Hailey, Outbound to Chile

It's crazy that I am already entering my third month abroad. These past few weeks have been full of lots of learning, growing and fun! I have finally adjusted to life here and have settled into a new routine. I couldn't even imagine going back to my life in Florida right now. I love everything about this country and I am starting to understand how everything works.

Including me, there are 6 exchange students here in Talca. Three of us from the United States and the remaining three from Europe. We all have become so close that it is almost impossible to believe that a little over three months ago, none of us knew we even existed. I've learned quickly that close friendship doesn't associate with time. It is safe to say they are my best friends and I know I can always count on them. We love to go all of the time whether it be eating lunch or to some crazy event happening in the city. During the week, we have a spanish class at the local university on Mondays and take tennis lessons together Wednesdays.

For school I attend Colegio Montessori Talca. I am in year 3 because the seasons here are different and when I arrived here, it was already towards the end of the school year. my last day of school is December 10 and then we have summer until March. I will enter year 4 with the same class. Weird to think of Christmas being in the summer, right? Anyways, I wouldn't trade the people who make up my class for anything. They include me in everything and always know how to make me laugh and feel apart of the family that they have built up over the years. We hangout outside of school a lot as well. I love it because not only am I friends with exchange students, but the beautiful people of Chile as well. It's given me lots of crazy opportunities and forces me to practice my spanish. Recently, they have even been telling me how much my spanish has improved and it encourages me to continue to practice and try my best.

I've been to cities all over Chile with my family over the course of my time here. North to South, mountain to beach, I've been able to see and experience a lot. I am thankful for such a caring and wonderful family who has given me opportunities like no other.

I also found out that I will be going on my first Rotary trip to Patagonia on December 15! I am beyond excited to see such a beautiful part of the world. I can't thank Rotary enough for making all of this possible. Life at the moment feels like a dream. I am seeing things in a new perspective and understanding the world a little differently. I can already tell how much more independent I have become and how my mindset has expanded and how much I have learned here that I could never learn in a classroom.

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