learned that American culture is EVERYWHERE. In both the Panama City Airport and Peru Airport there were American brand stores such as Victoria’s Secret, Lacoste, and Calvin Klein. As a sit in the airport writing this, I hear the Jonas Brothers in the background. In Peru, the airport played We Will Rock You. I’m surprised that aspects of American culture are so prevalent here. What is amazing is seeing how people from different countries view the United States. I am an outsider looking in.
A difference between Latin Americans and United States Citizens is the way that they dress. When I walked around the airport, I could easily tell who was an American and who wasn’t. Americans have the style of anything from American Eagle or similar to it. I do not see this at all in the people from Latin America. They wore clothes that look like they are from the 90s to us.
After arriving in Chile at 3 am, we waited to arrive at our host family stay at 8 am. We were exhausted! Our host mother is a 68 year old woman who owns three apartments in our building. She host many students from all over the world. Our roommates are from France and the United Kingdom. The girl from France moves out later today and a new student will come shortly after.
Our apartment has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It is huge! The price of an apartment in Santiago is about the price of an apartment in New York City. The girls from Great Britain and France are brave. They did not come with a study abroad program or a friend. They came completely on their own. It is admirably to see people not letting anything stop them.
After we arrived at our host family and took a nap, we explored Santiago. It was everything I dreamed of! What it most reminded me of was the Disney movie Coco. Think of the movie Coco and you will be in Chile. We walked to the subway and bought our subway cards. We had to tell the man at the ticket booth what we wanted so we were all able to practice our Spanish. I said, “Yo compraría una tarjeta de subterráneo.” (I would like to buy a subway card.)
Since I am a Spanish concentration in college, I felt like my Spanish skills were being put to good use and I was actually able to use it in real life. We stopped by our Spanish school to see it. Tomorrow, we will be taking our Spanish lessons for the first time in Chile. People from all over the world take Spanish lessons there.
Our last stop was to eat dinner. We went to a restaurant that served bread and sopaipillas before the meal. Sopaipillas are little fried dough circles. They were so yummy because it was like eating fried dough as your bread and I am going to buy another while I am here in Chile. The waiter could not speak english so it was another chance to speak Spanish. Yes! The menu was in Spanish but we used an English menu to help us out. They had roast beef on the menu and I was reminded of Buffalo. I asked the waiter for a water with lemon. Instead of getting a water with lemon, they gave me lemon juice in a little jar with water. That is a new idea I am going to use while I am at home! The food in Chile is so different from back at home. They sell empanadas everywhere. It is similar to how Americans eat pizza. The street vendors sell empanadas and people order empanadas like how we order a pizza. Chile sells fresh fruit for cheap and I am looking forward to buying that soon. My brain is starting to think in Spanish. As I am writing this blog, I think of the Spanish words for the words I am typing. When a person is immersed in a different language in a different country, they start to think of everything in that language. ¡Es loco!
Kelly and I walked around Santiago with our Chilean friend Benjamin. He is one of the students who came to Buffalo and we all became good friends. He took us for a walk to the park and down the streets. Santiago is just like NYC. The city never sleeps and the people walk around all of the time. A huge thing here is biking. Many people travel by bike. The night life here is popping! People will sit on the park benches amongst the hustle and bustle of the city and just sit by the water. Ben gave us the inside scoop of what Chile is like and how safe of a city it is. Along our way, two stray dogs decided to walk with us. Ben petted them so I took a chance and petted them as well! They are good dogs and are they walk around like people. They even stop at the cross walks when everyone is stopped and cross with people. It is really something!
Everyday I wake up excited for the next day of adventure. Traveling to Chile has changed my life and I have been here for 3 days. It is 11:32 pm and we must wake up at 8:30 tomorrow for our host mom to feed us breakfast. Everyday, they feed a breakfast and dinner. Off to get some rest! ¡Adios!
In about two weeks, I will be leaving the country for the first time. I am very excited to see what the world is like beyond the United States. To see a different culture and to see how people who live outside of the United States go about day to day will be interesting. I am curious to see in what ways Chile is different from my country. In what ways to they treat people, in what ways do they treat their families, and most importantly how do they view education? Chile will be a new experience to see the world! I am eager to live life to the fullest and be able to look back on my study abroad experience and be proud of how I lived life outside of my comfort zone. When I have new experiences, I commonly feel like I am learning more and becoming a better person. The new things that I see and do change my view points for the better. My eyes are opened and I become less naive to what the world is like. My dream is to be an English New Language Teacher. Chile will greatly help me with my Spanish language learning. As of right now, I am finishing up an intermediate Spanish course. It is a challenge to learn a new language but it is highly rewarding and so worth it! Being totally immersed in the Spanish language is the key to learning it. I substitute teach at Northwood Elementary in West Seneca and there is a 1st grade boy who is an english learner. He speaks Spanish and the other students in his class do not. When I am in a small group with him, I am able to teach him the lessons in Spanish. I feel so proud to be able to do that for him because he needs it and without it, he would fall behind. I love practicing my Spanish skills!
Currently, I am in my last week of the semester finishing up with finals. I cannot believe that soon, I will no longer be sitting here at Buffalo State or even be in the country! It's crazy to wrap my head around being so far away from the United States. That is the coolest part. Being in a different climate is another awesome part about leaving the USA. Not only is it neat to hear a different language and experience a different culture, but it is also awesome to be in a different climate and possibly see different animals! My Chilean friends told me that many stray dogs walk around. That is totally different from the United States. Here, we have the SPCA and a ton of other resources but in Chile, there are so many dogs that they walk around like they are citizens of Chile. I am a huge dog lover and the Chileans told me people feed them but do not pet them. I wonder if there will be puppies who walk around too. Another thing I am excited for is the food! I love to eat so I cannot wait to try the main dishes there. When my Chilean friends were in Buffalo, my American friends and I hosted a Super Bowl Sunday party for them. We got them chicken wings because that is a Buffalo staple. They loved them and now they are going to show us the hot dogs there. The hot dogs in Chile have guacamole on them and all the fixings. I'll let you know how yummy my first Chilean hotdog is. Now, I am off to study for my finals. Bye for now!
My name is Karly and I am an Early Childhood and Childhood Education major with a concentration in Spanish. I love learning Spanish and I hope to be bilingual one day. I wanted to travel to Chile to help me become a better Spanish speaker and to see