9/11 in Chile

The 11th of September is synonymous throughout the world with the tragic attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, 2001. But in Chile, this date has a different significance. On the 11th September 1973 the CIA backed military campaign led by Augusto Pinochet, overthrew the democratically elected government in Santiago and imposed a…

Superstitions and their origins

Do you believe in superstitions? Are there certain people, places, things or events that are lucky or unlucky? Do you believe in ghosts or spirits from another dimension? What are some superstitions from your culture? These were a series of introductory questions to a lesson I gave last week based on (yep, you’ve probably guessed…

‘Quidditch’ is the Same in Every Language

The language barrier has definitely been the most difficult thing about moving abroad to a country where English is not the first language. When I arrived to Santiago I had an extremely basic level of Spanish (I had just about mastered the Hola, no hablo espanol, estoy perdido and adios). The foundation for any great…

Why living abroad makes you appreciate the NHS so much more

While living abroad, it is difficult not to make comparisons with your home country. I have discovered this both now living in Chile and also two years ago when I studied abroad in Wisconsin for a year. This is often a completely useless and unhelpful thing to do. Every country has different histories, values, traditions…

‘Singin’ in the rain’ in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a city like no other I’ve experienced. Cobbled streets, tango, neutral Parisian styled apartments, wide squares and the brightly coloured houses of La Boca…it can only be described as the perfect blend of South American and European architecture, ideas and cultures. Sadly, it rained for four days straight and so we were…

Condors, Gauchos and Steak: A 3 day tour of Salta, Argentina

Argentina may be slightly off the radar for many. For one, it’s distance. Secondly, it is pricier than many other South American countries. Another… many places in Argentina are very difficult to get to (as we were soon to discover). Before going to Argentina, I was unsure about what to expect. I knew nothing about…

A Rough Guide to Teaching English in Santiago

Teaching English as a foreign language is a funny one. In Chile, you need virtually no qualifications other than the ability to speak English (helpful, I know) and in some cases the luck to have been brought up in an English- speaking country. ‘Natives’, we are flatteringly and not always accurately called. Never have I…