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1 posts categorized "Ashleigh Ellson "


Thoughts of Every Study Abroad Student: Santiago Edition


Studying abroad is an incredible experience, and it’s different for every person. However, there are many thoughts that every student in any given city share. These differ from city to city and program to program. So here at CIEE Santiago, we thought we would share our typical thoughts on living in Santiago.


  • How can I put on this much bug spray and still get bitten this much?
  • Please, no, no more rice!
  • How on earth is it possible to fit 23 people in this van?
  • Do I even know how to Spanish?
  • What do you mean, you don't know what iced coffee is?
  • My favorite part of Samana? Definitely being able to lie in bed and be on wifi at the same time. Oh, and the beach was kind of nice, too...
  • Wait, Thanksgiving isn't a world-wide holiday?
  • Well, I don’t understand much in my classes, but I’m going to guess Trujillo is something pretty important here...
  • Does anyone here actually know what a stoplight is and what it means?
  • Why don't they make body wash with bug spray in it?
  • I should bathe in deet.
  • Ok, I think I got it, but just in case, can you re-explain that entire 2-hour class to me, but in English this time?
  • You have a mosquito bite? Dengue, you definitely have dengue.
  • My parents always taught me about Stranger Danger, but my program is encouraging me to get into cars and vans with complete strangers? Seems legit.
  • Oh no, I think I swallowed a drop of water in the shower. I’m probably going to die of amoebas now…
  • Since when is a page and a half double-spaced considered an essay? That’s a passing thought!


All jokes aside, we love it here and are learning so much about both the culture and language and about ourselves. I know that, for me personally, I have spent a lot of time reflecting lately, and I can see clear growth in my life in many areas. I know that this is where I’m supposed to be right now and that this is exactly what I needed, and I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity!