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Surprising Santiago

Santiago Santiago lukas_y2k
Madeleine spent her year abroad in Santiago, Chile. Read on as she fills the year abroad blanks...
My name is: Madeleine

I'm studying: Hispanic Studies at the University of Nottingham

For my year abroad I went to:
Santiago, Chile for 11 months

While I was there I:
Taught English.

Five words to describe my year away are:
Being born again but Chilena.

My top tips for anyone going there are:
Relax, the language is a huge sock because it is the least castellano-sounding castellano you have ever heard. BUT people are friendly and want to help you ESPECIALLY if you
speak castellano. They really appreciate that because people here,in general, do not speak any English. Culturally you have to take a deep breath, everything runs slowly, nothing makes sense and no one walks in straight lines. You will end up rolling your eyes and accepting it but DON'T get angry, you aren't going to help anything by doing that. Take full advantage of speaking Spanish and don't hang out with English people although it is tempting and safe. The friends I've made out here will be my friends for life and I wouldn't take back a second of the experience I have had. Just thinking about leaving makes me quite emotional. Be brave but be sensible. Chile is really safe but just like anywhere in the world, you shouldn't walk around late at night on your own. It's a law in any country, take it no differently here. The food is not the best, thinking back there was lots of meat and carbs and no vegetables. Don't worry though: go to la vega, get called barbie and enjoy the fresh fruit and veg reinitas. Travel. If you like Santiago but think it defines Chile you are way off. Go to Patagonia and look around, Chile is 5 different countries in one. Appreciate it. Get used to long bus rides, they're cheap and will take you where you really want to go. Travel with Chilenos, you'll get to know stuff better. Enjoy it and don't be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there, you will never regret it.

The cleverest people find accommodation:
On compartodepto.cl.

Don't leave without:
Your hiking shoes: not for the city but for what you can do outside of it.

The best night out is:
In Santiago, El Galpón Víctor Jara.That's the essence of Chile.

When your parents visit:
Take them out of Santiago after visiting the Mercado Central.They'll prefer the countryside.

My favourite lunch place:
Having sushi in Bushido in Providencia or in Parque Bustamante for a picnic.

My best place for a hot date:
Bar Escondido in Bellas Artes. It’s hidden and downstairs with lots of low-lighting. Very sexy.

On a Sunday:
Go up Cerro San Cristobal either on your bike or running. Go to see the sunset over Santiago.

The most useful website I found was:
For teaching the British Council website. For fun stuff the Clinic's website.

If you want to fit in quickly, you should:
Imitate the accent. You'll understand life better and they'll think you are hilarious.

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