The Activity That Lives Rent Free in My Memories

Images of street art seen during walks in the city:

What are some things to do while abroad? Would I get bored or will I see it all quickly? 

You will definitely not get bored or see it all quickly. You will have a lot to explore and will find many things to do during your time abroad! When I was researching Chile, I started to create a list of things that I wanted to look into or do while I was there. For example, during our Easter break, I traveled with a few friends to La Serena where I got to go on a whale-watching tour. Watching whales was a dream come true, as whales are my favorite animal. When I arrived in Santiago, I also started receiving recommendations of things to visit. I was able to visit some of the museums on my bucket list through field trips in my classes.

My favorite thing to do in Santiago was walking around and seeing all the street art. I always have enjoyed going on walks, and I knew that was something that I also wanted to do during my time in Santiago. I came to quickly learn that Santiago has a lot of history and to me, the streets told that story. It was always very interesting to me how the art was not covered up – it emerged to speak and showcase what Chileans were feeling during those times. It was also very fascinating to be able to understand the perspective and have background knowledge about the setting. This is an example of what I loved about studying abroad: the fact that I was able to learn about the history of Chile in the classroom and also on my daily walks around the city. 

Exploring surrounding neighborhoods and the city itself allowed me to constantly be active, and there’s just something about being in a new and unique environment that keeps you wanting to learn and see more and more. I never found myself to be bored, and every day saw something new. For me going on walks has been an activity of self-care, and having that opportunity while also stopping to read or see the different street art was a plus in my study abroad experience. It reminded me to take it all in, allow myself to take a mental break whenever I needed one and take care of myself, no matter where I was. 

I really enjoyed having my own favorite activity that I normally do in the States and implementing that to a daily activity in Santiago because it allowed me to explore where I was, live in the moment, immerse myself, expand my knowledge/understanding, and have that mental refresher. If you currently have a favorite activity, you will be able to fall back on that enjoyment and get to have a new memory and experience with that activity, which makes it even more rewarding than it was and always have a connection or tie to your study abroad experience!

Published by Marilyn Orellana

Class of 2023 Spanish Major, Pre-Med, and Chemistry Minor IES Health Studies Program

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