¡Hola a todos! My name is Kiera Reynolds and I am a junior at Siena College. I am blessed in that I can count myself among the many Siena students who are studying abroad during this spring semester. I will be studying in Valparaíso, Chile. I have been dreaming about studying abroad ever since my mom began telling me stories about her semester spent studying in London while she was in college and I learned what the phrase “study abroad” really meant. Needless to say, I am incredibly excited and can hardly believe this is actually happening! In an effort to keep friends and family updated on what I am doing, I have succumbed to the cliché of creating a blog for writing about my adventures and uploading pictures while I am away. For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, the title of my blog means “Wandering in Valparaíso ” in English. I created the title when I discovered the Spanish word vagabundear, which means “to wander”. I liked the sound of this verb because it reminded of the word “vagabond”, meaning a person who wanders or roams from place to place, which is kind of what I’ll be while I am in Chile.
Here are a quick facts about my trip:
- I will be in Chile for about four and a half months, from mid-February to early July.
- I am studying at the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso through CIEE (otherwise known as the Council on International Educational Exchange).
- I will live with a host family in the city of Viña del Mar, which is about 15 minutes, give or take, from the city of Valparaíso.
- Although I am majoring in both psychology and Spanish at Siena College, I am taking a break from psychology this semester so that I can really focus on improving my ability to speak, write and understand the Spanish language while I am in Chile.
- All of my classes will be taught in Spanish and on topics related to the Spanish-speaking world, including literature, culture and history (particularly that of Chile), as well as the language itself.
I leave for Chile on February 22, but I have lots of preparing to do in the meantime, so you will hear more from me once I actually get there. ¡Hasta entonces!