IFSA does an incredible job at making sure that we are well prepared during our time here abroad … in fact maybe too good hehe … It’s officially been about a week since I left my home in California to explore this new country that I have never been to before and so far we’ve been receiving a lot of information. I think it’s good because there’s tons of things that I never really considered or didn’t think too in depth about when it comes to living in a foreign country. I think I’m familiar with the basics when it comes to safety and Spanish but there’s also a lot of things specific to Chile that were very good to know. We ended the general orientation with a hike in the morning and finally got to meet our host families that night! It was pretty shocking entering the city with all the lights and signs and when I met my family I honestly didn’t know what to say. But they seemed very nice and after being here for a week I feel right at home
This week we spent the majority of our time at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso to learn about how classes and everything work and I’m feeling pretty excited about the courses that I’ll be taking. Most of my courses are for college requirements like government and psychology courses for my major and a religious studies course for a general education requirement, but I’ll also compliment that with more “Chile specific” things such as an advanced written and oral Spanish course, a dance class and a class to explore the community! Another fun part of this week was touring Valparaiso where we explored the neighborhoods and then the ocean! Overall this first week has been a great to ease our way into the culture and I can’t wait for courses to begin so I can be even more immersed into the Spanish language.