Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

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Echelon
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Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by Echelon » Thu May 24, 2012 4:23 am

Hello everyone! I stumbled across this site on Google I think. My name's Casey and I'm a 21 year old who currently lives in Ohio but will be leaving for Buenos Aires and Santiago this Monday. I'm in my third year of Spanish at school and will be studying abroad at Universidad Alberto Hurtado en Santiago for 6 weeks. The first week of our arrival to South America (14 other students are coming and two professors, one of which is from Santiago) we will be spending a week in Buenos Aires and after that we will move in with our host families in Santiago where we will remain for 6 weeks.

I don't really know what else to say. I'm very excited and anxious. I've been to Ireland and Canada before but that's it, I've never been to somewhere that didn't have English as a primary language and I'm a little nervous haha. I have some chicano and Spanglish speaking gringo friends out in Arizona whom I've practiced some bastardized gringo Spanish with but other than that I don't know anyone who speaks Spanish regularly so I'm not too fluent in it (though my hope is that while immersed it will "click" for me). Turns out my host family lives in Las Condes (Renato Sánchez street) which is a very well-to-do area from what I have read. Anyway, just saying hi, and if anyone has any advice that'd be great. Thanks!

EDIT: Actually, I think my home is in Providencia, even though when my instructor gave me the address she put Las Condes. Google Maps says it's in Providencia though.

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momof3
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by momof3 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:34 am

Get a bike and ride around. You will learn the geography quickly and meet more people that way. Enjoy.
We agree to disagree.

griffin
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by griffin » Thu May 24, 2012 11:22 am

Don't worry, you will manage to communicate the important things, even when you sound like an idiot. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but be prepared to laugh with everyone else when they inevitably occur. Talk to kids; they are often surprisingly patient and they enjoy the chance to be the teacher. Buy some Condorito comic magazines to get a feel for local accent and slang, and they make amusing souvenirs.

Be careful and have a great trip!

comfortably numb
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by comfortably numb » Thu May 24, 2012 2:15 pm

I completely agree with griffin, don't be afraid to make mistakes with your Spanish, because you WILL. Just laugh it off. Have a positive attitude towards engaging with people every chance you get. I ride the bus/metro almost every day and I talk to people every chance I get. Also, I go to as many busy places as I can for interaction. One of my personal favorites is La Vaga Central. Its huge, overwhelming and awesome. Just remember a bit overwhelming at first. Oh and talking to children is great. I remember being depressed and feeling retarded (not PC I know, but I'm in Chile) with myself because I could talk with a 5 year old, he was probably 4 which makes it even worse! But on the other side when I could talk to a 12 year old months later at the beach I was extremely happy. Poco un poco.

Here a two of my many language SNAFU's that happen to come to mind. 1) Once at Jumbo I told the checker that I only understood beautiful Spanish....instead of a little Spanish. Given how horrible Chilean Spanish actually is, if that was the case I would never ever understand anyone. 2) At a small coffee shop I asked the young girl behind the counter if she was horney for me...instead of asking her to heat up the sandwich for me (always remember the two kinds of "hot"). Fortunately, an English speaking gentleman explain the situation to me. The girl had long since split...feeling extremely embarrassed I picked up my cold sandwich and got the heck out of Dodge.

In spite of everything, everyone here has been very nice and patience with me, expect for maybe one A-hole...but there's always one. Poco un Poco mi amigo!

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wiscondinavian
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by wiscondinavian » Thu May 24, 2012 4:56 pm

comfortably numb wrote:
Here a two of my many language SNAFU's that happen to come to mind. 1) Once at Jumbo I told the checker that I only understood beautiful Spanish....instead of a little Spanish. Given how horrible Chilean Spanish actually is, if that was the case I would never ever understand anyone. 2) At a small coffee shop I asked the young girl behind the counter if she was horney for me...instead of asking her to heat up the sandwich for me (always remember the two kinds of "hot"). Fortunately, an English speaking gentleman explain the situation to me. The girl had long since split...feeling extremely embarrassed I picked up my cold sandwich and got the heck out of Dodge.

In spite of everything, everyone here has been very nice and patience with me, expect for maybe one A-hole...but there's always one. Poco un Poco mi amigo!
I like to tell the story from when my sister and I were traveling, and were in a small town in Ecuador. We were at the bar getting pretty well drunk and surrounded by smoke, and what not. A guy asked my sister to dance, and her, being too embarrassed to dance, tried to explain the situation to the gentlemen. "No, no, estoy embarazada..." :P With my limited, but at least better Spanish, I jumped in to correct her after seeing the confused look on the man's face... no, no, my sister isn't pregnant, es que tiene verguenza...

Also, tip! Chileans will make fun of your bad Spanish! Don't take it personally. Some take it too far though, and a quick mention of this usually clears this up. Or, just join in on their fun, and correct them whenever they make a mistake. Some Chileans are especially apt to say command forms incorrectly "Sale!" "Pone eso alla"

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zer0nz
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by zer0nz » Thu May 24, 2012 5:57 pm

and get use to having the wrong order ever now and then,

I tried hard to enjoy my double chai latte on the way to work yesterday after i discovered after leaving starbucks the mishead me, i ordered a Latte Grande con extra shot!

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wiscondinavian
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Re: Hello (from a soon to be student in Santiago)

Post by wiscondinavian » Thu May 24, 2012 8:54 pm

zer0nz wrote:and get use to having the wrong order ever now and then,

I tried hard to enjoy my double chai latte on the way to work yesterday after i discovered after leaving starbucks the mishead me, i ordered a Latte Grande con extra shot!
Sometimes it's not a matter of mishearing... My Chilean fiance ordered me a stout at a bar, and the server brought me an ale of the same brand, already opened. When I asked, they said that they ran out of stout... and that this is the same brand as I had asked for... but an ale... There's few times I put up a fuss for stuff like this, because I'm generally not picky, but sometimes you're in the mood for a stout and not an ale!

I felt like a jerk for sending it back and being that kind of foreigner but the drinks were already overpriced as it was, lol.

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