Aneta Muziol arrived from Poland to Punta Arenas (by airplane and not ship as she envisioned) and she tells us about her experience in the Chilean Patagonia.
“I got captivated by the idea of living in this corner of the world, but I don’t feel like Magallanes is that exotic; people are ‘normal’, they don’t follow just one religion, and their culture is not that different. But I did have problems when greeting people, because in Poland people are very serious, here everybody is more relaxed and so I feel more relaxed too. I see myself closer to this culture than my own”, she explains.
About her decision for this unusual location, Aneta tell us that “I picked this university not knowing what it meant to live in this corner of the planet; in fact I thought I needed to travel by ship. At the beginning it was very hard because I didn’t know anybody and I felt lonely and a bit lost at the university, but within days I made friends and the support from teachers was one on one and that helped me a lot.”
The cold weather is one of the main aspects of the region, but it wasn’t that difficult for Aneta as she was used to the low temperatures in Poland, but she remembers one anecdote “I have never experienced such strong and cold winds as in the Patagonia, the wind would be so strong that really shocked me, and then I realized why nobody would wear dresses.”
Aneta thinks that one of the advantages of living in Punta Arenas is “There is a lot of space here and I love the idea of living in a house and have neighbors. In Poland it is very expensive to live in a house and there are a lot of cars in the streets, while here there is this sense of freedom that is amazing.”
Aneta’s experience was so amazing that she had no doubts about coming back to the university to join the international relations department and going from a foreigner student to one of the coordinators who takes care of incoming exchange students. A whole new challenge and a new adventure for this former student from Poland who decided to leave everything to come back to this corner of the world.