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Tishrei Movich-Fields

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Tishrei Movich-Fields (she/her) - Stanford in Santiago

Major: Psychology

Minor: Sociology

College year while abroad: Junior

About the photo:  When we drove through the Aysén region in the South, there were tons of these beautiful purple lupins lining the road! We stopped for a break from driving and found a field full of them with the mountains in the background.


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Why did you choose to study abroad in Santiago?

I wanted to go somewhere vastly different than anywhere I had been before, learn about a new culture, and also practice my Spanish. I chose Santiago because of its rich political and social history, the chance to spend time in the southern hemisphere, and the abundance of natural beauty that Chile has to offer. Out of the many study abroad programs, I thought that Santiago would give me an experience that was very different from my life in the United States, and that excited me!

What were your expectations before you went and how did those change once you arrived in Santiago?

I expected that there would be some culture shock and that I would have a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle. Having grown up in a small town, I was nervous about living in such a large city. However, I found that I adjusted to life in Santiago relatively quickly. Though it was a bit overwhelming at first, I was able to settle into a routine and begin to explore the city. I also didn't necessarily expect to make such great connections and friends, and have so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences while in Chile, but I definitely did.

What were some of the academic benefits from studying abroad in Santiago?

It is so much more impactful to learn about a country's history when you're actually living in that place. Learning about Pinochet's dictatorship, the protests in 2019, and the tense political landscape of Chile took on a whole new meaning when we saw evidence of these things in the form of protests and graffiti and every day on the walk to the center. It was also incredible to learn about the diverse natural landscapes of Chile in class, then get to actually see them on field trips, the bing trip to Patagonia, and our own weekend travels.

What did you learn about yourself while you were studying abroad?

I learned that I am a lot more independent and capable than I gave myself credit for. Coming from a town without a single traffic light, I was able to navigate the metro system and gain my bearings in the massive city of Santiago. I learned how to plan trips efficiently, how to manage conflicts with peers, and how to live independently in a completely new place. I had such a newfound confidence when I left Chile.

What was the most challenging experience you encountered while you were abroad and what did you learn from it?

One weekend, a group of us traveled up to the Atacama desert. We rented a couple cars to drive out to some salt flat lagoons, but we didn't make sure that all the cars stayed together. My car ended up having some issues far behind the others and we couldn't contact them for help because we didn't have service. We eventually made it to the lagoons, but It was pretty stressful. From that situation, I think we all learned the importance of good communication and looking out for each other while traveling in a group.

What was the biggest cultural adjustment you had to make?

Taking the metro everywhere. I have never lived in a place with great public transportation, so I've either driven, biked, or walked everywhere I needed to go. Living in Santiago required taking the metro to class or anywhere else you wanted to go in the city, so navigating that system was a big adjustment for me. Also, having to be very alert about the presence of pickpockets was a new experience for me.

What was your favorite part of your everyday life in Santiago?

Cooking dinner in my apartment with my roommate, then heading to the roof of the residence to play cards with other people in the cohort.

What was the most memorable experience you had while you were in Santiago?

Making a trip down south to the Aysén region, where we went kayaking through marble caves that had been carved out by the bright blue glacier water lake. Not only was that amazing, but we got to drive down the Carretera Austral and see so many incredible mountains and lakes. It seriously looked like something out of a fairy tale.

What 5 words would you use to describe your experience?

Adventurous, unforgettable, unique, other-worldly, friendship-filled.

What was your favorite food you had in Santiago?

We went to a restaurant called Peumayén that served food inspired by the native people of Chile. It was so delicious!

What was the most valuable item you took with you on the program?

A good backpack.

What was your favorite music/band that you discovered in Santiago?

Tu Falta de Querer by Mon Laferte, Me Gusta Todo de Ti by Noche de Brujas, and Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52 by Bizarrap and Quevedo.