It’s hard to know where to start when people ask me about my Goizueta study abroad experience at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile. As I write this, I relive my semester through my photos—traveling from snowcapped mountains to sun-kissed beaches, living in a bachelor pad and then with a family, experimenting with cooking fish and veggies I’ve never heard of before, jumping in the streets with protesters in support of free and quality education, analyzing real Chilean businesses, making friends local and international—and I can say that I am truly grateful to have this experience.

As you see in the picture (the view from the top of Cerro San Cristobal, a hot spot for barbeques, family outings, and tourism in the center of town), Santiago is quite the thriving city. When I first moved here, I lived with a young professional Chilean, a French man and another Californian in a shared apartment. With that group, I became an expert in “cumbia” (Chile’s favorite music), “cueca” (the national dance), “vino navegado” (boiled spiced wine), the endless nightlife, the passionate protests (and chants), the complex yet efficient public transportation (albeit an hour to get to school), and cooking from scratch without Trader Joe’s!

I can’t write about a Goizueta study abroad program without mentioning how my classes impacted me. Two of my classes gave me the opportunity to do a group project working with real Chilean businesses—a sushi chain and a crafts supplies store—to understand their weaknesses and strengths in order to discover opportunities for improvement. One of the things that fascinated me most was competency management, which suggests that certain traits, such as leadership or teamwork, are at the core of every job position.

As cliché as it sounds, studying abroad was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, in which I improved my language skills, made lasting friendships and gained a profound understanding of the Chilean culture.

Thank you Goizueta for making this experience possible!

– Amanda Jacobson, BBA13