A condensed summary of my first week:
Friday: Excursion to Undurraga vinyard, outside of Chile. Interesting, especially the part with the wine tasting. In the evening I had some drinks with friends of José. None of them really spoke English, so quite a challenge. (also a challenge: meeting people in a foreign city when your phone only works occasionally and receives texts 1hr – 1 day after they were sent)
Sunday: Looking for a room to stay for the next months. It’s more difficult than expected, as all students look for a room in the beginning of August. In the afternoon I joined Jose visiting a photo exhibition and afterwards we went slack-lining with Maren, another exchange student. We got a personalized tour through a small part of Santiago.
Monday: First day of classes! International fair in the morning, with food from all over the world. I had the afternoon of and spent it with Fernanda in some parks in the middle of Santiago. Went to “Finanzas I” and didn’t understand a word…I knew what he was talking about, cause it was bookkeeping, but i couldn’t get anything out of the Spanish.
Tuesday: After contacting many people I finally got an appointment to visit a room. The call was on Spanish and I think both sides weren’t really sure if we understood each other. On the way to the appointment, i got two other invitations.
- Santiago Centro, a small flat with 2 French people (never!)
- a bit south of the Centro, with several nationalities, but everything looked a bit dodgy
- apartment close to the main traffic lines (street/bus/metro) with an elder woman ( we spend half an hour talking although she doesn’t speak a word in English)
Long story short: i took the third option, cause I wanted to have a “home” rather than crashing on Joses “couch” for another week or so. The interesting part was that I met Celine, a girl from Belgium, who visited the 2nd flat at the same time as I did. Together we managed to understand most of the Spanish and spent the rest of the evening together.
Wednesday: 2nd day of classes. The first one ended after 40min because the prof had to go somewhere else. The second one didn’t take place because of some problems with the organization. Went to the city to have a look around and went home in the evening to pack my stuff to move to my new home. While i was packing, José arrived and “complained” that he and his friends booked a snowboard trip for 4 people, but they are missing one. Kind as I am, I offered to take the 4h place. –> 5 days snowboard trip from the 14th to the 19th.
Thursday: First night in my new bed was good, although they don’t have any heating (as most Chilean houses) so I needed to sleep with a few blankets on top of each other. I had an appointment with Fernanda to legalize or visa (some administrative stuff to annoy foreigners), while i waited for her at our meeting point (at 11am) she called me to tell me, that she just woke up…so I had to change my plans and walked around in the city to find some new places. In the evening I met her, a Chileno and an Italien girl, to walk a bit around and have some food.