Kylie Creighton (she/her) - Stanford in Santiago
Major: Earth Systems
Minorw: Urban Studies
College year while abroad: 1st year
About the photo: Me sitting on an old tree branch on the side of a mountain in Torres del Paine National Park.
Questions and Answers with Kylie
Why did you choose to study abroad in Santiago?
I chose to study in Santiago de Chile because I knew it would challenge my Spanish, which I wanted to improve. Also, Chile is the land of extremes. It has the driest desert in the world and the beautiful, lush Patagonia in the south. I thought it was the perfect place to have fun with two of my interests: Spanish and nature.
What were your expectations before you went and how did those change once you arrived in Santiago?
I didn't know anyone in Chile or anyone in my cohort, so I thought it would be very lonely. I was so wrong. My cohort bonded so well and they became a family to me. I also made deep friendships with Chilean women I met there. We plan on visiting each other in the future.
What were some of the academic benefits from studying abroad in Santiago?
Studying history in Latin America gives you such a rich context about the what was going on in the Southern Hemisphere during the most historic points that we've already learned about in U.S. history. It also helps you better understand the people of the country. In Chile, for example, people are very politically active, which I witnessed with my own eyes being there at the time of the formation of the new Constitution, but also got to learn about historically through their history of independence from Spain.
What did you learn about yourself while you were studying abroad?
I learned that my modes of creative expression are limitless. While out there, I made multiple short videos about Chile with my friends, I choreographed dances in our dorm, and I picked up a skill for freestyling. I think being in a place that embraces art so freely as Santiago de Chile, it inspired me to look into new forms of art.
What was the most challenging experience you encountered while you were abroad and what did you learn from it?
The most challenging experience was balancing work with travel/exploration. It got tough toward the end of the quarter, especially. I learned to pace myself and to not miss out on once in a lifetime experiences.
What was the biggest cultural adjustment you had to make?
What was your favorite part of your everyday life in Santiago?
My favorite part of everyday life in Santiago was walking to and from school. The city street life is so active, colorful, and exciting.
What was the most memorable experience you had while you were in Santiago?
It was 10pm and my cohort and I were sitting on the cold beach on the Straight of Magellan, the furthest south in the world any of us had ever been. The moon was full and we were skipping rocks on the water while freestyling poetry about the settings. We were all so happy to be together and to be in a new, very unique place.
What 5 words would you use to describe your experience?
Creativity, exploration, perspective-changing, friendship, laughs
What was your favorite food you had in Santiago?
Cazuela (soup) de la mama de mi amiga chilena.
What was the most valuable item you took with you on the program?
An all-purpose backpack.
What was your favorite music/band that you discovered in Santiago?
Victor Jara (Listen to El Derecho de Vivir en Paz).