Chile: The Chilean Difference

La playa in nearby Viña del Mar.

La playa in nearby Viña del Mar.

After 4 weeks in Valparaíso, Chile, all I can say is that I will definitely be back. One month is just not enough time to see everything. There are so many things that I love about living in Valpo that I will definitely miss when I leave. Overall I would have to say that the pace of life is a lot different, it’s a lot slower and a lot less hectic. I will definitely miss being able to go to the beach everyday after class. I learned very quickly that the UV rays in Chile are much stronger in the U.S. (Even if you think you don’t need sunscreen- wear it!) The nightlife is also a lot different in Chile than in the U.S. – most people don’t leave to go out until 12am and the bars and discotecas don’t close until around 6am. I feel like learned so much! Not only was I able to improve my Spanish in Chile, I also learned a lot about Chilean culture and slang. It was a little challenging to understand at first but I found that everyone was very patient and willing to explain certain words and phrases to me. I highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who wants study a language. Sitting in a classroom and learning a language in a classroom is a completely different experience from being completely immersed in it. It was amazing to be able to learn about Pablo Neruda and at the same time have the opportunity to vista his home in Bella Visit just 15 minutes away from where I live. In my opinion, Valparaíso has definitely earned its title of “Joya del Pacifico” (Jewel of the Pacific) and in 2003 part of the city was named one of UNESCO’s heritage sites for both its historical and cultural importance.

Sunset in Valparaíso.

Sunset in Valparaíso.

The city of Valparaíso.

The city of Valparaíso.

 

Sara Spangler

Valparaíso, Chile

Minimester 2013

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