¡Hola and greetings from Viña del Mar, Chile!
During my first month in the southern hemisphere, I have experienced much more than watching the toilet flush in the opposite direction! Chile is an amazingly unique country. From the desert in the North, the glaciers in the South, the ocean in the West, to mountains in the East, Chile embodies a wide range of climates and landscapes to explore. So far, I have climbed a mountain called La Campana, surfed down the sand dunes called Dunes de Concon, and roamed the streets in the famous city of Valparaiso (pictures included). Within the next month, I plan on traveling to Valle de Elqui, a desert valley in the North, and then onto Torres del Paine, a national park of Patagonia in the South.Chile isn’t only just a scenic destination, it is also a place of striving globalization. As an emerging global market with the strongest economy in South America, Chile is an ideal country to study international and sustainable business. My university, the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, is the third top business school in Latin America. My professors come from all over the world with life times’ full of experience. The learning and studying doesn’t only come from a classroom, we are actually out in the city observing and evaluating businesses and their marketing environments.
Living independently in another country has taught me an entirely new meaning of independent. In a culture where washing machines are hard to come by and the use of water is slightly marginalized, there have been many struggles adapting to this developing lifestyle. But with these obstacles have come many rewards such as being able to shop and bargain at the local farmers’ market every Wednesday and Saturday and the burst of joy of finally being able to find peanut butter after a month of intense searching.
I have made many friends from around the world who are greatly improving my abroad experience; International students from over a dozen countries who are experiencing Chile for the first time along my side, and Chileans who have been incredibly helpful in navigating this new culture. It is crazy to believe I have only been here for one month. I am excited to see what else I’ll find myself experiencing and doing over the next five months!