So there has been some great radio-silence here. Sorry for that. Time for a big update.
By now I am completely used to my life here, things have gotten normal. First week of uni was a complete chaos, everything that I thought was clear and definite turned out to be different. I came to classes to find out they’d only start one week later, or that they didn’t even offer that class this semester, and to find that out they send you from one office to another, from one person to another. Apparently this is normal for Universidad de Chile. Little university-life in Santiago explanation: there are loads of universities – public and private. Universidad de Chile, where I go, is public, which means that there are all sorts of people that study there, whereas at the private universities the people are richer. But at the same time Universidad de Chile is quite badly organized even though it is known to be (one of the) best universities.
Anyway, later things got sorted out and I started classes normally. I am taking 4 courses: Portuguese, which I love. Wanted to learn it for a while and here it’s perfect cause it’s from a Spanish perspective and the two are very alike. And the teacher is great. Also I am taking Etnolingüística – like anthropology/linguistics, also very interesting. That’s a fourth-year course so quite hard sometimes. Then I take Comunicación e Identidad, a first year journalism course, which is interesting sometimes but the teacher isn’t great. But I met a group of really nice Chileans which I hang out with there. And then my last course is Enfoques Latinoamericanos, and the teacher has been sick since the 2nd week of classes, so we’ve only had something that’s called ‘ayudantía’, and that’s basically an older student teaching.
Overall it all goes well, I’ve gotten used to the Chilean accent (even though sometimes it’s still hard when they speak fast) so I can usually follow what goes on in class. Still it happens at least once a week that I come to university and it turns out that there’s no class, but also that I’ve gotten used to.
I really like the ambience at university though. It is a campus with loads of faculties – I have classes at two different ones. The humanities faculty is known for its political activeness, protests (that sometimes get out of hand, police and smoke bombs and all, haven’t experienced that yet though) aren’t uncommon. People are often quite alternative which makes for a good atmosphere. The other faculty, journalism/cinema, is cool too, very ‘open’, literally. There’s people on the lawn outside all day long, talking, hanging out.
Then my life outside of university. I am getting to know more and more people, besides the people in my house who I spend a lot of time with, I got to know an Australian girl, Grace, who I get along with very well and we go on adventures together. And then people from class, etc. I have been away a few times in the weekends, visiting villages, other places, last weekend I went to the beach (now that it’s not winter here yet).
So that is more or less how I spend my time here, I will soon upload some photos as well so you can see.