Saturday, January 2, 2016

Vina del Mar and UAI

Vina del Mar

    Vina del Mar is often called the garden city and is located on the central Pacific coast of Chile. Vina del Mar or simply Vina is absolutely beautiful. There is a long beach that stretches to the neighboring city of Renaca to the North and later to Concon. There is also an old and new part of the city of Vina including a newer touristic part as well as a lively older side. The newer part is along the ocean and on San Martin,with all of the restaurants and resorts along the ocean. There are also three large shopping malls (larger and more packed than Ala Moana) that have everything you could find in the shopping malls back home. So do not be afraid, you will still have Starbucks, McDonalds, Nike, Adidas, Lider (Walmart), and everything else you could desire. The older part of the city, resides 15 blocks down on Calle Valpo, this is where you can find the less expensive and more local shops. Such as music shops and souvenirs.

The beach four blocks from my house
The view of Vina

Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

UAI sits on top of a large hill overlooking vina and the ocean.

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The view from the University was especially beautiful during the sunset. 

The professors are also very well trained and the University is very prestigious. It is a private University and is well known as being the upper class University within the region. UAI is known for business, but also has a wide range of Latin American history and culture classes for international classes. There are also different Spanish classes available. I took Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism within Latin America, Latin American Culture and Identity (both with Prof. Casanueva), Chile and Human Rights (Prof. Wilson), Latin America on Film (Prof. Salinas), and Latin America in the age of Globalization (Prof. Barros). I would highly recommend the Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism class for politics as you deeply analyze the different political systems over a wide range of Latin American countries and learn where the corruption began. Latin America on film was also an excellent class that showed the history of Latin America very well through film. Prof. Casanueva and Salinas were my favorite professors but Barros and Wilson were also excellent professors. The coursework was rigorous, but after the classes I feel like I truly gained significant knowledge that I will not forget such as other coursework I have done within the United States.

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There are many different sport classes you can take including yoga, body pump, trekking, weights, swimming, and many others  and you can even join sports teams within the University. The University is large and consists of four different buildings. One building is for the classrooms, common spaces, and the gymnasium, another is for the offices of the professors, the library and auditorium, and the last is for the cafeteria. The gym is located in the first building and is very large. The food within the cafeteria is also nice and affordable. 
The library
Outside of the cafeteria
The view from campus

Dieciocho de Septiembre
Dieciocho is the independence day within Chile. (Similar to the 4th of July) There are two days celebrated known as fiesta Patrias. There were large festivals known as "ramadas" or "fondas" that lasted throughout the weekend.Chileans spend the afternoons with their families having large asados and then head out to the "ramadas" and "fondas" to celebrate for the night
My host mother and I dressed in Chilean attire

The festival
 The Fondas At the fondas there are countless stands with food such as antichuchos, empanadas, terremotos,and much more. Besides the countless booths for food there are also carnival games and rides. There is also a large stage that had live music and there was a separate tent with music and a dance floor.

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