Kate Gutmann is a student at Ohio State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Kate is currently in Santiago before studying abroad and participating in service-learning in Valparaíso, Chile on a Summer Study + Service-Learning program.
I’ve been in Santiago for about 10 hours now and I am already in love… it all began with the decent from our flight. I have never in my life seen mountains like the mountains here in Chile. We arrived around 8 am so there was a heavy fog that was setting over the mountains and it looked like a sea of clouds brushing up against the mountains. I have never seen such thick fog. As we got closer to the ground I expected it to be like when you go through a cloud and you could see the ground from way above but about 20 feet from the ground.. I finally saw the runway! I was shocked.
Going through immigration and customs was not nearly as troublesome as I imagined it to be, even with our large group we got in an out quickly. ISA was there just as they promised to pick us up with warm smiles. Our hotel that we’re staying in is also nothing I have ever seen. Its more like an apartment, we have two bedrooms and a kitchen.
After being settled we went to Cerro San Cristóbal where we took a cable car up to the top. What a view of the city! I never knew Santiago was so large (6 million people). The sights from there were breath taking. My favorite photo that I got was a palm tree with the snow covered mountain tops in the background (how ironic!).
I have to admit though, I am still struggling with my Spanish, but that’s expected it hasn’t even been a day. On the plane I sat near a nice Argentine man who was patient with my mumbled Spanish and a little bit of Spanglish thrown in, but it got me warmed up. The biggest mistake today so far was when I asked a clerk “Dónde puedo esconder un secador de pelo?” instead of “econtrar”.. Guess we’re playing hide and seek with hair dryers!
I’m looking forward to getting to see more of Santiago tomorrow and get a good nights sleep.
Thats all for now,
Hey, if you’re looking for a more recent account of study abroad in Santiago, I’m currently here and blogging at http://www.acrosstheglobeblog.co.uk/ :)