Samantha Maki is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Chile.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
I had the opportunity to attend my host brother's wedding. I got the chance to improve my speaking skills by talking to different people, experience a Chilean wedding ceremony, and dance all night. In one night I was able to experience the religious, celebration, and food aspects of the Chilean culture.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I wanted to study abroad to learn about a different culture, improve my Spanish skills, and to live outside of the United States.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
It was the most difficult, best decision I ever made. I was able to experience and explore the culture in so many different ways. Living with a host family is the best way to get to know Chile and to improve your Spanish skills.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
I am a lot more easy going now and the little things that used to bother me or cause stress seem insignificant. I have always been independent, but living in a foreign country, with a foreign family, speaking a foreign language forced me to grow in ways of confidence, independence, and faith.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Go into it knowing that this experience is a gift. It won't always be easy, but it will be worth it. The places you live and visit and the people you meet will show you another perspective and open your eyes to possibilities you never before thought possible.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Chile? Email Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.