Once In A Lifetime Experience


Luciano Alvarez

Imagine you could fly to a different country for one month to study. Everything is paid for as long as you stay with a host family. They will feed you and take care of you like a family member. Senior Kimmy Alvarado accepted the challenge and went to Chile over the summer. She spent one month in Chile studying Spanish language and culture.

The program that sent Alvarado to Chile is CIEE Study Abroad Valparaiso, Chile Spanish and Language Culture Summer program. Alvarado applied in November of 2017, in December she was accepted and told she was going to Chile. In July 2018 her adventure began.

A typical day for Alvarado in Chile was waking up at 7 am for breakfast and to get ready for school. She would head to school at 8:30am and class would start at 9am. Alvarado and her roommate took the bus and then had a short walk to school. Classes were from 9-12. After class  they would interview Chileans on the streets about their culture. They referred to the interviews as “mission ñ”.

It wasn’t just about learning. “It was also about teaching the Chilean kids how to speak English. We bounced off when it came to language, I would say something to them in English and they would respond back in Spanish,” said Alvarado.

According to Alvarado she only had a mom and a roommate as her host family. Other students in her program had big families with dads, moms and other kids plus their roommates.

“At first, I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure of what to expect or how I was going to be treated. I also got nervous because I didn’t know them,” said Alvarado about her host family.

In the end, Alvarado did not want to come back.

“I fell in love with the culture and what the city offers. Ultimately, I felt like I didn’t see enough because there was so much to do. The people I met were amazing, not only did I get to explore South America, I explored it with people I am still friends with today,” said Alvarado.