James takes a moment to look out into the San Pedro de Atacama, the driest desert in the world.
Overseas Study Program
James’ major: Neuroscience
Year abroad: Summer 2009
Reason you chose this program: It provided a combined experience of studying Spanish, learning about health care, exploring a foreign country, and having a more worldly knowledge about the ways things are.
Favorite classes: Spanish Health Care Internship
Describe the housing situation: I lived with a host family who only spoke Spanish and cooked fantastic meals. The family was large and inviting, which made a very comfortable environment for my stay.
Best memory: Snowboarding down the peaks of the Andes Mountains.
Biggest surprise: How many McDonalds and KFC's were inside the city!
Experience with culure shock or reverse culture shock: Having to deal with bland food and how I missed certain types of their food when I came back.
Going abroad vs. staying on campus: Forcing myself to understand and practice the language as opposed to sitting in a classroom and pretending to be knowledgeable on the subject.
If I could do it over, I would... spend more time getting to know more of the locals and establish long term relationships.
Fact about your host country that you think people would be surprised to learn: Chile has some of the most diverse climate changes for a country, with the northern parts covered by desert and jungle, and the southern with sea and snowy mountains.