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Aidan Goldenberg-Hart's semester with USAC Chile

Program: USAC Chile: Santiago - Spanish Language, Latin American Cultures, Journalism, and International Studies
Term: Spring 2023
Major: Government & Politics, Astronomy

Not only did I discover a part of the world that I knew virtually nothing about, but I gained fluency in a language that is really important to have

I lived with a host family and dedicated most of my coursework to learning Spanish and it fully paid off. I speak Spanish comfortably now after my four immersive months in Chile and traveling around South America.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad

Live with a host family! It's the only real way to actually immerse yourself in a culture and learn a language.

I had originally thought that I wasn't going to get to see the Patagonia region because of the limited time I had to travel.

[However], a family friend who had done the same program several years before told me I couldn't miss it. I eventually found a way to make it work with a small group of friends and a very condensed itinerary. To date, it was probably the best single trip I've ever been on. We saw two of the most extraordinary sights that there are to see in South America and not to mention the incredible night skies. Study abroad it about packing the most that you can into such a short time because it might just be the best opportunity you've got.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad

It might be your only (and easiest) opportunity to actually live in a foreign country. Even if it's hard to swing with your major, it will probably still be easier than moving to another country for a few months in your adulthood. It is a necessary experience and you should do whatever you can to make it work.

The hardest part was the semester before I went abroad because I had to squeeze in so many of my STEM classes that I could only take at UMD

I ended up having a super busy semester, but it was absolutely worth it to have the incredible semester that I did abroad.

If I hadn't studied abroad, I would have never met and become friends with so many Chileans.

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