I remember being a sophomore in college and trying to decide where I was going to study abroad. As a Spanish minor, I really wanted to go somewhere to practice my language skills. Costa Rica and Spain were at the top of my list, and I was a little disappointed when I learned that these trips did not offer the classes that I needed. Chile ended up being the only abroad trip that offered upper level courses, so I quickly applied and hoped that I would be accepted into the program. My acceptance came one June afternoon while I was sitting in Central Park, and I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start planning my Winter Session trip.
Fast-Forward to January 2011 when I finally arrived in Santiago de Chile. The whole experience was amazing and unforgettable. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to be back in one of my very favorite cities to see my host parents and old friends, and to visit my favorite spots from my study abroad trip.
It was incredibly surreal to be back in Providencia (the neighborhood where I lived). On our first night in Santiago, we went back to Avenida Manuel Montt where our university was. We went to one of our favorite bars Zouk, where we would all meet up and have a few drinks before going out for the evening. After enjoying a few piscolas at Zouk, we wanted to continue the trend of reliving study abroad 2011, so we went to another favorite spot called Gran Central. I have so many fond memories from Gran Central…it was the first place we ever went to in the city, and it was where we spent our last night in Santiago before going back to the states. As we turned the familiar corner off of Avenida 11 de Septiembre, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to be there again…however to my surprise the bar was completely different. The spot now goes by the name Zen, and is so far from what it used to be (so sad).
A few days later, we still had the urge to re-live the glory days and brought some new friends of ours to Manuel Montt to visit a few more places. We of course started back at Zouk, but then made our way to Mito for some dancing, which was so much fun. Afterwards we got late-night food at one of the few places open called Maskipan. Our study abroad group was obsessed with this place…I personally loved their French fries and Chilean hot dogs (topped with avocado, saurkraut, and tomatoes). Overall, it was really good to be back in Chile and revisit all of the places that made my trip in 2011 so memorable.