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Published: April 16th 2012
Half of the ISA group.
My touring group was all girls.
On Thursday I met the ISA staff and other ISA students at the airport!! I was already at the hotel right in front of the airport so all I had to do was shower and walk over. Well, not quite. I had to scramble HARD to check out of the hotel on time before they charged me an extra 100 bucks.
ISA brought us to Hotel Rent-a-Home where we'll stay for four days to tour Santiago, the capital of Chile. There are about four students to each apartment which all have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and FANTASTIC views overlooking the city. Oh my goodness, it’s been SO wild. Hotel Rent-a-Home is a fifteen story building downtown (seems like all of Santiago is downtown) and we practically took over the hotel! Or maybe we just scared all the other tenants away.
I have to say, I am constantly astounded by the openness and friendliness of the group. It’s so awesome! There are 70 students, which is not small, but many of us have bonded even though we’ve literally only known each other for 2 days. I feel like I have over 50
friends now, which is wild. Things aren’t click-ish and I’ve never experienced that. Even at my university in the States, I’ve been there for a year and a half and I’ve only made one friend. I talk to people in class, but I only have one friend where we talk on Facebook and actually see each other outside of school. Maybe it’s because all of us came to Chile not knowing anyone else so it forces us out of our shells. My favorite thing is how we’ll go to lunch somewhere or walk around downtown, and it doesn’t matter who you walk next to or end up sitting with at the table. I laugh and talk with everyone. I don’t feel the need to cling to one or two people as a security blanket. Every day I have lunch or dinner while sitting with different people and it’s seriously the best time. Someone I have never met will walk up, sit down and it’s instantly “What’s up?”. They get invited into the conversation and it’s not even awkward. I feel so welcomed and never alone.
Oh my goodness, I’m 5’9”, I’m always the
tallest one of all of my girlfriends, and the tallest female usually in any group I’m a part of. So it is really surprising that all the chicks I've been hanging out with the most are just as tall as me. It’s soooooo awesome and so foreign!! I’m not used to feeling average in height but with these other ISA students, I totally am. In my suite alone, Elena is 5’9”, my roommate-to-be, Cassandra is 5’10”, and LeeAnne is 5’11”! They are tall and really beautiful! The other girls we’ve hung out with the most are really tall too! Lauren is 5’10”, Kelsie is 5’11”, Clare is 5’9”and the list goes on. In my suite, we joke and call ourselves “the tall girl roommates”. We have even taken pictures on hills together to emphasize how tall we are. Haha!
I feel like I’m really getting the “college experience” from this trip and I am so thankful. On each floor of the hotel we hang out with our suite door open (which I would never do back in Dallas) and other students just walk in and hang out for a couple of hours like it’s nothing. It’s funny because while
passing a floor in the elevator, you can hear other students laughing and talking super loud. Serious blasting! Haha! Maybe it’s a U.S. thing? It’s almost like dorm living except better because we go on tours in the capital city and can do what we want. And we’re in South America. The weather is great. The guys are smokin’ hot. Can it get any better? Oh, and on a funny note, after our first night here the hotel told our ISA resident staff that we kind of broke the elevator. The two elevators are small and really slow so we all cram on super hard because no one wants to wait forever for it to come back up. I know I crammed on with 8 other people and I did note that the elevator, once on the 1st
floor, stopped a good 4 inches BELOW the ground so we had to step UP and OUT of the elevator! The hotel told the ISA staff that they counted 13 students coming out of the elevator at one point!! They said no more than 6 of us should go on. On the Spanish sign it actually said no
more than 8 people but they probably told us no more than 6 assuming we’re fat Americans. Haha! Apparently 8 Chileans equals 6 Americans!
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