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Zhou Yuan

China, 2016

The experience in Chile was wonderful. I’m thankful for the opportunity Universidad Santo Tomás gave me to visit Chile.

Why I love Chile so much? I think the most important reason is that I found a lot of nice people. First, I have to mention our teachers at Universidad Santo Tomás. The teacher in charge of the exchange student program was very nice, like a mother, and she helped us so much. As we don’t speak Spanish, it was hard at the beginning to understand others. The teachers and classmates were very patient in explaining things to us so that we could understand better. I also became friends with the other exchange students. We traveled to visit different places; we cooked together and traveled together. We shared our culture and we keep many fond memories.

I moved to three different places to live with people from different countries. We shared our culture and I felt it was an interesting experience. For example, in Chile people use a lot of jargons. Sometimes my friends from other countries didn’t understand what people were saying. Additionally, they used their own local words. For someone studying Spanish, that is very interesting.

I also made a trip to the south of Chile all by myself. It was hard for me, but a lot of people who I found in the way helped me to look for a place to stay, and then also inviting me to parties, share with their families. We are in contact to this day and we are still friends. It was a special and unforgettable experience. You never know how they are going to surprise you. Some people treated me so well, like I was part of their family, and I was thinking to myself, how can there be people who are so nice? I’m so lucky I found them!

In the end, I moved to live with the family of my Chilean friend. In a place so far from my country, they were like my family. They took me to the beach, the snow resort, invited me to their parties etc. I experienced the daily Chilean life. I’m still in touch with the friends I met in Chile. I’m happy to receive their messages. Knowing that people in other parts of the world remember you and miss you and stay in touch with you even when you are far, it’s something beautiful.

Aside from this, I loved the weather in Chile. It is very nice. Sometimes I would walk around Santiago and I found it to be really comfortable. In winter, you can see the Andes Mountains covered with snow. In summer time, it’s not too hot. The landscapes in Chile are wonderful. From north to south, landscapes are very different. You can find deserts, beaches, glaciers etc.

In Chile, you can experiment a lot of things and they can surprise you. You will keep good memories. I would like to come back to Chile one day.